Monday, 6 February 2012

Light Drawings Using Adobe Photoshop

Alongside creating actual light drawings with a camera on a low shutter speed, light drawings can also be created on Adobe Photoshop, on top of both plain backgrounds and photographs that have already been taken.
To start off, create a plain canvas or upload a photograph to Photoshop as your base layer. You then need to create a new layer on top of this layer so that all the work is done on this layer and doesn't ruin the plain background or original photograph if something goes wrong. Next, click the free-form pen tool and begin to design any pattern or letters. Once you have finished doing this, click on the brush tool, look at your brush pre-sets and change them to how you want them, by clicking on shape dynamics you can change the pressure of the brush stroke to your liking. Make sure your colours are set to white, click on the path box and select your path (the path is the design you drew with the pen tool), click and select 'stroke path' then make sure the tool 'brush' is selected and to make sure 'simulate pressure' is selected, tick the box next to it. By clicking okay, your lines will then become thicker and more visible to the eye. Make sure the layer with your paths is selected, click the drop down menu and go to blending options. Within blending options, click outer glow and play around with the settings until you are happy with the opacity and blending mode. Click on the colour box to choose a colour for your lines. Play around with the size and the spread to see what impact it has on your lines. Once this is done, click on inner glow and again it will bring up a similar dialogue box to the outer glow box. Once you are happy with these settings, click OK and create a new layer on top of your current one. By selecting the same pen tool used before, draw a few more lines close to the ones you have already created so that when edited it will look like more movement has been going on. Do the same steps as before, once you have simulated your path. Change the opacity of the line (found above the layers) to a more translucent percentage. Then click on 'filter', 'blur' the 'Gaussian blur' and adjust the radios to your liking. Finally, go back to the layers that had the paths in them and click delete.
I initially started on a plain black background so that I could see the effects and types of brush strokes clearer so that I was more confident about using these tools when I went on to actual photographs I had taken.
The faded lines are an example of when you add a third layer and draw more lines to simulate more movement on the image.
Once I felt confident about using the tools to create a similar effect to light drawings, I then moved onto create patterns on photographs I had taken earlier on in this project.
As you can see, by following all the steps above, your photograph will appear like this (obviously with a different design and colour). To change the colour of your photograph to make it fit in better with the colours you have used for your lines, select your background layer (which should be your photograph), click image at the tool box at the top of the screen, click 'adjustment' and select 'hue/saturation'. On the dialogue box that appears select 'colourise' and move the hue arrow to the colour that is similar to your line colour. Your ending image should then look like the image below.

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