Creating vector halftone effects
Halftone techniques have been around for well over a century. They came about as a clever way to represent images when even greyscale couldn’t be reproduced in print, let alone color. The effect is an optical illusion where dots of various sizes and positions can come together to create an image. The farther away your viewing perspective, the more these dots seem to fall away and trick your brain into seeing a normal image.
Despite 20th century printing techniques evolving to deliver images in high resolution and full color, the halftone has lived on. Even in digital graphic design and art, the halftone remains a popular aesthetic. As such, Photoshop has long been able to generate halftone patterns from images, as well as enable users with halftone inspired brushes in various Adobe tools.
Project Hello Halftones explores how Adobe could enable users with much more control on how these patterns are generated. We think that using different mathematical algorithms to control the flow of the dots or how these dots of different shapes can be positioned next to one another can create some new and unique aesthetics that can set your design apart from the traditional tools that Adobe has provided.
It’s not all about what kind of patterns you can use to make your digital designs more beautiful, however. Hello Halftones aims to deliver some previously missing functionality to your Adobe workflow. Sometimes printing an image isn’t a function of ink or pixels on a screen. A wide variety of mediums like metal, wood, cloth, and more can now be used as a printing surface by home consumers using gadgets that are increasingly becoming more affordable.
While we can’t necessarily just print a photo on these mediums, we can revive this century old technique to help us out. Hello Halftones produces crisp and infinitely scalable vector assets from your images to laser engrave your favorite cat photo right on the laptop you’re using now.
Hello Halftones started out as an experiment from someone who was just having fun with math and images, but evolved into an online art project for the de Young museum with their yearly “de Youngsters Art Party”. Kids from all over would take digital snapshots of their real world art creations and create their own halftone art through a tool much like this.
The kids seemed to really enjoy it, and we hope you will too! Whether you want to laser engrave your favorite photo or just like the halftone aesthetic and want to share a stylized selfie, Hello Halftones has got you covered.