Clean and Smooth line art?
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Thread: Clean and Smooth line art?

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    Clean and Smooth line art?

    Hey so I've been examining a new coloring style that actually incorporates the line art into the drawing (similar to Stanley Lau's). I'd like to know how I can make the line art so incredibly perfect that I can literally just take a paint bucket and fill in the basic color. Or, at least something smooth enough to simply turn into a multiply layer, rather than erasing it.

    I draw directly in Painttool SAI or Photoshop, so scanning/transparency is not an issue. However, the lines I draw are usually very sketchy, and if I try to go through with a single stroke, I end up Ctrl+Z'ing many times before getting the right line.

    I want the end product to be something like the image posted below.

    Credits to Stanley Lau.

    I don't have much trouble with anything aside from the smoothness of the lines.

    I'm also not looking to use the pen tool in photoshop or line layer tool in paint tool sai, because those take far too much time, and don't have much accuracy unless even more time is used.

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    Smooth linework takes a lot of practice, whether it is done digitally or not. When doing digital linework, it may help to play with the various smoothness parameters, like available in Flash. When pencilling, you may want to practice feathering, treating a line as a shape, filling it in with a really fine pencil (.3 mm). I know quite a number of people who cannot possibly do this digitally, and stick to good old pencil. Whichever you choose: it takes practice...

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    It does take a lot of time and precision to draw smooth line, whether you do it by hand or with vectors. There is no workaround, although with practice you can get faster.

    However, one thing that a lot of people overlook that helps with smoothness of the line is the artwork size. If you draw it on an A2 page and then shrink it down to A4 for printing, most of the natural hand wobble will be hidden and the line will look crisper and smoother. Even a small amount of downscaling can have this smoothing effect - as little as 20% have been shown to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aooi
    However, the lines I draw are usually very sketchy, and if I try to go through with a single stroke, I end up Ctrl+Z'ing many times before getting the right line.
    Nobody said inking would be easy. Work at a high resolution, ink on top of a tight underdrawing, zoom in to ink and fix your bad lines. Draw long smooth lines by locking your wrist and moving your whole arm.

    You might want to try practicing with traditional materials like brushes and dip pens. They're not very forgiving, so they force you to learn better control of your tools and give you an incentive to get rid of bad habits. Plus the lack of ctrl-z makes you a lot more careful.

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    Ah it actually makes me much happier that smooth line art is do-able by hand. I'm all up for practicing as much as possible to draw smooth lines, but I'd do anything to not use the pen/line art tools on PS/SAI.

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    paint tool sai is awesome if it comes to smooth yet energetic lineart. photoshop not so much. try some exercises before you start, like circles, horizontals/verticals/diagonals, put 2 marks on your canvas and connect them with 1 stroke, ellipses of varying width... etc
    do this for 5-10 minutes before you start, it will help your linework a lot.

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    "Have only 4 values, but all the edges you want." Glen Orbik
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    If I'm inking in Photoshop, I usually use the brush tool instead of the pen tool, and I draw at a much larger size than the final image will be, zooming in and out a lot depending on whether I'm inking long lines or details. When the images are shrunk down, the lines can look perfectly smooth even if they have slight variation at full size. I use a variety of brush settings depending on what I'm doing, but the main thing that helps minimize wobble for me is setting spacing to 0.

    And yes, this does take a lot of practice. I was using crowquill pens and real brush and ink for years before trying Photoshop, real brush and ink is possibly the best discipline for learning line control.

    And you need to be able to do sweeping arm movements to get long curves (a decent size Wacom tablet helps for this. You need room to sweep.)

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    Arshes Nei is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    If I remember correctly Artgerm actually uses Painter (and yes PS) 9 times out of 10 if they're inking in Painter it's either the scratchboard tool, or modified cover pencil. (old tutorial http://apps.corel.com/painterix/trai...rkid=tpc1006ft or http://celesse.deviantart.com/art/In...inter-22103422 if you like anime style)

    There is a trick to get smoother lines, sort of like how Sai lets you use the stabilizer.
    There's a Damping control in Painter's brush palette but like Sai the higher the damping, the higher the cost in performance.

    However, even with these helpful tools and you can even use something free like AZDrawing http://www.tabletpcfiles.com/56/azdrawing-2/ (Windows only) or Open Canvas 1.1 (Windows Only) - you still gotta practice

    As others have said - and there's there's a saying
    Good from Far, but far from good.
    Meaning that distance will give something a better visual perception - ie cleaner lines ...it's like the same in digital but with size reduction. You work at a larger size and shrink it down.

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