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How to Turn a Photo in to a Painting

1) Big 300 dpi+ image is required.

2) Reduce Noise using tom's settings (see the relevant action).

3) Go for one of three kinds of paint effects (I guess you might try mixing them but that's harder to organise):

   a) Paint Daubs (fairly large simple brush).

   b) Stylise > Diffuse... > Ansiotropic, for a smoothly painted feel.

   c) Watercolour, the filter, works well on big hi-res images as long as you keep the 'Texture' setting low.
        You may, though, prefer to use the "wc trick 1" action, or a combination of both.

4) Using Select > Colour Range... create separate Alpha channels of the darkest and lightest areas of the whole image.
Copy the initial image and Saturation shift it to some dark blue colour, Layer Mask out all the non-dark areas using one of the Alpha channels you just made.
Do the same to produce a warm highlight-only version of the image.

5) Put in a layer of texture from a scan of some really messy paint. Set this layer's blend mode to Overlay.

6) Put in a Pattern Overlay layer of some repeating paper texture- set this to multiply or something (make sure it's at the right scale to be convincing!).

7) Copy the original photo again and run the Find Edges filter on it.
Stop this layer from looking computer-generated by using a combo of Gaussian Blur, Reduce Noise and maybe Paint Daubs.
Set this layer to multiply. This is your line-art layer so give it a Layer Mask and hide any bits that don't look convincing as a drawing.

8) Some areas might look good if replaced entirely by areas taken from your scanned-in paint texture.

9) Some layers- like the dark blue shadows layer, look great if subjected to the Brush Strokes>Angled Strokes filter, play around with other layers like this for more cool effects.

10) Add a new layer at the top of the stack and start to paint over the image using a wet-edged brush. You can also use the layer masks to rub out some bits like a charcoal drawing, leaving just a few 'brush marks' around to mislead the audience.

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