For his sample file, Deke uses a scanned pencil-sketched comic strip reminiscent of art he drew in his youth:
The first step is to get rid of some color effects that were created during the scanning process. Because this unwanted color is living in the Blue channel, Deke uses the Photoshop Channel Mixer to reduce the effects by mixing in greater values of the Red and Green channels. This process also creates an opportunity for Deke to darken the outlines of his characters.
Next, he strengthens the black outlines with a Levels adjustment:
Then Deke applies the Despeckle filter to help reduce the noisy edges around the drawing caused by the JPEG compression, and creates a white rectangle to cover the edge of the drawing paper that reveals where the scanned paper ends and the scanner itself starts.
One advantage of drawing digitally is the ability to reconsider details. Before taking the time to redraw the cartoon with pencil, Deke brushes white around the eyes of his square character, who he’s affectionately named Jello, so he can redraw the eyes digitally.
After switching his brush color to black, Deke redraws a more refined expression of gelatinous rage and reconstructs the side of Jello’s face that got cut off by the scan:
In the end, you get all the benefits of drawing in the real world, and refining in the digital one. To see every nuance and detail of the process, check out the movie Turning a pencil sketch into digital ink at the top of this post, or on lynda.com.
For members of lynda.com, Deke also has a member-exclusive movie this week called Adding a graph-paper background, where he shows you how to give your digitally inked characters a unique background.
Tags: Adobe Photoshop