Is there software that will turn a picture into a WPA-style poster?

I’ve been inspired by the Star Wars WPA posters and I’d like to make my own with another theme. Is there any software (preferably free) that will WPA-ize a picture? The normal posterize functions of Photoshop/Gimp aren’t quite what I’m looking for because they don’t result in the same contrast. Original WPA posters here

It looks like it’s just flattened colors and shadows (and you could argue flattened shadows are just flattened colors). While there are gradients in some of those posters, it looks very much like mostly solid colors. It’s not a trivial program, but it looks possible to do with fairly good results (though you’d likely need to tune it by hand after conversion a little). Unfortunately I don’t know of any programs that do it, but I think there must be a gimp plugin somewhere waiting to be found. I’d be shocked if not.

You (not you, you, general you) might be able to hack something together with a simple edge detection filter (Sobel filter, etc), some flattening plugin like BPelt, and then average the colors in each region for a reasonable approximation of the flattened colors. It might not detect smooth shading quite right, though.

You might have to hire a graphic designer.

Yeah, there are no shortcuts on that kind of specific design style. If “posterize” or “cutout/autotrace” don’t do it (and they won’t) then it’s careful painstaking work only.

I concur. It’s possible there’s something out there that will get you, I dunno, a quarter of the way there, but it seems to me it needs to be done by hand (or mostly by hand) to even look remotely convincing. (And “by hand,” I mean in the computer, probably Adobe Illustrator, perhaps with a reference photograph underneath to trace over.) Then again, someone else’s threshold for “convincing” may be quite different than mine.

I looked at Youtube for WPAP tutorials, and the ones I’ve been able to find do it by hand, in the way I suggested, that is, with a reference photo or painting underneath.

Yeah, I take back what I said. I tried to implement my idea and I forgot how damned finicky edge detection filters are. The lines don’t complete well enough to be able to use a flood fill-like algorithm for flattening the colors. Even if you could find a picture it works well on, you’d spend more time playing with hysteresis threshold values than you would making the damned poster by hand.

And that hysteresis is never as hysterical as you’d think…

Seriously, though. Learn to use Adobe Illustrator (or another vector drawing program, but Illustrator’s the best). Once you learn to draw those “Bezier curves”, it’s such a blast. Imagine cranking out WPA posters, logos, complex illustrations… ye-haw!

Thanks all. How come this stuff is never as simple as I want it to be? =P