How to "ANTIQUE" Photographs Using Microsoft PhotoDraw

Introduction: How to "ANTIQUE" Photographs Using Microsoft PhotoDraw

Halloween season is fast approaching and, as an avid home haunter, I am at work on my newest projects.  This year I was looking to make a series of vintage looking photographs, or "antiqued" if you will.  I had edited similar pictures like this "in the past" (no pun intended), but I needed to create a standard by which to make an entire series or to go back to for future images.  After searching online for a plug-in or instructions, what little help I found was not as thorough as I needed.  I found some ATN files made for Adobe Photoshop that will create similar effects, but I am currently using PhotoDraw.  So, as necessity is the mother of invention; I took what information I had compiled, expanded upon it, and wrote my own instructions.  That being said, I thought it might be a good idea to add some graphics and put it all together in an instructable to help anyone else who might have had my same dilemma.

Step 1: Open the Photo You Wish to Edit in PhotoDraw

Select the photo you wish to edit and open it in PhotoDraw.  I find it easiest to just right-click the image and select [Edit in PhotoDraw].  Although, you can also navigate to your photo through the open functions under PhotoDraw's [File] menu.

*Note:  At this point you can just edit the photo, save it as a new selection, and elect to not save changes to the original when you close it.  However, just to be safe, follow my instructions and make a copy of the photo before you edit it.  Then, close the original right away before making edits to the copy.

Step 2: Create a Copy of Your Image for Editing

Copy the picture you just opened to the clipboard using the [copy] function.

Open a new default picture using the [new] function.

Paste your copied picture onto the new blank background using the [paste] function.

Right-click the newly pasted image and select [Fit Background to Selection].

Close out the original photo so you don't accidentally change it.  It should not ask you to save any changes.  If it does, you may be closing the wrong file.  (Measure twice, cut once).

You should now be left with a copy of your original photo ready for editing.

Step 3: Crop And/or Resize Your Photo (if Desired)

If you would like to resize or crop the image, now is the time.  Since I am cropping my photo I have included examples of the process.  If you are resizing your photo make sure that you resize the background to fit, otherwise it will not save or edit correctly.  Cropping will automatically place a correct size background behind the image when using the cut out function.  Also, if resizing, make sure the [Maintain proportions] checkbox is checked to keep the aspect ratio correct.

To crop, select the [Cut Out] icon (your photo will turn opaque).  Left-click and drag a box to expose what you wish to keep on the image.  Once you are happy with the selection, click the [finish] function on the floating [Cut Out] tab.  You should see your now cropped image in the editing window.

Close the old copied original now, if you like (I find it helps keep things clean and orderly.  Especially when editing a number of photos at once).

Step 4: Grayscale the Photo

Open the [Format] menu, scroll down to open the [Color] submenu, and click the [Grayscale].  This will open up the color pane to the right of the screen and make available the [Grayscale] button.  Then, you guessed it, click the [Grayscale] button in the right pane.

Step 5: Create a Sepia Tone

Leaving the color pane open on the right, click the grayscale down arrow (Touchup Effect), and select [Color Balance].

Adjust the color balance using the following settings, which are recommended on the Microsoft website for sepia tone:

Cyan / Red:            55

Magenta / Green:  22

Yellow / Blue:         1

Step 6: Apply the Photographic / Grain Effect

Open the [Effects] menu and click on [Designer Effects].  This will open the designer effects pane to the right.  Click the down arrow in the pane to access the (Gallery Type) menu.   Selecting [Photographic] will filter the effects, making it easier to select the appropriate one.  Once you are showing only the photographic icons, click on the one that says [Grain].  Next, go to the top of the pane and click on the bulleted word [Settings (Grain)].  This will open up the adjustments for the grain setting.

Make the following adjustments to the grain settings:

Transparency:  30%

Graininess:       30

Grain type:         Vertical

Contrast:            20

Leave the Foreground and Background colors at their default respective black & white.

Step 7: Designer Edges

Click on the [Edge] icon and select [Designer Edges] from the drop down menu.  This will bring up the designer edges pane on the right.  Open the menu at the top of the pane and select [Paper].  From this sorted menu click on the [Wispy Edge] icon.  Depending on the photo you are editing, the edges may not appear evenly distributed around the photo.  Click the [Stretch to Fit] button on the bottom portion of the pane.  The pictures edges are now correctly placed.

Step 8: Format the Background

The last thing you need to do is give some subtle color to the background edges of your photo.  Open the [Format] menu and select [Background].  In the right pane, click the little "eyedropper" tool icon that is to the left of the color squares.  The mouse cursor will change to a small eyedropper.  Use the tip of the eyedropper to select a lighter color from your edited photo.  The background edges will take on the same color you have selected.

You are now done editing!

Step 9: Save and Show Off Your Vintage Photo

Save your photo using the [Save for Use In...] wizard under the [File] menu.  This will allow you to save your photo as any format you wish.

Print and/or share your new-old masterpiece, then show it off!  (I have included a few other examples of photos done with this technique)

*This is by-no-means the only way to create this effect, but rather the standard that I have set for myself for this particular project.  Explore the different editing options you have available.  Adjust the settings, apply different edges, try other effects, until you find what works best for you.  Ultimately, have fun with it!    

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    Thanks for taking the time to make this ‘instructable’. I’m surprised that you couldn’t find any similar instructions involving the more popular photo editing programs. But anyway, I was thinking you could also colorize some of the elements in the picture with subtle copper, silver or gold tones to enhance the antique effect. Maybe also add bits of metallic “scratches” to the grain lines? Think I’ll give it a try, myself!