Digital ink

How to digitally ink your drawing in Adobe illustrator CS4

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Adobe illustrator CS4 digital ink - part 1

Adobe illustrator CS4 digital ink - part 2

Digital ink is the new revolution for digital artists and comic book creators. With drawing softwares like illustrator but also with free drawing software it’s possible to digitally ink your drawing to obtain sleek and effective lineart.

In this tutorial we’ll look at how to start with digital inking using Adobe Illustrator CS4, however the information presented here are valid also for previous versions of the software.

I have created a video tutorial that explains step by step how to set up your first brush in illustrator and to modify its properties to your needs. Just follow it and you’ll be able able to start inking proficiently your drawing in no time.

This is by no means an exhaustive analysis of the art of using digital ink instead of traditional ink but it’s a good starting point if you are new to it.

Before leaving you to the video tutorial i’ll summarize briefly the steps needed to setup your brush in illustrator.

Step 1

Open the scan of your drawing with Illustrator in a new layer and convert it to template. Create a new layer on top of the pencil drawing.

Step 2

Select the brush tool from the tool palette. Click on the dropDown menu in the tool bar and click the small menu button to pop open the brush option menu. Create a new round brush.

Step 3

In the brush Tool Option menu set the diameter of the brush on pressure and change the variation to your linking.

Step 4

Tune the value of Fidelity and Smoothness from the brush Tool menu. You access this almost hidden menu by double clicking on the brush Tool icon on the tool palette.

The Fidelity slider controls how far you have to move your mouse or stylus before Illustrator adds a new anchor point to the path. For example, a Fidelity value of 2.5 means that tool movements of less than 2.5 pixels aren’t registered. Fidelity can range from 0.5 to 20 pixels; the higher the value, the smoother and less complex the path.

The Smoothness slider controls the amount of smoothing that Illustrator applies when you use the tool. Smoothness can range from 0% to 100%; the higher the percentage, the smoother the path.

Step 5

Start inking!!

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Vince is the founder of the Drawing Factory. Everything you see here which is not marked differently has been done by him. Besides a great love for drawing Vince is passionate about everything related to art and he has a mission to make you a better artist!