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How do you edit your illustration once you've scanned it in?

Discussion in 'Illustration Forum:' started by EmDesigns, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. EmDesigns

    EmDesigns New Member


    I've recently started doing illustration and want to know peoples techniques when scanning them in after drawing them out.

    Do you simply scan it in, get rid of the white background and change the contrast? Or do illustrators tend to use the live trace tool in illustrator, or do they trace over them with the pen tool?

    If you simply change the brightness/contrast then how do you get the background transparent in order to colour it in?

    It would be interesting to know peoples different techniques! I tend to find it hard to get rid of the white background when having scanned an image in so I tend to use the live trace tool in illustrator.

    Please let me know what techniques you use to get neat crisp lines after scanning them in!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  2. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    All that you have just mentioned are options to achieve this, it depends on the complexity of the illustration as to which technique is best. As for getting the background transparent, can't you simply scan it in with a transparent background setting to begin with?
  3. Wardy

    Wardy Active Member

    I use all of the ways you mention, depends on what kind of job it is and who it's for. Live Trace is ok for a quick job, but is limiting regarding editing.

    I'm not sure why you would need to get your background transparent. A lot of my work is needed quickly and on a budget, so I often stay in Photoshop with my
    hand-drawn linework, and colour up with a combination of magic wand, lasso and bucket tool, and brushes.

    Trick is to get your linework neat and crisp to start with, before scanning in, otherwise head for Illustrator. There are loads of tutorials online for various techniques.
  4. jooty

    jooty Active Member

    pen tool in illustrator imo, learn how to control that tricky lil bugger and your laughing
  5. If your illustration is black, on white paper, you can just colour on a separate layer - make sure that (or those) colour layers are beneath your scanned drawing - and the set the layer mode of your drawing to 'multiply'. That effectively makes the white paper transparent. You may have to duplicate your scanned layer and alter the contrast to get a really good black too.

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