Coloring In Photoshop-UPDATE 7/6/11 Tips for Coloring Professionally

Coloring In Photoshop-UPDATE 7/6/11 Tips for Coloring Professionally

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #25 on: Dec 20, 2008, 04:32 AM »
I'm pretty clever for knowing that nifty little trick already, WOO!

I kinda did it already too, haha. Another trick is if something is all the same colour inside the lines, select the space outside and Modify>Select>Inverse

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #26 on: Dec 22, 2008, 09:09 AM »
oh you kids. you're so clever. haha

that's what i end up doing too a lot of times (depending how nice my lines are going in haha). learned it back in the day coloring texture maps, but i always went by 3px.

to make it even easier: save the "Expand x2px" as an action on the action menu. that way you just click the area with the wand, click that action, & fill rather than having to do the pull down & option menus each & every time you fill a new color.

EDIT: or even better: save expand x1px as the action, that way you can click it in increments till you get a result you like depending on the original line art.

I kinda did it already too, haha. Another trick is if something is all the same colour inside the lines, select the space outside and Modify>Select>Inverse

i get what you're saying but that would mean sparse backgrounds without much lines meaning tons of area you can click on to inverse from. and we can't have that!! still though the other method's cleaner as that way it's still a bit easier to tweak & adjust the lines if you wanna give them some color

-J
« Last Edit: Dec 22, 2008, 09:21 AM by Kuro »

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #27 on: Dec 24, 2008, 07:32 PM »
I always expand and decrease by 5 pixels.

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #28 on: Dec 25, 2008, 06:09 AM »
Dawg, that kind of talk is not going to get you any dates.


Angie yer doing a great job here
« Last Edit: Dec 25, 2008, 06:22 AM by Wei Ingnan »
-draw like you love it.... not like your mom told you to do it-

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #29 on: Jan 30, 2009, 08:41 AM »
Holy crap...Thx Angie!! I just used this quick flat way and saved like 30-45 mins (too many little areas)!!!

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #30 on: Sep 08, 2009, 09:48 PM »
Don't have any updates but I do have a question for those of you that have been printed before. What's the deal with CMYK? I noticed when I print at RGB my stuff will come out way dark unless I manually just make it really light before printing. Since I'm looking to eventually be a colorist, this is something that's important for me to know about coloring for printing.
Kittens wearins mittens

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #31 on: Sep 08, 2009, 11:54 PM »
Something I just went through with getting my own stuff ready for print.

I had all of my stuff in RGB. Went to convert it to CMYK and it looked lighter on the screen, specifically the darks. I darkened them back up to what they were in RGB, then sent the files off to the printer for proofs.

They came back WAY dark... I don't know if my monitor was just set too brightly or what. I lightened them up instead of darkening them this time, then sent them off again. Still too dark! I played with the brightness and the contrast this time, really ramping them up.

Still waiting to see the final results of this.

What I ended up doing was holding the proof next to the monitor and calibrating my monitor based off of what I saw in the print. I ended up adjusting colors with my monitor set to 55% contrast and 0% brightness. I was taking the contrast in the files way up after that.

Books don't emit light, so your files might have to have their contrast and brightness increased radically in order to replicate the kind of feeling you'd get looking at the color you saw on your monitor.

Extreme darks and lights tended to disappear in CMYK.

Holding up the proof right next to the monitor helped show me just how dark I needed to set my monitor. Each printing company has different settings for their presses, so having your proof in hand will really help in knowing what final adjustments to make.

A final note: this was with a digital printing press. I don't know if offset printing has better color accuracy. Having your proof and adjusting from there would still be the way to go, until you get familiar with your printer's press's settings.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #32 on: Sep 09, 2009, 07:13 AM »
Thanks dude! Yeah, my printer in my apartment has always printed with close to 100% accuracy. But when I take it to Staples or to the campus printers I have to lighten my stuff up a ton. Since I'm doing Pulpo in color I need to make sure it doesn't print out super dark.
Kittens wearins mittens

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #33 on: Sep 10, 2009, 09:36 PM »
Get something printed at Staples or whatever and adjust your monitor to fit it, you'll be much happier than trying to constantly mess with the RGB/CMYK conversion. I don't know what it is, but I know it's complicated.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #34 on: Sep 11, 2009, 04:22 PM »
I don't know about that CMYK stuff but I do know you can mess with printer options that can drastically change the quality of the color.  This is typically used for photography but I find that it's useful in all printing situations. 

