Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Full Color Stencils

I enjoy stenciling because of the strong contrast. However, working in just one color gets boring! So multilayer stencils are neat because you can get a few colors. Any more than just a few though, and it becomes much more complicated and isn't quite as effective.
Here are two examples of stencils I've done in the past. To the right is a single color stencil that I cut out of posterboard and did in spray chalk on the sidewalk.

I wanted a method that would convert a full color picture into three simple stencils. I found one pretty good site with instructions here. However, I do not have a laser cutter, or Adope Photoshop. What I do have, is a copy of MATLAB! So, I wrote a script to separate the layers and use various sizes of squares to represent the brightness in a certain area.

A good test was to use a color wheel. Below is the original and my recreated version. Click on the thumbnails to see the higher resolution.

As you can see, the new one looks much darker. However, when it is blown up, it is much brighter than it seems in this thumbnail. This created image was set to only have four sizes of square used. This means things don't blend as well, but will make construction of the stencils much easier.

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