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How to Remove non photo blue by JesseAcosta How to Remove non photo blue by JesseAcosta
Here's my tutorial for removing non photo blue lines from an inked illustration. I hope it helps
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:iconvoidrot:
Voidrot Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2017
I just used this and it saved me so much time! Thank you so much!
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:iconklumsyk:
klumsyk Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016
dude! thanks a lot! and it was so simple 8D
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:iconragtailedfox:
RagTailedFox Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2015  Hobbyist
This is fantastic.  Simple, clear, easy to follow.  And it works!  Yay!  Thank you for sharing it <3
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:icondrawingbadly:
DrawingBadly Featured By Owner May 5, 2015   General Artist
this is exactly what i was looking for. do you mind sharing what you use to sketch with? i'm using a non photo blue pencil from steadler, i'm going to test out one from prismacolor and i'm just curious as to what you use? thanks in advanced!
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional General Artist
I usually use lead and a mechanical pencil. For years I've used Pentel Blue Lead .7. If you use any smaller than .7 it breaks really easy. This year I ordered Pilot Color Blue Lead, and I like it a bit more. The lead seems a little sturdier, and it's lighter in color, closer to a cyan.
Both brands are available through Amazon. If you prefer a pencil to a mechanical pencil, you can really use any colored pencil you'd like. Generally the color you're going for is called "China blue" and a few companies actually sell "non reproductive blue"  or "non photo blue." Sanford sells a turquoise non photo blue pencil set on Amazon as well.

Hope that helps. 
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:iconlezithian:
Lezithian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
YOUR MY HERO! RIGHT NOW! BEST HERO EVER!
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Professional General Artist
Im glad this helped you!
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:iconremanic:
ReManic Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Student General Artist
Can I use this with just a regular blue pencil. I want to get to makeing my comic but I want my gray scale to stay =_= 
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Professional General Artist
As long as it's light blue it should be picked up the same way. 
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:iconremanic:
ReManic Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Student General Artist
Alright thank you.
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:iconclipping-path-bd:
clipping-path-BD Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
awesome illustration tutorial for remove  blue from photo and you step by step process is good and helpful for every one .thanks for sharing with us!!
www.graphicexpertsbd.com/image…
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:iconkebiru:
Kebiru Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
You have too many steps.

If your working with a non-photo blue pencil, just scan as a Grayscale. The scan never picks up the blue. Then convert the Grayscale to CMYK or RGB. Done.
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Every scanner I've ever used picks up the blue as a light gray, and just makes it a mess trying to get crisp black lines.
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:iconkebiru:
Kebiru Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
That's weird. I noticed something like that with a friends scanner. I'm using the Turquoise Drawing Non-Photo Blue Lead with a Brother scanner. What are you using?
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
 I have a Brother MFC-6490cw scanner and printer. I love it because I can feed it Bristol board and print 11x17 and scan larger than 11x17.
I use the Pentel blue mechanical lead.
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:iconrenaisangel:
RenaisAngel Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Student General Artist
thank u
this really helped!
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:iconloony-madness:
Loony-Madness Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
No problem.
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:iconthecsjones:
TheCSJones Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
Simple and works perfectly.  Thank you so much.
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'm glad it helped!
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:iconbaileybot:
BaileyBot Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
found this...worked great on my pencil edits.
Thanks bub
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Professional General Artist
Awesome! Glad it helped!
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:icondrspilkus:
DrSpilkus Featured By Owner May 27, 2012   General Artist
super helpful!
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:iconfishdinner:
FishDinner Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey, thanks for this :)
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
No problem, glad it helps!
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:iconmizzy-chan:
Mizzy-chan Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Ahh this is so great and easy to understand! Thanks for making this :D
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:iconkirkcarter:
KirkCarter Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2011
To filter out colored pencil lines, leaving only the black marker lines, try this on your CMYK scan in Photoshop CS4+:

1. Delete the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow channels (just highlight them one by one and click the trashcan icon).
2. Convert the image to Grayscale.
3. Increase the contrast and reduce brightness to get your lines looking better, but not so much you see the paper texture.
4. Convert to RGB.
5. Add a Levels adjustment layer and move the black slider about 1/3 of the way right, and the gray slider about 1/4 of the way left. If you then want to put color layers under the line art, clip this levels layer to the line art layer using the paper clip icon in the levels palette. This way, the levels only apply to the line art. Set your line art layer to Multiply, and put the color on layers below.

For me, this removes colored pencil and leaves the black marker lines. If I overlap red, blue and green pencil somewhere, that may end up as a gray or black spot which can then be removed with a white brush.
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:iconartofshimo:
ArtofShimo Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Student Digital Artist
You're amazing, this worked perfectly for me. Thank you!! :)
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:iconkirkcarter:
KirkCarter Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2011
To filter out colored pencil lines, leaving only the black marker lines, try this on your CMYK scan in Photoshop CS4+:

1. Delete the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow channels (just highlight them one by one and click the trashcan icon).
2. Convert the image to Grayscale.
3. Increase the contrast and reduce brightness to get your lines looking better, but not so much you see the paper texture.
4. Convert to RGB.
5. Add a Levels adjustment layer and move the black slider about 1/3 of the way right, and the gray slider about 1/4 of the way left. If you then want to put color layers under the line art, clip this levels layer to the line art layer using the paper clip icon in the levels palette. This way, the levels only apply to the line art. Set your line art layer to Multiply, and put the color on layers below.

For me, this removes colored pencil and leaves the black marker lines. If I overlap red, blue and green pencil somewhere, that may end up as a gray or black spot which can then be removed with a white brush.
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:iconh4rd-kisses:
h4rd-kisses Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011  Student General Artist
awesome tut thanks so much!
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011  Professional General Artist
No problem, glad you found it useful!
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:iconmorgainea:
MorgaineA Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very handy tip!
This is not my drawing type but I hope ppl may see it in my tutorial fav's, great job!
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:iconthe-mental-asylum:
The-Mental-Asylum Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010
Thanks not sure if I'm going to use this as no store sells blue sketch pencils (They only have coloured ones with really crappy lead). But if I ever do this would be a big help.
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Professional General Artist
If you can find a decent colored pencil set, you should try it. Many people these days use reds, greens, or blue since they can easily be removed (as stated in tutorial, you just need to remove the correct color of pencil). It really helps your eyes see the pencil line versus the inked line when looking at your work because of the contrast. It might be worth a look if you ever find some.
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:iconseqartmark:
SeqArtMark Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010
I've been considering colored pencils but didn't want to risk having bad original art samples. I love the way an olive or sienna pencil looks, or even a darker-than-non-photo blue pencil comes out. It's much easier to see and the lines flow better with less pressure. It also seems like harder graphite lead (H or HB) don't stick that well to col-erase marks but maybe that's just me.

For the record, is there any reason not to use a brown-toned colored pencil for layouts and then using actual graphite lead to finish it?
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:iconthe-mental-asylum:
The-Mental-Asylum Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010
Yeah I'll be going back to Australia in a few months so I'm sure I'll fid some quality.
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:iconlarsony:
larsony Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010
Threshold it after removing the cyan, then it's absolutely black and white.
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I have worked in Photoshop professionally since 1992, Jesse. Your method is a good one. Not the way I'd do it, but not all that different really.

I'd scan the piece into PS in color using CMYK. This will render the blue lines as true color information which the program is going to read as almost pure cyan values. Then, when I entered the Hue/Saturation box, I'd only eliminate the cyans. This will get rid of 95% of the blue lines and preserve more of the integrity of the original lines in your pen work. Then I would convert the image to gray scale. Then I'd use the levels function, using only the far right slider to eliminate only that part of the lightest values in the image to get rid of any trace tone or ghost lines that the cyan reduction didn't get rid of.

By using levels for this last step, and working on the image in gray scale mode at this stage, instead of CMYK, you preserve as much of the original character of the lines as possible. Also, by using levels, the right slider only, and making an adjustment which drops out the values in the image ranging from 0 percent to oh, say... 5 or 6 percent, you get the added benefit of sharpening the image without significantly messing up the lines.

None of this is to say that your method is wrong. But I noticed that the final result does reduce the lines form the original image. You can notice the loss on the line for the nose most of all. But all of the lines are thinner. While this does not destroy the image, to me it seems that if you are going to go to the trouble of producing an inked image as well executed as your original is, it would make sense to do everything possible to preserve those lines during the clean up process. By starting the process in CMYK, you are able to truly eliminate ONLY the cyan values, which causes the least loss of pixel information from the raw scan. Then, after converting the image to gray scale, you change all the values left in the image to what is essentially, one channel of values instead of four. Most of the editing is already done, and what the levels gets used for is basically just the slight bit of clean up that you'd want to do on any scan, no matter how clean it is.

Hope you aren't offended. If this helps at all, I'm glad.
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:iconfrozenfire1:
frozenfire1 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are the blue lines from an inking pen?
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Professional General Artist
Blue lines are from using a non-photo blue pencil, used commonly by illustrators and animators. Back in the day, when photocopied, this tone of blue disappeared out of the photocopy. But today with photoshop, they stick around.
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:iconfrozenfire1:
frozenfire1 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks
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:iconjeremywhittington:
JeremyWhittington Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010
Thanks Jesse! Your tutalage is appreciated!
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:iconcoreyh2:
coreyh2 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
There is a something called threshold that can do this easily. In photoshop its in image>adjustments>threshold. In gimp its in the colors menu item.

Turns everything black that is under a value and everything else gets turned white.
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:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Professional General Artist
I used to use threshold, but it fries the line art pretty bad. It's essentially turning it all to solid black and solid white without any of the anti-aliasing, plus if you have a dark enough blue line it will stick around depending on how severely the threshold is used.
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:iconcoreyh2:
coreyh2 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
When working with art that you are planning to print and not only to be shown on computers you don't use anti-aliased line-art. Its scanned in at 600 dpi black and white then shrunk to 400 to 300 dpi for coloring. Anti-aliased line-art looks blurry if printed.

Part of using non-photo blue pencil is only only making light marks.

In "The DC comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics" Freddie Williams II uses anti-aliasing while resizing and manipulating. Finals are thresholded though.

You probably know this stuff already. I only know the way I've read in books and the internet. Sorry if me telling you this stuff is annoying. I haven't actually scanned in inked artwork. I only worked with the 600 dpi files that came with Hi-fi color for comics and Master Digital Color.
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