So, I have people that have been bugging me to know how I work my magic. Usually I just flash a smile and say "a magician never relieves their secrets", but then I thought. Why the hell not?
Here is a little simple quick inking tutorial just for you my fine fury friends.
(And if none of this makes sense give me a break it is like three in the morning!)
1. Alright, lets start with a sketch. Lately I have been sketching right in my computer. I had to pull from an old class for a sketch. Load that bad boy into photoshop, I even like to drag the sketch into a new canvas that has a higher resolution. Then just size the sketch up until it fits. Doesn't matter if it gets blurry, we are going to ink over it anyways.
2. Next we have to clean this thing up. Now this sketch isn't that bad, but sometimes my sketches are awful. I mean bad! Looks like my dog tried to draw something. So this step will help get rid of unwanted, lighter lines so you won't get confused. (everyone knows I do.)
To clean up the sketch hit Ctrl+L to bring up the levels window. You want to slide your little arrows around until you have a nice clean looking sketch. Generally you want to lower the white and gray and maybe increase the black a little. Just start on the right and work your way to the left with the little arrows.
3. Alrighty lets set up your layers. Those awesome things that allow you to work all kinds of magic. (just follow the red boxes on the picture to see what I am talking about.) You want to create two new layers. You can do that by Shift+Ctrl+N or go to Layer>New, OR you can use the little piece of paper icon at the bottom your layer window.
Once you have your two new layers fill the one just above your sketch with white. Then lower the opacity to about 50% or lower (just look in the red box to see what I am getting at.) The second layer is going to be where we are putting our new outline. So go ahead and name it outline.
4. This step is just getting ready for the inking. Select your paint brush, make sure the hardness is set to 100% and that the pixels is set to 2. At this point also make sure your foreground color is black.
5. Now on to the inking. Using your pen tool (I heard that groan just stop it! The pen tool is the magic wand of all. So learn, like it, LOVE IT) go ahead and start to trace your sketch with your pen tool.
Pen Tool instructions:
to use your pen tool left click at the start of the line you want to trace. Then left click at the end of that line. To add points left click on the line you just made with the pen tool to add the points. To move the points hold down Ctrl while left clicking and dragging the point. You can also do this with the handles on the point to make a curve. To start a new line left click while holding down Ctrl. This will unselect the line and allow you to start a new one. (confusing right? Yeah you'll get it sooner or later, or go mad. J )
6. Once you have a few lines traced go ahead and right click with your pen tool still selected and select "Stroke Path"
A little window will pop up and you want to make sure it is set to brush. This is why we set our paint brush ahead of time. Click ok.
7. Now look at the pretty lines you made! Nice clean black inked lines. Now before you continue on your way you need to do away with those paths you created. So just right click and click on "Delete Path". Then you can start tracing the rest.
After a few hours (yes it will take you that long when you first start out. Especially if you are not used to the pen tool. Me, this outline took me ten minutes. Because I am awesome!)
At this point your done. You have a clean piece of line art and can go right into coloring.
BUT, I am picky about my work so I am going to take this all a little father.
8. See the ends of those nice little lines you made with your pen tool. The way they just end, yeah that annoys me. So we are going to do something about that. Using your easer (having a tablet helps at this point, but you can do it with your mouse if you have a steady hand.) set the hardness to 0% and ease portions of the edges to make them look tapered. This will give them a normal natural feel and flow.
Also while you are doing this. If you find areas where your lines don't connect where they should. Just grab your paint brush and fill it in.
Now see doesn't that look a lot better?
BUT I take my things a step farther (sometimes) and play around with line weight. To do that simply retrace lines you wish to make heavier. Then increase the size of the paint brush before stroking the path with the pen tool. It all really depends on the look you are going for, and how much time you want to dedicate to the project.
Hopes this helps a few of you.Till Next Time My Sexy Demon Minions!!