Step 3 – Edit Illustration in Adobe Photoshop
Now that you have scanned your drawing into your PC, find it and open it in Adobe Photoshop. Please follow the steps below on what to edit and where to find the options / setting for each step.
Crop the areas of the scan that are not needed, such as black edges, writing / notes etc. Crop close to the edge of your design leaving a small border around the edge, about 3 – 5cm. To use the crop tool you can press C on the keyboard or look for the crop tool on the left hand toolbar.
Set the document to black and white mode (Grayscale) as we do not need any colour at this point, this will help with the next step. This can be done by going to Image > Mode > Grayscale > Click discard on the window that pops up.
Now we need to adjust the levels of light and dark in the document, we want to create a high contrast between the black lines and white background. This can be done by going to Image > Adjustments > Levels. You can start experimenting by moving the high tone marker to the left and see what the results are, in our example the white background gets brighter and fades out the pencil faint lines which is what we want to do.
You can then try moving the low tone marker to the right to darken the black lines, the mid tones can be a bit tricky to work out so try tweaking the middle marker left or right and see what the results are. If you are having issues with some pencil marks you can use the eraser tool by pressing E on the keyboard and erasing the pencil marks, make sure to unlock the layer when erasing by pressing the padlock icon. You can make the eraser larger and smaller by right clicking the background and setting the desired size.
Now we have removed the worst of the pencil marks and the dark and light tones are left, we now need to remove the white background. Go to Select > Color Range and now a new window has opened with a preview of the current document. When you hover over the document an eyedropper tool appears as your mouse icon, this selects the colour/range that will be selected by the tool.
You want to select the white background, this will be highlighted white in the document, you can increase the Fuzziness slide to 50 to make sure you select any lighter tones you did not erase (If you go too high it will select the black layer which we don’t want to do) Now click ok. You now have the white layer selected, now click delete or backspace to remove the white then CTRL + D to deselect the layer (CMD + D for Mac users).
You now have your sketch line work ready to be exported into illustrator, save the document as a TIFF file to ensure it is high resolution and no compression. Go to File > Save As TIFF > Name Doc > Image Compression: None > Click OK