Creating a “Lazy Vector” in Photoshop

In this tutorial for Photoshop CS3 Extended, I will teach you how to make a decent-looking vector without having to spend a lot of time making it. We are going to call this the “lazy vector” because Photoshop pretty much does everything for you. Remember, this is a quick method of making something similar to a vector. If you want a true vector that looks like it took you days to make, you will need to take the time out to actually do a real one.

You will need to open the photo in Photoshop and resize it to have a width of 400 pixels. Your image should now be 450 x 500 pixels. If it is not, that’s fine, the size of your photo doesn’t play a major role in this.

Duplicate your background layer. You may rename it whatever you’d like or keep the name as is.

Next, go to Image –>Adjustments –>Threshold. Set the Threshold to 128.

Go back to where the layers are and set this particular layer to soft light.

Click on Filter –>Stylize — >Diffuse and make sure the Anisotropic button is marked.

Click OK and now you should have a lazy vector! Adjust the opacity of this layer for a more realistic effect. Normally, I set my layer to somewhere between 80 and 90% so that the threshold isn’t overpowering the image quality.