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Creating a faint soft-edged line drawing with Linear Dodge

From: Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

Video: Creating a faint soft-edged line drawing with Linear Dodge

Here is a great technique if you want a turn a photograph into more of a charcoal type line art drawing. And we are going to use a blend mode to achieve it. So first we are going to duplicate this layer, Command+J, Ctrl+J, and I'm going to rename this Line Drawing. Great! And we are going to begin by inverting this, Command+I or Ctrl+I, and setting its blend mode to one of the Lighten blend modes called Linear Dodge. Now when you first do this by inverting the layer and setting to Linear Dodge, it doesn't look like much of anything. It's made everything white. And to bring out some of the line art drawing, we are going to use something called Gaussian Blur to create some differences between these two layers. So right now there is an exact pixel match for the blend in these blend modes. The Linear Dodge blend mode is actually canceling these pixels out, making it more white.

Creating a faint soft-edged line drawing with Linear Dodge

Here is a great technique if you want a turn a photograph into more of a charcoal type line art drawing. And we are going to use a blend mode to achieve it. So first we are going to duplicate this layer, Command+J, Ctrl+J, and I'm going to rename this Line Drawing. Great! And we are going to begin by inverting this, Command+I or Ctrl+I, and setting its blend mode to one of the Lighten blend modes called Linear Dodge. Now when you first do this by inverting the layer and setting to Linear Dodge, it doesn't look like much of anything. It's made everything white. And to bring out some of the line art drawing, we are going to use something called Gaussian Blur to create some differences between these two layers. So right now there is an exact pixel match for the blend in these blend modes. The Linear Dodge blend mode is actually canceling these pixels out, making it more white.

If we start introducing some differences here, we'll actually get some cool interactions between the two layers. One way to introduce the differences is to add a blur to this layer. Now we may want to play around with the blur. So normally when you run a filter it's a destructive action. I guess that depends on your perspective. But it applies and actually permanently changes those pixels. If you change your mind you don't have the original starting point. In order to create filters that can be done non-destructively, you want to use Smart Filters and Smart Filters can be applied to Smart Objects. So we are going to convert this Line Drawing layer into a Smart Object by right-clicking on it or Ctrl-clicking and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Gives you a little special icon letting you know that's a Smart Object layer instead of a regular layer. And now we'll go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. You can see right away just what the default setting here, whatever settings used last of two pixels, I'm starting to see the line art drawing appear. We'll zoom in Command+Plus, Ctrl+Plus until I can see a little bit better detail. I can hold down my spacebar to pan the image around and get a good look at what I want to look at. So I can play around the Radius. The higher the Radius the more of the original image comes back and more of the original color comes back as well.

So to keep it more of a line art drawing you will want to keep the Radius towards the low side. But again it's up to you can make this whatever you want. I'm going to go ahead and click OK, and now the Smart Filter get shown as a special type of filter underneath the Smart Object layer. If I need to reedit this, I can just double-click on the word Gaussian Blur and tweak this a little bit more until I get it the way I want it to look. So you have a non-destructive way to go back and adjust how much of a line art effect you want. So this becomes a really nice technique to create say a background image if you are going to put a series of other images on top of this, maybe border them or frame them or whatever, this can act as a nice stylized background to put everything on instead of just a white background.

If you want to remove the color and just have this be more of a charcoal type of effect then we can just add a Black & White adjustment layer. I'm going to go Adjustments panel and choose Black & White and that will add a Black & White adjustment layer at the very top which will just basically desaturate all those colors out of there. I can turn that on and off and you can see the difference there, especially if I zoom up Command+Plus, Ctrl+Plus and turn the adjustment layer on or off. And so it's up to you, if you want it to be more of a grayscale charcoal type drawing, do the adjustment layer. If you don't mind the color then just ignore that part of that technique.

But there you have it an interesting use for the Linear Dodge blend mode applied to an inverted copy and then just do a little bit of blur on that inverted copy to bring out that charcoal effect.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Blend Mode Magic
Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

46 video lessons · 25624 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
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  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 13m 9s
    1. The three kinds of blending in Photoshop
      1m 49s
    2. Blend modes, blend modes, everywhere!
      1m 38s
    3. Cycling through the blending modes
      2m 1s
    4. Three blending modes you must know
      5m 8s
    5. Blending mode keyboard shortcuts
      2m 33s
  3. 3m 13s
    1. Roughening or pointilizing edges with Dissolve
      3m 13s
  4. 34m 40s
    1. Removing halos with Darken
      2m 26s
    2. Bringing down hot highlights with Multiply
      3m 50s
    3. Tonal correction with Screen and Multiply
      3m 35s
    4. Combining adjustment layers with blending modes
      3m 58s
    5. Creating a composite from a single Camera Raw file
      5m 56s
    6. Creating a cast shadow with Multiply
      4m 50s
    7. Creating artistic edges with Multiply and Screen
      3m 39s
    8. From iPhone to Photoshop: Colorizing line art with Multiply
      6m 26s
  5. 14m 47s
    1. Removing dust spots with Lighten
      1m 36s
    2. Adding lightning to a sky with Screen
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 27s
    4. Reducing halos when sharpening with Lighten
      3m 55s
    5. Creating a faint soft-edged line drawing with Linear Dodge
      3m 29s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Using Dodge and Burn with Overlay
      4m 34s
    2. Reducing wrinkles with Overlay
      6m 37s
    3. Using graduated neutral density filters with Overlay
      5m 32s
    4. Custom vignettes with Overlay
      3m 30s
    5. High-Pass sharpening with Overlay
      4m 16s
    6. Smoothing skin with High-Pass sharpening and Overlay
      5m 29s
    7. Textured patterns with Overlay
      6m 21s
    8. Textured type with Overlay
      2m 55s
    9. Creating a dramatic diffused glow with Overlay
      2m 49s
    10. Creating a subtle glow with Soft Light
      2m 57s
    11. Creating a medium glow with Soft Light
      4m 25s
    12. Simulating film grain with Add Noise and Soft Light
      3m 54s
    13. Recovering detail in over-saturated areas with Pin Light
      8m 30s
    14. Creating 80's pop art with Hard Mix and Multiply
      3m 15s
  7. 5m 7s
    1. Aligning layers with Difference
      5m 7s
  8. 12m 51s
    1. Reducing color noise with Color
      2m 13s
    2. Avoiding false saturation with Luminosity
      5m 33s
    3. Recovering detail in blown-out highlights with Luminosity
      5m 5s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Getting better sepia tones
      5m 15s
    2. Using antique color effects
      5m 5s
    3. Combining multiple exposures
      4m 34s
    4. Replacing the sky in an image
      3m 44s
    5. Splitting edges when sharpening
      3m 15s
    6. Displacing type around contours
      4m 34s
  10. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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