Setting up layers.

Making layers is easier then you think. Here’s a simple process that I do. There are many different ways of doing this and no one way is the right way, they all are.

1. After you’ve scanned, trimmed, scaled and tidied your line work, you need
to select the page and copy it. But before make sure it’s been converted to
CMYK or RGB mode so you can apply layers and take advantage of

Image>Mode>CMYK or RGB

Now we copy the file.


3. Now go to the channels tab in the layers window. There should be 4
channels if you chose CMYK or 3 if you went for RGB. Now we’ll make a
new channel. Click the small down arrow in top corner of layers window.

Select new channel and name it lineart, inks or whatever you want. A new
channel should now appear in the channels tab. Now we’ll paste the
lineart on to this channel.


Now click on the CMYK/RGB channel at the top and return to layers by
clicking layers tab.

4. Now select all and clear the image. Don’t panic, it’ll be back!


5. Now we’ll load the art as a selection.

Select>Load Selection

A window should open with a selection named lineart, inks or whatever
you named it in the channels list. Select OK.
Your image should appear as dots or marching ants.

6. Now we’ll fill this with a light colour. Select a light blue from the colour
swatches. Now click on the paint bucket tool in the tools window. Set the
tolerance to 255 so it fills everything. Click the paint bucket inside the art.
Your image should now appear in light blue.

7. Whilst the image is still selected we’ll create a new layer where your black
linework will appear.

Click on the layers menu and create a new layer as you did a new
channel. Name the new layer Linework, inks or whatever.

Now pick the colour black from the colour swatch and again click
the paint bucket inside the artwork. Your art should now appear
as black inks.

Now deselect the art.


Return you paint bucket tolerance back to 111.

8. Save your file.

9. You can now colour on the background layer without affecting your black
& white linework. If you’d prefer, as I do, to remove the blue line
from the background layer then simply clear it or use the eraser tool to
get rid.

I hope you find these two posts helpful, now get drawing!

A quick guide to scanning and setting up layers for colouring

Scanning A3 art with a A4 scanner can be a pain but this may help. It’ll be short and sweet and will also include a guide to setting up layers for colouring in part 2. Again this will be short and to the point.

Here’s how to scan a A3 page of b/w line work.

1. Scan half a page in greyscale at 600dpi

2. Rotate canvas so it’s the correct way up.

3. Adjust the levels so black IS black and white IS white.
(When the window opens there will be a graph with 3 little arrows. 1 black, 1 grey, and 1 white. Adjust the black and white to your preference. You may also need to trim the bottom of the image if it’s warped from scanning. Trim tool in tool bar on left of screen.)

4. Create room at the bottom of image to accommodate the other half of
the image. (Make sure your colour palette is set black/white)
Image>Canvas Size
Click on the top middle arrow and double the image hight. You should now have half a page of white space below your first image.

5. Scan second half of image and repeat instructions 2 & 3. (Again, you may need to trim any warped image from the top of the page.)

6. Now copy and paste the second image onto the first.
Image 2. Edit>Copy
Image 1. Edit>Paste

7. Now lower the opacity of the lower image via the opacity slider in the
layers window. Bottom right.

8. Now use the move tool in the tools window to move the second image
until it’s lined up with the first. Use the zoom tool get get into the detail.

9. Once it’s lined up and your happy with the levels you can the flatten the
Layers>Flatten Image.

10. Trim the sides and top if needed.

11. Scale the image to whatever size it will be printed. Also adjust the
resolution to 300dpi to save on file size.
Image>Image Size>Hight>Resolution

12. Save your image.

Basic I know, but I hope it helps anyone out there who needs this kind of info. Part 2 tomorrow will cover setting up layers for colouring.