Re-Photography Project - Of Small Home Town

20+ years ago my late father, who was a commercial artist by training but dabbled in personal arts projects, created a “Sketchbook”. It was comprised of pen & ink drawings of all the commercial buildings in the small town I grew up in. [Think of the Hollywood Blvd. studies the artist Ed Ruscha did - my Dad’s project was sorta similar].

Anyway, as the town modernized over time, needless to say businesses came & went during a 20-year period. Architectural modifications were made to a fair number of the facades my Dad had sketched in 1994. And, more modern businesses (including some chains) came in.

I’m attaching my Dad’s sketch of the AMOCO gas station as it looked in 1994. And my re-photograph (digital photo) of the same building from essentially the same spot in the past year of what’s now a Starbucks.

I miss my Dad. But it is a fun way to connect with him - artistically - to try to show how his town has changed since he 1st embarked on his sketchbook project. See duo of his 1994 sketch & my 2018 re-photograph (processed with Topaz Studio 2 in the past few days) below:


Way cool …

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I realized I had to go back into Studio and bleed out a bit of blue saturation from the bldg due to the reflection from the sky. It looked a tad cool to me. I won’t re-post, but I like the bldg whiter better.


Very nice works and great story!

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I love that they kept the old structure and didn’t rebuild. I remember when we used to have AMOCO gas stations. They were always changing the sign from AMOCO to American.

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It made my honey wonder if Starbucks has any other sites that just took over older buildings too! Virtually every other one we’ve seen has been in a contemporary building.

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Thanks for sharing this! Beautiful sketch your father did.
Maybe you want to try to transform your Starbucks photo in sketch, too

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That’s a cool idea. Which of the tools do you recommend for that? Simplify? Remix? Other? I’ve never tried that before…

This is what I came up with, per your suggestion, using a mix of Alien Skin and Topaz Studio 2 filters… the pure line drawing didn’t do it for me. Too much disappeared. Or, the inverse happened - using a pen & ink filter - and it looked like too much ink bled onto the paper. This charcoal sketch style was the most visually pleasing to me to emulate a drawing vs a photo, but suggesting a different hand created each sketch… Yes? No? :wink:

And, a color “bonus” ‘illustration’ style…


Very nice job on the drawings.

I think that the best program for drawing is Akvis Sketch, here is a quick example of that. There are a variety of styles you can modify. I hope that Topaz keeps refining their filters and creates ones more capable of drawing.


Ooooh. I like that! Yeah I don’t have access to anything that could produce something like that. And, that’s a nice look!! Will have to check out that program. Thx! Wanna come over and fix all my photos??? :camera::desktop_computer::computer_mouse: I hope that’s not just a Mac program…

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Here’s one from TS2 It was based on one of Sharon’s BW Sketch in TS1 that I converted.

LMK if you would like the “Look”


Thx. Yeah! That’s nice. How do I get it?! Is there a ‘recipe’ I’d apply to one of the existing Looks?

I really like that one above from Akvis. But this is much much better than what I achieved and I like having a variety of looks at my disposal for different pics.

I really enjoyed this whole thread. This is the forum at its best.


TS2 AI Remix Ink blot straight out
Getting even better when adjust smooth edge to zero


I put it in the shared dropbox that Jack Torcello so graciously set up for us. Thank you again @Torcello! The file name is LMG - Starbucks for Robyn.ts2 so should be easy to identify lol.

After you have downloaded it, open it in TS2 and save as a Look, which can then be applied to other photos.

I think you still have TS1, there are a lot of great sketch effects in there that have not been brought over yet. Search for Sketch! If there is an Effect that did not make it over to TS2, I open both TS1 & TS2 next to each other, then duplicate the settings from TS1 to TS2 and save as a Look. Some of the filters need to be tweaked a little bit but it works very well.

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Thx Linda. Just home again. So reading the latest info…

I feel a bit dense. How do I find the shared Dropbox you mention Jack set up where you put the unintuitively file-named for me [wink, wink, smile!] file?

Thx for the info on what to do when/once I find the file. That would have been question #2.

It will be fun to play with that look on different images! I agree with Ken that there wasn’t an ideal line drawing option in the Topaz (& even Alien Skin) alternatives I had or had checked out. I’m gonna trial run Akvis Sketch too - just for kicks. Depending on price will decide if worth adding to my filters library. It sounds like a standalone program - not my usual Ps workflow.

Yes, I still have/use Studio 1 (as plugin to Ps CC 2019). In fact, I was so excited recently (realize I have a very low excitement threshold…) when Don tutored me re: how to re-install TS 1 into the appropriate file hierarchy on my PC so that TS 1 showed up again in my Ps Filters menu under “Studio”. For some reason along the way it had gotten totally wiped out.

Thx for the tip, ekieki!

Akvis programs can run as stand alone and photoshop plugins

They have this unusual option to purchase them either as a standalone, plugin or both

There’s a link in a thread started by AiDon, but you’ll need to ask Jack to give you access:

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