Ollie & Quentin Book

Ollie & Quentin Book
125 pages in full colour!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Converting Pencil Roughs into Line Artwork using Adobe Illustrator

I've had a bit of interest in my post about how I'm now using Adobe Illustrator to convert my pencil roughs into line artwork for use as final artwork. Anyone interested in this method might like to give this a go. It does very much depend on how tight your roughs are. Most of you do quite loose sketches in which case this may not work for you but for cartoonists like me this method will save you weeks a year.
Above is my finished rough as sent to my Editor for approval. I delete all the layers so I'm left with just the pencil layer which I save as a tiff file.Open Adobe Illustrator and place the pencil tiff file into a document.
With the placed file highlighted go to Object - Live Trace - Tracing Options
You'll need to play around a bit here. I suggest looking at the preset values first and see which result comes close to what you like then using that as your starting point play around with the different settings until you're happy. I saved mine as you can see.
Here's the traced file.
Here's the same file once the traced file has been expanded (Object - Expand) which gives you outlines you can play with. I prefer to do any changes once the file has been placed back into Photoshop though.
Here's that traced file placed back into my high resolution layered Photoshop file.
Here it is all colored up, again on a separate layer.
Play around and see if this can work for you. I can now 'ink' and color all 7 comics in one afternoon using this method. It just means I have to take a bit more care over my pencil roughs (which have always been quite tight as you can see). Good Luck!

1 comment:

hungrydog said...

It looks great - I wonder if any of your readers will even notice the switch.