Simulate a Blueprint with a Photo in Photoshop

A blueprint photo will most likely be familiar to you if you work in the architectural or any similar design field. Blueprints typically serve as precursors or drafts of what will become the finished product that you are designing. Sometimes, however, you may want to create a blueprint effect from a digital image that you have already captured elsewhere. Below, you will find the steps required to complete this transformation. With a little patience and attention to detail, you should be able to complete a blueprint-from-image transformation in no time.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Computer
  • Digital Image File
  • Adobe Photoshop Software

Step 1: Open Photoshop and Load Image

First, you will need to open your Photoshop program. Once you have opened Photoshop, open a digital image file to serve as the starting point for your blueprint. Typically, you will want to use an image of some sort of man made object such as a building or appliance as opposed to a living subject, both to fit with the theme of a blueprint and to produce quality results with your finished product.

Step 2: Define Edges

The next step you will be taking is to sharpen and define the edges of your image to make them appear as though they were sketched. To do this, select "Filter > Stylize > Find Edges" from the menu at the top of your screen. This will also remove a great deal of color from your image.

Step 3: Create New Adjustment Level

Next, you will be adjusting the RBG levels of your photograph using a new adjustment layer. To do this, select "Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Levels" from the menu at the top of your screen. When asked to create a new layer, select "OK." Once you have created your new layer, adjust the input levels to make the image as dark as you would like.

Step 4: Add Blue Color

The next step of this transformation will require you to add the blue color effect that lends blueprints their name. In order to do this, select "Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color." When prompted to add a new layer, select "OK." Once you have created your new layer, pick the shade of blue that you would like your final blueprint to appear in. Any blue color will work, so choose whichever shade of blue looks best to you. Once you have selected a color, click "OK."

Step 5: Adjust Blending Properties

After you have selected the color of blue that you want your final blueprint to appear in and have hit "OK," you will not be able to see your original image until you adjust the blending properties of your solid color layer. To do this, right click on the solid color layer in your layers palette and select "Blending Options." Once you are inside the blending options menu, you will have a number of options. Typically, the "Multiply" option works best for creating the blueprint effect, but "Overlay" and several of the other options work well too, depending on your preferences. Experiment with the blending options provided by Photoshop until you create the effect you desire.


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