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Old 05-08-2012, 05:33 AM   #1
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Inking Questions...

Hey guys,
I've landed an art job where I create character concepts. It's a cool gig, however one of the requirements is that I digitally ink all my work using Illustrator and the Pen tool. Inking = Not really my thing. But I said okay to it, so now I need to actually learn the best way of doing this.

I've got an Wacom Intuos II to work with and Adobe Suite CS4.

A lot of the tutorials I'm seeing online are saying to ink with the Pen tool and use Illustrator. Having an Wacom though, I'm wondering why more people don't actually ink using the brush tool? It's freestyle, seems like it takes a lot less time, and you don't have to try to master making curves.

So to the digital inkers out there, what set up do you guys use?
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #2
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I use Photoshop.
The brush tool in Illustrator can be used, but it will constantly alter and smooth out your lines. It sounds like they want vector art, so you're going to have to use Illustrator.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
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The Pencil

You could try the pencil tool.
It gives you good freehand feel. It does smooth your line quite a bit, but if you make short strokes, you can get a result much like the pen, with a faster completion time.
You'd then use the direct selection tool to edit as needed.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:10 AM   #4
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Yeah they want Vector. I experimented today for a bit, fun stuff. Used the brush tool. Didn't walker my line work too much that it wasn't bearable. I gotta find more tutorials though as there doesn't appear to be a paint bucket tool for filling in large spaces of blacks easily.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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Have you tried Autodesk's Sketchbook pro? Or Manga Studio? These two are made for drawing and are both Vector tools If I'm not mistaken.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:06 PM   #6
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British comics' national treasure, Matt "D'israeli" Brooker worked in Illustrator for years and has a nice walk-through of his process here.

(Or rather, his process as it was a few years ago -- I believe he works primarily in Manga Studio and Photoshop these days…)

Cheers!

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Old 05-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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My favorite tool so far (I just started) is Artrage Studio Pro and I'm Using a 10" Yiynova, so far so good.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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I'm totally assuming here, as my own experience is quite limited:

The brush tool is kind of "stylized". IOW, the pen tool is anchor point to anchor point, so it translates the same in all vector programs. Using the brush tool, you're basically inking based on the line style (IOW, if you change the line style after you're done, it probably won't looks so good in a different style. Points via the pen tool are pretty much the most basic representation of the line work and the most easily alterable, which may be what they're after).
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice41 View Post
Have you tried Autodesk's Sketchbook pro? Or Manga Studio? These two are made for drawing and are both Vector tools If I'm not mistaken.
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, while having really good tools, saves as TIF. Granted there may be a vector option (I have the 2010 version, so I'm like two versions behind and haven't used it much). Manga Studio would have the same issues I mentioned in my previous post: the linework might look great, but it's still "stylized".
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:30 PM   #10
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I have never used any Application to ink so what do I know. Just my hands. I'm not doing production work so it will always be by hand.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
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Do they want vector for reasons of independent resolution, or do they want that (not hand-drawn) look? If it's the former, I usually just ink my usual way (manga studio) and bring the line work into PS, select it, convert selection to paths, and export the paths to illustrator and then clean up the excess points. You have to ink carefully or be prepared for a lot of cleanup, but this one good way to translate most of one's style into a vector output.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:00 AM   #12
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They said it has to be vector for advertising and such. T-shirts and what not.

I submitted an old sketch that I chose to try and ink via illustrator. It appears this is exactly the style they want. So I'll be doing stuff like this for the company, first hand drawn and then scanning it in and working the Pen tool.

An Cintiq would be great right about now haha...

Pencils here: http://artstadesign.com/wp-content/u..._1903243_o.jpg


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Old 05-16-2012, 05:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artsta View Post
An Cintiq would be great right about now haha...
I'll be honest, I love my Cintiq for hand-drawn strokes, but find a normal mouse superior for the click-hold-drag-click-hold-drag technique necessary with the Pen tool.

It's worth noting that you can fake variable line weights using the 'Profile' option in the stroke palette:













It's no substitute for proper pressure sensitivity, but it provides a bit of interest and life otherwise flat, uniform lines.

Cheers!

Jim

Last edited by JimCampbell; 05-16-2012 at 05:56 AM. Reason: Tidying up
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:02 AM   #14
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Now that was an extremely useful tip! Thank you!!
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artsta View Post
Now that was an extremely useful tip! Thank you!!
I've got a better one I discovered while trying to see if you could create additional profiles for the palette shown above…

The little tool marked in the screenshot below, which I've always ignored, is called the Width Tool and allows you interactively vary the width of a normal Pen stroke.



If you like the result, you can add it to the profiles menu shown above -- it automatically appears there when you create a new stroke, but when you click on the little pull down, you have the option to save it…



Cheers!

Jim

Last edited by JimCampbell; 05-17-2012 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Basic grammar
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