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Need Help from Comic and Stencil heads

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Ive been trying for a very long time to make an image of a SWAT copper in black and white. Im trying to make it borderline black and white ink work / stencil look. Im have a hard ass time, mainly because I cant get any good reference shots of either swat coppers, or military pics.


I also struggle with making the drawing all black and white, as SWAT cops in general are all dark in color, but making the whole image just black loses its pretty-ness.




Any comic heads or stencil making heads, I need help. If theres a comic guy whos done a lot of B/W images of swat/police/military type things, hook me up. If you stencil guys know of the same, lemme know, I wanna see how others have tackled this issue. OR, if anyone knows a good website with some CLEAR photos of swat/cops/army dudes (no homo), post up, because I cant find anything quality online....

thanks a million

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Quick and easy technique for people who can all ready draw:


1) cut out the subject from the background using polygon lasso tool to trace the silhouette of the subject and copy it.


2), paste it to a new image with no background.


3) De saturate any color by selecting image-adjustments-hue/saturation-slide saturation to zero.


4) make it B&W with no grey by selecting image-adjustments-curves

Make the diagonal line that naturally goes straight from bottom left to the top right vertical.

The farther right it is makes it lighter, farther left = darker.







5) Print out whatever size you want to depending on how much detail is needed,

Use pen and ink to trace out the design while adding in details lost during the photoshop process.

Having the original image as a photo reference helps, remember to draw and not just trace it.

Make thinks look how they should look, not just how they do look especially hands, freestyle them always.


6) Profit $$$$




This technique takes less than 1 minute in photoshop usually depending on how detailed you get when you cut out the subject.

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also in some other programs there is a threshold option or something, you can do that and erase all the parts you dont want, mercer just killed it tho,



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haya, do you have access to illustrator? if so..





first i started with a picture of a riot cop. i edited the brightness and contrast to make different areas stand out then the rest, such as the helmet and legs.

next i selected everything using the quick mask tool that's located next to the red arrow.

when in that mode, you select everything you need and it becomes high lighted in red, once finish you hit that quick mask button again, select inverse and copy/paste








when done, it looks like this, perfectly selected riot cop with no background. next to import this file into illustrator save it as a .eps










while in illustrator, learn how to use the live trace tool. it's pretty fucking awesome if you've never used it before.

it's basically how you get cool vectorized images without tracing everything with the pen tool. once you find the right way you want it to look, save it.









lastly, it'll look like this





mercer's way is really simple if you desire that kind of textured look if you plan on going over it with a pen.

this was just another alternative if you were looking for a better solution.

if you have any questions, just hit me up

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werd thanks for all that. im still working on my party crasher shirt. watson can u post the high res of the original riot cop pic. i think im having more issues finding good photos to work with. i will likely hand draw and ink the final piece. i just havent found too many good reference photos to get inspiration from....

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This thread could make people some $$$, I still have no clue when it comes to illustrator.

I'm going to try out that illustrator tutorial when I have time.

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Mercer I had a folder dedicated to tactical/swat for stenciling and just deleted it lsat week.

Talk about bad timing :(.


I'll shop someone up tomorrow in my spare time as I dont have photoshop/illustrator on my laptop.

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You were just ahead of your time dude, next time just wait for Hayabusa to set the trend.

I'd like to see more tutorials in here for this stuff, this section stencilrevolution.com has a huge library of tutorials on this type of work all ready.

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^^^pretty sure nobody gives a shit....






you, sir, are correct........





live trace is an excellent tool...... worth figuring out if you dont know it well....


....vector smart objects in photoshop are also pretty awesome when dealing with this type of shit...........

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