How To Clean Up Lines In Photoshop | How To Clean Up Scanned Line Art In Adobe Photoshop

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How To Clean Up Scanned Line Art In Adobe Photoshop

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(INSTRUMENTAL Music) – [Instructor]. Hello, and welcome to this DesignCut’s video tutorial today. We’re looking at cleaning up scanned line art. So I have a line art drawing here That has been scanned at a high resolution. I suggest that you always start with a high-resolution scan and try and get it as clean as you can in the scan itself, but this needs quite a lot of cleaning up. One reason for this is that I want this line art to be on a separate layer. So I want to be able to, for example, put something behind it. So it needs to be extracted from the paper background. It also needs quite a bit of cleaning up. We’ll start by making the background layer a regular layer. In the most recent versions of Photoshop, you just click on the lock icon. In earlier versions, you need to double click the background layer just to turn it into a regular layer. We’re going to extract the white paper from this first of all. And to do this, we’re going to use some magic want tool? It’s really the simplest tool to use for this purpose. But the magic want tool has two really important settings that are going to be vital to us and that’s the tolerance and contiguous. Contiguous means that when you click on the magic want tool, for example, if I click in the half here, The selection of pixels is limited to a group of pixels that are all attached to each other. So you can see I can get the ones inside the had, but nothing else. So we want to disable contiguous so that when we click on some white paper, we’re gonna select all the white paper in the document, And the tolerance is important too. This varies between zero and 255 And it says to Photoshop. When I click on a pixel, I want you to take some additional pixels of colours similar to the one. I’m clicking on that are in the document. So the bigger the tolerance. The more pixels are going to be selected. So, for example, if we chose 255 and if we click on the document, then the entire document has been selected. Black everything. So we obviously don’t want the really high value, but we don’t want a really low value either. Because if we select the value of say one, I’m just gonna deselect my selection here and click on the document. Then we’re only going to get pixels that are pretty much the colour of the one under the cursor and very, very close to it. You can see here. We’ve got lots of marching. Ants all over the place. So other pixels off colour are not being selected, which are colours that we really would want to get rid of. So for a document like this or an image like this, I would start at something like 15. That’s a pretty good value for picking up the variety in the paper, but not the black. So I’ll press Control or Command + D to deselect the selection I already have, and I’ll click once in the document And that selected the white pixels. At this point, if I’m pretty happy with that, I’ll just press Delete because I’ve got a layer, which is a regular layer. So if I press Delete, the white pixels are going to disappear. And then Control or Command D to deselect that selection. I’ll add a new white-filled layer beneath this, so I don’t see the transparency mesh. To do that Control or Command. Click on the new icon, and the layer appears immediately under the existing layer. White over here is my background colour, so I can press. Control + backspace. Command +. Delete on the Mac to fill that layer with white. If white were the foreground colour, it will be Alt + backspace. Option + Delete. So let’s see how good our background removal was and there’s a very simple test for this. What we’ll do is select our line art layer and we’ll go to the FX icon here and choose Stroke And what we’ll do is make sure. We set a red colour or a colour that’s really, really obvious. We’re going to make it positioned in the centre. It’s really important that it’s in the centre, not on the outside or the inside. So make it in the centre and make it big enough that you can see the dots in the document. And I’m gonna make mine just a little bit bigger here. Okay, so I’ll click, okay. So let’s see what we just did. We took a layer that has some transparency on it. And we said to Photoshop around the edges of anything on this layer that has actual content whether it be black or grey, put a stroke. And so all these little dots are stray pixels. That’s really important, because if somebody, for example, bought this shape and they went to put a drop shadow on this clown, then each of these dots would have a dot shadow applied to it. And so the document wouldn’t be perhaps as they expected it to be. So this is what you do to clean up your line art. We’ll go to the Eraser tool and you want to select a circular eraser? So let’s go ahead and select a circle here and it needs to be 100% hardness. Do not put any softness on this at all, because it’s an eraser. I’m just gonna cranks the size up a little bit right now, but we’ll do it later as we work. So let me just check and see if I can actually see my eraser. No, I can’t, so I’m gonna increase its size a little bit. And what we’ll do is go over the document with the eraser. And everywhere we see a loose dot, we’ll put the eraser dead over the top of it and click once. This is why you have a hard eraser because you want to see where the brush is going to be erasing. So here, if I consider this to be a dot, I would be in big problems if I click the eraser right now because I’m gonna be eating into this other area over here. So I wanna make sure that my brush is resized so that it goes over the top of the dot there, but it doesn’t eat into the artwork. So basically, you’ll go around the document, removing the dots by just erasing over the top of them and then looking at the dots on the inside and outside here. You can see that there’s going to be a stray pixel in here. So I’ll just click over the top of it. I’m removing the stray pixel, but I’m not destroying any of the line artwork Now. If you have a lot of these dots, you might wanna go back and try your Magic Wand again and just see if you can get a better starting point, but you will expect to find some dots because the dots are actually helping you. What you’re doing is you’re not getting all the pixels. You’re just getting most of the pixels with the Magic Wand tool, so you’re