View Full Version : Any programs or techniques to turn a painting into a woodcut etching?

Victor Osaka
10-05-2014, 06:39 PM
I am thinking Gustave Dore or Durer in style. Any thoughts?

D Akey
10-06-2014, 04:58 AM
I am thinking Gustave Dore or Durer in style. Any thoughts?

Oh gosh, Photoshop had a filter or plug-in that was commercially available. I haven't gone down that road in a long time and can't remember what it was called. Do searches for Photoshop 3rd party filters or plug-ins. The thing was, by doing several passes spliced together you would get a higher end image owing to the lines following particular contours where the numeric settings favored one area over another. You set the parameters, ran it, and observed the results. It was sort of hit and miss, though if you did it enough, you probably knew how to get where you were going right off. . . wish I could remember the name of it. But if they are still in business, you could probably find it easily enough.

Engravings and wood cuts are pretty different. When I think engravings, I'm thinking fine work. And wood cuts are from an older era reflected in looking up the respective time periods of Dore and Durer. The one I'm thinking of does more of a woodcut. I'm suspecting you're looking for a general thing for your own vision and not to replicate something in particular, so you can perhaps find something beyond either that you like. . . or not. Dunno what you're after.

I would think things like that are commercially useful, especially when printing product pics in newspapers, so I would think somebody still has something like that. I was seeing those kinds of newspaper ads for a while, though I haven't seen it used in a long time.

Good luck. Maybe this thread will yield something. Meanwhile look up woodcut and engraving plug-ins and filters.

Might also want to explore screens.

10-06-2014, 06:29 AM
How to make woodcut from a photo in photoshop video

D Akey
10-06-2014, 07:17 AM
How to make woodcut from a photo in photoshop video

Interesting. I would have done it slightly differently, but it's good to learn a couple new tricks. Makes my head spin listening to all the steps that I never think about anymore. Hahah.

Wondering what Victor will think of it, whether it is what he's looking to do or not. But it's a really cool project.

10-06-2014, 08:04 AM
ye i wonder also,but even so, it has some good bits and pieces

D Akey
10-06-2014, 12:06 PM
Can play with this if you have PS.


Henry Stahle
10-06-2014, 09:42 PM
I am thinking Gustave Dore or Durer in style. Any thoughts?

The only way I get a good looking digital woodcut or linocut is to make it by hand. I have been using both Painter and ArtRage for that. In Painter I use the Scratchboard tool, in ArtRage the pen tool wit the square head setting. On a Multiply layer filled with black colour I make the "cuts" in white to reveal the canvas. The canvas can be painted on in a colourfu way just like Chet Philips does: http://chetart.com/ Chet also got two videos in his Portfolio that explosions how he works Making digital woodcuts.

Here are two versions of a "cut" I have made using ArtRage. The whole image has an overlay paper texture to make it look less artificial. Chet Philips uses that too. It looks nice to me. Still it does not look like Dürer or Doré. They made much finer lines, more like gravure or xylographie, wich came close to the metal cutting tech. The expressionist movement in early 1900, especially in Germany, developed the modern looks of the wood- or lino cutting (https://www.google.se/search?q=expressionist+woodcuts&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=1113&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=nlcyVO0vovjLA42jgfAM&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ). That is what I like the most.


Victor Osaka
10-07-2014, 11:15 AM
Hey, that's pretty cool! Not what I am trying to do. But, I really like that process and the results. Bookmarking that one.

How to make woodcut from a photo in photoshop video

Victor Osaka
10-07-2014, 11:36 AM
This guy sells an action that comes closer to what I want. But, I suspect that there is no way to do this via plugins. Here is the link to his YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2SRdDUtov4

I collect antiquarian books. In particular, I study Gustave Doré and own incredible first editions of his engraved folios. I have to figure a way to digitize them but don't want to stress the bindings too much.

Here are a couple zoomed in views of his technique that I grabbed from the web.



10-07-2014, 11:58 AM
Dore does stunning etchings. I grew up with his pictures, some of them in Bibles - so much more emotive and dramatic than the kitsch childish religious coloured illustrations used later. There is something so satisfying leafing through a Dore book with plates of his work. Another world altogether.

