Layers & Coloring
Photoshop tutorials including Photoshop and Fireworks. Tutorials for digital image editors and digital colorers. How to use Adobe Photoshop, how to digitally color images and artwork.My name is Jason Williams, I am the creator of the online comic strip Heroes Inc. I am giong to go over the basics of coloring a comic in Photoshop 6.0. This is my method and by no means the only or best way to do it. To me it is a simple and effective way, but more importantly it looks good. Now let's get started.
I always start by scanning in my line work at 300dpi in black and white mode. I use a UMAZ Astra 3400 scanner. I like the UMAX software and they are very reliable. After I have scanner it in, I convert it to RGB mode. Don't forget, you can click on a picture to see the full view in a new window.
Now I seperate my Line art from the background. [SELECT > ALL, EDIT > CUT, EDIT > PASTE]. Now your line art is on a new layer, you can change the name to the LINEART layer if you need to, or another name of your liking. Next I create a new layer and set it's mode to MULTIPLY. [LAYER > NEW, MODE > MULTIPLY]. This lets you paint behind the LINE art. A much better method than using the paint bucket.
Now I lay down all my major and repeating colors roughly. This is called laying down your FLATS. I do this so I can use my eye dropper tool to select the color as I go instead of trying to remember what shade of the blue I just used. After I lay down my FLATS, I go back and clean up all the colors, and make it tight.
Now you are ready to start shading. This is the part where you really have to on what you feel comfortable with. I start by using my Magic wand tool to select an area, and then my airbrush tool set to about 12% to 20% pressure to start shading and adding highlights. This is a trial and error part till you get it right. I always save my Line art in a seperate file so I can always go back. I do the same with the FLATS so I can go back if I don't like the shading that I am doing.
Well, that is the basic overview of how I color my comics and comic strip. If you have any comments, questions, or a better way; please let me know. I am always looking for better and easier way to get things done. If your not to busy, go check out Heroes Inc.

- Jason Williams

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