Felix (blumchen) wrote in art_tutorials,

Digital Inking without a Tablet [photoshop]

Note: This is just one of many, many, many methods of how to polish off your sketches before colouring them digitally. Most artists devise their own methods eventually, but here's how I do it.

Tools: photoshop 7, Canon Lide 20 Flatbed Scanner. I have a tablet, but it shant be needed for this exercise.

Step 1: Scanning

For best results, you should probably scan at a fairly high DPI. I suggest either 200 or 300 DPI, so that you can get the most detail out of your work. Open up the scan into Photoshop, and clean the scan up a bit. I usually only erase black marks that may have come from my scanner and were not on the paper itself, and then I lazily clean by going Image > Mode > Grayscale. And then adjusting my Brightness & Contrast slight. DO NOT OVERDO YOUR BRIGHTNESS OR CONTRAST. It will look like ass. Actually, it doesn't really matter since I'm going to be deleting the original sketch later. But I suggest Brightness +12 and Contrast +25.

Now, this probably will work best on anime art, but it'll probably work on just about anything that needs inking. You may or may not decide to mostly paint over the lines later if you're going for a more realistic feel. So here's (a small part of) my base sketch, first:

Step 2: Setting up your layers

Next, what I want you to do is duplicate your sketch layer as a New Layer and name it something like .... rough sketch or whatever. Then set that rough sketch layer to Multiply. {Do this by right-clicking your sketch layer, selecting Blending Options, and in the pop-up that appears, setting the layer style to Multiply} Oh noes! Your sketch will look a lot darker now. So get rid of the underlying layer by making it completely white.

Then, set your foreground colour to white and your background colour to black. This is important.

You should have something like this:

Alternatively, you could put a black layer beneath your white layer, but I find my method just works easier.

Step 3: The inking

Now that you have your work all set up, zoom into an area you wish to begin inking. Grab the Polygonal Lasso tool. There IS a specific Pen Tool in Photoshop, but I find it extremely hard to use and control. Make SURE you're on the layer beneath the Rough Sketch layer, and select the area to ink. Basically, draw around the lines. The Polygonal tool allows you to use straight lines and click to activate certain points (does that make sense?) rather than draw one regular consistant shape, like the regular Lasso tool. It gives alot of control and makes CGing VERY easy.

Note: Do not click too fast! Double Clicking will close the lasso, so make sure to work slowly and carefully.

Once you have an area selected, hit Delete on your keyboard. The area will (should, if you did it correctly) turn black. If it doesn't, go review Step 2, you probably missed something.

To hide the sketch layer and see how your inking is turning out, click the Eye on your Rough Sketch layer to make it invisible.

When you're done, delete the Rough Sketch Layer to reveal your new inked image!


Please comment if you found this tutorial useful. If you use it, feel free to link so I can see! And maybe link back here, pretty please? ^^;
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