A Beautiful Abstract in Two Clicks
By John McWade
Dateline: February 12, 2004
In the old days, posters were made by hand and generally silkscreened onto paper or board. To do this efficiently meant that an image could have only a few flat colors, not the unlimited gradients of a photograph. This limitation resulted in a lot of innovative artwork—bold images that were often stylized or abstract, and visually arresting. Photoshop’s Posterize feature is designed to mimic the flat colors of the silkscreened poster. It does this by reducing a photograph’s many gradients to just a few. The key to an excellent result, however, is to first apply a Gaussian Blur, then Posterize the blurred image. Like this:
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This article is excerpted from Before & After, How to design cool stuff, Issue 33. Copyright ©2004, Before & After magazine, all rights reserved. Design more cool stuff! Visit Before & After magazine online at http://www.bamagazine.com/ to buy the current issue, subscribe, or order back issues, including the one containing this article. Get a free bonus issue when you subscribe in the Graphics.com Member Area.