Bande dessinée franco-belge

A humble attempt to create an image that looks like the French comics, especially like the images of the grand master and all-time favorite, Moebius (Jean Giraud).


The style setup is quite straightforward, the only thing that you may not guess from the screen capture is that the original image (Layer #2) is blended on the Simple Watercolor layer with the Color blending mode.

Motorino Screen Capture

Photoshop actions

In this guest post we present images created by John Stevenson. John uses PostworkShop as a Photoshop plug-in, looking for artistic and impressionistic effects that can be recorded and played back as Actions. This way, he can benefit from the features of both PostworkShop and Photoshop.


A few renditions of a stock Venice photo.

The first image displays a rarely used technique: the Stroke Directions – Directed Curves – Curved Strokes pipeline. Currently this is the only way to get long brushstrokes in
PostworkShop, other techniques, like the Random Painter generate shorter strokes. I don’t recommend it for large print projects, render times with these filters can be quite

The second image is a simple Random Painter project with the “Gel 1″ brush family.

I really like the third image, the sun filled colors. It is a mix of the “long strokes” technique of the first image and a few messy Random Painter layers. The light tones of
course come from the Screen and Lighten layer blending modes used here.

The fourth image is a simple Random Painter project, but I limited the number of the possible stroke directions to 2. This gives a special look, that works well with the
horizontal/vertical nature of the architecture.


Monochrome mode in the Random Painter

New in PostworkShop 3: the “Monochrome mode” switch of the Random Painter filter (in Building blocks/Simple styles). It works really well with pencil, pen and charcoal brushes, but of course, you can experiment with anything else.


- Use the “Monochrome contrast” slider to create well defined light and dark areas
- You can use a Color generator + Texturizer layer at the bottom to define the paper

Click the images for a full-size view.

A complete project – in 2 and a half minutes

Although everybody is excited about the new simplified user interface, I will show here that a not so trivial project can be also easy to do in the advanced layout.

I used an A4 (OK, if you want, Letter) sized image at 300 DPI and during the whole video clip we were in full size, not preview.

Interesting points:

- the High Pass layer with overlay blending mode. It is great to bring contours and even rim lights into sketchy gray renders
- the Full Screen Preview. Great if your screen size is limited, like mine was while I recorded this video

Click the HD button and switch to full screen in the video player to see the details.

And the final render in full size (click the image)


Textures, scanned from real papers, brush marks or dirty surfaces can radically change the outcome of even the simplest auto-painting project.

We keep on adding new textures to PostworkShop. Drop me a message if you have a collection that you would like to share with other PWS users, we can incorporate your textures too.


Just to show something different … PostworkShop works very well with mathematical creations, like fractals or generated textures. I always find interesting how the geometric nature of these images is completely transformed by PWS.


The anatomy of a comics image

This is a style that I created today. First, let’s see an image, then we will see the construction details.

The style is based on a Simple Watercolor filter (that is basically a Map to Palette filter with a twist) and the two different Sketch filters, all of them can be found in the Building Blocks / Simple Styles folder.

We have a normal and a saturation boosted version of the Simple Watercolor image.

The Sketch 2 is used for creating thick lines that we will blend in with reduced opacity.

The Sketch filter is also set to output thick lines, but the Majority at the end of the chain will reduce this thickness in an interesting way. The black lines on the white background will become thinner at the ends, where there are more white pixels than black ones, so they win the Majority vote for the color of the pixels in these areas.

All the sketches are of course blended on the color images with Multiply.

There is final blend, this time using the layer structure, where we Color blend the original on the filter graph result. This will give the smooth gradients that would not be present with the Simple Watercolor alone.


Painted with PostworkShop 3 beta. Click the image for a full size view.

For the photo cloning I used “Paint Brush 2″ with a small step and a large scatter, local color pickup (new in PWS3) and extra saturation (also new in PWS3).

The lines come from a simple trick: I used the inverted black and white output of a Sketch filter to mask the original image and the resulting colorized lines were simply added on top of the painting. I will write about it in more details in another post.

The paper texture was added on the Compositing tab, with a Texturizer filter chained at the end of the layer.