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Line work in photoshop

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Airbrush Art
Line work in photoshop
on Mar 28, 2007 at 5:10:01 pm

I hope I can explain properly what I am trying to achieve.
If I scan into photoshop a line drawing or pencil sketch & put it on a separate layer , how can I take out the white background of this piece of art so that I may put it over another layer . Say layer 2 has a gradient of color & layer 1 is my line art.And I want the gradient color to show through the line work,as if the line is sitting on top of the color but I don't want the color on the same layer as the line. Is there a way to do this.
If I take the magic wand tool & click on the line so that I can copy & paste it ,my problem is that unless all the lines are connected there will be line work missing.& if I select all, it selects everything including the white background.
Maybe this can't be done.



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wuzelwazel
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 28, 2007 at 11:06:51 pm

[Airbrush Art] "Maybe this can't be done."

This can definitely be done.

Duplicate your line art so that you can maintain your source. Desaturate your duplicated layer (cmd-shift-u, ctrl-shift-u)Then apply a Levels adjustment to it, if you're not familiar with this adjustment it should become readily apparent what it does if you play with it a bit (or you can bug me and I can talk about it in more detail). When you're applying your Levels adjustment keep this in mind: when we're done the black areas will be visible on the layer we're going to apply the mask to, white will be transparent and anything in between will be semi-transparent.

When you're done with your Levels adjustment hit cmd-I (ctrl-I) to invert the colors, white will become black and black will become white. Now select the entire layer (cmd-A, ctrl-A)and copy it (cmd-c, ctrl-c). Now select the layer you want to apply the mask to and go to Layers > Layer Mask > Reveal All. Now click on the Channels Tab (next to the Layers tab in the layers pallette). Select the last entry (should be "Layername Mask") and paste (cmd-v, ctrl-v). This should apply the copied mask to the layer.

Sorry if I left anything out, I don't have photoshop open and I'm trying to relate this from memory. There are probably at least a dozen other ways to accomplish this, but mine is my favorite (;


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Airbrush Art
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 28, 2007 at 11:34:09 pm

Thanks for the imput but all I got was to have a negative form of my line drawing copied to a different layer.
Did I do something wrong?



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wuzelwazel
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 29, 2007 at 12:04:02 am

You must have pasted the 'negative' onto a layer instead of into a layer's mask.

The part where you add a Layer Mask to the layer and select that mask's channel (in the channels tab in the layers palette) before you paste is of supreme importance =)



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Airbrush Art
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 29, 2007 at 1:31:57 pm

I am not getting this.I have done this over & over with the same results.I have a negative form of my line art .
I am trying to achieve my line art that has a transparent background.



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Airbrush Art
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 29, 2007 at 2:09:05 pm

I follow the steps many times,I even had someone else go thru the instructions.We cannot figure this out.
We have questions ,such as ,I do use levels all the time but why do I need to adjust a B&W line art ? Its already very black.
Is there another way to achieve a transparent background on my line art?
Thanks



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wuzelwazel
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 29, 2007 at 3:26:36 pm

[Airbrush Art] "I do use levels all the time but why do I need to adjust a B&W line art ? Its already very black."

I assumed that your line art was from a scan, in which case it most likely is not very black. For this to work your lines must be pure black and your background must be pure white (with some gradation allowable between) before you invert the colors.

When you have your inverted layer you copy and paste it into a new layer's mask channel (it must be masked before you can do this, Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All). Note that until that layer has something in its RGB channels you won't see anything (a transparent layer masked is still a transparent layer), so you could fill your new layer with red and then paste the black and white image into the Mask Channel.

If you're not familiar with Layer Masks this is probably where you're having trouble.



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wuzelwazel
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 29, 2007 at 3:29:22 pm

Oh, the other little detail that I must have left out is that like any other layer: you can only paste into the mask channel if it's visible.



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Airbrush Art
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 30, 2007 at 2:06:30 pm

Thank you for the help.But I have to say ,I guess I am not following the directions properly or not understanding.
One of my art directors gave me this info which works.
Open the image,copy it to a layer,take magic wand tool & click on 1 of the areas of the background,go to select,go down to similar,now every part of the backgroung is selected,then hit delete.Now there is no background & I can add a color to a different layer & put it behind it to show thru the line.
Thanks again



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wuzelwazel
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Mar 30, 2007 at 3:19:00 pm

[Airbrush Art] "Thank you for the help.But I have to say ,I guess I am not following the directions properly or not understanding."

