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Q: Finding Software to Automate Stippling or Halftoning of Digital Images ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Finding Software to Automate Stippling or Halftoning of Digital Images
Category: Computers > Graphics
Asked by: pwayner-ga
List Price: $40.00
Posted: 11 Nov 2005 05:22 PST
Expires: 11 Dec 2005 05:22 PST
Question ID: 591856
I would like to use an automatic program like photoshop to convert a
photograph into a black and white half-toned image much like the ones
that the Wall Street Journal runs on their front page. They call the
process "stippling" and use an artist. See:

Alas, I can't afford an artist and I would like to generate a number
of these with some automated or semi-automated process. I would like a
pointer to either a Photoshop macro or some other tool that will
achieve much of the same thing. If possible, it would be nice to get
the explicit recipe on how to construct the macro from scratch. (I'm
something of a programmer so I'm happy with source code to common
languages like Java.)

Request for Question Clarification by pinkfreud-ga on 13 Nov 2005 17:19 PST
I worked for several years as a professional computer graphics artist.
My best suggestion for achieving this effect is a filter for Adobe
Photoshop called "Cutline."

"Cutline Filter is a new multiplatform, stylized screening and woodcut
effect as an Adobe Photoshop-compatible Plug-in. The development of
the Cutline Filter was inspired by customer's requests to develop
products that create an engraved effect made popular by the Wall
Street Journal and Barnes & Noble. After studying classic engravings
and woodcuts, a unique line/dot combination screen was developed for
the Cutline Filter. This screen replaces the grey tones in a photo or
an illustration with black and white lines which may be cross hatched
in the shadow areas as the lines become thicker or subtly break up
into dots in the highlight areas as the lines become thinner. The
result is a digital-engraving effect that emulates the classic
old-world engraving techniques."

While it is not totally automated, the Cutline filter can produce
handsome images that resemble the WSJ portraits, with little effort
from the user. If this is the kind of thing you're looking for, I'll
be glad to gather more info for you and post the "Cutline" filter as
your official answer.

Request for Question Clarification by pinkfreud-ga on 14 Nov 2005 12:35 PST
The Cutline filter which I mentioned above will be on sale at 35% off
its usual price from now through November 22.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Clarification of Question by pwayner-ga on 14 Nov 2005 13:59 PST
Yes, this is the kind of thing I would like. It's not exactly it, but
it seems quite nice. Would it be too much to ask you to name any other
filters that might be similar? I realize that you've probably listed
the best, but it would be nice to know if there are any others.

Subject: Re: Finding Software to Automate Stippling or Halftoning of Digital Images
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Nov 2005 15:26 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
It is my belief that Andromeda's Cutline filter (mentioned above) is
likely to be the best tool you can find for creating images that
resemble the Wall Street Journal's "hedcut" art. Here are two
additional filters from Andromeda that may interest you:

"Series 3 Screens converts... mezzotinting and digital engraving into
a fine art! Series 3 Screens converts gray-scale into a wide variety
of different line art screens from 15 to 400 lpi. featuring
mezzotints, sharp contrast mezzograms, mezzoblends, ellipses, lines,
circles, spokes, waves or any blended combination."

Andromeda: Series 3 Screens

"EtchTone, a continuous tone screen, is a classic old printing look
that softens the harshness of solid black and white line screens."

Andromeda: EtchTone

Other possibilities:

"Panopticum Engraver - it is an additional module for the Adobe Photoshop 5.x.

The main destination of our module is cutting through images with thin
lines that will form a geometric pattern. The thickness of lines will
change depending on the initial image under the lines."

Panopticum: Engraver

"From basic TV-screen to complex woodcut or engraving effects, from
simple patterns to weird moire overlays - Raster master does it all.

Full control over lines density, angle, curvature, color and
transparency; powerful control for black/white lines width balance and
of course AmphiSoft original "displacement by source" ("Line drift")
feature for 3D-like distortions."

AmphiSoft: Raster Master

"Convert color images to unusual black-and-white halftones. Or use its
color modes to produce strange etched effects."
Flaming Pear: India Ink

In case you're interested in learning how some of these effects may be
achieved without the use of plug-in filters (but with the use of a
great deal of creativity and elbow-grease), there are some wonderful
tutorials here:

Inkart: Tutorials

And here you'll find some details about the creation of the WSJ "hedcuts":

Hedcuts in the Wall Street Journal

I hope this is helpful! If anything is unclear or incomplete, please
request clarification; I'll gladly offer further assistance before you
rate my answer.

Best regards,
pwayner-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $6.00
Great job. Thank you.

Subject: Re: Finding Software to Automate Stippling or Halftoning of Digital Images
From: pinkfreud-ga on 21 Nov 2005 10:56 PST
Thank you very much for the five stars and the generous tip!

Subject: Re: Finding Software to Automate Stippling or Halftoning of Digital Images
From: pinkfreud-ga on 22 Nov 2005 11:39 PST
Here is an interesting attempt at simulating a "hedcut":

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