PI6 Half Sketch Photo Effect


Half Sketch Photo Effect

Here's a fun way to make half of a photo look like a black and white sketch, while the rest is preserved in its original color. At the bottom of this page you'll be able to download a task, or macro, which will make applying this effect a snap. All you have to do is Import the task into your Quick Command Panel via the Task Manager.

In this tutorial, I'm using this gorgeous, butterfly photo from the PI User's Photo Gallery. If you use your own photo, try to select one with good contrast to create the most striking effect.

Open up the image and copy it into the Clipboard by clicking the Copy button or hitting Ctrl+C. Paste the copy back into the image by clicking the Paste button or hitting Ctrl+V. Note that the copy has an animated broken line around it, indicating that it's an object. While this object is still "floating" on top of the base image, choose Effect, Special, Monochrome. Doing so will turn your color object into a grayscale image, while still retaining its RGB properties.

Monochrome effect

Hit Ctrl+C or click the Copy button to copy the grayscale object into the Clipboard. You'll be pasting the contents back into the image again later, so don't get sidetracked and copy anything else or you'll lose the image in the Clipboard.

Edit the PaletteWhile this grayscale object is still active, choose Edit, Fadeout (or hit Ctrl+H). When the dialog box opens, choose a left to right Fill type and Multiple Colors (if you're using your own image, consider using a different Fill type -- top to bottom, etc.). Click in the Multiple colors box to open the Palette Ramp Editor. Select Palette 12. In the Palette ramp box, drag the white control point downward and to the left until it reads 53. This will shift the order of the colors so that the gradient is mostly light on the left and black on the right. Click OK to close the Palette Ramp Editor.

When you're returned to the Fadeout dialog box, it will look like this.

Fadeout dialog box

Click OK to close the Fadeout box and apply. Now the image looks like this. Note that it is a lot more gray on the left side.

Fadeout applied

Now hit Ctrl+V or click the Paste button to paste the Clipboard contents back into the image. Your grayscale image will be floating on top. To apply the sketch effect to this object, choose Effect, Creative Painting. When the Painting dialog box opens, select Paint template 5, leaving the default Pattern 17 selected. In the right corner's Fine Controls, edit as shown below. Note that you'll be dragging the Density way over to the right.

Edit Creative Painting's Fine Controls

Click OK to apply and close the dialog box. Depending on how big your image is, the amount of time it takes to apply this dense painting effect will vary. Don't be surprised if it takes a full minute or longer. You'll end up with something like this.

Painting Effect applied

Choose Edit, Fadeout again (or hit Ctrl+H). Apply the exact same Multiple Colors Fadeout that you used previously to the object, 2X. Then hit Ctrl+H and when the Fadeout dialog box opens again, apply a Two Colors fadeout, left to right Fill type, white to to gray (25%).

Two Color Fadeout

Click OK to close the dialog box and you're done. You'll see that this last Fadeout helps to reveal more of the color on the right, accentuating the black and white sketch look on the left. You can repeat this Fadeout if you need to do so for your particular image. If there are marks on the right side of the photo that you don't want, use your object eraser with a high transparency (50-75%) to erase them prior to merging all.

Although it's fun to learn how to create this effect on your own, I've made a task that incorporates all of these steps for you into a macro. Download the task here.

Unzip the .TSK (Ulead's proprietary file type for tasks) file, then open up your Quick Command Panel. Click the Task Menu Commands icon (arrow) and select Task Manager.

Access the Task Manager

When the Task Manager dialog box opens, click Import (arrow).

Task Manager

Doing so will open the Load dialog box. Browse to the .TSK file you wish to Import into your Quick Command Panel and click Open. The task will be added to your Quick Command Panel. From now on, when you want to apply this Half Sketch Effect to any image, just select the task and click the Play button (arrow). Sit back and watch while it all happens automatically!

Half Sketch Effect task has been added

If you would like the vary the direction in which the Half Sketch flows, you can change the Fill type direction when you do the Fadeouts. To change in the Quick Command Panel, deselect any step with a slashed line through it, then Play the task. The task will stop at that point and you can edit the preset attributes to your own liking. After you edit, the task will continue playing until it's done.

This tutorial uploaded 8/31/01

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