Pixel Playground
Illustration by John Hersey

Pixel Playground

with Bert Monroy

Video: Colorizing black-and-white sketches

- This week, what we're going to do is talk about colorizing comics. Now in this particular case, we're talking about colorizing black-and-white sketches. Right here we see an image that I did for a magazine article some time back and it's a wizard. Now, the wizard is based on a drawing that my son had done, right here. This is his drawing which was scanned in. It's done with pencils and marker. I asked him to create this particular wizard for me and this is what he created. Now, it is necessary to go in here and colorize this guy.
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  1. 11m 18s
    1. Colorizing black-and-white sketches NEW
      11m 18s
  2. 37m 52s
    1. Easter basket: Adding a bow and the eggs
      10m 26s
    2. Placing lettering on plastic
      10m 5s
    3. Using brushes to create a twisted pair of wires in Illustrator
      6m 4s
    4. Creating an Art Deco bistro sign
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    1. St. Patrick's Day card: Creating a shamrock and a pot of gold
      9m 13s
    2. St. Patrick's Day card: Adding the details
      8m 13s
    3. Creating a 3D Easter egg
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    4. Easter basket: Creating the basket
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  4. 36m 43s
    1. Making a piece of candy: Adding the jelly filling
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a Valentine's Day card
      10m 10s
    3. Turning a daytime scene into night
      8m 24s
    4. Using Photoshop's Displace filter to create a waving flag
      7m 18s
  5. 45m 43s
    1. Using the Photoshop Flame Generator
      6m 53s
    2. Creating a mountain scene
      8m 24s
    3. Creating reflections in water
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    4. Making a diamond-encrusted type
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    5. Making a piece of candy: Creating the chocolate base
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  6. 27m 47s
    1. Mapping video onto a 3D object in Photoshop
      5m 50s
    2. Creating a wintery scene
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    3. Making a New Year's 2015 card
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  7. 33m 21s
    1. Three Dimensional type with extruded neon: Making the letter forms
      12m 29s
    2. 3D type with extruded neon: Adding the neon
      11m 48s
    3. Creating a Thanksgiving card
      9m 4s
  8. 47m 25s
    1. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Building the star field
      9m 23s
    2. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Adding color and effects
      10m 19s
    3. Creating a campfire scene: Adding the campfire
      12m 34s
    4. Creating a campfire scene: Adding trees and lighting
      8m 3s
    5. Creating a superhero type treatment
      7m 6s
  9. 46m 32s
    1. Making a desk nameplate
      12m 6s
    2. Illustrating a campfire from scratch
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    3. Creating realistic stains on bathroom tile
      9m 9s
    4. Creating a distressed windowsill from scratch
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  10. 45m 16s
    1. Increasing precipitation: How to make a rainy-day photo look rainier
      9m 34s
    2. Retouching techniques: Improving a picnic scene
      9m 28s
    3. Retouching techniques: Moving an object in a scene
      9m 29s
    4. Retouching techniques: Improving a real estate photo
      8m 53s
    5. Adding a billboard to a photo
      7m 52s
  11. 28m 56s
