Cool and easy vector portraits

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Cool and easy vector portraits

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Yes, today I am going to teach you a very simple way to make a vector portrait (scroll down to see how it looks like). And this really is vector (you can resize it without losing the quality). And to do this, we are going to use Photoshop together with the pretty good and absolutely free, open-source vector program: Inkscape. It works good for portrait, but also on other things.

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  1. Cool and easy vector portraits! By Ps graphiX | June 20, 2008 Yes, today I am going to teach you a very simple way to make a vector portrait (scroll down to see how it looks like). And this really is vector (you can resize it without losing the quality). And to do this, we are going to use Photoshop together with the pretty good and absolutely free, open-source vector program: Inkscape. It works good for portrait, but also on other things. The first thing you have to do, if you haven’t already, is to download inkscape. You can get the latest version at inkscape.org (there’s a link up to the right). Then you must find yourself a portrait you want to add this cool effect to. I have chosen a stock image of a cool man with a red thing on his head as you can see below. I found the image on sxc.hu where there are a lot of great photos you can use for this and my other tutorials. Then, in Photoshop, you will have to use the pen tool to draw around the face/what you want to shop in the portrait. A little tips when doing this, is to lower the opacity so that a color doesn’t fill the image.
  2. And when you have closed the path, Ctrl+Click the layer thumbnail as shown below: Now you should have a selection around the face/the part we are going to use. So, select the layer where the person is, and press Ctrl+J (which will duplicate that part of the image that is selected into another layer). Hide the background layer and the shape, and you will have something like this:
  3. Now it’s time to save it. And you are going to save it as a .png image so the background stays transparent. And now it’s time to start up inkscape! To open our portrait in inkscape, you can either go to File>Open and find your picture, or just drag your picture from the explorer and into inkscape. And now the fun begins First, click on the portrait to make sure it is selected, then go to Path>Trace Bitmap… as shown (click for larger view): Then, some options will appear in a box. The things you must select, is Brightness cutoff, Smooth and Remove background. After that, the options basically depends on what image you are using and how you want it to look, so just play around and find out how YOU want it. Anyway, here is what options i used (click to enlarge):
  4. After you have clicked ok, you will see that your portrait have a new layer above the original. Now, just drag it away and delete the original layer (press delete on the keyboard wile it is selected) and drag you beautiful black vector thing back into the document so that it is ready to be saved. But to save it in a way that Photoshop can open it as a vector, you must save it as Encapsulated Postscript (*.eps). You’ll find it in File>Save As… and then just find the format you are going to save it as in the dropdown menu in the lower right corner. Now you can just shut down Inkscape if you want, and move over to Photoshop. Then, in Photoshop of course, got to File>Open… and find your portrait which you saved in *.eps format. When you do this Photosohp asks you what size you want it to be. Here you can literally make it any size you want since it’s vector, but after that it becomes pixel art.
  5. Now you can practically do anything you want with the portrait and there are endless possibilities. Just use your photoshop skills and make a cool background, change colors and mess with the portrait or whatever you might want to! Here is some of my art made with just this technique and some photoshoping in the end (click for larger) (and btw, comment if you like the tut :)!):
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