Gradient map on black and white photo to mimic illustration

Community Beginner ,
Jul 29, 2022 Jul 29, 2022

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Hi there,

I am trying to create a posetrized / illustration effect based on the illustration that you see on the book cover screenshot below, with the use of gradient maps.

This is how my current gradient looks.

I am not sure that I need the black color stop twice to achieve the look as on the book illustration.

I know that that is an illustration, not a photo, and it's not based on levels unlike gradients.

But hand painting each of my image would take too much time for my workflow, so I am trying to automate it with gradients to achieve something similar as the illustration.

The 3 colors (yellowish, blueish, greenish) naturally distribute on the desaturated high contrast image, so that's fine, it's really similar to the illustration, but there are two caveats:

- how to achieve the black contour lines with the gradient? (I tried to add the black stop twice, still no black contours 😞 )

- how to isolate the blueish and greenish areas on the photo, just like on the illustration are?

(I don't want to really dedicate areas to these colors because the levels do that job, I just want that the black contours define these areas just like on the illustration)

Something I am doing wrong in my gradient map settings because the results are not similar to the illustration, I don't know what exactly, can someone help?

I attached the sample image, the colors screenshot with the HEX codes, and my gradient settings screenshot from PhotoShop.

Can anyone advise some good tricks with the use of the gradient to achieve the look seen on the illustration (almost) perfectly?

Thank you in advance.

Eventually what other tools should I use to achieve the illustration effect seen on the book cover sample?

 

2022-07-29_20-26.png2249696276_d7ac012414_k.jpegScreenshot from 2022-07-27 20-19-52.png

bic.jpg

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2022 Jul 29, 2022

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Hi. Maybe if you vectorize that photo you can try with Recolor Artwork or Live Paint: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/recolor-artwork.html

 

 

Marlon Ceballos.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 29, 2022 Jul 29, 2022

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Hi Marlon,

thank you for the idea!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 30, 2022 Jul 30, 2022

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Your original is a continuous-tone photo, and there's no way you can get it to look like the cover illustration just by restricting the palette. The result you got is, well, what you get.

 

You need to put a lot more effort into this and effectively redraw and rebuild the image. Not everything is a magic one-click solution.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 30, 2022 Jul 30, 2022

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Hi

I would not do that in Photoshop, I would use illustrator.

 

In that application you could use Image trace to get the lines and then colour it. You will need to do some editing of the image trace result.

 

However, when you look at the illustration you want to emulate, there is not a massive amount of linework. So a better way would be to place the photograph on a separate layer in Illustrator and use it as a reference which will be turned off when you finish. Then draw the linework by tracing over the photograph, before colouring. That way, you choose where you want the lines and where you do not. It will give a much better emulation of the book cover than any automated method.

 

Dave

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 30, 2022 Jul 30, 2022

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Perfect, thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 30, 2022 Jul 30, 2022

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I agree with the others about using Illustrator and have one additional tip: when you put the photograph on a separate layer, convert that layer to a Template layer (double-click,  panel menu, or option when placing). By default, a Template layer is locked, non-printable, and the opacity is reduced, which makes it easier to trace on top of it.

 

Jane

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 30, 2022 Jul 30, 2022

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Thank you!

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 31, 2022 Jul 31, 2022

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Just wanted to post this to show why I thought that what I want could be achieved with pure gradient map.

Just a three color gradient mapping, by putting the black in the middle, it creates black lines and isolated colored parts, just like the illustration:

2022-07-31_19-56.png

But, once I bring in the dark green in the gradient, it's not this nice anymore.

So I am still busy with the tracing method you recommended.

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