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Inking Tutorial With Photoshop

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Make line art is a tricky business, especially if you don’t use Wacom tablet. In this tutorial I am presenting how to inking with Path tool and brush tool to achieve G-Pen looks. The tutorial is pretty straightforward, before you begin it’s important you already familiar with Path tool works. Lets start.

Step 1: Preparing the sketch for Inking

I am going to use this sketch for our very first tutorial. Choose yours, and make sure you image mode is in Grayscale.

The sketches is quite messy, it’s hard to see the important lines. Lets clean it up. I am always using Level CMD/CTRL + L. Drag the 3 slider until your image doesn’t have any gray left. Feel free to copy the number (108, 1.00,229), but your result may vary.

Step 2: Inking Layer

Make a new layer, in this tutorial i named the ink layer INK. You can name the ink layer to any name you wish.

Step 3: Brush option

Now, choose Brush tool B. Open up Brush Preset Palette. I am usually use default Brush 9 for my drawing (mostly are 300 dpi).

Make sure Shape Dynamic and Smoothing are checked. This option will make the brush stroke solid.

Step 4: Adjusting the Brush

Still in Brushes Preset, choose Shape Dynamic. Adjust the Minimum Diameter, this option control the brush vanishing diameter. Try slide it to left and right and watch the preview. In this tutorial I am using 42%.

Step 5: The Path

Lets inking!! Make sure you are on INK layer. Pick Path tool, make patch by following your sketch. In the image below the inking start from her eye lash.

After you are happy with your path. Right click and choose Stroke Path. A window will appear, choose Brush on the drop down menu, and check mark Simulate Pressure.

Simulate Pressure option will make the ink stroke looks like using pen tablet with pressure. The result will be the same on any device, whether you are already using pen tablet, or ordinary mouse.

The result.

Additional Step: More about Path

When you ended a curve path, it will have Anchor control. To remove the control, pres Alt and then click the node.

Result image below. This control will give you a sharp path, for example when you inking pointy hair.

To make new path, open Path palette and deselect it by clicking on the spot marked as showed on image below. You also can save any paths you want, in case you want to revise your inking later.

This method is commonly used by all the Petz on inking process. At first you might feel a bit hard, but when you have mastered the path, the inking process will be faster and your ink result will be as smooth as professional mangaka. Here’s the final inked image.

Close up view.

Have a happy inking, have any question or comment? Feel free to shoot it out in our comment form below.