Scanning work into Photoshop

Can someone tell me how to clean up scanned sketches in photoshop. Im getting ready to put together my portfolio and i want to do it right. thanks.

Could you be more specific about what kind of problems you face ?
It doesn’t seems complicated.

You scan, then clean it up using the duplicate or the patch tools. I prefer doing manual clean up than filters I feel I have more control. But try it. Some blur, or some contrast filter may suit your taste.
Some “curves” or contrast/light tweaking and you are done. Ready to scan the next one. Can take a while.

If you’re satisfied with your contrast/tone tweaking you can make it into a script and batch process all the scans if the sketches are all similar. Again I prefer spending more time and doing it one by one.

But I guess that’s not the answer you’re looking for ?

To me it’s more important to clean the vignetting (darker perimeter than center) than airbrushing the grainy artefacts. A hand drawing can have some “texture”.
I like to twist the hues to a dark shade of blue when the base drawing is gray pencil or black pen. Frequently looks good, to me.
You can also invert the picture. One single click and you get a blackboard effect, useful to avoid the thin lines on white paper drawings from being washed out by the light when videoprojecting. Can be useful too on a layout to “weight” more the sketches against reference pictures.

Do you sketch with a tablet too ? That just solves this problem.

Hope that helps.

thanks sleek, i just wanted to know what steps other people take to clean up their sketches, most of my stuff is done in prismacolor, pen and marker. i need to start scanning in my sketches in the next couple of weeks, because by the beginning of January i need to have a semi finished portfolio for interviewing for Co-op jobs.

First thing I like to do when scanning is to make sure my white paper is a pure white, so use the “levels” control to get your white background perfectly white. That can help eliminate a lot of the paper smudges that you’d have to clean up later. After getting pure white, then clean up any leftover floating gunk.
If you’re scanning all consistent pages, save the levels settings or just remember the numbers so you can use the same one for the rest of your scans. I believe you can also set it up as an action and just batch process all of them at once.
Other than that, using the “clone” tool to help erase artifacts in your color areas will help. And then just making sure that you color correct to make sure the colors look the way you originally wanted them to. For instance, some scanners will have problems scanning cool gray, and makes it look very purple so you’ll have to color correct that stuff (there are a few tools for that, everyone has their preference). That’s about all I ever do with scanned sketches, they’re going to be rough, they’re sketches :slight_smile: My main concerns are getting the page background to a pure white, and then making sure the color matches the original.

There are several ways of doing this. Nothing is the “right” way, it’s just about getting things clean and what works for you. Spencer posted a vid on his work flow/method over at Printed Dresses and Shoes - IdSketching.
Sometimes actually seeing it done makes it easier to grasp…

Nice thread, im in the same situation as you were in Mustangfan :slight_smile:

for my line work sketches atleast I first Scan at a Good Resolution
I either take it to MAC>PREVIEW>TOOLS>COLOUR ADJUST or just Ps.

CONTRAST Increase till the papers really white and not much of detail is lost
HUE/SATURATION if I want al my sketches to be in the same colour even though ive used different coloured verithins
CURVES / BLACK LEVEL play around a bit.
BLUR finally to add some depth and give a hierarchy to the sketch.

Just like Spencer,

  1. Levels adjustment (usually slide the right one left to remove the grayness and the middle one a tad right to darken the lines)
  2. Erase the boogers
  3. Profit!

If you are doing anymore, you’re working too hard

You can follow this step for cleanup your scanned images on photo-shop,first you need to open the Image and change the mode to LAB (Image->Mode->Lab color),Go to the Channels palette and click on the ‘a’ channel (this is the color data channel for the Image) then go to Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur,When the dialog opens increase the radius until the dots mostly disappear - around 2 or so depending on the image - and click OK,In the channels palette, click the ‘b’ channel and apply the same Gaussian blur settings (Ctrl+F) to that as well.

A trick I learned from Scott Robertson’s lecture:

This is for when you have two dozen scanned sketches that all need to be brightened-up.

Do the Levels on the first sketch, sliding the gamma bar to the right a bit.

Then going on to your successive sketches - Hold down ‘ALT’ (on a PC keyboard) while doing the key command for Levels (CTRL-L). This automatically sets the Levels to the same numbers as you did previously. Saves a few steps in having to set the numbers for each sketch.

Another quick step I sometimes use is to create an Adjustment Layer for Levels, then duplicate that to every scanned sketch.

This is useful for a lot of ppl who are comfortable with analog drawing but are just learning to transfer it to digital manip … so thanks!

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but does anyone know when you know if your scan’s background is truly white, such as when you slide the far right slider to the left? Or is it just based on personal preference or eyeballing it?

or just enough to get the grey tones out and then saving it? Thanks guys. Am doing the same… scanning old sketches for my portfolio.

if it looks white, it probably is. you can use an eyedropper to check the hex value if it’s FFFFFF

wow, Tarngerine! Thanks for the wonderful tip!! I just tried it and the background actually does show as FFFFFF. Gosh, I never knew about this FFFFFF and what that window indicator meant until today. I even tried playing with it a bit, to see what would happen if I greyed the white a bit to see if the FFFFFF would change, and even though the sample “looked” white… it was “faf7f7” and not FFFFFF. It wasn’t TRULY white, until I typed in FFFFFF and then it lightened up considerably!!! then compared the two “white” samples, next to one another, and noticed the FFFFFF was whiter than the faf7f7. So pure white is FFFFFF!!? How come none of my ID instructors ever told me this! Grrrrrrrrr.

now when I eyedrop a white area, I can check for the 6 F’s and truly see if it IS WHITE! THANK YOU THANK YOU! Have a nice day, Tarngerine.

Or when you have a Curves or Levels box open, use the eye dropper and aim for a value of 255.

Also you can Alt (or Ctrl, or Shift, or Apple …can’t remember which one off hand) + drag the white slider in the Curves/Level adjustment box. This will show you which part of the image is clipped. If the white of the page immediately clips, you know you have true white.

It’s good to make sure, as a lot of the time, it could look white, but then when you see it on a differently calibrated monitor (or printed), it’s clearly not.

White values: RGB: 255, 255, 255. Hex: FFFFFF CMYK 0,0,0,0 HSV: 0,0,100 (I think)