Saturday, 14 November 2009


Hey all, if anyone is into Photoshop, particularly for cartoons or webcomics, there are some handy plugins I recommend. This makes colouring in and shading a real easy task, as you don't have to worry about messing up the line art, going over the lines, leaving any white patches and so forth.

If you search for bpelt on Google (it may actually just be in fact) you will find two plugins on the site; multifill and flatten. Download these both and drop them into the plug-ins in your Adobe Photoshop folder in Program Files. They'll install when you open the program.

If you draw anything with either a graphics tablet or the pen tool onto a new layer, you can fill the closed sections with solid colour. A bit like Paint I guess, but with anti-aliasing and a damn sight more ease in tiny sections. Pretty much all you do is duplicate the drawn layer, merge one of those with a layer of solid white (hide the other drawn layer for now) and use the tolerance tool to remove all the anti-aliasing for the layer, so we just have black or white; no greys.

You will then use the multifill plugin to automatically fill any section with solid colour. No white bits, it's solid. Then flatten it to remove the black outlines, and voila, you have a crazy multicoloured layer that's accurate to your drawing, and all you need to do is change the colours with the paint bucket tool (turn anti-aliasing off for now, just so colours remain solid round the edges), and put the original drawn layer on over the top of the colour layer.

This is how I coloured my character sheets for Want That Ball, and believe me, it's much faster than any other way I've dealt with. The other bonus is when you want a darker shade round an edge, you can do so just as fast. Essentially what you do is when you have a duplicated version of the drawn layer, add a few lines to indicate where the light will change. Then merge this with a white layer as before. It gives you other sections of colour to deal with, without having lines over every different colour. If need be, turn anti-aliasing back on when you're fine tuning the shades of colour.

When I get access to my own PC with the tablet and scanner, I'll put up some images to illustrate exactly what I mean. has a great tutorial of how to get some good cartoon shading on the go, I recommend reading this.

Chat soon!

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