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Thread: need help inking in photoshop

  1. #1

    need help inking in photoshop

    I own a cintiq and photoshop. I've managed by force of will and long hours to get decent inking results, however I think I'm missing some basic information that's critical to this specific task. Most of the time.... 1. My lines are wobbly unless I magnify the image way-way-way up and 2. pixelated, grey, unsmooth lines. I fix these issues by magnifying and redoing, which I'm sure is part of the deal always.

    I feel like my settings are fundamentally off. Maybe there are very specific brush settings, hardnesses etc...? I know feelings have nothing to do with computers however.... I would be comforted if I could follow someone else's process from preference settings onward and then move on to trial and error from there. I'm interested in a tutorial on digital inking for pros. and I'm broke because I spent all my dough on tools.

    Advice...?

    Sincerely,

    stupified stylus

  2. #2

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    My advice:

    Don't use Photoshop for inking. It wasn't really designed for it and as you've discovered, you'll have to really wrestle with it to get results.

    I know you said you're broke, but scrape together $50 and buy the debut version of Manga Studio. It's a program specifically designed to simulate inking and it does a damn fine job, IMHO. It has adjustable levels of correction to smooth out your brush strokes and is generally very user friendly.

    Just my humble advice. Mileage may vary.

  3. #3
    Thanks Repo Man,

    Thanks for the advice. I'll see if I can pick up a trial copy on line. I can't find any tutorials or the like online for photoshop inking so I guess it's a non-entity.

  4. #4
    i agree. manga studio has some great inking aspects... and some the new features in 4.0 EX are great. see my dev art (sig, shameless plug) for some examples of manga studio inks.

    or click these for some animated gifs of inking
    http://img360.imageshack.us/img360/8...tedinkszk2.gif
    http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/7...animategn2.gif
    Last edited by angeltread; 02-04-2009 at 06:57 AM. Reason: added some animated gifs

  5. #5
    Ma-Ma's not the law... I'm the LAW! [SUPPORTER] 50%grey's Avatar
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    Also just picked up this new book by one of our penciljack members on Manga Studio and it is great.

    Manga Studio for Dummies
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    50% grey Folder of Drawing Tips and Tricks

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  6. #6
    Testing... for Science. [SUPPORTER]
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    Ha! I had no idea there was a Dummies book for it.

    I tout it as my weapon of choice for linework. It doesn't do a lot that PS can't (it does have some tricks up the sleeve), but it's specialized and focused and that brings benefits.

    Also, relatively cheap in comparison. Take it from me, if inking and ink drawing is your primary concern, you can do a LOT with Manga Studio Debut. The EX edition comes with many goodies, but you don't need them to handle basic inks, and as any traditional inker can show you, there's a LOT that can be done with nothing more than the right inking techniques.
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  7. #7
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    I used PS for 3 issues of my comic and last night I just completed issue 4 which I did entirely with MangaStudio Debut 4-- I will never go back to using PS for inking.

    MS Debut is well worth the $50, and unless you're die-hard interested in vector inking (which, considering you're using PS now, probably not), you're not going to really miss anything from EX. The only real bummer between EX and Debut is that you can't export to TIFF. So, your files may pass through PS yet!

    MS will totally solve your wobble issue, which in turn, will allow you to work at a higher dpi if you so choose. In addition to that, MS is designed with tablet users in mind (duh!), so a lot of the UI is laid out so that you can do everything more conveniently with your stylus in hand, so you won't be itching to do keyboard commands (or navigating a bunch of drop down menus) while you're drawing. And example would be when you have a selection made, the common actions associated with selections (clear inside, clear outside, transform, fill, etc) show up as buttons to choose from right below the selection. This is immensely handy for me as I work on a convertible tablet PC, and don't have access to my keypad.

    One other good thing is that, at least debut version 4, has built in lettering tools that are pretty decent and VECTOR.

    Overall-- its a handy streamlined experience. Its saved me time, and allowed me to make much better work!

  8. #8
    Testing... for Science. [SUPPORTER]
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    Wobbles and rubberbands athe two most common problems I see with digital inks. Rubberbanding is when the computer hiccups and draws a straight line between two points, usually because the pen has moved but the intervening points were no captured (so it draws a straight line between them), and sometimes because the canvas is too far zoomed out and the ratio between actual movement and interpreted stroke on the canvas has become too great (example, you're zoomed out all the way on an 10x15 document, but you're working on a 4x5 tablet, and so when you move your hand two inches the computer has to translate that into a stroke 8 inches long).

    Wobblies, I think, are the opposite end of the spectrum. While making slow strokes, the computer is interpreting too much information, capturing every quiver of your fingertips and translating that into data. Manga Studio specifically has a setting for the brush and pen tools to help counteract this, but I find that for both problems the general solution is to ZOOM IN.

    Just like we often lean over the page as we work, it's a good idea to zoom in on the area where you're drawing, move around the page with the hand tool, and get in close with the brush. Pull out to observe the overall results, but push in to work on them.
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  9. #9
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    When I inked on a desktop (not my tablet PC) I had a fairly large monitor, and then not only got a sizable chunk of the artwork visible while zoomed, but also I had room to make the navigator (this was with PS, but i think you can do the same with MS) opened huge so I could preview how the inks were looking on the whole page.

    When you get all zoomed in, you can't really keep and eye on what you were doing for the rest of the page, or crap... even panel. When I was working on a smaller monitor I would get in the zone and just ink the crap out of something and then zoom out and a lot of my line weight choices were kind of odd cause I didn't have reference to what I was doing in the rest of the drawing.

    Just some more thoughts.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mattchee View Post
    When I inked on a desktop (not my tablet PC) I had a fairly large monitor, and then not only got a sizable chunk of the artwork visible while zoomed, but also I had room to make the navigator (this was with PS, but i think you can do the same with MS) opened huge so I could preview how the inks were looking on the whole page.

    When you get all zoomed in, you can't really keep and eye on what you were doing for the rest of the page, or crap... even panel. When I was working on a smaller monitor I would get in the zone and just ink the crap out of something and then zoom out and a lot of my line weight choices were kind of odd cause I didn't have reference to what I was doing in the rest of the drawing.

    Just some more thoughts.
    I work on a Cintiq and use my iMac as a secondary display when working in MS. A good trick that you can do in both MS and PS is to go to Window > New Window, and it'll open the file you're working on in a second window that you can keep zoomed out on your secondary monitor. MS shows changes in real time, but PS only updates the other window once you've finished laying down a stroke.

    It's a useful trick even if you don't have two monitors though, as long as your screen is big enough to keep the second window off to the side.

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