Setting up your image for coloring

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Once you've got your clean scan you're ready to set up the image for coloring! If you were to immediately begin coloring, any work you did could easily smudge or overwrite your linework. To keep the linework intact we'll elevate it to its own layer where it can still be seen but where you won't inadvertently mark it up.

All your coloring will actually take place underneath your line work! To do this, convert your entire image to grayscale [image>mode>grayscale]. Then immediately convert from grayscale to RGB [image>mode>RGB]. Due to the way Photoshop handles image modes, you can't just jump from bitmap to RGB modes directly.

Toggle default colors [D]. Next, select your entire image [ctrl A] and cut it [ctrl X]. Now, paste the lineart back into the document using [ctrl V]. Photoshop will automatically put the linework on a brand new layer for you, and your layers palette should look like this:

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| Layers Channels

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Opacity: |100% ►

Lock: □ J Q

Fill: |100% ►

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You can double-click the layer title and rename it. I prefer to name mine "lineart".

After renaming the layer, change its mode to multiply. Your layer's palette should now look like this:

The Layer Mode should be set to Multiply

The Layer Mode should be set to Multiply

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lineart

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Your linework is now elevated above your canvas where it will be safe! To being coloring, simply highlight the "background" layer in the layers palette and you can begin laying down color! Some people prefer to lock the "lineart" layer so they don't inadvertently move or mark it up. You can accomplish this by highlighting the lineart layer and clicking the "padlock" icon.

Lock your layers with the padlock icon to prevent them from being edited.

That's all there is to it! It's important to learn how to do this but after you've mastered the procedure it can become tedious to set up dozens of pages at a time. So, I've captured the entire task as a Photoshop action which can be used on a single page, or even an entire folder! To use the action, being up the actions palette [window>actions] and use its pulldown menu located under the triangle to the right hand side of the window. Use the "load actions" command and find the "actions" folder on this CD and load the "bitmap->RGB" action. Once you've got a file ready to be prepared for color, just select the action and hit the play button! To apply this action to an entire folder you can use the batch command located in [file>automate>batch...]. Before you batch process a folder, it's a great idea to make a backup of all the images in the folder in case something goes awry.

At this point, you've learned the most basic method for setting up your file for coloring! If you're anxious to get to work, skip forward to chapter 3.

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