Pen and Ink Tutorial
This Tutorial is for GMX-PhotoPainter 1.1.
Visit the Help for an Updated Version
How to convert a photo into a Pen and Ink Drawing
This tutorial will show you how to convert a digital image into a Pen and Ink drawing with GMX-PhotoPainter.
It will also help you understand, how to use the Pen and Ink mode in GMX-PhotoPainter. After completing the tutorial you will be able to convert your photo into a Pen & Ink drawing.
Converting a photo with predefined styles:
A Simple Example
Open the original:
Keep in mind that digital photos with more contrast are better
Choose the style named: Black&White – Medium Strokes
Choose the pattern tool:
Select the desired pattern:
Paint the background and non-critical areas with the pattern tool, after some quick strokes, the digital photo converted to a drawing looks like this:
Click to see large version
Finally, choose the style named: Black&White – Short Strokes
and use the Autosketch tool to paint the foreground:
Continuously apply the autosketch tool, until you have filled all the important areas.
Here is the final result:
Click to see larger version
But stop!, the Magic of GMX-PhotoPainter, goes further: You can export your drawing at a Very High Resolution
Here is the digital photo converted to a Pen and Ink drawing rendered at a scale of 200% :
Click to see full version
Creating your own Pen and Ink styles
While there are a number of predefined standard styles which come with GMX-PhotoPainter, you can create your own styles. To do so, you must know what parameters affect the rendering engine of GMX-PhotoPainter.
Basic Parameters of the Pen & Ink Mode
Enable Pen and Ink Mode
To start creating drawings in the Pen and Ink Mode, you have to enable this mode: To do it, go to the Pen and Ink Tab, and click in the enable Pen and Ink mode checkbox.
As Higher frequency, thinner strokes you will obtain, take a look at following examples:
Frequency = 6
Frequency = 21
Frequency = 60
Converting a photo into a Pen and Ink drawing involves the process of thresholding or binarizing the digital photography. The Lightness parameter controls where the limit is that determines which pixels are going to be black and which other pixels are going to be white.
Higher values result in darker drawings, lower values result in lighter images.
Frequency = 153
Frequency = 89
Checking on this option will result in a more tidy pattern, because the Pen and Ink pattern will consist in small parallel lines. Using this option wisely could lead to very interesting results. Follow the Tutorial on Michelangelo’s David Face done in Pen and Ink.
Stroke Length and Stroke Width
Both the Stroke Length and Stroke Width can be modified in the Pen and Ink mode. Modifying both of them in Pen and Ink mode does not affect the results in the same way as if you weren’t in Pen and Ink mode.If you aren’t in Pen and Ink mode, large values of Stroke With and Length will result in a drawings with poor detail, while in Pen and Ink mode, the detail is not lost.
Large values of “Stroke Width” and “Stroke Length” are only recommended if you are using the Free Hand Tool, otherwise it is best to choose Widths not greater that 25 and Lengths not greater than 120.
The transparency is an important Parameter that affects the Pen and Ink mode. See the Tip: Use the transparency parameter
Pen and Ink and Color Mode
While a common option in creating Pen and Ink drawing is to use only Black&White, there is no real limitation to choose your custom colors.
To choose custom colors do the following:
1. Make sure that the check box “Enable Pen and Ink” is checked on in the “Pen and Ink” tab.
2. Go to the Color tab.
3. Right click to select the background color and left click to select the foreground color.
Current version of GMX-PhotoPainter only allows to work in the Duotone color mode. Future versions of GMX-PhotoPainter will implement Pen and Ink with automatic color.
It’s highly recommended to use transparency values lower than 255. (Remember that 255 means Opaque, 0 (Zero) means full transparent.
The following example shows the transparency at: 204, 89 and 26, and the last one was made by a first pass with transparency 204, second pass with transparency 89
Note that the result didn’t get blurred, it’s just more soft.
All the examples were made using the Black&White – medium:
No other setting were changed, in the afore metioned style, except of course for the transparency parameter:
Transparency = 204
Transparency = 89
Transparency = 26
Combined: First pass with transparency 204, second pass with transparency 89..
While the contrast of a photo could be enough for creating a painting from a digital photo Pen and Ink drawings demand much more contrast.
Therefore if the input image is not very contrasted, it’s highly recommended to change the contrast before processing it.
Many images in this tutorial were made using the modified version of David Michelangelo’s face.
Modified Image with more contrast.
By choosing the option: “File > Save at different Size”, you can export your drawing at a larger resolution that the original.
At the end of the following mini tutorial you will see the result exported at 500 dpi: David at 500 dpi
- Preprocess your photo, to give it more contrast
- Select the style named: Old-engraving:the key point of this style is that it has checked the “Straight Lines” Checkbox:
- We are going to paint the background.Modify the style: with the following settings:With: 24 to 54Length: from 92 to 190
Lines Frequency: from 16 to 21
- Select the pattern tool:Select the desired pattern, we chose 45º diagonal lines.
- Paint the background with the selected pattern, the image looks like this: Click to see large version
- Now reset the style to its original settings:
- Now Select the autosketch tool:and paint the face, the image now looks almost finished:
- Now we must fill the small holes in the result, to do so we will use the freehand tool.Also we must change the master size from its default value, 1 to 0.5.
- Now paint all small holes using the free hand tool:
- Here is how the high resolution image looks like: Click to see large version
- Finally here is the drawing at 500 DPI: Click to see larger version