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How do I make smooth lines?

Soraslipheed

New Member
I heard you can make smooth lines on Adobe Illustrator, I tried using the pencil tool, and it works good, but how do I modify the line once I've drawn it? There's points along the line, but when I click and drag to modify them it moves the whole line. And I CANNOT use the pen tool to save my life on Photoshop, so I hope I can use Illustrator. Pwease help :3
 

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
If you can't figure out the pen tool in photoshop, illustrator isn't going to make it any easier. D: I'm learning Illustrator right now and honestly it's a total pain in the ass even if you DO know what you're doing (in my opinion).

Can you give us an idea of what you're trying to do? Just a character drawing? A logo? A full scene? sometimes it's easier to just scan/draw a picture and then use Illustrator's "live trace" feature to get smooth outlines, but that obviously doesn't always work :B
 

Soraslipheed

New Member
Wow you replied fast :3 But sure here's some pics... Ok i've got another problem, how do you save as a JPG or normal picture file? :oops:
 

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
Illustrator has a feature like Photoshop called "Save for Web". This should allow you to save JPG and GIF files, though often I find it's easier to just take a screenshot from Illustrator and paste it into Photoshop in order to do this (I don't know how to make Illustrator /not/ have weird transparency and border clipping).
 

Soraslipheed

New Member
Thnak you :D Okay I'm just playing around with it trying to get nice clean lines, but I don't have a very steady hand and this is the result.........
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f4/WolfGirlSora/Tiger_lines.jpg
And the live trace does this......
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f4/WolfGirlSora/Tiger_livetrace.jpg
 

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
AnarchicQ said:
I think you're thinking of Flash, actually.
I've seen this 'points along the lines' thing you speak of in Flash, and it makes very smooth lines which you can edit. And that's all I know.

Information time :)

The really smooth lines with editable points is technically known as "vector graphics". Both Flash and Illustrator can be used to create vector graphics. And, again my opinion here, if Illustrator is a pain in the ass for editing points, Flash is like hell. :(

Soraslipheed: try inking your artwork, or just making the lines darker in photoshop using the levels tool, before you put it through LiveTrace. You can also change the settings in LiveTrace based on the image you're "tracing", so I suggest playing around with that as well.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Well just to let you in on something most smooth lines are either done by hand, or you learn to work on a larger area so when you reduce your artwork down it looks really great.

I'll give you two examples. Here is a commission I received from Barachan.

050323banimage3.jpg


Those lines look awfully smooth and strong, don't those colors look really tight too?

Well here's a nice close-up of what those lines look like at 200%

http://www.anime.net/~arshesnei/barachanstuff/animagezoombarachan.jpg

A lot of those blacks aren't even filled in as tight as you'd think they'd be. Those ears look pretty scratchy too. In fact some areas there were some rather stray and messy lines.

However, upon reduction things tighten up. There is a saying where it's "Good from Far, and Far from good"

I suppose I can show another example where I inked something at full size but looks good smaller, but I think you get the idea.

That image full size is 3300x2820 in case you wanted to know how large was the full sized picture. She could have worked much larger than that but I doubt it.

I forgot about the second example:

I received a sketch from Diana, the finished version: (might be a bit risque) http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/25353234/

This is a progress shot, of me inking the sketch, which was grey lines, I colored them blue so I could ink properly:
http://www.anime.net/~arshesnei/art/oc/dianedigiinkanimage090705.jpg

Inks look pretty smooth? Well look again:
http://www.anime.net/~arshesnei/art/oc/dianedigiinkanimage111505.jpg

You can see where my lines look like crap, but they clean up as the image is reduced.
 

BijouxDeFoxxe

shake wut ur mama gave u
Soraslipheed said:
I heard you can make smooth lines on Adobe Illustrator, I tried using the pencil tool, and it works good, but how do I modify the line once I've drawn it? There's points along the line, but when I click and drag to modify them it moves the whole line. And I CANNOT use the pen tool to save my life on Photoshop, so I hope I can use Illustrator. Pwease help :3

For using Illustrator, if you want to very the line thickness, select the paths you want, then go Object> Path> Outline Path. This makes the path into filled shapes, and you can grab points and very the thickness of a line. This is how I do some of my inking when I have a free moment. And, of course, when you get the lines to how you like it, you can just export as a PSD and color it in photoshop.
 

foxkun

Member
*sleepy mumble* Lemme go open up Illustrator so I can 'splains...

Okay, so say you're using a pencil tool. Make a little whojit liney bit thing (PS, I sucks at splanins, specially when I'm tireds.)

Now, when you've got a half decent line going on, click on the white arrow in the toolbar. The easiest way I see to get that working is to do a marquee of it around the selection of the place you want to change (ie click/drag from outside the lines that you're working with to past what you're working with to make a box. Easy concept but sucks to 'splain). When you do that, you should note a bunch of dots on the line and a bunch of blue straight lines coming off of that into more dots. If you click and drag those dots at the end of the line you can change how your curve is angled. If you click on the dot on the line that should move that part of the line with it.

I hope that helped a little.
 
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