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Mapping the image with Trace Contour

From: Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

Video: Mapping the image with Trace Contour

One of the filters in Photoshop seems to create contour maps, almost like terrain maps for an image, which might not sound like an option you're interested in, except maybe for a landscape photograph or perhaps an aerial photo. But it actually can produce a rather interesting graphical effect for a variety of different images. Let's take a look at a way we can work with this interesting filter called Trace Contour. I'll start off by creating a copy of my background image layer, by dragging the background layer down to the Create New Layer button. And then I will go to the Filter menu. And under Stylized, I'll choose Trace Contour.

Mapping the image with Trace Contour

One of the filters in Photoshop seems to create contour maps, almost like terrain maps for an image, which might not sound like an option you're interested in, except maybe for a landscape photograph or perhaps an aerial photo. But it actually can produce a rather interesting graphical effect for a variety of different images. Let's take a look at a way we can work with this interesting filter called Trace Contour. I'll start off by creating a copy of my background image layer, by dragging the background layer down to the Create New Layer button. And then I will go to the Filter menu. And under Stylized, I'll choose Trace Contour.

You can see right away that this is indeed a very interesting effect for the image. We simply adjust the level and then the edge. We have the lower setting versus an upper setting, and that will adjust the overall appearance of the filter, but this is one of those that you really can't anticipate, I feel. And so you have to play around with the settings a little bit. When we adjust the level, it's like we're looking across a map and trying to find a different elevation throughout the map. That's not exactly what's happening, obviously. But you can see, we get very different interpretations of the photo, based on the particular level that we set. And of course, we can switch the edge between Upper and Lower if we'd like. In this case, I think I'll use the Lower option.

This is kind of an interesting and abstract shape. And I think I'm going to blend these images together into a final result. And so with this setting established, I'll go ahead and click OK. And then I'll go ahead and make another copy of the background image layer. And I'll temporarily turn off the original version that I applied the filter to. And then once again, I'll go to the Filter menu and choose Stylize followed by Trace Contour, and then I'll try to find a very different interpretation of the photo. It can be helpful to take a look at the thumbnails on the Layers panel as you're working, but this certainly looks to be a good and different interpretation.

In this case I'll use the Upper option and then click OK. And then, I'll go ahead and turn on the visibility on my background copy layer, the original copy that I made, and I'm going to change the blend mode for this layer to Multiply. And that will darken the underlying image using the colors in this background copy layer. So we're effectively blending everything together except the white. So I'll turn off the background copy layer, so that we can only see background copy two. And this is the second interpretation of the image that I created. And then I'll turn on the first background copy layer. So that we're mixing those two images together.

And I could continue this process, making additional background copy layers, and applying this filter with different settings and using the Multiply blend mode to blend those images together in order to create, what I think of as, an interesting sort of colored sketch effect.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters
Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

40 video lessons · 3262 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
  2. 16m 23s
    1. Adding a single filter
      3m 21s
    2. Using the Filter Gallery
      4m 51s
    3. Using Smart Filters
      4m 2s
    4. A flexible filter workflow
      4m 9s
  3. 36m 0s
    1. Creating an ethereal effect with Clarity
      2m 13s
    2. Creating a black-and-white interpretation of an image
      3m 12s
    3. Adding a monochromatic tint effect
      2m 27s
    4. Using a gradient map preset
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a gradient map preset
      7m 48s
    6. Adding a vignette
      3m 17s
    7. Adding film grain
      5m 25s
    8. Oversharpening
      3m 17s
    9. HDR tone mapping
      5m 39s
  4. 37m 47s
    1. Creating a filtered edge effect
      4m 6s
    2. Producing a dreamy look with Surface Blur
      3m 4s
    3. Iris Blur with a twist
      4m 32s
    4. The Tilt-Shift blur effect
      3m 52s
    5. Creating an oil paint effect
      4m 36s
    6. Adding selective motion blur
      4m 36s
    7. Adding lens flare
      5m 21s
    8. Adding a lighting effect
      5m 6s
    9. Adding an ethereal glow
      2m 34s
  5. 24m 21s
    1. Applying a wild curve
      3m 1s
    2. Playing with blend modes
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a painterly effect with Find Edges
      2m 41s
    4. Creating a sketch effect
      5m 26s
    5. Crystallizing pixels
      3m 6s
    6. Getting extreme with Mezzotint
      3m 42s
    7. The Solarize filter
      2m 25s
  6. 38m 38s
    1. Smearing with Liquify
      7m 0s
    2. Going fish-eye with Polar Coordinates
      3m 38s
    3. Using the Spherize and Pinch filters
      3m 18s
    4. Using the Ripple, Twirl, Wave, and ZigZag filters
      5m 45s
    5. Getting blocky with Mosaic
      2m 44s
    6. Creating huge pixels with Pointilize
      3m 0s
    7. Creating tiles
      3m 42s
    8. Creating blocks with Extrude
      4m 29s
    9. Mapping the image with Trace Contour
      2m 44s
    10. Creating a stylized wind-blown effect
      2m 18s

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