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  3. Turn a Photo into a Sketch (without Sketching It)

Turn a Photo into a Sketch (without Sketching It)

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You can turn a photo into a sketch or line drawing directly in PowerPoint (without having to sketch it yourself) using the Artistic Effects options.

Nuts & Bolts - Powerpoint - Photo Sketch 1

The fact that you can convert your photos into sketches and line drawings like this directly in PowerPoint, instead of having to flip to another program like Photoshop, means that you can quickly crank out interesting slide backgrounds and picture effects on the fly for your presentations.

Photo to sketch step by step

To turn a photo into a sketch, simply:

Nuts & Bolts - Powerpoint - Photo Sketch 2
  1. Select your image

  2. Navigate to the Picture Tools Format tab

  3. Open the Artistic Effects Dropdown

  4. Choose one of the sketching artistic effects

The 5 sketch effects available to you in PowerPoint are the Marker, Pencil Greyscale, Pencil Sketch, Line Drawing and Chalk Sketch effects, highlighted below.

You can alternatively use the Artistic Effects dropdown in the Format Picture dialog box to not only turn your photo into a sketch or line drawing, but also to adjust the intensity of the sketching effect.

In addition, if you don’t want a black and white sketch of your photo, you can use the transparency options (described below) to bleed the underlying color from your photo into your drawing to give it some color.

Adjusting the ‘photo to sketch’ artistic effect

When you convert a photo to a sketch or line drawing in PowerPoint, you can control two different styling options to adjust the intensity of the drawing effect in your photo.

To see these different options, simply open the Artistic Effects Options at the bottom of the Artistic Effects dropdown.

It’s important to explore the different options available to you here as they make a HUGE difference on the final effect when you turn a photo into a sketch like this.

Transparency:

How much of your original photo bleeds through the sketch or line drawing effect you apply to your photo depends on the transparency.

A transparency of 0 means that none of the original picture bleeds through the sketch effect (creating the most drawing-like effect for your photo), while a transparency of 100 means that the entire photo bleeds through the effect, essentially killing the artistic effect altogether.

When I want to turn a picture into a drawing (or chalk sketch, for example), I always use a transparency of 0 so that I get the maximize sketch effect in my photo.

That said, if you want to add color to one of the black and white sketch effects, you can use a transparency of 25% to 50% to bleed the underlying color through, as you can see in the demo pictures below.

Nuts & Bolts - Powerpoint - Photo Sketch 7

‘Intensity’ or ‘Brush Size’:

This affects how neat and tidy the sketching effect is in your image or photo.

The higher the Brush Size (or 'intensity'), the more artistic and blurred the details in your photo become.

Below I’ve created some snapshots of the different sketching effects with various intensity levels to help you decide what works best for you.

‘Marker’ sketch effect

Notice that as the size of the marker increases, the blurriness of the details within the photo increases.

‘Pencil Greyscale’ sketch effect

Notice that when converting a photo to a greyscale sketch, the size of the pencil dramatically changes the effect.

If you want to add some color to the sketch, you can always adjust the transparency level, and bleed through the original photo into the sketch.

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‘Pencil’ sketch effect

Notice that when converting your image into the pencil sketch effect, the pressure is what dictates how much of the details are etched out.

If you again don’t want a black & white sketch, and would rather have color, you can either choose the Line Drawing effect or use the transparency slider to bleed the original photo through the effect.

Nuts & Bolts - Powerpoint - Photo Sketch 10

‘Line Drawing’ effect

The line drawing effect (in my humble opinion) is kind of weird.

If you want a colored line drawing of your photo, I recommend using either the Pencil Sketch effect or the Pencil Greyscale effect and using the transparency slider to bleed through the underlying colors from your photo.

‘Chalk’ sketch effect

You don’t have quite as many variations available to you with the Chalk Sketch effect, but you can see that as you increase the pressure from 0 to 4, the photo and underlying details get darker.

And those are the basics for turning a photo into a sketch or line drawing 100% in PowerPoint, and the different options you have available to you.

Sketch to photo: Resetting your picture

If at any point you want to turn your sketch back into the original photo (removing whatever sketch effects or edits you’ve applied to the photo), you can simply use the Reset Picture command.

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  1. Select the photo you want to reset
  2. Navigate to the Picture Tools Format tab
  3. Select the Reset Picture command

Assuming you haven’t cropped AND compressed your photo, selecting the Reset Picture command reverts your photo back to its original version.

If you want to learn some PowerPoint tricks for resetting a photo that doesn’t want to reset, see my YouTube video on Picture Warping Solutions.

If you want to learn more PowerPoint tricks for cropping your photos to full screen visual images, see How to crop multiples photo in PowerPoint.

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Updated on June 5, 2018

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