Convert an image for silkscreen with gimp, lacquer stencil and pen

Picture of convert an image for silkscreen with gimp, lacquer stencil and pen
Here is how I took an image from photo to black and white line art. There are some extra steps, things I probably wouldn't do the same way again, but this shows how it was actually done. One of the ideas was to convert an image, and still have some human handwork in it.

The descriptions of many of the photos in this set tell some of the process:
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Step 1: Start with a photo

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Start with a photo. It is probably better if it has some decent contrast, but that can be fixed later.

Step 2: Find edges

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Open it in gimp
Adjust the image with a filter
I used the find edges, edges filter
Since it is a color image, it will find all kinds of cool colors. They're nice, but we don't need them.

Step 3: Convert to black and white

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Convert the image to black and white Image, mode, black and white
This is found in the image, mode menu. Pretty much the same location for photoshop and gimp. Since this is going to be a silkscreen or cnc image, we will need to clean it up a bunch.

Step 4: Invert

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Invert the values. Go to Layers, Colors, Invert
Since this image didn't have great contrast to start, everything looks kind of faint and gray. That can be fixed.

Step 5: Crop

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Crop the image so it doesn't have extra image information. Select, Image, Crop

Step 6: Brightness and contrast

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Adjust the brightness and contrast until the grays are gone and there are lines
This probably can't be done in one pass, so do what you can, hit ok, do the process again. I think I did it like three or four times until most of the background noise was gone. It still wasn't enough to go straight to a cnc machine, and it was enough to hand cut a stencil, so I printed it at this point.

Step 7: Find edges with pen

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Print the image, add some clarifying lines with a pen. If you use several pens with different tip sizes, you will get an image with more variety.
Thank you sooo much for taking the time to do this step by step. you have no idea how much frustration you just saved me!!! I love you man.
connors934 (author)  squeezethisdesign5 years ago
Send me some photos of the work you do. This is a relatively new technique, and it would be nice to see it out in the wild.
theophilus6 years ago
sad/sleepy dude fell into the fire!
jeffreyf8 years ago
Great Instructable. The pattern recognition engine in me sees a face in the fire. Was that intentional?
I can see the exact same thing in the real flame picture, that's pretty eerie.
This is a great demonstration of how hard-wired we are to recognize faces.
connors934 (author) 8 years ago
People are telling me they see faces when I wear the shirt, but that's coincidence. When I was making it, I was being kind of true to the lines I found and did not add editorial imagery to the picture. I did add some negative space to one line that I thought was a little wide for my taste, and a couple of repeating lines towards the top. You can see pretty much what I added by looking at the one with the blue pen. thanks