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The gift shop - Photoshop Guide - Barry Beckham turns an ordinary snapshot of a cafe into half cartoon.
Words & Pictures Barry Beckham/David Rowley
A digital camera allows us to take pictures that we wouldn't normally give a second glance, but when opened in Photoshop can be transformed into something completely different. This image was taken in Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds using the Coolpix 990.
Most images require some kind of tweaking. We start by calling up the levels paletteimage>adjust>levels or shortcut ctrl+L on our keyboards. In this case the auto command is found to be sufficient so we apply it to our image. Hold our cursor over the above image to see the difference.
Tip When ever we make a selection from another image such as a person, flower or even a seagull keep it as a layer (PSD file) and store it in a separate folder, as it can then be used in other images.
In the layers palette we copy our new Layer 1 by dragging it over the new layer icon and rename it Effect.
When the smart blur is applied it appears as white lines on a black background, so we needtoinversethis:select>inverse or shortcut ctrl+alt+I. This will now give us a black outline on a white background.
Calling up our air brush from the tool box, shortcut J, we select a soft edge brush and from the options palette set the blend mode to dissolve and the pressure to around 30%. We can now begin removing the effects layer.
|TIP If at any time we are unhappy about the effect we can revert back to our original effects layer by pressing the X key to change the foreground colour to white and painting over the area.|
|Our vignette layer can now be merged with our effects layer. With our vignette layer live, click on the arrow in the top right-hand corner of our layer palette and from the menu select merge down or press ctrl+E.|
|Combine all our visible layers on to one new layer as before, enabling us toaddacanvastexturetoourimage:filter>texture>texturizer canvas. This really adds to the overall effect of our image.|
We can make any final adjustments to our image using the create new fill or layer adjustment icon on the layers palette. We choose brightness at -7 and contrast at +9. Hue saturation is also applied with the Saturation set to +11.
Finished layers palette
Why not try scanning in a paint brush or pencil to add the finishing touches to our image. This can be dragged and dropped as we did with the figure image, but to make it look even more realistic we can add a drop shadow. On the layer palette click on the add new layer style and select drop shadow we set the distance to around 30px, spread to 9 and the size to 46px.
|We can now save our finished image.|