I’m so excited to be sharing a new digital scrapbook technique with you today! I recently saw some layouts by an artist named sorashell that just blew me away:
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a new and exciting technique and I was immediately inspired by sorashell’s layouts! I spent about a day (no joke) trying to achieve this effect in Photoshop and I just couldn’t get it quite right. I decided to sleep on it and try again the next day. When I sat back down and started fiddling with Photoshop, it dawned on me that I was probably trying to re-invent the wheel and that somewhere out “there”, someone probably has a plug-in that will do all the work for me. So I scooted over to google, typed in a search and voila!- I landed at AKVIS. I downloaded the free trial of Sketch v.12.5, unzipped it, installed it and within minutes I had a sketch conversion of my photo that was about a million times better than any of the conversions I had come up with the day before!
I wrote AKVIS and told them how much I loved their program and how much I thought you would love their program too and they have generously donated a FREE COPY for one of my lucky readers!!
But before we get to the give-away, I want to show you a quick tutorial (and it’ll be quick because the AKVIS Sketch program does all the hard work for you)!
This summer Zoe and I went to Chicago and I took a picture of Zoe and her two cousins. It is one of my favorite photos and I have been wanting to scrap it but I just couldn’t figure out how to show it off. The second I saw sorashell’s layout, I knew I had found what I was looking for.
This is the original photo:
There are two ways to use the Akvis Sketch v.12.5 program. There is a plug-in version that works with image editing software (for a list of compatible image editors, click here) and there is a standalone version what works independently. I used the plug-in because it was easier for me to edit my photo to get the effect I wanted.
I played around with the program a little and what I found was that the lines were bolder and darker on photos with more contrast:
This definitely is a matter of personal preference. I preferred the finer lines for this project so I went with the unedited version of the photo.
The plug-in itself was very easy to use. I installed it in Photoshop CS5 (I just followed the prompts on the installer and it pretty much installed itself). Once installed, the plug-in is located under Filter- AKVIS- Sketch:
The plug-in opens a new window with your photo and a box preview of what your photo will look like with the current settings. Under the Strokes Tab, you can adjust the angle of the strokes, set the minimum and maximum lengths of the strokes and define how intense the mid-tones appear in the photo. You can adjust the strength of the edges in your photo under the Edge tab.
You can also drag the selected square over different areas of the image and zoom in for a closer look:
There are a number of presets to choose from including default, b&w sketch, charcoal & color pencil sketch to name a few.
I actually liked the color pencil sketch the best but I wanted a black & white image. So I unchecked the box next to Color Pencil and it de-saturated the image:
Once you have your image how you want it, you simply click the check mark in the top right corner and it will start processing your image. You can view the conversion as it happens:
When it’s finished processing, the window will close and your original image will be converted:
Once your photo is converted, you select your magic wand tool (make sure you have un-checked the contiguous box and that the image has been promoted from a background to a layer) and click on a white area in your image.
Press backspace and all of the selected white areas will be cleared. I put a pink layer underneath the extracted layer so you can see that there is still quite a bit of light grey in the image:
For my purposes, this image will work just fine. But if you would like to clear more of the lighter areas, you can select them and clear them again. You can also put a solid black overlay over the image to make all the light areas black for a really cool stamped feel.
Once I had my converted & extracted image, I moved it in to my layout, added a distressed mask around the edges and changed the blending mode to multiple and lowered to opacity to about 80%.
All of the lighter areas disappeared when I changed the blending mode. You could also try changing the blending mode to color burn or linear burn for different effects! The possibilities are truly endless and this program is so much fun!
Now that you’ve seen one of the applications of this awesome program, you can enter to win a free copy! There are 4 different ways you can enter to win:
1. Leave a comment on this post (make sure you leave your email address)
2. Share this blog post on Facebook, come back here and post a link to your Facebook
3. Share this blog post on Twitter and come back here and post a link to your tweet
4. Share this blog post on your blog and come back here and post a link to your blog
You can enter up to 4 times!!
And if you love this program so much that you don’t even want to wait to see if you win it- make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter because tomorrow I will be sending out an exclusive discount coupon for 20% off on the AKVIS Sketch Home- Plugin, AKVIS Sketch Home- Standalone or AKVIS Sketch Deluxe!
Next week, I’ll announce the lucky scrapper who won AKVIS Sketch v.12.5 and show you some other fun things you can do with this program to spice up your layouts!! Until then, happy scrapping!
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