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This is for the benefit of ChessieBenito? from the SweatDrop forums, but if it's useful to anyone else then I'm pleased :) A quick guide on how I colour in PaintShopPro (yay!). The longer post is below this lot, if anyone wants some context. I use a laptop touchpad 'mouse', but I'm strange like that - graphics tablets are great, but you can get used to a mouse if you can't afford a tablet.

Some stuff to start with. Firstly, you need to clean the image up so you can work with it. I find it easiest to clean it up to two levels of black and white - that way, there're no grey pixels to get in the way. The first three steps below describe that.
Secondly, there's the application of the basic colour, which is filling as described in the fourth step (and others) below. Then there's the prettying up - adding shading, smudging etc. Most people who CG will do more here than I do 'cause they do it properly. This can get really quite complicated, with different textures and so on, but the below example is very simple.
Finally, you must resize it. The size at which you work will have lots of tiny errors in and will (if you clean up like I do) be blocky. The resize will make it look smooth and pretty.

Anyway, the step-by-step example:

The scan (this one's pretty clean, normally they're dirtier than this):

First Greyscale, then Highlights/Midtone?/Shadow?, set to 0/50/90:

If your scan is 'dirtier' then decrease the highlights value until it's clean, but don't lose too much information from the image.

Threshold 190:

Fill with pink, tolerance = 1, match = RGB:

Shading lines drawn in - brush thickness = 2, round nib, dark pink:

Shades filled in, tolerance = 1, match = RGB, dark pink:

Gap in hair lining filled (red circle), ear base drawn round in dark brown, brush nib as before:

Hair filled in dark brown, same settings as before:

Highlights drawn in hair, brush nib = 20, light brown:

Smudge brush (hand tool on left, select smudge, round shape, size = 10, hardness = 0, opacity = 100, step = 10, density = 100):

Eye selected (magic wand tool, which selects the same colour much the same way the fill tool fills all the same colour, tolerance = 190, feather = 0):

Gradient fill in eye. Tolerance settings same as fill. First colour dark green, second colour pale green. Select the little triangle in the colour box:

Then select the gradient (second option from the left) and choose your options - I chose a circular gradient, dark in the middle (this can be reversed by ticking 'invert gradient'):

White brush, size 20, used to make highlight in the eye. Now deselect the eye (click anywhere with the
selection tool - the dotty square - or press Ctrl-D). Repeat the process for the other eye:

Now resize your image (Image, Resize, or Shift-S). This will hide all the blockiness that's necessary for you to work with and make it look nice and smooth :) Choose a percentage resize - I selected 50% - and make sure 'Maintain aspect ratio' is ticked.

I'll stop here, but those three techniques are what I use most. Have a play, see what the different tools do, use the help manual and ask if you have problems :) Always keep a backup!

Useful tool - the thing below the magic wand and above the brush, called 'Dropper' if you hold your cursor over it, lets you select one of the colours on the image. If you then click on another tool, that tool's colours will match those in the dropper.
Even better - in anything other than the area selection tools, hold Ctrl down to temorarily change to the dropper, and release to go back to the tool.  (Right clicking dropper sets background colour)  In area selection tools, ctrl is 'subtract this area I am drawing' and shift is 'add' - same interface as StarCraft etc.  Standardisation is good :)  --Vitenka

My original post:

How to colour things in in Paint Shop Pro (I'm assuming you have no experience with a paint program - sorry if any of this is obvious):

Ink your drawing then rub out the pencil lines. There are lots of ways to do this, and you don't technically need to but it helps. Scan it at at least 300dpi. Preferably more, if your machine can handle it.
Open your art. Select Colour, then Greyscale (if it won't let you, it's already greyscaled).
Select Colour, Adjust, then Highlights/Midtone?/Shadows? (Ctrl-M)
Set the shadow to 0, the Midtone to 50 and the Highlight to a value between 80 and 99 that cleans up your image without losing too much of the detail.
Go to Colour then Adjust again and select Threshold. Set the value to about 190. Your art will go black and white and the lines will be blocky, but this is OK 'cause that will all look fine when it's scaled down.

Now, you can colour in directly like this if you want. To do that, select Colour, then Increase Colour Depth to 16 million colours. Then select the fill tool - it's on the left, and looks like a bucket. It should be set (settings box is on the right; if it's not there then go to View, Toolbars and select Tool Options Palette) to match by RGB value (this means it fills in areas according to how close their colour is to the colour of the pixel clicked on, basically) and the tolerance, which controls how close the colour must be for it to be filled in. It actually doesn't matter what the tolerance is because your image has only black or white - there's no greyscale for it to worry about.
Once you've selected the fill tool, find the colour you want by clicking on the colour box which should be on the right (if it's not, go to View, Toolbars and select Colour Palette).

Finally, find the area you want to fill. I'll assume you use a face so you've got a flesh colour selected. The colour will fill everything that is the same colour as the pixel you click on that is next to that pixel. The face, therefore, must be completely enclosed - no gaps.
If there are gaps, you need to select the paintbrush tool (single paintbrush on the left) and pick black as the main colour since you're filling in a line. Then draw on the picture by clicking and holding down the left mouse button, moving the mouse where you want it (this takes practise). Once the face is completely surrounded, you can fill it with the flesh colour.

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Last edited April 28, 2005 8:26 am (viewing revision 11, which is the newest) (diff)