not eating into the edges of your art work because you wanna protect some of this line work because that’s why you’re doing Hand-drawn. Drawing in the first place. No doubt is that they just have a different characteristic to them. So be protective of your line work and just assume that you’re going to spend a few minutes spotting these images. So I’m gonna go ahead and do that and remove all these dots and I’ll come back once. I’ve done that and we’ll go onto the next step. So I’ve gone ahead and spend a few minutes spotting this document. Exactly how many spots you take is up to you. I certainly suggest that you take out any spots that are loose around the character or the drawing, because they’re going to be really embarrassing to have in the document. But how close you come into the edges is a personal preference. Now I left a couple of pieces here. One of them is this bit here because there’s a simple way of doing that. With the Eraser tool, you can click once in the document and then Shift + click and then the eraser, like any other brush will paint a straight line. And so you can remove any edge detail very easily that way I find using the open and close square bracket keys as I work. Makes it very easy to change the brush size on the fly. Now what I didn’t remove, you might notice it. In here is any of the dots that appear inside black areas because they’re not straight pixels. They’re holes in the black. So there are areas at the black where I didn’t quite colour it in exactly. And so we don’t want to start removing those. Because if we start removing those, they’re actually just gonna grow So. The more we start removing them, you can see that his entire nose is being eaten away here. So that’s not the solution for those areas. So I’ve done that now. I’m gonna go back and get the layer’s palette. I’m just pressing F7 to do that. At this point, we’ll just remove the strokes. So grab the stroke and drop it onto the trash can because you don’t need it any longer. All it was doing was being a reference point for lose pixels or stray pixels. So now you’ve extracted your line work from the background? You can go ahead and fix up these areas where there are pixels missing. If you want too, but you might find that. That’s actually the character that you want to give the piece. So that’s entirely up to you. If you want to get rid of them, I suggest you go to the Eye Dropper tool and sample the colour around here because it’s probably not black, but it’s probably something dark And then just go and get a brush a nice round brush and let’s just work with a hard round brush again and just spot these areas. So don’t paint over them. Because you don’t want to destroy any other texture around them, but you can see them pretty obviously, and you can just fix the worst of them or how the many of them you want to do for your own personal preference. You’re the artist! You just need to know how to fix these things up to your needs. Now, if we haven’t look in here, let’s just go in close. You might see that there’s a lot of colour noise in here. This has been scanned, not in black and white, but in colour And so there are all sorts of colours in here. If you don’t want that colour, if you just want it to be black and white and grey, then you can choose Image Adjustments and then just go to Desaturate. This is not the best tool for turning things into grayscale at any other time, but it works perfectly here. So you just go to desaturate it, which will give you black and grey pixels instead of colour noise, Which is what I had there. It’s gonna depend, though on how you scanned it. Now again you can see. These lines are grey and there’s a lot of texture in them. If you want them to be darker, here’s how you’re going to do it. Grab the layer that has the content on it and drag and drop it onto the new icon. So you end up with two layers. Go to the top most layer and set the Blend Mode to Multiply and that will darken up the lines. This is the before. This is the after. And if that’s not enough, just drag this top most layer that already has the multiply, blend mode on it and drop it onto the new layer icon, and you’ll get an extra multiplier. At some point, you’re not gonna get any change, but you can darken up the edges if you want to doing that. Once you’ve done that Control or Command + E on the top most layer just merges these down So it would merge it all down to a single layer. So we have line art and a separate background. This is now done to the point where you could do a little bit of cloning. Perhaps if you needed to fill in areas or if you were a little bit disturbed at some area or how it looked. But assuming that everything looks fine to you here right now what you might encounter What’s often encountered is that your lines aren’t heavy enough, and that’s a real problem because there is on the face of it. No, really easy solution. So I’m gonna show you what I do. When lines need to be thicken. I’ll target the line, work layer and choose Filter Other Minimum. This is a filter that is not here for the purpose of thickening up lines, but it does a really good job of it. You’ll want to set this to roundness, not squareness. With squareness you get a lot less value on this Radius slider. So I usually choose roundness. And now you can set a radius. And as you do that, your lines get thicker. So let’s just click OK here and then let’s do a before and after. So this is the before and this is the after. Obviously there’s a whole lot of variety between those two points. It’s not sort of this or that, but you can thicken up line work. Should you wish to do so using that filter? It’s Filter Other Minimum. Now you’re choosing Minimum because what you’re saying to Photoshop is? I want the minimum line weight to be this value. And if the lines aren’t that value already, then they’re going to be increased. The flip side is. If you want to thin your lines, you might get some value. I can’t promise that it’s going to work, but you can try it with Filter Other Maximum. Here you’re saying, I want my maximum line weight to be this value and you can bring your radial down really, really small. I’ve got 0.2 here. And you may get some value in thinning your lines. Try it! It often can save you from having to redraw your artwork. I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning these Photoshop techniques. Let us know what you think in the comments below and give us a thumbs up if you enjoy this tutorial. Until next time, I’m Helen Bradley for Designcuts.