Thursday, January 25, 2007

high rez Digital Inking video

here's a preview of one video with more to come...

Photoshop : Digital Inking

by Brett Weldele

Before we begin, it should be noted that this is not a replacement for the tried and true comic book inker. It's not possible (yet!) to simulate the classic brush and crow-quill style. If you want it to look like that, you're just going to have to practice with the real thing. This tutorial is more about a different option. Something geared towards more expressive styles of drawing.


I start off every drawing with a Col-erase red pencil. This is inspired by the non-photo blue process in printing...only in red. Blue pencils would work probably just as well, but i find the red pencils easier to find in office supply stores. I then do my final rendering with a standard "number 2." I like to turn the pencil on its side to create some nice textural lines.


The image shouldn't be scanned any less than 600 DPI in color. The inking process drops out some information and if the resolution is any lower the inking will turn out kinda bloopy.


Now that we have the image opened in Photoshop, we're ready to get rid of the red pencil under-drawing. First thing is to switch from the default RGB the image was scanned in. Switch it over to CMYK under the IMAGE>MODE menu. We've now separated out a black channel to retain the pencil work. Make sure the channel palette is visible and click on the MAGENTA channel. SELECT ALL and CUT out the background. Make sure the background color is white. Click on the CMYK layer in the channels palette. You should be left with a greenish pencil drawing. Now switch the CMYK mode to GRAYSCALE.


Click on IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>THRESHOLD. Move the slider to the right under it nears the bottom of the black hill, just below "200." This will take a few tries to get it right. Too little left and a lot of information gets lost and too far right and ghosting from the red image starts to show up. There might be a little grit that shows up. There will be some cleanup involved in a later stage, but it should be minimal if the adjustments are made correctly.

There's still a dirtiness to the line-work so let's clean that up. Go over to the FILTERS menu and load up the WATERCOLOR FILTER. This is going to smooth out some of the rough edges. You can experiment but i like the settings 14, 10, 1.


All we have left is cleanup. There will be spots where the blacks didn't come through right or bits of pencil grit are left. Just use the pencil tool to fix these small items.

Now wasn't that easy? The good news...most of this process can be batch processed with photoshop.


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