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Photoshop workflow? Manually filling shapes...

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Edward WittlifPhotoshop workflow? Manually filling shapes...
by on Apr 4, 2012 at 8:42:16 pm

Hi!

I'm getting a little more used to Photoshop (I use CS5) but I'm still very much a newbie. I'm in the process of trying to color the line art of an animated short. I attempted to use the Fill tool, but because all of the black-and-white line art is anti-aliased, the fill tool leaves that thin little blurred line of anti-aliasing uncolored. I've tried to push the tolerance of the fill tool, but even when I've maxed out tolerance, there's still a little line of anti-aliasing that isn't filled in.

What I've ended up doing is basically coloring the line art manually, on a layer behind the line art. Given the hundreds of unique drawings in the short, it's a huge time sink. I know I'm probably wasting a lot of time, but for the life of me, I can't figure out any other way. Does anybody know a more efficient and effective workflow for coloring in the b/w line art?

Thanks, Photoshop sages! If my explanation is unclear, I'll reply with some screencaps to demonstrate, but I think y'all probably get the idea.


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Scott RobertsRe: Photoshop workflow? Manually filling shapes...
by on Apr 5, 2012 at 5:40:08 am

maybe use a smallish brush tool at 100% opacity on a new layer to "re-trace" an object and cover the line art, then fill that shape. Or try the "refine edge" tool which I think only works on a mask. Sounds like it's going to be a bunch of hard work if the original drawings are traditional pencil/or pen vs a digital method like a cintiq.

LittleBlackBird.net


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Edward WittlifRe: Photoshop workflow? Manually filling shapes...
by on Apr 5, 2012 at 4:39:02 pm

Yeah, that sounds about right. I guess I'm spoiled, I was hoping there'd be some technological magic I could employ. No way around doin' the hard work, I suppose. Thanks for the reply!


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Erik WaluskaRe: Photoshop workflow? Manually filling shapes...
by on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:10:27 pm

I'm assuming the line art is just black lines on a white background? If so, you could try this:
- Switch the blending mode of the line art layer to Multiply
- Create a new layer for your color fill and place it under the line art layer
- Use the magic wand tool to select an area you want to fill with color
- Go to Select>Modify>Expand and enter a small number like 1 or 2 to expand the selection
- Set the foreground color to the color you want to fill and hit Alt+Backspace (Cmd+Backspace on Mac) to fill the selection with color

You should now have a perfectly clean fill with no fringe because the edge of the color fill is covered by the black line art on top of it. You may have to play with the expansion amount to find the right value for the thickness of the lines. To save more time create a simple action to repeat the selection expansion by making a selection and then opening the Actions Palette (Alt+F9), creating a new action, pressing the record button and expanding the selection by the amount you want and hitting the stop button. Now instead of having to go through the menu every time you can just hit the play button for that action and it will expand the selection. You might even be able to create an action for the whole selection, expansion and fill process, depending on how much each image differs from the next. Just keep in mind that the action records where you click when you select with the wand tool and will repeat it in the same place.

HTH


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Erik WaluskaRe: Photoshop workflow? Manually filling shapes...
by on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:24:32 pm

BTW, you could also create an action to do the prep work like unlocking the background (alt+double-click to unlock), creating a new layer and placing it under the line art, setting the blending mode of the line art, etc., which should also save a bunch of time.


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