How to get smooth line art?

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Color Wheel
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How to get smooth line art?

Post by Color Wheel » 08 Jun 2012 04:13 am

(Not sure if this should go here or in the art board. Eh.)

I'm working on the line art for my next project, and I'm having all sorts of trouble. I'm using a tablet to trace scanned line art drawn on paper, but my lines aren't turning out nearly as smooth as I want them.

I just want to hear how you guys go about line art - how much you zoom in, how big the image itself is. brush size, ect. Any help is appreciated!~

TCStarwind
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Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by TCStarwind » 08 Jun 2012 08:51 am

For my "fancy" pictures, I use Illustrator's paintbrush tool with this method starting with step 2. Photoshop doesn't take hand jitter inter consideration when you're using it, so things can get wobbly. Illustrator does, and you can even go back in and edit lines without redrawing them.

That said, I've heard good things about MangaStudio, which is more like Photoshop but also does account for hand jitter and smooths out linework. It's best for black/white images, so if you use this one, you'll have to export your lines back to photoshop if you're doing a color piece. I haven't tried it myself, though.

As for PS, I zoom in way too much... o-o Usually at least 200-300%. I make all my images at 300dpi. Brush sizes will vary depending on actual image size. I use around 15-20 pixels for a 8.5x11 piece, if I recall correctly. If you're making a poster-sized image, you may need to go larger.

I just really hate inking with PS, so if you have the means and time, I think you should definitely try out Illustrator. Sorry this is all very general advice. If you have other questions, I'll try to answer them as best as I can.
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Jazzy
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Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by Jazzy » 08 Jun 2012 08:30 pm

Another way to get smoother lines is to draw each line a lot faster. Instead of slowly tracing along a line like you're playing The Buzzer Game, try to do quick, sweeping strokes. I tend to use programs like Painter which won't smooth lines for you, and that's how I do smooth lineart.

Larkspurlane
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Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by Larkspurlane » 08 Jun 2012 11:40 pm

Zoom in a lot, even if your hand moves the wigglage will be minimal when you're zoomed out. And then clean up pixel by pixel.

If you're really shaky, some people do really cool stuff with the pen tool, assuming you have photoshop! http://acaraluv.deviantart.com/art/line ... l-21814747 -- I don't think I'd have the patience though!

OR, just ditch lineart entirely... I myself am far too lazy to do it :D (this is however a cop-out answer)
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Aqua
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Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by Aqua » 09 Jun 2012 01:48 am

I find these things help me to get smooth lines:

- As Jazzy suggested, you'll get better results with quick strokes. If part of your line is off or overshoots, you can erase the troublesome parts.
- Try drawing by moving your arm as well, and less your hand. It may help with steadiness.
- Make your original drawing twice the size that the final product will be. Shrinking the drawing helps to smooth out imperfections.
- Zoomed in may also help if you don't want a giant drawing.
- Use the pen tool for difficult lines, if your program has it. Good for long curvy lines like tails.
- Some programs have settings to help stabilize lines, like SAI or Flash. You could try these as well.

Hope that helps. :)

Color Wheel
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Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by Color Wheel » 09 Jun 2012 04:06 am

Thanks a lot guys! The big thing was using quicker strokes.

A quick question: In general, would you guys say thicker or thinner lines look better? My digital style's somewhat Subeta like, if that helps.

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Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by Aqua » 09 Jun 2012 06:41 am

I think that's more of a personal preference/style choice. I do thick line, thin lined, lineless.. Whatever it feels would suit the picture or I'm in the mood for. When I did subeta artwork I think it was normal or on the thin side most of the time (this is post subeta-artist but http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltneq ... o1_400.png).

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Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by Color Wheel » 10 Jun 2012 08:40 pm

I think I finally figured out something that works. Thanks a bunch to all who offered advice!~

cotton

Re: How to get smooth line art?

Post by cotton » 11 Jun 2012 09:41 am

I've been struggling with this problem myself. Try switching to the Ink tool - it makes much smoother lines, and the size-pressure control is better if you're using a tablet.

(You'll have to change the settings to get rid of the calligraphy look - set everything at zero except Size, which should be about 1.0 in Adjustment and 0.8 in Sensitivity. Also, brush shape should be the default circle.)

Jazzy's edit: This user was a spammer, so I've deleted their account (their signature was trying to sell designer clothes of questionable authenticity, as was their website link) but I've left this post up in case it's actually useful :P

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