Picture of How to trace images in Photoshop elements 6
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In this instructable I will be showing you how to trace any image and make it look like you sketched it. This is fairly simple and if you want you can make it more detailed.

To do this you will need:
1. Photoshop Elements 6 ( Or any form of photoshop)
2. A computer
3.(Optional) a pen tablet to help you trace.
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Step 1: First, find yourself a nice image.

Picture of First, find yourself a nice image.
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go on the internet and find an image to trace, or you can scan a picture that you have.
i used Iron Man because the lines on the picture are much more simple than a real picture, but any picture will work.

Step 2: Next, open up Photoshop and set up the "tracing paper"

Picture of Next, open up Photoshop and set up the "tracing paper"
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Now open up Photoshop, and upload that picture. Then make another layer, and use the fill tool to make it white. then set the opacity to any number between 15 and 45. I used 255 so that I could clearly see the lines and the image, but if your image is darker you may want to lower the opacity.

Step 3: Start to make lines

Picture of Start to make lines
start to make lines wherever there are basic lines in the image, and if you want to put more detail in, create lines where you see small details, like the shine on Iron Man's chin.

Step 4: Finish up the Tracing

Picture of Finish up the Tracing
Keep tracing, and when you are done turn the opacity up to 100% so that you can see your drawing.

Step 5: Add color

Picture of Add color
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put the opacity down so that you can see the colors on the original image, and put it back up to fill the colors in. I tried to match the colors as much as I could, but I did not do a very great job.

Step 6: All Done!

Picture of All Done!
Finish up the coloring, save, print, and brag about your amazing artistic abilities.
bisaacs27 months ago

very cool instructable. All of my images from my facebook artist page is done doing the same method. the process that you describe is similar to the Rotoscoping technique that traditional animators have been doing for years to animate from live action and is now easier than ever with computers. great explanation.

berky936 years ago
*you mean opacity 25, not 255 right? opacity only goes up to 100... also this works in all versions of photoshop, as well as GIMP, Paint.net, gimpshop, and any other image editor that supports layer opacity
ianbar20 (author)  berky936 years ago
ahh yeah you're right. ill fix that.
dchall86 years ago
Good stuff! Back in the 80s I used Adobe Illustrator on a Mac to trace logos to make T-shirt stencils for event sponsors. The beauty of the vector graphic is you can resize it for any application.
crapflinger6 years ago
also....if you've got photoshop (not sure on the gimp)...if you can learn to master the pen tool you can make your tracing into a vector graphic which can be resized to any size without losing quality