Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
With this movie, I'd like to show you how to convert a photograph of a person into a simulated pencil sketch using the Filter Gallery. I'm currently in the Adobe Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files folders. What I'd like to do is scroll down in the Content panel, double-click on the Chapter 15 folder in order to open it up, and then double-click on the pencil sketch folder. Select both of these images by Shift-clicking, and double-click to open them up inside of the Elements' Editing workspace. You can see we have them available to us down here in the Project bin. I'm going to work with this image first. We'll go ahead and close the Project bin by clicking this arrow. All right, so what we want to do is create a simulated pencil sketch using the filters available in the Filter Gallery.
Great thing about the Filter Gallery is it allows you to combine different filters together in order to create a special effect. That's what we're going to do here. Now, these types of effects are generally kind of hard to create inside of the Filter Gallery. So I'm going to show you a little recipe that I have, that I think works pretty well. Let's go under the Filter menu, and choose Filter Gallery to open up that dialog box. All right, it's going to show us the last used settings. It's defaulting to Palette Knife. You always have to have at least one filter visible here in the Filter Gallery dialog box. When you first open it, you can't delete it. So you have to have at least one. So let's go ahead and change it.
We're going to actually add some different filter effects. Before we do, let's change our view percentage. I'm going to go ahead and just click on the menu here, and choose 25%. So we can see Palette Knife doesn't look very good. We want to change that. Palette Knife not looking very good on this particular image. We're going to change it actually to Poster Edges from within the Artistic set. Click on that, and now we have some different settings over here. What I would like to do is increase the Edge Thickness up to about 5. That's looking good. For Edge Intensity, I'm going to increase that as well up to about 3, and for Posterization, we're going to leave that to 2. So this is basically a posterized effect. We're getting this sort of vector artwork type of look, and it looks pretty good. I actually like the starts of this. The way it's changing, the contrast, the edges are starting to look, sort of like ink or a pencil. However, this is still in color, so it's not quite there yet. We still have ways to go.
We have to add more filters in order to create this simulated pencil sketch. So let's go ahead and click on the button down here, which adds a new filter layer. That's going to duplicate the existing filter, which is Poster Edges. Next thing we want to do is go into our Brush Stroke sets. Let's close up the Artistic set. Open up Brush Strokes, and we're going to choose Ink Outlines. When we click on that, the dynamic area of the dialog box over here changes. We now have control specific to Ink Outlines, and we can change our settings.
I'm going to keep Stroke Length at 4. Dark Intensity though is a little too dark. So I'm going to drag that down to about 4 as well, and for Light Intensity, I'm going to make it much lighter. So we will bring it up to about 20. So what we're doing here is lessening the posterized effect, because Ink Outlines is now combining with the filter underneath, which is Poster Edges. So the next thing we want to do is create another filter layer. We'll click on that button again. That duplicates Ink Outlines, places it above and we now want to access a filter from the sketch set. We'll open that up, and that's Graphic Pen. Let's go ahead and click on Graphic Pen. And now we're getting a lot closer to this looking like a pencil sketch. As you can see here, we've stripped the color out. And this is looking a lot more like a natural media pencil sketch.
Let's go ahead and change some settings in here. Stroke Length 15, I actually like that. For Light/Dark Balance, I think I'm just going to reduce that a little bit. This is a very touchy control. Notice just a couple of points lower, and things are really getting lighter. Okay, we only went about 8 points lower than the default setting. Look at how much lighter it is. But that looks good to me. This looks like shading like you'd see from a pencil. That was actually drawn with a pencil. I think that's looking really good. Even though it's supposed to be Graphic Pen, I think this looks more like pencil, and that looks good to me. So the next thing we're going to do is add another filter layer. This will be our final filter layer. It duplicates Graphic Pen of course. I'm going to close up Sketch, open up Texture, and we're going to select Texturizer.
In here, we have the Texture Options. It's defaulting to Canvas, which is good for when you're trying to create a painting. But since this is a pencil sketch, we want to simulate a type of Graphic Paper, and Sandstone actually does a really good job of that. It looks a little bit like texturized paper. If we zoom in some, we can see it better as we change our settings. Let's go ahead and zoom in to let's say 50% and change some of our settings in here. The scaling is currently at 100%. I want to bring that up to probably about 180% or so, and make it more apparent. We can start to see it a little bit better now. For Relief, let's bring that up as well so we can really see it, maybe around 7. We don't want to get too crazy with it. I want it to look like paper, and not really like sandstone. We're kind of faking it here with these controls, but that's okay. That's what we want to do with the Filter Gallery.
Just because something says Graphic Pen doesn't mean you can't make it look like pencil. Filter Gallery can totally be manipulated. That's the whole idea here, is to combine these guys and get the results that you want. I'm going to keep the Light Source at top. Well, you have other options in here but I'm going to keep it at top. That looks good to me. I don't need to invert it. So I'm just going to go ahead and click OK. So here we have it. Let's go ahead and zoom in some because when you're viewing at these off percentages like 18.6 or something like that. They generally don't look as well when you're previewing in the document window. We want it to be a number like 25 or 50, 75 or 100. That's looking pretty good to me. I'm actually liking that a lot.
If you want to play with this further, what you can do is duplicate the background. We can do that by choosing Duplicate Layer from the palette menu. When this comes up, you can name it or you can choose Background Copy. I think I'm going to name this Overlay. The reason, I'm going to name it that is because I'm actually going to change its blend mode to Overlay. Here is the Blend Mode list. We can click on the arrow to reveal, and then click Overlay. That's actually making it look even more like a pencil sketch. If you think it's a bit much, and it's looking a little too contrast, then you can lower the Opacity of it in order to get it right where you want it. Maybe you bring it down to 50%, somewhere around there. So you can see, there is the regular pencil sketch which can look a little muddy, if you actually duplicate the layer and apply the Overlay blend mode, you can clean that up a bit. It's actually looking good. See now we're losing some of the dots inside of his face, and it's looking a little cleaner. We're also getting these higher contrast edges, and I like that. I think that's looking really good.
Again, as it is with any Filter Gallery effect, after you apply it and you get the settings the way you want, if you have another image that you want to apply it to, what you can do, is open up that image, go on to the Filter menu, and just choose the first instance of Filter Gallery, which applies the last used settings. This only applies the last used settings. You'll want to do this right away after you set it up. We can press Command+F to apply it or choose it from the menu, and we will go through and there we have it. You can go ahead and zoom in. We have a nice pencil sketch here. We can duplicate this layer as well if we would like. Say OK, change this to Overlay, and we have got the same sort of effect going.
So we can keep doing this now with as many images that we might like to apply this effect to. Once you're done, you can do a Save As, save it in whatever file format you like, and then you will have it saved in your collection of photographs.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 60272 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 88472 Viewers
148 Video lessons · 95070 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 57401 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.