Add an Illustrated Look to your Photos

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Got an image that you would like to give a more graphic novel feel to? Well in a few easy steps that's exactly what we will be doing in this tutorial. It doesn't matter which version of Photoshop you are working on because we will be creating this effect using only blend modes and a simple blur.

Step 1:
Duplicate Layer

The first thing you are going to do is duplicate your image on a new layer. You can easily do this by selecting your layer and then press Command on Mac, Ctrl on PC and the letter "J". This is the keyboard shortcut to duplicating your layers and is honestly fastest way to do so. You might want to go ahead and memorize it because this shortcut comes in handy on just about every project.

Step 2:
Divide/Gaussian Blur

Set the duplicated layer's blend mode to "Divide". You will most likely only see white but it's ok. Next right click the layer and "Convert to Smart Object", then apply a Gaussian Blur by going to Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur. You will want to set your blur so that you get nice looking outlines of your image. For high res images start with a radius somewhere around 10 pixels.

Step 3:
Duplicate/Linear Burn

Duplicate that blurred layer and set this new layer's blend mode to "Linear Burn". Now you will have that cool illustrated effect for your photo.

Final Result:

This is a fast and easy effect that gives your image that graphic novel feel. It will take some playing around with to get the look just right, but you can see how to fine tune this effect with some easy tweaks below.

Felling to lazy to do all these steps? Then just Download our free Graphic Illustration Action that will do all the work for you. Getting the action is great if you have multiple images that you want to apply the effect to quickly.


Extra Touchs:

Softer Look:

If you image is looking a little too sharp, adjust the Gaussian Blur of the top layer. If you are looking for an even more softer look, set the blend mode to "Multiply" instead of "Linear Burn".

Lower the Effect:

Select the top two layers (The ones you applied effects to) and group them by pressing Command on Mac, Ctrl on PC and the letter "G". With your layers now grouped, lower the group's opacity to lessen the effect.

Increase the Effect:

Group your top two layers then duplicate the entire group. This will double the effect and if it's a bit too much just lower the opacity of the new group.

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