Best way to test this out is to cut your picture into strips using selection tool and print it out.  Then change the options move the strip over, print on the same paper so you can compare.  I'm talking about the option to change your picture from such options as Absolute Colorimetric, Relative Colorimetric and Perceptual which some printers, especially high quality ones have.  I don't have the options in front of me but I'll describe them as best I can.
Perceptual implies that the colors will come out as those colors trained by the human eye, or as close to it as possible.  Colorimetric will be closer to what you see on the computer.  Basically Perceptual is lighter and Colorimetric is darker.  Anyways while i was writing this I looked it up and this is probably a better explanation of this stuff:
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/color-space-conversion.htm

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #35 on: Sep 11, 2009, 04:23 PM »
Ok, dudes and dudettes, here's the deal on CMYK.
I work in the print industry,  so, I gotta chime in here, i'll try to keep it simple.
(NOTE THIS MOSTLY APPLIES TO LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING - DIGITAL IS A BIT DIFFERENT)

CMYK VS. RGB

Let's say this is the ENTIRE spectrum of colors:


 {---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------}
from infrared  to ultra-violet.

The human eye can see this much of that spectrum:

{----------------------------------------------------------------}
It can see a wide range of the ENTIRE spectrum of colors. (Birds can see an even wider range than humans I think, and dogs n cats can see less of the full range, but that's off topic...).


RGB (RED-GREEN-BLUE) as you may know is how a monitor/TV displays colors
It can display this much of that spectrum:

{--------------------------------------------}
 it has a really wide color range, but of course cannot display the full range of hues that the eye can see.


Then there's CMYK standing for CYAN-MAGENTA-YELLOW-BLACK  (yes the K stands for black because blue already took the B)
CMYK can  print this much of that spectrum:

{----------------------------}
Those 4 colors (CMYK) come together in offset/litho printing using halftones/ben day dots to create ALL of the colors you see in print, except for SPOT colors, aka Pantone colors, which are used to get colors outside of CMYKs range, aka GAMUT.
CMYK printing works kind of like painting where you can mix the primary colors to get almost all of the other colors.

So as you can imagine, CMYK has it's limits, say you want a really intense red to print, well the only thing you have on a 4-color press is the pinkish-looking Magenta, and no matter how much of the other three colors you add to Magenta, it's not going to get any more red.
That's where the spot/pantone colors come in.

And that is why many RGB images that print CMYK come out looking like ass, many of the colors a monitor can display are "out of Gamut", or out of range of what the printer can print.

You kinda have to know how a printing press works to understand fully, but the typical print job prints with 4 colors via 4 seperate towers that each hold 1 color of Ink, so if you add spot colors it becomes expensive because you have to throw another tower into the mix.

Rule of thumb is that, like Zach said, extreme darks and lights suffer.  And that muted colors come out better and more intense colors suffer.
Dark and light is not as hard to fix, you can usually always go darker or lighter with the 4 colors, but ink will never get more intense (aka chroma) than it is unmixed, and unmixed = only the 4 choices, CMYK.
.
COLORS THAT ARE ESPECIALLY HARD TO MATCH ON PRESS:

INTENSE REDS
GREENS
INTENSE BLUES
ORANGES

SO KNOW YOUR COLORS WILL SUFFER ON PRESS IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF THESE.
always a good idea to find out as much as possible about the printer/press that will re-produce your work, then you'll have a better Idea of your limitations.