I'm sorry if it's some part of my explanation that's confusing. I tried my technique last night and it worked fine. Do you use layer masks regularly?

[Airbrush Art] "Open the image,copy it to a layer,take magic wand tool & click on 1 of the areas of the background,go to select,go down to similar,now every part of the backgroung is selected,then hit delete.Now there is no background & I can add a color to a different layer & put it behind it to show thru the line.
Thanks again"


This does work, but it doesn't give you as much flexibility as a Layer Mask, erasing/deleting the data means it's gone, masking it means it's not visible. I'm not a big fan of using the magic wand, but even if you do decide to use it you can use Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection when you have your selection instead of hitting the delete key. This gives you more power to flesh out subtleties in your mask (you can use levels on the mask to increase or decrease opacity of a certain part, or you can use any filters on it... Gaussian blur comes to mind). It's all about maintaining your source imagery and giving yourself flexibility.

I'm curious, did you get to the part where you can see the mask channel you created on the new layer? At that step you're pretty much done.





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Vincent Rosati
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Apr 1, 2007 at 10:24:16 pm

It sounds like you want to take B&W line art and turn the 'line' into a negative shape that will allow a color background to show through?
As wuzelwazel described, there are many ways to achieve this in Photoshop.

You might describe the following as 'destructive' methods, as you'll actually delete or permanently alter the layer.
Masking, on the other hand, can be non-destructive, as you retain all of the image data - but it's more complicated.

Delete to achieve composite
-Open the line art in Photoshop, duplicate the layer, and hide the original background layer as a backup.
-To delete the 'line' you will use the Wand tool. Enable the wand tool and deselect 'Contiguous', this will select all relevant pixels in the document instead of only the connected shapes. Otherwise you would need to Wand+Shift click to add all of the disconnected line parts into your live selection.
-Delete the selection
-Paste your color background into a new layer, beneath the line-art layer.

I think the 'Contiguous' setting was your original issue?
Once you have created your live wand selection, you might want to look at the main menu under 'Select', and experiment with modifying your selection using options such as; Feather, Modify, Grow, etc.

OR \

Multiply to achieve composite (very easy with nice photographic qualities)
-Prepare your Photoshop file with you color background on the bottom layer and you B&W line art on the top layer.
-Click the line-art layer and Select/All. Next, click-Image/Adjust/Invert.
-Finally, back to the Layers palette. With the inverted line art layer, change the blend mode from Normal to Multiply.


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Airbrush Art
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:32:03 am

No Maybe this is the problem ,I do not want my line turn into a negative shape.
All I asked was how do you take the white background out of a line drawing that has been scanned so that if I want to put a color on a different layer ,it will show through so that the line art is sitting on a colored background instead of white.
Lets forget it . An art director of mine gave me the easy solution which I described in the earlier messages.
Thanks for the help.



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skinny1
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Apr 12, 2007 at 6:01:31 pm

ok, I know you gave up but there is a way easier way to do all of this, it's a feature of Photoshop that many people don't seem to know about and is made just for your case.

Take the line art layer and place it above the gradient layer.

Double click to the right of the line art layers name in the layers palette, just that blank white space that is there. This will open Layer Styles.

In the layer styles dialog you should be on the section labeled 'Blending Options:Default'. If not, just click there in the left column.

In that portion of the dialog at the bottom there is a section labeled 'Blend If: Gray' below this are two sliders.

In the first slider (labeled 'This Layer') grab the white triangle and move it to the left.

Poof! All the white is now transparent. You may have some gray around the edges of your line art so hold down the Option key (Alt on a PC) and grab that same white triangle again, now it will break into two parts. Adjust these as needed until your lines look smooth and contain only the parts you want.

Some levels may help here as well if you can't get any of the fringing off, just eliminate the white in levels and you should be cool.

Hope this helps.

-Matt



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Vincent Rosati
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Apr 12, 2007 at 7:47:17 pm

THX. I wasn't aware of that. : )


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scott butzer
Re: Line work in photoshop
on Nov 1, 2010 at 7:34:57 pm

Grey scale/or rgb
Channels-top bar-grey: command select layer
Go back to normal layers
Create new layer
Invert
Fill with color


My bro sent me this, and so long as the line work is solid (ink) this works like a charm.


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