How To Make Multi-Layer Stencils in Photoshop & Illustrator


you will need to have Illustrator CS2 for the live trace feature

1. Find an image and isolate from the BG

2. duplicate the image to however many layers you want it to be

3. make only the layer your working with visible

4. image>adjustments>threshold.

5. set it low because this is going to be the dark tones of of the image

6. select>color range. click on the white part of the image to select it, then press delete to erase it leaving only the black part

7. move the layer to the top

8. do the same thing with layer 2 only this time leave the threshold higher because this is going to be the mid tone of the image

9. after you delete the white press ctrl+i to invert the selection, the choose a gray color and fill the selection

10. this should be what it looks like

11. make the top 2 layers visible and it should look like this

12. on the 3rd layer just select it and fill it with a gray…this will be the first layer you paint (white…this is the light tones of the image)

13. save each layer individually as a separate image

14. open image in illustrator CS2

15. click the drop down menu next to the live trace button and press “tracing options”

16. select grayscale and lower the max colors to “2″

17. your image will look something similar to this, now click the expand button up top

18. after that select the “direct select arrow” and delete the whit from around the black

19. do the same thing for the next layer and then align the stencils on top of each other, this is the final result….print each layer separately, cut and spray

further clarification:

this is what it woulda looked liked if i just used the live trace

if you want more layers then you would just create more layers and increase the threshold for each one.