Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Smooth Lines
S1RCH at 5:17PM, April 17, 2007
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Im looking for a way to achieve crisp smooth lines from scanned sketches. as of now i trace my sketches with a vector program (Mayura), then export to my old Photoshop elements 1.0…or gimp, whichever i feel like i need to use. i DO NOT have a tablet although i plan on getting one in the distant future. the lines are fairly smooth, but i know theres a way to make them smoother…is there a way to get vector type lines in gimp or photoshop? or maybe software that can help me…i see some web comics with brilliantly smooth lines and i want to achieve that. how do you do your lineart?.any help is greatly appreciated.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:17PM
Hijuda at 5:37PM, April 17, 2007
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I do lineart in Photoshop CS2. However, I don't use scanned images. What I do a quick sketch of everything, then zoom in and ink (remember- my canvas is 6000 px wide). However, with scanned images, you can simply scan the image, lower the opacity of the layer, and ink over it.

EDIT: Another thing. Long, broad strokes are great for getting smooth lines. Being able to do this takes practice, but you'll get it in time. Also, use the eraser to erase any imperfections you may find.
It's a comic!

LOLOL LAMFAO
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
gigatwo at 6:02PM, April 17, 2007
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Lemme see, I totally remember the steps.



1)sketching stage - irrelevant
2)inking stage - use the ink tool for reasonably smooth, pressure sensitive lines (on a different layer)
3)right click on the layer in the layers dialog (dialogs>layers or ctrl+L) and click
“alpha to selection”. Then select the paths dialog and click on the button that, when the mouse is hovered over, says “selection to path”. Create a new layer. With the new path, select the "selection from path button and fill it in with black. You may have to delete the layer with the original inking on it.


The rest is irrelevant. The shading was done with the bezier curves tool, which is another way of creating paths.



This is a GIMP tutorial.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
ShadowsMyst at 1:46PM, April 18, 2007
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There is vector tools in Photoshop. I dunno if they are in Elements, but they are in the full versions of Photoshop. They are called the ‘path’ tools, and they are fully functional vector tools much like in Illustrator. I believe there is a new program called inkscape that's a freebee vector drawing program. The other ways to get crisper scans:

Manga studio has a nifty set of digital inking tools with EX offering vector options. Its also got auto smoothing which is super nifty.

Otherwise you have to learn how to ink well wtih an actual pen or brush and scan them in at a high resolution and size, then fix up the flaws and reduce the size and resolution to what you need. That will smooth a lot of things and hide flaws in the original inks.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
S1RCH at 9:43PM, April 18, 2007
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thanks everybody! i think i will invest in some micron pens and hope for the best. also, what is the best brush to use (PS or Gimp) when outlining. i tried alot of differnt things but i could never achieve what i wanted (i a perfectionist when it comes to these things). anybody know brush settings to get the best lines. when brush do u use? thanks in advance.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:17PM
Hijuda at 12:56PM, April 19, 2007
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In PS CS2, I usually use an oval-shaped brush, with hardness set to 100%. I use long, broad strokes, and erase any little imperfections (and the ones that I miss get resized out). But achieving smooth lines is (I think) something that you can only attain through skill and practice.
It's a comic!

LOLOL LAMFAO
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
acadia at 1:55AM, April 20, 2007
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Hijuda hit the nail on the head when it comes to using a tablet and PS. Something I also find helps is working on a much larger canvas. It sorta forces you to zoom in a bit and work on bits of the drawing individually. Kinda helps you to pay attention to that part a little bit more, so the details seem more substantial and you're able to spend more time on them. Also, when you zoom out from there and resize the picture to fit your comic page, it makes the lines crisper.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM

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