Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Preparing Pencils for Inking

I don't really like to ink over my pencils.  I'm prone to mistakes and tend to do a lot of my thinking on the page, in the form of blue lead.  Blue lead causes a wax resist with ink, and I end up with a smudgy mess if I use blue leads, graphites, and inks on the same page.  I'm also moving my process towards working smaller for the planning, so instead of having typical 10x15" pencils, I have 6x9 tight roughs that I blow up to 10x15 and correct and then ink.

I've done things a little out of order here, I posted my inking process before I had a chance to show you guys how to prepare your pencils for inking.  I'd like to remedy that this afternoon, since I'll be printing up more bluelines anyway.



I'm starting today with something like this.  See all those notations?  Most of that needs to be corrected in Photoshop before I even get to the pencils stage.


The first thing I do before I make any corrections is I crop and then copy the background layer.

Keep in mind when you do this, you're going to lose the notes in your margins.  I find it's helpful to keep the original nearby, because there's no way I'm going to remember all the corrections on every single page.

Next I resize it.  My scanner is a pain in the butt and I can't really fiddle with the settings (it refuses to recognize Picasa or Photoshop, no matter how many reinstalls I try), so my beginning size is a little wonky.


(If you're unsure how to resize, go to Image-Image Size)


To:


Now I can finally start making corrections!  In the first panel I need to make the fist bigger and move it closer to the face.  I'm simply going to select the fist and resize it.


Next, I need to drop the older brother down in the bottom panel since where he is right now ruins the flow and causes the reader to skip the bottom left panel.  Again, just simple selection and moving.

While I was doing that, I resized him just a bit, as one of the constant criticisms I receive is that there isn't enough push and pull to my camera.  

While I'm looking at the page, I'm going to bump over the second tier, first panel girl, since I don't like how much she's being cropped out by the panel border.


Now, for the part you're actually reading this for.  The bluelines!

First, you're going to want to convert your color image to black and white. 


Image-Mode-Grayscale (yes, you want to merge layers, make sure you have a seperate save file)

Then you're going back into Image-Mode, and this time you're selecting Duotone.

These are the settings you want for a nice, fairly visable (yet easy to drop using a decent scanner) cyan.

This is what your finished bluelines should look like.

Now you're just ready to print, pencil and ink!

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