I know from reading the DC coloring/lettering book that most pros color their stuff in CMYK mode, so that they know what they will get in the finished product. That's a great book for comics coloring info BTW

Digital printers are kinda different, some of them have extra inks in addition to CMYK, and that's why they can print RGB better.
But in general, these rules still apply, even with extra ink colors, the printer will never be able to match ALL the colors on your monitor.

In photoshop it's tricky if you use filtters cuz many of them only work in RGB, but if you goto the view mode, you can work in RGB while previewing in CMYK.

Many printers will convert your files for you, but then you don't have any control over how it will come out. Proofs are infinitely helpful, but sometimes a digital proof cannot be matched on a 4color litho press.

Hopefully this is helpful to some of you.
Damn, I got kinda complex, well if anyone has any ??? let me know i'll try to explain better.

 ;D

AND THE LINK WILLY D POSTED  http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/color-space-conversion.htm 
GOES EVEN DEEPER ON THIS STUFF AND ALSO HAS PICTURES SO CHECK IT OUT!!
« Last Edit: Sep 11, 2009, 04:31 PM by JoshuaEliGilley »

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #36 on: Sep 11, 2009, 05:44 PM »
Wow!  Thanks Josh!

I learned something, yay!
I'm a walking talking example of "If you don't use it, you lose it."

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #37 on: Sep 12, 2009, 03:20 PM »
Awesome post, now I know my colors!

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #38 on: Nov 18, 2009, 02:28 PM »
So I've been going color crazy lately. Between coloring a project for someone I've been coloring random lineart on my hard drive to get some practice in and to get more comfortable with this style. I did my latest battle in this style and think I finally have it down enough to share the knowledge.

So today you guys get a new tutorial on a different style!


How to Do Cuts-The American Comic Book Style

For the longest time I've always wanted to know how to color like American comic books. I've found many many tutorials on how to do it in the past, but they were always kind of vague and made no sense at all to me. But after watching a video of an artist coloring in the style I managed to figure out what I couldn't figure out for years. And it turned out being stupidly simple. Hopefully I can help you guys out so you don't have to deal with the years of wondering how the hell the colorists do this.



The first piece of BW lineart I could find on my hard drive was this sketch Chamba did of Angie like 1000 years ago so I'm going to go with that. First I lay out all my flats like I would for any other style. It's important that you try to keep your colors kind of dull so they don't make your colors end up like a saturated mess in the long run. Take note of the two colors I have selected to use, the darker tone is the tone you see there, the lighter one is the tone I will be using to lighten up Angie's fur. Once you get your flats down, make sure to lock your layers so you won't go outside of the lines. (as seen in previous tutorials)



These are the tools and settings we will be using. The Lasso Tool and Gradient Tool will be our friends for this.



Now make your selection with the lasso tool where you want the light to be hitting. For those of you without a tablet, the polygonal lasso tool is a viable alternative even though it can be tough to do curves.



Now using the gradient tool, drag the tool down as far as you like to create shading. Do as many times as desired, for this image I dragged the tool down twice.



You are free to make new selections and use the gradient tool more to make the coloring a tad more complex.

The one color you will probably have to be the most careful with is reds, as they can get oversaturated very easy as I learned in my first time coloring with them.

And there you have it!



There's my results.
Kittens wearins mittens

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #39 on: Nov 20, 2009, 09:29 PM »
That turned out very cool, Angie - I'll have to experiment with that technique as well

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #40 on: Nov 30, 2009, 03:14 PM »
That's pretty much how I colour my stuff... I just need desperate help with colour choice.

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #41 on: Nov 30, 2009, 08:23 PM »
Angie, it is barely an exaggeration to say I love you for this haha

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #42 on: Nov 30, 2009, 08:29 PM »
haha np dude
Kittens wearins mittens

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #43 on: Dec 01, 2009, 02:41 PM »
Personally I cant decide whether I like using the hard light transfer mode. I tend to use screen and it seems to work very well, depending the the style your going for, and it seems to keep things from getting over saturated...

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #44 on: Dec 02, 2009, 05:51 AM »
I dunno if this is helpful but here's my "process" or "progress".


