converting sketch to line art

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  05 May 2009
converting sketch to line art

I was just wondering if there is anyway to convert a sketch into a polished line art using photoshop?
  05 May 2009
It doesn't really work that way. What people usually do is to fade the sketch layer so it's very faint, and then start another layer and draw the clean lines on another layer--it's like the digital version of using traditional light boxes.

It may be possible to tweak the sketch to get it somewhat closer to a clean drawing, but the sketch itself would have to be pretty clean to begin with, and very rarely do people sketch that clean--that's the whole point of doing the sketch--to get a rough version down fast.
  05 May 2009
I think what you may be looking for is the "Stamp" filter, but like Robert said you will need to make sure the pencil sketch is pretty clean first. Use the "levels" before using the "Stamp" filter to remove any lighter lines so the stamp filter doesn't pick them up.

I hope it works out for you.
  06 June 2009
I would use photoshop in conjunction with illustrator if you have it. Clean up the sketch a bit, then adjust the levels and finally use illustrator's Live Trace. This is convenient because you can use vector illustration tools afterward to adjust the result.
  06 June 2009
i think the best is to get urself a pressure-sensitive graphic tablet..

it helps alot n doesn't give u sore/stiff wraist wen using a mouse

believe u me.. im suprise alot of my design frens don own a tablet
  07 July 2009
If you want to do things the traditional way, sketch on cardstock with a Non-Photo Blue colored pencil (also called Non-Repo Blue), then ink over it using a quill and sumi or indian ink. You can find this stuff at pretty much any art supply store.

After that, you scan it in and kill the blue using hue/saturation. Then you bring it to the top, use levels to make the whites pure white, set the layer to multiply, and paint in another layer underneath.

Also, if you don't already have a tablet, consider getting a wacom bamboo. They're pretty cheap compared to the higher end models (eg. $80 vs $400).
  07 July 2009
Originally Posted by velenosangue: If you want to do things the traditional way, sketch on cardstock with a Non-Photo Blue colored pencil (also called Non-Repo Blue), then ink over it using a quill and sumi or indian ink. You can find this stuff at pretty much any art supply store.

Also, if you don't already have a tablet, consider getting a wacom bamboo. They're pretty cheap compared to the higher end models (eg. $80 vs $400).

r yes tats wat i usually do.. but i ink it digitally.. save the sketch!!
but for the initial sketch i tend to use different color.. cos i can't really see the blue as i
had a myopic degree of >500!! so i use orange more

for tablet u can try getting 2nd hand ones.. since Wacom came out with ituos 4 the other series shld had dropped price in the 2nd hand market
  08 August 2009
Then there's always the pen tool, while it has a steep learning curve, it gives pretty smooth lines.
  08 August 2009
converting sketch to lineart


I've been shadowing this site for ages and your post prompted me to be more active .

I had the same exact question a while ago. I had a lot of scanned images that I wanted to color, but had to deal with the white of the background before I could do anything else. I tried the multiply option but didn't find it satisfactory. I wasn't good enough with the pen tool to do it much justice. I definitely wanted to have the lineart on it's own layer without anything else getting in the way.

After multiple online searches and loads of false starts, I finally found the solution on... YouTube .

I have Photoshop CS3 and am using a Mac, so you may have to tweak the directions. Also, these directions are specifically to isolate the lineart that you already have, from the white of the background. You mentioned "polished" lineart in your original post - I hope this is what you meant, or I'll have been long winded for no reason. :P

Instructions for changing the background of a scanned sketch from white to transparent.

NOTE: Before I begin, I usually duplicate the sketch (background) layer to preserve the original (just in case I screw up . Then I add a layer under the duplicate layer with a color. This enables me to see the lineart when all the steps are completed - you can't always see it on a white background if there isn't a high enough contrast in the levels.

1. Apple+L
- to adjust the levels of the line art

2. Apple+ALT+2
- Dynamic selection of the white background

- removes all of the white background (you should see the color layer underneath).
- NOTE: some lines may appear as if they’ve been deleted

4. Lock the transparency of the layer
5. D for default colors (black and white)
7. Apple+D to deselect all.

I based my instructions on this YouTube video:

I also found another video with different instructions.

Hope this works for you.
  08 August 2009
Not saying a lot here that others have not, but I'm just wanting to cast my vote for a few of the techniques/ideas...

IMHO your going to get something that looks boring or like crap in most situations if you don't heed the warnings of others and do a light pencil or non-photo blue sketch first, then either ink it right on the sheet or on tracing paper, or then do it in PS/flash with a pen tablet.

The problem with pen tablets is that unless you are comfy with one, and have a large one, your proportions and accuracy can be worse than if you drew on even a letter sized sheet of paper. I often, unless pressed for time, use a sheet of paper to rough it out in non-photo blue first, then snap a photo of it with a digital camera and take that into PS, Illustrator, or Flash (what ever is needed) to "ink the lines". Best part about this method is it gives me an excuse to get off the computer and go to the park, or down to a coffee shop and draw.

IMHO it's a pain to re-create line width variations without a pen tablet. If you're looking for just clean, mono-width lines, then by all means grab the pen tool. I'd do that on several different layers for different levels of detail/line widths to help give it more depth and interest.

You mileage with this will vary depending on how "good" you are at placing line widths when drawing anyway IMHO.

As others have said you can also take your non-photo and inked image into illustrator and use live-trace to get the lines you want. Live trace often needs the settings tweaked a lot though to get the right look IMHO and is not the most straight forward way of doing it. That said, having it in vector at the end, with all the nice "analog" line variation etc. is nice.

Last edited by mocaw : 08 August 2009 at 10:56 PM.
  08 August 2009
I use this
  08 August 2009
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