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VANDAL
09-09-2012, 11:05 AM
Forgive me if you are an experienced inker but some of the younger ones don't know this. I have been inking for a very long time and have never inked directly over pencils so for the youngsters here I will teach you how to print out and scan those pencils.
1. Open photoshop and open the pencilled work you want to ink over.
2. Make the pencilled page GREYSCALE and then make it Duotone.
3. Make sure the duotone has zero on all values except cyan.
4. In the cyan value setting you can go from anywhere between 5 and 25 in general, mostly you want it where you almost can't see the pencils.
5. Print it out.
6. Ink it
7. Scan it in COLOR in photoshop.
8. In photoshop change it from COLOR to greyscale and yes, discard all color.
9. In photoshop adjust brightness contrast, set the bright to where you can't see the greys (which used to be blue) and then set the contrast to get nice clean blacks.
I hope this helps you younguns out!

JimCampbell
09-10-2012, 04:52 AM
7. Scan it in COLOR in photoshop.


Dependent upon what version of Photoshop you're running, there's an alternative workflow at this point that offers more fine-tuned control:

8. New Adjustment Layer -> Black & White
9. Preset -> Blue Filter

This should drop out the blueline automatically, but if any traces remain, simply tweak the Blue and Cyan sliders to the right until you have clean linework.

10. Tweak the Levels on the original artwork layer to make sure the blacks are black and the whites are white.

Important side note if you are inking for a printed publication and the work is going to go to a colorist. If you're doing this for your own amusement, or a web comic, then ignore all of the following:

Be sure to scan at 600dpi in Step 7 above.

Once you've dropped out the blue and tweaked the levels and are happy with the results (might be worth saving a copy at this stage so you can retain an editable version since this next bit makes your changes non-reversible), go Image -> Mode -> Grayscale. 'Yes' to 'Flatten Image'.

Then Image -> Mode -> Bitmap. Output: 600dpi. Method: 50% threshold

The linework will look 'jaggy' when zoomed in, but the colorist (and, equally importantly, the flatter) will require clean, aliased linework in order to make accurate selections and the jaggies won't be visible to the naked eye in the final publication.

Save as TIFF with LZW compression (which is lossless) and you will get surprisingly small files.

Cheers

Jim

VANDAL
09-10-2012, 01:32 PM
Indeed Jim, there is more than one way to skin a cat for sure. Thanks for sharing your methods as well. Strangely enough I have found that so far no two inkers scan and save their work exactly the same way. I simply wanted to share my methods. Thanks for sharing yours as well!

JimCampbell
09-10-2012, 01:42 PM
Indeed Jim, there is more than one way to skin a cat for sure. Thanks for sharing your methods as well. Strangely enough I have found that so far no two inkers scan and save their work exactly the same way. I simply wanted to share my methods. Thanks for sharing yours as well!

Pleasure, sir. I'm not a pro inker, but I do a bit as a hobby and I've ended up cleaning up quite a lot of artwork for books I've lettered just because no one else has been able and/or wanted to!

I've tried dropping the bluelines out after converting to grayscale but often find I have to do a certain amount of manual clean-up where light ink and dark pencils are too similar in tone to separate with the Contrast or Levels functions…

Cheers!

Jim

Comics Commando
09-16-2012, 01:51 AM
Good info here!

If I might add one thing...it's not too technical, I promise...but it helps out the rest of us down the production line...colorists, letterers, pre-press guys.

INKERS: always, always, ALWAYS ink the BLEED LINE on the art board at some point while yer inking the artwork. Many art boards come pre-lined in blue and they point out the bleed line often...but just in case: it's the outer-most box on the blue-line boards. Outside the live area--and outside the trim line.

Truth be told, these pre-lined boards should COME WITH BLACK BLEED LINES already....but that would be more expensive to produce, I assume.

To understand how helpful this is, you may want to DL my bleed guide for comics artists.

https://rapidshare.com/files/2683013866/Bleed-Graphic_Guide__2012__.pdf

Though it's aimed mostly at pencillers, and I know inkers can't fix the penciller's format mistakes....if the inker inks the bleed line, we can at least SEE where the penciller screwed up and try to fix it in the pre-press stage.

But even if they didn't screw up--the black line in the scan we get tells us how the page needs to be formatted for print. Yaay! No more guesswork!!

I know this all sounds like gobbledygook to most of you---but If I were to show the bald spots on my head from tearing my hair out due to pages that I have to guess on....

Bottom line...inkers: ink the bleed line!! Please!!

In the old days we didn't need this--but since we all work with scans these days [and the blue line don't scan]...the rest of us don't know where the bleed line is 'cause the original art is in some guy's studio hundreds of miles away.


Kurt Hathaway
Cartoon Balloons Studio
khathawayart@gmail.com

JimCampbell
09-16-2012, 03:15 PM
In the old days we didn't need this--but since we all work with scans these days [and the blue line don't scan]...the rest of us don't know where the bleed line is 'cause the original art is in some guy's studio hundreds of miles away.

Unless, of course, you get a book like the one I had last week, where the colorist had left in all the bluelines for bleed, trim and live on the ink layer, which he'd clearly set to multiply in Photoshop and then colored on layers underneath. Consequently, the bluelines overlayed the colors anywhere the colors were lighter than, well, black basically.

So, that was a fun hour or so with the clone tool and the content-aware fill getting rid of the f*cking things.

Cheers

Jim

Alex Sollazzo
09-16-2012, 04:01 PM
Unless, of course, you get a book like the one I had last week, where the colorist had left in all the bluelines for bleed, trim and live on the ink layer, which he'd clearly set to multiply in Photoshop and then colored on layers underneath. Consequently, the bluelines overlayed the colors anywhere the colors were lighter than, well, black basically.

So, that was a fun hour or so with the clone tool and the content-aware fill getting rid of the f*cking things.

Cheers

Jim

Couldnt get the colorist to fix it up by removing the layer ?

JimCampbell
10-04-2012, 07:43 AM
Couldnt get the colorist to fix it up by removing the layer ?

Sorry to answer so belatedly -- I missed this.

Yes, I probably could have done, but the deadline was so tight, and I'm in a different timezone to the editors who were in a different timezone again to the colourist, it was quicker to just clean the things up myself…

Cheers

Jim