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Lessons:17Length:1.7 hours
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3.1 Setting Up Our Artwork for Digital Inking

In this lesson we will be implementing the stroke shortcuts and starting the illustration. We will briefly discuss how to treat the layer opacity for good results.

3.1 Setting Up Our Artwork for Digital Inking

All right, in this part of the course we're going to go ahead and take our scanned sketches, or if you digitally sketched that's fine too, and we're going to go ahead and start using our strokes to create our digital illustration. We're going to start with the eyes and we're going to move from there. Now if you don't have your own drawing, feel free to use the one that accompanies this tutorial and you can follow me step by step. But if you have a drawing, simply scan it in. Set it to multiply, lock the layer and you can create a new layer on top and go from there. Okay, so I'm going to go ahead and copy my drawing layer, my sketch layer and just make sure that I have that set up and if I want darker lines, sometimes I'll just multiply the layer. But in this case, let's turn it down. We're going to build on top of it. So I don't really need my pencils to be too prominent. So based on however you work, you can make the adjustments you need. If you want it to be 10%, and you want to work on top of the 10%, value, that's okay to do. So, this works for me. I think I'll start off here and maybe turn it down later on a little bit. Lets go grab the colors. So, I like to use not solid black but really close to black. I like to go at a blue and start from there. And I'll name this, keep this color, is base color black. Click okay. So, I save that in my swatches, so I'll always have the same color. If, I lose it later on I'll know how to get back to it. So, let's name this layer. This will be my ink layer. Want to turn my pencil layer down. Somewhere between, I don't know, 15%, 25%, it's really up to you. I'm going to make sure that I lock that layer, so I don't accidentally work on that layer. So I'm on my ink layer, zoom in. I'm going to zoom in and just figure out an area, a small area, I want to start off with. So I'm going to grab my pen tool. And just start from there. It's not so much technique here as far as using Photoshop as it is in knowing where I'm going. So when I take the pen tool and just kind of follow my sketches. Make sure that my brush is the appropriate size and I'm just going to hit my F5 for my thinner stroke. And I'm going to hit it twice. So the more you hit it the darker your line will be. So let's go ahead and follow the sketch. Use my anchor points to give the direction that I need to go. And I always want to make sure that I'm breaking into the prior line. This will give me a nice cohesive look with my lines. So, the edge is going to be thinner, and the middle is going to be the thickest, and the end is going to be thin again, so I want to keep that in mind. Now, as I work, I'll get more and more comfortable with knowing where the lines are going to start and where they're going to end. And so, my work, it'll improve. You'll see very easily but when you work and you use this technique, you'll get the hang of it and you'll be able to be clairvoyant. You'll know where the line's going to to start and where it's going to end. And that's the good thing about it. So, the goal is ultimately to make sure that you're not caught up in the technique. I'll be using Photoshop as much as you are in making sure that you have strong lines. The lines are telling the stories you want them to tell, and that they're placed in the right place. So here's an idea that I want you to hold on to. The outside of the illustration should have thicker lines. The inside should have thinner lines. If you remember that, you should have a pretty comprehensive piece by the end. If you forget that, what'll happen is, your work won't have any weight. Everything will look the same, and that could be a little bit bothersome. So, thinner on the inside, thicker on the outside, so that's F5 on inside, and probably F6 on outside. A lot of this is going to be judgement calls, so it's going to be up to you how you handle it. As long as it helps your artwork, you can do whatever. There are no official rules. You don't have to do one thing or the other. What you want to do is make sure that your artist comprehends it, that when someone looks at it they understand what's happening. So I have a relatively small brush. I'm going to use F6 for the fine details. Just make sure that I get good form. And that I'm adding the strokes where I need to add the strokes. And I'm pulling and pushing my angle points to make sure that I get the control that I want. Oftentimes when I'm teaching, I'll remind students anyone who's watching my course, that you want to space your work out. Meaning, you don't want to just work in one spot and get to the final detail of that one spot. You want to bounce around. One of the thing's I'll remind you of, you'll always hear me say this during my courses, you want to go micro to macro. At times, but then other times you want to go macro to micro, meaning you want to start big and then go small. So I would suggest that right here is a medium, where we're going to get the medium details just so we can bring this to life. And then we'll go to the smaller details, the micro, which are the crosshatching or the hatching, and the macro once again which is the outside, we use thicker lines. So going to go head and stroke, and it's really the same technique over and over again. It's not a whole lot of new things that you have to learn and implement, it's really just a matter of having patience, setting your curves up, making sure that you're getting the right curves in the right place. Here, I'm going to definitely want to use my F6, my thinner stroke, because this is where the details lie. So, grabbing my tangents, making sure that my strokes are following. Now, you see that I went up to my opacity for my brush. And I want to make sure that it's at 100%. If I want my lines to be thinner I can bring them down to 47%, or 50%, 60%, whatever you're willing to try, but in this case, I want my lines to be completed so I'm going to make sure they're at 100%. You could just continue to work. And at the end of laying your strokes down you can just copy the layer and put it on top, and then you'll see automatically that your lines get darker. Or you can make sure that its at a 100. So if you happen to start or you're halfway through a project you realize, hey man, I forgot to turn my brush tool up to 100, then you just go ahead and copy that layer, and then multiply it, or even just copying the layer, and putting it on our top will give you a much thicker line. So I zoomed out. Want to zoom back in. I want to see how is this going? How does this look? And I also want to make sure that I'm thinking in terms of not just laying the lines down wherever the pencil strokes say, but does it make sense visually. So I step back and look at it. How am I going to explain this curve? Where would the crease be? Because initially, this is a sketch. It's not a perfect drawing. Everything isn't right. So as I move along, I want to make sure that what I'm doing makes sense. Now, you see I have two layers here. I set those layers up just in case I make a mistake. I can go back and select a layer to change it. Later on, as I work in the project, I won't do the same thing. I'll start to build on one layer unless it's a different idea or a different part of the illustration, so in this case, we're all right. Two layers so far. And following the sketch, the parts that I got right, I'm going to go ahead and implement it and use my alt key, made a mistake there, there we go, and grab that tangent, and get a nice smooth art and notice I adjust the brush just a little bit to make sure that the width fits what it is we're trying to do. Now one thing I also want to remind you is make sure that you don't start at the very end of the inking that you have prior to. But that you break a little bit inside of the ink. And that way it looks like a connected line. So take your time. Make sure that you, while you're practicing, make sure that you follow those steps. Make sure, if you make a mistake, don't hesitate to just simply undo. In an undo, you can go in and readjust your pen tool and where you start. And then, hit F5 or F6 and make sure you have a clean connection. All right so I'm going to go ahead and continue to double check and make sure my lines are in a good place. And then we'll continue to ink our character when we come back.

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