Published on February 16, 2022

Convert image into outlines

In this blog I’ll show you how to quickly convert an image into outlines only using Adobe Photoshop. You can use this to create coloring pages, for example.

You can only use this method if your cartoon/illustration has black outlines. If you want to download the image I used, click here.

Rather watch the video tutorial of this process? Click here or scroll down to the end of this page!

Step 1: Grayscale

Open the image you want to edit. Then navigate to ‘image > mode > grayscale‘. You will see the message below, you can discard this message.

You now have a black and white image without any color. As you can see in the image below, it’s very gray. We’ll remove all the grays in the next steps.

Step 2: Outlines

Now press CTRL+J to duplicate the background layer. Change the blend mode of the layer copy to color dodge.

As you can see in the image below, changing the blend mode removed a lot of the grays.

Step 3: Levels

If you look at the image above, you can see that there are still gray areas left. We want black outlines only though. To achieve that, add a levels adjustment layer.

To get rid of the grays, drag the right point to the left untill all the grays are gone.

If you want to make the outlines pitch-black, drag the left point to the right.

And that’s how you convert an image into outlines only in Adobe Photoshop! You can see the before and after image below!


You can also use other methods to convert an image to outlines:

  • Convert an image to outlines with filters. Click here to read the blog I wrote about that.
  • Use a threshold layer to convert your image to outlines, read the blog.

Want to learn more about editing in Adobe Photoshop? Check out my other blogs or take a look at my YouTube channel

Follow me on Facebook to stay updated about new blogs and tutorials! You can find the video with instructions below!

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