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Extract the lineart of your comics in Photoshop

17 May 2007

Freebies, Photoshop, Tutorials

Extract the lineart of your comics in Photoshop
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This is a Photoshop action (that is to say a set of automated commands) to extract the lines of your black and white drawings. The idea of having the lines in onw layer and adding the colors in other layers below, this works like some kind of guide.

There are two procedures to color comics; the first one is putting the layer where you have the lines in multiply mode and on top of all color layers (this way the white color transforms in transparent, letting the colors be seen, but you can still see black). And the second one has an advantage… by extracting literally the lines off the drawing, you can color them (the lines) very easily.

Instructions to install the action:

  1. Download the action to your hard drive and decompress it.
  2. Save the file in: C:\Program files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3\Presets\Actions
  3. Open your black and white drawing in Photoshop.
  4. In the actions panel an action called “extract lines” will appear, click on it to load it.
  5. A folder will appear, click to expand it and click “extract lines”.
  6. Press play and you are done (if a message appears click OK).

If the action doesn’t appear on the list, click “load action” and search for it until you find it, the rest will be the same.

Here you can see an example: Photoshop digital inking

This post was written by:

- who has written 58 posts on SOSFactory Blog.

My name’s Sergio Ordoñez I´m illustrator, graphic and web designer. A selection of my work is included at SOSFactory. If you want to support this blog, please be an active member: tweet the posts, participate in the discussions and the exercises :)

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  • max

    y como descargo o donde xq no lo veo??

    si alguien me responde les dejo aki mi msn

  • Sergio Ordonez
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  • mara

    Tambien se podria instalar con el Photoshop CS2?

  • Sergio Ordonez

    Hola Mara, creo que deberí­a funcionar con cualquier versión en la que hayan acciones(por lo menos desde la versión 6, puede que incluso anterior).


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  • Sócrates

    oh man, i think im gonna cry. this is so awesome. Thanks.

  • Sergio

    Wow… desde que escontré tu blog… y tu pagina web…me siento en mi mundo!!!!
    Llevo días leyendote… aprendiendo…
    Eres el mejor… definitivamente mi favorito.
    Saludos de Colombia…

  • Yellow♠5

    Is there an action for CS2?

  • Sergio Ordonez

    It works for all the CS versions, I think even for older versions though I didnt check it.

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  • Peter

    Sorry, man, your action to extract black pencil lines from a white background sucks.
    It does not work. I tried it ten times without a result.
    I tried it with CS2, CS3 and CS4.
    I have avery simple background layer with white paper and black pencil lines and the action does not work at all.

  • Sergio Ordonez

    Hello Peter, thanks a lot for your support :)

    It worked in most of the cases, if it didnt work for you, try googling for a way to do it manually.
    It wont hurt, I promise :)


  • deivyd

    tengo un pqueño problema extrayendo lineas
    la primera parte sale bien, pero luego sale un error, le doy aceptar y queda todo el dibujo negro.

    agradezco cualquier colaboracion…

  • Sergio Ordonez

    Hola Deivyd, muchas veces pasa esto, pero no te preocupes.

    Mientras te salgan dos capas todo está bien, una será la del fondo y la otra las lineas. Usa CTRL+U para pasar de blanco a negro o viceversa.


  • James

    Hi Sergio

    I’m loving this series of tutorials on line drawing and the approach to character design. Some of the tutorials are a little too quick but even so, I’m learning loads – so thank you.

  • Nick

    yo lo instale en photoshop cs2 y me pasa lo mismo, cuando presiono CRTL+U me sale la ventana de tono saturacion

  • Nick

    le doy Ok y no pasa nada, sigue estando en negro todo, se agradece l ayuda ñ_ñ

  • Sergio Ordonez

    Hola Nick,

    no estoy muy seguro cual es el problema, si tienes dos capas fí­jate que una puede ser la de las lineas sólo que es del mismo color del fondo y no lo ves. Por eso lo de CTRL+U.

    Prueba a ver si es eso :)

  • ever higuita

    sos el mejor que chimba de blog!!!!

  • jason

    this action can work with Photoshop CS5?

    • Sergio Ordonez

      I think so.

  • Ellwyn Male

    This could be an absolute godsend for me, but one question…will it work with shaded drawings?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Sergio Ordonez

      Yes, it will work as long as you desaturate the lineart before extracting.

      • Ellwyn Male

        thanks very much bud I’ll give it a go!

  • Lisaone

    ths used to work for me and ive had such a good time colouring peoples linework from deviant art, then one day randomly it wont work anymore!! it brings up another layer but its just empty, no lines no nothing. ive tried several diff pics, even some that it used to work for, nothing!! i removed then reinstalled the acrtion, same problem. have i accidentally messed some setting?? i miss this action so much!!!!!!!

  • Sarabel

    The link to download no working =(