In the middle you see the flat colour sans line art.

-I use pretty much the technique described in "How to color for comics" by GURU-eFX & Antarctic Press. Highly recommended.

-Line art is dropped into a channel.
-All colour goes on the background layer. (This way the document stays smaller & you can press "delete" to fill colours.)
-Once I've finished all the flats I create a "flats" channel (seen in the middle, gray scale). This way I can easily select an entire colour area with the magic wand tool.
 
Finished pic.


It was a small line art pic & only quick colouring. But anyway, hope this helps.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #45 on: Dec 02, 2009, 09:00 PM »
That's pretty cool shadowrenderer. It looks sorta like how I do but I'm not as pro at it as some of the people here - Thanks for sharing that!

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Wizard Article
« Reply #46 on: Mar 10, 2010, 04:35 PM »
Not a new tutorial, but I had my senior portfolio review and when I told one of my teachers I was planning on being a comic book colorist for a career, he shared these with me. Hopefully they're easily readable, I had to shrink them down and lower the save quality to get them to a reasonable file size.

Essentially, Wizard magazine asked some pro colorists to all color the same page. Each artist provides their comments on why they did things certain ways and such

Hope this helps some of you!

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/4019/colorscheme01005.jpg

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/6954/colorscheme01002.jpg

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/8274/colorscheme01003.jpg

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/9697/colorscheme01004.jpg

My apologies to anyone on 56k
Kittens wearins mittens

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-12/19/08 Flats the Painless Way
« Reply #47 on: Apr 09, 2010, 03:15 PM »
Something I just went through with getting my own stuff ready for print.

I had all of my stuff in RGB. Went to convert it to CMYK and it looked lighter on the screen, specifically the darks. I darkened them back up to what they were in RGB, then sent the files off to the printer for proofs.

They came back WAY dark... I don't know if my monitor was just set too brightly or what. I lightened them up instead of darkening them this time, then sent them off again. Still too dark! I played with the brightness and the contrast this time, really ramping them up.

Still waiting to see the final results of this.

What I ended up doing was holding the proof next to the monitor and calibrating my monitor based off of what I saw in the print. I ended up adjusting colors with my monitor set to 55% contrast and 0% brightness. I was taking the contrast in the files way up after that.

Books don't emit light, so your files might have to have their contrast and brightness increased radically in order to replicate the kind of feeling you'd get looking at the color you saw on your monitor.

Extreme darks and lights tended to disappear in CMYK.

Holding up the proof right next to the monitor helped show me just how dark I needed to set my monitor. Each printing company has different settings for their presses, so having your proof in hand will really help in knowing what final adjustments to make.

A final note: this was with a digital printing press. I don't know if offset printing has better color accuracy. Having your proof and adjusting from there would still be the way to go, until you get familiar with your printer's press's settings.


I have an update on this information. Recently, two firms in digital printing, Ka-Blam and comiXpress, have started to make use of some kind of printing algorithm that translates RGB to CMYK with very good accuracy. Going through a digital press, this means that you don't have to adjust your colors or convert them to CMYK.

I'm not sure if offset printers have discovered this yet, but if any of you plan to use these services, you no longer have to worry about extreme color differences if your work was originally done in RGB. Even extreme darks were preserved.

I've used both now, and while Ka-Blam prints slightly darker and comiXpress lighter, they are both very similar.

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #48 on: Jun 30, 2010, 08:23 PM »
I have a question about using screen mode in photoshop. How exactly is it different from using regular strokes with transparency? I know I've read that using it is great for highlights, however it doesn't seem to do anything unless I set my color to white anyway, in which case I still have to take the transparency to 10-30%, which provides pretty much the same result as if I was highlighting with normal mode in the same settings as far as I can tell. What does screen mode do better?

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #49 on: Jun 30, 2010, 08:26 PM »
I don't really use screen unless I'm trying to make a glow or something like I'll toss a screen layer on top of the lineart layer and make a television or a light have a kind of glow to it.
Kittens wearins mittens

 

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