How To: Convert an Image into a blueprint

intermediate level

In this tutorial, we will  convert our photo into a blue print.


  1. pen you car photo. I used a photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash.
  2. Duplicate the background layer [com + J   on a Mac] or [ctrl + J  on a PC]
  3. Click D to have the default colors, black and white
  4. Convert the copied layer to grayscale. I love using Image >Adjustments > Gradient Map, because it gives you higher contrast
  5. Duplicate this grayscale layer  [com + J for Mac] or [ctrl + J for PC]
  6. Change its layer bland mode to Divide (image would look mostly white)
  7. Apply a blur to the layer. Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Experiment with settings, but usually monochromatic gives me the better results
  8. Create a copy of all visible layers by hitting [com + shift+ option + e on a Mac] or  [ctrl + Alt + Shift +e on a PC]. Now you have a single layer to adjust, but your original layers are still there. You can hide them and put them in a folder if you like
  9. Select this composite layer and go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Artistic> Poster Edges. Again, play with the settings
  10. Change your foreground color to a dark blue and then add a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer to the composite layer. Make sure to click Colorize.
  11. The lines will look blue and the image has been transformed into a blueprint

Alternate Endings

Inverse blue print

image of an inversed blueprint

  1. Create a new Gradient Map adjustment layer. Use a gradient that is going dark blue to white
  2. In the gradient map properties panel click Inverse.
  3. Done!!!

From blue print to Photo

image from blueprint to photo

Recreate to commonly used effect of a blueprint or drawing becomes a photograph. You only need a few small changes.

  1. Create a clipping group of the Hue and Saturation and the composite car layer. Hover with your mouse while holding Option [Alt on a PC] to the line separating the 2 layers and click.
  2. The Hue and Saturation adjustment layer will look indented
  3. Add a mask to the composite car layer. With a a large, soft brush, paint with black on the mask to reveal the original photo area.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments. Thank you