Scanning Line Art:

To help your final scan..make sure your line art is as clean as possible..garbage in , garbage out. Here I have an inked drawing I scanned in greyscale at 300dpi (reduced to 72dpi for web loading purposes) The lineart is fairly clean but a bit grey and some of the pencil smudging is still visable from my lousy erasing job.

Adjust the lineart

The trick to getting a good clean blackline out of a greyish scan is to get good with the "Curves" dialog box. Hit "Ctrl M" or Command M for Mac. click on the diagonal line in 2 places and drag it into an "S" shape like you see here.

I pull the lower part down to increase the black values while pulling up on the upper part to drop out the greys and straggly lines. Watch your lineart while you do this so you can adjust the curve accordingly...try'll make more sense when you're actually doing it.


See how much crisper it is already? At this point you can make an alpha channel out of it or just copy it to it's own layer and change the layer mode to "Multiply" and paint on a layer beneath it.

The Multiply mode makes the white transparent. Refer to the Blending Modes and Coloring Lineart tutorials for more details

It's ok for most folks to stop at this step. If you have Adobe Streamline, you can continue to the next step.


If I am converting my line art to Vector format in Streamline (which I highly recommend doing if you have the software) I scan the lineart at 600 steps 1 and 2 to clean up the scan then import it into Streamline. I choose the "Inked drawing" default settings and tweak the threshold allowance until I get a nice rich line. I'll take the vector lineart into Adobe Illustrator for some final adjustments if necessary then Place the vector EPS into Photoshop for coloring


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