    1. Making a book: Perspective
      9m 53s
    2. Making a book: Adding pages
      9m 27s
    3. Using paths and layer styles to create logo text
      9m 36s
  12. 42m 42s
    1. Theater curtain: Animating a rising curtain
      7m 23s
    2. Creating a chalkboard
      12m 48s
    3. Creating a manila envelope
      12m 50s
    4. Turning a regular donut into a jelly donut
      9m 41s
  13. 48m 47s
    1. Creating net fabric for a veil
      15m 39s
    2. Animating a spotlight against a brick wall
      7m 1s
    3. Damen Station: Using Blend in Illustrator to create intricate details
      4m 34s
    4. Theater curtain: Making a braid and tassels
      9m 53s
    5. Theater curtain: Creating the curtain
      11m 40s
  14. 34m 22s
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      7m 53s
    2. Creating realistic reflections and shadows
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    3. Creating water droplets on a surface
      7m 42s
    4. Wrapping a pattern around a 3D wine goblet
      7m 47s
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      6m 56s
    2. Oyster Bar: Creating puddles
      6m 15s
    3. Oyster Bar: Creating asphalt and concrete textures
      5m 3s
    4. Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover
      10m 53s
  16. 38m 48s
    1. Magazine cover: Creating a lamp
      13m 57s
    2. Magazine cover: Creating a wood floor
      13m 29s
    3. Damen Station: Adding multiple train cars
      5m 26s
    4. Damen Station: Creating bolts
      5m 56s
  17. 36m 9s
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      7m 17s
    2. Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim
      7m 37s
    3. Red truck: Creating realistic metal perforations
      7m 5s
    4. Red truck: Creating wear on metal
      6m 18s
    5. Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room
      7m 52s
  18. 31m 44s
    1. Oakland Theater: Creating lightbulbs
      15m 33s
    2. Changing photo contents with Auto-Align Layers
      6m 36s
    3. Creating a metal grill
      9m 35s
  19. 47m 14s
    1. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding details
      10m 49s
    2. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding a third dimension
      10m 10s
    3. Oakland Theater: Creating stone walls
      14m 11s
    4. Oakland Theater: Creating neon
      12m 4s
  20. 40m 9s
    1. Animating a 3D starfield
      7m 6s
    2. Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop
      13m 1s
    3. Creating a custom brush to draw hair
      7m 57s
    4. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: First steps
      12m 5s
  21. 21m 8s
    1. Using a Fibonacci spiral to create a tattoo
      4m 19s
    2. Body shaping with Puppet Warp
      4m 1s
    3. Type effects in Photoshop: Pillow
      6m 46s
    4. Type effects in Photoshop: Clouds
      6m 2s
  22. 42m 37s
    1. Recreating magazine clippings
      7m 31s
    2. Creating realistic scales for a dragon tattoo
      6m 27s
    3. Creating spikes for a dragon tattoo
      10m 35s
    4. Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo
      10m 55s
    5. Creating a flower tattoo
      7m 9s
  23. 29m 24s
    1. Creating a custom brush
      7m 28s
    2. Using displacement maps to create shadows
      7m 27s
    3. Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake
      6m 37s
    4. Creating a dog tag
      7m 52s
  24. 23m 36s
    1. Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop
      6m 39s
    2. Filling an empty glass with liquid
      2m 51s
    3. Using an alpha channel to create a 3D object
      6m 53s
    4. Creating a 3D coin
      7m 13s

