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Photoshop: How can I accurately create an "outline" of this illustration?

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  • Photoshop: How can I accurately create an "outline" of this illustration?

    I am working with an antique engraved illustration which I will use in a collage. I would like to remove the color. I have already seen an example of this illustration with it done [fig. 3], but I am unsure of how to recreate this effect using the original source [fig. 1]. Below I have attached the original image, the example of the result I would like to achieve, and the result I have been able to get so far by using Color Range and masking [fig. 2]. There is still a lot of clipping within the leaves and on the right side of the image.

    I don't know if it's simply a matter of tweaking the settings more or if there is a whole other way to do it. If anyone could suggest a better way to get the result in the third image I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you!

    Figure 1 Source image

    Figure 2This is the best I have been able to achieve in Photoshop so far using Color Range and masking. As you can see there is still quite a bit of clipping within the leaves and on the right.

    Figure 3 Example used in collage and what I am trying to achieve

  • #2
    To be honest, I think you are trying to work backwards.
    Usually, with this type of antique art, the pen and ink version comes before the colorized version. I don't believe the black and white line art you show is a deconstruction of the color one. I believe it is the other way around. You see this a lot in old illustration art. The sketch, then the ink, then the color. You find this a lot in scientific books (this looks to be an illustration of the lifecycle of some kind or mulberry worm or silk worm.) The text pages will have black and white line drawings, with color plates in sections between chapters using watercolor. In fact there is a stock image company out there that specializes in antique art, keeping the black and white wood cut art and adding the colorizing for a second option (North Wind Picture Archive.)

    From what you've posted, you have far more patience than I would have. Here's the rub though. In Graphic Design, time is money. If this endeavor is for hobby art, all well and good, but if it is for a paying job, at what point do you decide perhaps to look for a different illustration already in woodcut form and go with that?
    Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-24-2017, 05:12 PM.






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