D Akey
10-07-2014, 02:02 PM

You actually have to put some work into it though. Not a one click thing. But this is a pretty cool trick.

Oh, and the plug in I was trying to recall was Andromeda if you wanted to check that out.

10-07-2014, 03:53 PM
I have used Little Ink Pot's Threadgeholder as a filtre in AR4 - sadly it doesn't work in 4.5 but if you like it you could go back to previous version just for the filtre. It's free and you can get it here (http://softwaregeezers.com/littleinkpot/FreePlugins.htm)


There are various adjustments you can make and Little Ink Pot have other sketcher effect plugins.

Henry Stahle
10-08-2014, 09:52 AM

Thomas Bewick (http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Thomas+Bewick&FORM=HDRSC2#a) is the inventor of the wood gravure (xylographie) that Gustave Doré used. It is cut in very hard Wood, usually boxwood, and the tool was the copper cutting burin. That wood and tool made it possible to make very thin lines and pinting crisp images as well as large editions without degrading the cutout in the press because of the hard boxwood. Here is an illustrator that uses the looks of that old tecnique: Michael Custode (http://www.custode.com/).

A link to a Photoshop plugin called Engraver III (http://www.alphaplugins.com/products/products.php?menu=get_prod_id&prod_id=2&p_menustate=). The small image of the girl is made using the trial version of the plug in that works in a 64 bit Environment in the Photoshop CC 2014 on my Win 8.1 machine and in several other software also on Macs. :)

Henry Stahle
10-08-2014, 10:56 AM
Michael Halbert at www.inkart.com works with scratchboard and creates illustrations looking a lot like wood engravings. He has a tutorials section at his site. Take a look at it, you won't regret it, I promise.

Victor Osaka
10-09-2014, 05:43 PM
Ooooo. EngraverIII is the closest thing I've seen. Going to check it out. THX

Victor Osaka
10-14-2014, 07:14 PM
So, I guess the fact that I could not find a good enough plugin . . . . kinda helped me out. I decided to put my engraving techniques in my ArtRage course!

Here is a sample from the lesson. I am showing a combination of gloop pen settings and layering techniques to give the more natural/organic tooling. It is a fun but perhaps a bit tedious video. I just throw on Jimi Hendrix and go for it.


10-18-2014, 11:38 PM
Hi Victor, I use Flaming Pear's India Ink Photoshop plugin, but it doesn't work with the latest version AR. Not a problem! You just export and use something else, like XnView - see links below.

Here's a recent example I made using Xara Photo & Graphic designer, a Windows only :( low-cost alternative to Adobe Illustrator and to some extent, Photoshop.


The image on the left is my original drawing, the right after applying the India Ink filter. There are a lot of options to experiment with. It doesn't always have the desired effect, but the more you use it, the more you'll get a feel for it. What I sometimes do is make two copies of the image, convert one and transparently overlay it, then erase the areas I don't want.

Here's a more 'woodcutty' example, also done with India Ink filter. The canvas grain gives the filter something to work with:


Good luck with the course - when will it be available? Anything by Hendrix is cool with me :D


Flaming Pear India Ink (Photoshop plugin - 30 day trial available)

XnView (free for non-commecial use)

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer (Windows only)

Some more impressive, but non digital, examples:

Kevin Sprouls (phew! very impressive!)

Society of Wood Engravers (see online galleries)

Victor Osaka
10-19-2014, 10:31 AM
Very cool Jono. Thanks for the links too. Pretty amazing what can be done with plugins.

10-19-2014, 11:43 AM
Or are you looking for something like this?:
I borrowed the pear from another post.
This was done with Gimp, free and one script, also free.

10-19-2014, 11:56 AM
A better example..
83723 83724

10-19-2014, 12:00 PM
Viktor Osaka - "I collect antiquarian books." I collect them too, I have a few books from the 1700s

Victor Osaka
10-19-2014, 01:49 PM
Very cool. I specialize in Doré first editions and folios. I love my books. Nice to meet other collectors!

10-19-2014, 05:16 PM
I can't afford to specialize, I just go for anything over 100 years old.

12-18-2015, 12:21 AM
Please look at, you can review my other works here:
I can do make outer lines and line corrections with ArtRage with iPad