While I was creating a logo for a client's website, I quite by accident stumbled upon a way of creating a silhouette logo which was more than just black and white but also had another layer of shading. I added a different coloured background to this and was really taken with the result.
Here is an example:
So here is how I did it. The different levels of shading are created using the threshold filter and you can decide how many layers you want. In this example I used 3 layers but you will be able to see how it looked with 2 layers.
- Open your photograph in PSE and copy the picture to 3 layers by pressing cntl+j (Mac cmd+j) 3 times.
- Switch off the top 2 layers by clicking the eye on the layers panel and select the first copy.
- Now go to the menu bar and select Filter>Adjustments>Threshold...
- Move the threshold so that it is fairly dark, press ok and rename the layer 'dark'.
- Here is my first layer:
- Now turn on the second layer, go to Filter>Adjustments>Threshold... and set the threshold to neither light nor dark and call it 'middle':
- Finally turn on the top layer, go to Filter>Adjustments>Threshold... and set the threshold to a lighter setting and call it 'light':
- Select the original bottom layer and press the new layer icon on the layers panel.
- Choose a colour from the colour swatches panel and making sure the new blank layer is selected, press Alt+Backspace (Mac Option+Backspace) to fill the layer with the colour. I used the colour #e0a84f.
- Switch off the top 2 layers again and change the opacity of the 'dark' layer to about 40% (you can play around with the opacity later).
- Switch on the 'middle' layer and change the opacity to about 45%.
This is what you get at this stage and you might not want another layer:
- Finally switch on the 'light' layer and change the opacity to 32%. I've added the top picture again so that you can compare it with the two layer one:
Here is what your layers should look like: