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REMOVE BLUE PENCIL ACTION
By myluckyseven   |   Watch
132 25 9K (1 Today)
Published: January 10, 2009
© 2009 - 2019 myluckyseven
BEHOLD THE MAGIC

Please feel free to post TECH SUPPORT q's here, I shall attempt to cure what ails you. :|

AM I NOT BENEVOLENT?
PIMP IT TO YOUR FRIENDS!!!

UPDATE 5/26/2011: I replaced the file with the one I'm using currently, with BONUS actions for separating out the Red or the Green channels! I don't think they work as well as the Blue, personally, but hey! Now you can sketch in two new colors and easily fix up your images.

HOW TO USE REMOVE BLUE (and now other colors!!)
----------------------
1. Move the Photoshop action file into one of your computer's folders. I'd recommend just My Documents or anything you'll easily be able to find.

2. Open up Photoshop!

3. In the Actions panel, look in the top right for the button that looks like three lines and a down arrow. Click it and select "Load Actions"

4. Navigate to where you saved Remove_Colors and click it.

5. Wha-bam! It's now usable. :D You can press the little "play" button on the bottom of the Actions panel to run one of them

6. By default, a hotkey is not set. To change this, double-click on the action's name, and select a Function key from the dropdown menu.


NOTES
-----
- Not working? Make sure you're not using it on a locked Background layer. Duplicate the Background first.

- Do any adjusting of levels/contrast/what-have-you BEFORE you run the action, they won't work on the finished lines layer, as it is transparent.

- If you HAVE run the action, and now want to change contrast or whatever, go into Channels and delete Blue Copy, and then merge the "lines" layer with the white bg. Now make your adjustments, and then you can re-run the action to separate them again.

- The action is best used on a fresh scanned image. If your picture has lots of layers, you'll need to delete the Blue Copy channel (and maybe the white bg) in between uses. You'll probably also want to rename your lines layer to help keep them straight.

- Multiply isn't needed for the lines layer, the layer is already transparent of any white.

- Want to change your line color? Lock the lines layer's transparency and flood fill with the color of your choice. :)
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Comments (25)
Airlesse's avatar
Airlesse|Professional Digital Artist
I a msooo glad this is still here even 6 years later after I had lost the file!
Reply  ·  
MTgrave1's avatar
MTgrave1|Professional General Artist
Thanks a million for the blue remover!
Reply  ·  
Opallene's avatar
It's like magic! THANK you!
Reply  ·  
AiraArdan's avatar
AiraArdan|Hobbyist Digital Artist
This changed my life! Thank you sooo much!
Reply  ·  
Winggal's avatar
Winggal|Student Filmographer
Omg thank you for this!
Reply  ·  
AskSethNightroad's avatar
((When I tried this on a freshly-scanned image, the entire thing disappeared! Does it have to be saved as any specific file type for it to work? Sorry, I usually use GIMP, so Photoshop is kind of foreign to me))
Reply  ·  
myluckyseven's avatar
myluckyseven|Professional Filmographer
A couple of things could have happened, I think. If the top layer is called "white bg" then the problem is just that the background layer didn't get moved to the right spot. Move it down one or two, and the picture should be there.

The "white bg" layer won't be moved to the right spot if you use the action on a locked Background layer, it's best to duplicate Background and make any Levels adjustments before running the action.

If that isn't the problem, though, I can look into it further!
Reply  ·  
AskSethNightroad's avatar
Okey dokey! I'll try that and see! tyvm!
Reply  ·  
Falcolf's avatar
Falcolf|Professional General Artist
Aw man, this looks so useful (loooove the idea, I use red pencil all the time!!!) but when I tried to save the file into my photoshop it said I don't have access... which I can't understand, 'cus I'm this computer's only user!
Reply  ·  
JaeDub003's avatar
JaeDub003|Professional Digital Artist
This is very informative. I was wondering how to achieve this myself & I wonder if it can be done with other media altering programs? Thank you for this tutorial
Reply  ·  
myluckyseven's avatar
myluckyseven|Professional Filmographer
You can probably do similar stuff in other programs that have channel editing capabilities, but the Action is only for Photoshop.
Reply  ·  
JaeDub003's avatar
JaeDub003|Professional Digital Artist
I really do hope so. I wanted to do my drafts in blue now, & pencil over them since I don't have a stylist or tablet, any great art programs, & a tight budget. My inking is weak, & I prefer to not have to sweat so hard when I do make an inking mistake. I guess I will keep playing about till I find a good program around for free ;)
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mementolucifera's avatar
mementolucifera|Professional Digital Artist
;_; t-thank you. I googled for three days looking for a quick and easy way to do this.
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pielover-777's avatar
I can't do it. :(
Reply  ·  
Natephoenix's avatar
Natephoenix|Professional Digital Artist
Wow, what a fantastic action! I'll admit, this being my first use of an 'action' ever, I struggled getting it to work at first, but after a little bit of trial and error I got it working.
Maybe I can help clarify a bit?

I started with a background layer and a lines layer. The background was locked (as is the default) and the lines layer wasn't set to multiply or anything. The first thing to do is right click on the background layer and duplicate it. Leave the name as 'background copy'. Then hit shift+F12. Oh, and make sure you're working RGB as this doesn't work for CMYK.
Then, lastly, it'll give you two pop-up windows, just click ok to both and it'll finish its action. You'll notice your lines layer still has the blue lines, but the other layer doesn't at all.

Hope that helps anyone else who got stuck. :)
Reply  ·  
Airlesse's avatar
Airlesse|Professional Digital Artist
AWESOME!
but am I doing something wrong? I end up with 3 layers, and one with a black background and the lines are white.

I can fix it by inverting the layer and using Ctrl+M to darken it.
Reply  ·  
myluckyseven's avatar
myluckyseven|Professional Filmographer
It sounds like it's setting the colors wrong, somehow! You should be able to fix it with these steps:

- I think you can only edit Actions with a file open? If so, make a new file. If not, disregard this step.
- Open up the Actions panel
- Click the arrow next to "Remove Blue." This is the list of all the steps the Action takes.
- Find the first one that says "Fill." Double-click it. It'll bring up the dialog for the Fill function, this is the step that fills in the pencil lines.
- You should see at the top where it says "Use:" and a dropdown set to "Color..." If you just open the dropdown and re-select "Color..." the color picker should pop up.
- It'll probably be set to white here. Pick black instead. Hit OK and OK. It'll fill the canvas, but it doesn't matter. The action should automatically save the altered step.
- Find the next instance of Fill in the Action. This will be the one that makes a flat BG for you.
- Repeat the color changing method, swapping black for white this time.
- Test it out on a drawing, cause you're done!
Reply  ·  
Airlesse's avatar
Airlesse|Professional Digital Artist
I used your deviation as a test! :lol:
Now I'm getting "Background Copy" Layer is not available. Am I to rename Layer 0 as Background Copy?
Reply  ·  
myluckyseven's avatar
myluckyseven|Professional Filmographer
I forgot that was in the DA version! The last two steps are just supposed to take your original sketch, move it between the white BG and the newly separated lines, and change the opacity to 50%, since that's how I like to save my sketchbooks pages for the web if I'm not coloring them.

You can just delete those steps by dragging them to the trash can icon if they're breaking stuff.

I should probably upload my current version of this action, I didn't realize I had such an old one up!
Reply  ·  
Countess-Studios's avatar
Countess-Studios|Professional Filmographer
Thanks so much!
Reply  ·  
Mei-Chan01's avatar
this was so helpful when i use ill be sure to link back to this amazing action ^u^
Reply  ·  
myluckyseven's avatar
myluckyseven|Professional Filmographer
Glad you liked! :D
Reply  ·  
j-rok's avatar
Wow. Amazing what you can find when you actually look for help. ;p

Very nice, will definitely be putting this to good use! :)
Reply  ·  
Kastia's avatar
THANK YOU! This technique was super helpful!
It will make making comics 10x easier and faster!
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