“I’m a traditional artist and I have no idea how to digitalise my artwork, HELP!” is probably what you thought when you saw the submission requirement for our Printcious Art Contest. Don’t worry, I got you covered.
There are various ways of getting your artwork digitalised.
If you have a completed artwork already and all you want to do is digitalise that artwork:
Simply scan your artwork and upload it over! Attention: Please don’t send us pictures of your artwork. I’m sure it’s beautiful but we can’t process that into a canvas. It’s going to be an art-ception!
If you have a sketch and you want to remove the background, this process is called lineart lifting which results in just the lineart of your artwork.
p/s: If this character sees familiar to you, that’s because it’s inspired from my favorite animations. Can anyone guess who it is?
1. Scan your artwork then open image in Photoshop
2. Right click on your background layer and select “Layer from background”
3. Adjust the White and Black levels.
For a sharper result, it’s recommended that you brighten the whites of the background and darken the black of your lines.
4. Select all (CTRL + A) > Copy selection (CTRL + C)
The following steps might seem pointless, but bear with me. Once you’ve adjusted the white and black levels, select all and copy selection by using the shortcuts CTRL+A then CTRL+C.
5. Create new layer and use the bucket tool to fill layer in black
6. On the black layer, click on “Edit in Mask mode”
7. Paste selection (CTRL + V) on the black layer
8. Click on “edit in standard mode”
9. Delete selection
TADAA! Like magic, your background is gone.
For a better view of your lineart, place a white background behind the new layer you created.
You will pick up the texture of your canvas, so for a cleaner result, you have to do some tweaking. You could use the magic wand tool and try to pick up the noise.
For a more precise result, use the eraser tool and start erasing away.
Check out the huge difference before and after.
Vectorise your image
If you’re looking to polish up your drawing using Illustrator, this method might be more suitable for you. This process converts your traditional artwork into vector images.
1. Scan and adjust your Black and White levels in Photoshop
2. Place your saved image in Illustrator
Go to file, Place, then select your image.
3. Click on the Image Trace
This is where the magic happens. Once you click on Image Trace will vectorise your image. And don’t be alarmed if you don’t like the result, you can adjust your vector.
4. Click on the Image Trace Panel
Now the first thing you’d want to play around with is the Preset. Once you’re happy with the preset, you can start adjusting the Threshold and Advanced settings.
For example, I decided that the “Low Fidelity Photo” was the best preset and played around with the settings. Once you’re done, click Expand.
5. Now for the clean up!
Ungroup your vector file.
The easiest way to clean the background is using the Selection Tool and picking up large sections of whites. Select shapes that create noise in your artwork and hit the delete key.
Zoom in to clean up minor details. Just keep deleting until you form a clean image.
If deleting doesn’t cut it for you, you can start adjusting your shapes with the direct selection tool. For example, I decided to expand a shape to complete the shape or her ponytail.
While this might be time consuming, you will get a more polished result at the end! Remember to save your file in PNG format.