Drawing to Digital: What a Pain!

I have been working on getting some of my drawings ready for digital reproduction.

I think this is harder than doing the actual drawings.

I figured I would do a basic tutorial about how I am going about it.  Needless to say that this is not the only way, and may not even be the best way, but it is how I am doing it, for now.

Why would you even need to edit a drawing in preparation for digital reproduction?

I asked myself that.  Then I opened an image that I had scanned.  Look at that mess!  White flakes all over.  The black is supposed to go out to the blue guide line.  Totally not what I remember drawing.

That is how the computer sees it.  I do not want it to print out like that if someone wants to blow up the image 300X.


Pre-Photoshop. Look at that mess. White “dandruff” everywhere, stray lines and what is going on with the left edge?

I did some searching and watched a few videos and read some articles.  Most were to in-depth and a few were not what I needed.  I found this gem though!  It is perfect.  How to Color Inked Line Art.  It goes over the basics of converting a drawing into a digital image and adding color.  I found it very handy. I think it is really good for those who are doing fairly simple coloring or just making sure your “blacks are black.”

I use one thing from this tutorial right now.

– use Ctrl+Alt+~ to select all the light stuff

–you can also go to the “channels” tab and select the dotted box at the bottom of the tab.  It will select all the light colors.

– Once you have the white stuff selected, just delete it.  Make a new layer, move it behind your lines and fill it in white (or whatever color floats your boat.)

I find it a bit easier to edit without the white background.  When you are at 100% or less you can see the “missing” areas better.  However, it does not translate to a good screenshot.


Cleaned up!

Here is a screen shot of the chain all cleaned up.  The white “dandruff” stuff is gone and the black goes to the proper guide line – not shown 😦 because I am a slacker like that.

I do recommend one thing.

If you are editing a large or complex drawing.  Put out guides.  I made a grid all over this drawing.  I work on one grid at a time, so I do not get lost or over whelmed.  It also helps to ensure that I do not miss anything.  Small areas are easier to edit than very large ones.

This is a time consuming process.  At least for this guy.  I have already spent 6 hours going through and fixing the black and removing stray lines.  I have an idea that may make it faster.  I will write up something if it works.

Have fun!


6 thoughts on “Drawing to Digital: What a Pain!

  1. One of things you can do is set the scanned art layer to “Multiply” and then paint on the layer underneath. When a layer is set to Multiply, the white in that layer becomes transparent, while to black stays black. This is good for ink-drawings that have only pure white and pure black. A lot of cartoonists use this technique.

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