I forgot to put it behind a cut the first time
Note: In an attempt to preserve clarity, I have not resized the images in this tutorial. I placed links to these images in the tutorial instead of the images themselves so the page does not take too long to load. If anyone feels the images are still too big, tell me and I will resize them.
First Thing's First: Pick a Good Page to Color
Don't just consider if you like the picture, but also look at the size, quality, and even file type. A 200px x 300px JPEG set to a high compression might not be the best picture to use, no? And remember, if it's big, it will be easier to color.
It's a good size for coloring, but it's saved as a JPG. Here is a close up:
Ewwww. You could try cleaning it, but judging by the quality of the image that might be difficult. You might want to find something else.
In short: Picking lineart is easy; just use common sense! It's finding good quality scans of a series you like that can sometimes get difficult. T.T
Cleaning Your Page
Occasionally, you might find a page you want to color but it needs some cleaning. Cleaning will somtimes take only one or two steps, and sometimes it's a frustratingly evil process that takes lot of fiddling with. It often is simply trial and error and requires you to have basic knowledge of your program. (Duh.)
For those who learn well with step by step examples, here is how I typically clean pages. This step by step part is for Paint Shop Pro 8, because, unfortunately, that is the only program I know how to work. If you have knowledge of other programs, it shouldn't be hard to translate. Click the thumbnails for the full view.
1. Make sure the image has the color depth of 16 million colors.
Image > Increase Color Depth > 16 million colors (24 bit)
(R)to where you want it. Adjust the Brightness and Contrast. This will take some trial and error. The settings will most likely need to be different for each page you adjust. Use the dropper tool to make sure the white areas are actually white (R:255, G:255, B:255) and the black lines are generally black (R:0, G:0, B:0). Do not worry if the lines are not dark enough yet, worry mostly about the white. The next step will darken the lines.
Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > Brightness/Contrast... > Brightness: -3 / Contrast: 35
3. Gamma Correction. Use this to make the lines darker and thicker. Adjusting the number to lower than 1 will make the lines darker, while adjusting the number to higher than 1 will make them lighter. Again, this will most likely need to be different each time.
Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > Gamma Correction... > Red:0.50 / Green:0.50 / Blue:0.50
4. Use the brush tool
(B)to make further corrections (Spots that weren't fixed with Brightness/Contrast, blot out text, etc.). Here I just painted white over the text because I hate it.
And now it's clean!
I am currently working on the next part of this tutorial, the part about actually coloring the page. This next part of the tutorial will not be written in a step by step method, as these are intended to be manga coloring tips, and I wish for it to be helpful to people, no matter what program they use. Um, any questions?