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Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground
14h 21m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated May 01, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Bert Monroy

Colorizing black-and-white sketches

- This week, what we're going to do is talk about colorizing comics. Now in this particular case, we're talking about colorizing black-and-white sketches. Right here we see an image that I did for a magazine article some time back and it's a wizard. Now, the wizard is based on a drawing that my son had done, right here. This is his drawing which was scanned in. It's done with pencils and marker. I asked him to create this particular wizard for me and this is what he created. Now, it is necessary to go in here and colorize this guy.

So, this is the technique I came up with because I do want to maintain all those nice black lines and simply add color to what's behind him. So, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to take this and I'm going to do a Select All. So I Select All and I Copy, there you go. So now, what happens here is I'm going to go in and I'm going to create a new Alpha Channel. So I go over to Channels and I create a Channel right there.

And what I'm going to do is I Paste him right into there. There it is. So now, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to invert this. So I go to Image, Mode, and I say in Adustments, I say Invert, Command I. And there you see what I have. And now, I can go in there and let's look at this closer. Let's get in real close and we see the tones that we have here. If I want I can make those whites a little stronger by going into my Levels and just bringing those whites in. See how they're going to get, start getting much brighter. Okay, and the same thing with the midtones, let's make them lighter so I get much stronger definition.

I could bring my blacks in so I get a really strong definition of all the tones that are in there. So now, I come back to my art, right here and then the art I could just say fill it with white. And I'll create a new Layer right on top of this. Now the new job button's going back to Layers here. Create a new Layer and we're going to call this the ink, that's the ink Layer. And what I'm going to do is, I'm going to load that Channel. Command click on it and it loads it, right. So then I have black, so what I do is I'm going to go in there and fill it with that 100% of the Foreground Color which is black.

And I could Deselect it and there's my ink. See, so now, if I create a layer behind this, put it right back here. And I'll throw in some tone, like, let's say we want this kind of a purplish tone, right there. And I start to paint, let's get a nice big brush. And we have a Grass Brush from the last time we were working here. And let's go in here and just paint. And you see that it's painting, leaving all the black tones intact because they are, in fact, in their own Layer. So now I can go in real close and start to look at the areas that I want to be purple.

So what I could do is start to create, let's say, the hood here. I'm going to get in real close and work on his hood. So what I'm going to do is get a nice small brush and start to paint in all the parts that are going to be the purple, see. Now this requires a little tracing but that's okay it's no problem as long as you stay inside the lines. But the beauty of this is that there is a thing called the Undo, so if you mess it up it's really easy to fix. I'm going to go in there and I'm just going to kind of fill up all these tight little areas like so, once we have them, right in there.

So we're basically going to concentrate on the hat for now because colorizing the entire thing, it gets a little involved. So we're going to go in here and just create these nice little tones right inside here, right there, and in here, and so, like that. Now the stars, the stars are a whole different color. So, since they are trapped inside of that little area there they're not so hard to do, as you might say.

Like right now, keeping this purple inside the area that I want requires a little more careful application of the brush. Because of the fact that I don't want to stray inside of those little, those little stars. But I can get in real close and just see what I'm doing here. And you can see we're just going in all through this area and filling it in with the purple, all right. So let's just get this going, right in here. And I don't have to be that neat around the black because of the fact that the black is hiding anything that I don't want it to show.

All right, so let's go in there and let's finish this off right there and get this little tip up here going. Now, in the case of the stars, well, the stars are very specific shapes behind this purple, all right. So, I don't have to be as tight as you might think so pull back a little bit. And the Layer behind the purple and it's called a purple. And this one we'll call yellow. So we'll pick a nice yellow that we want.

Let's say we want this yellow here. And in that Layer here I could just go in there and start to paint. You see it doesn't matter because it's hiding behind a purple anyway so I don't have to be as neat here. Just go in there and cover that stuff up. And go in there and go bigger. And so, on there you could see that we're starting to get all the little purple and yellow stars in the hat. Now, to add a little dimension to this, there's a couple of ways that we can go about it. One is to simply take that particular color and start to add some tones to it.

So I might want to go in there and add a little highlight, right through here. So I'm doing a little dodging and burning right through this area here. So I'm going to dodge here. Let's go with the Shadows so that it gets a little lighter. And increase the opacity, the Exposure to about 70. And we'll add a little highlight right through there and maybe another one right in here, right in there, like that. And one right in here, right there, like that. Then we'll take the Burn Tool which will bring that Exposure up to about 70. And we'll just throw some dark tones right in there, and a little dark tone in here, and dark tone right through there, and maybe one right into this area here, just like that.

Now you might want to do that to the others as well, except here, we're going to be working with Highlights. So, we might want to throw a little darkness in there, a little darkness in there, and a little darkness right through these areas in here. See, and there's, you can see how we start to colorize all the different pieces that make up this particular art. Now in some cases, like for instance, the eyes, if we look at the actual art you see that the eyes, we'll just get in close, have a little glow to them. Okay, well that's not so hard. We'll go in there, and what we do is, we simply select this little area.

And again, we don't have to be that careful. So I'm just going to go in there and just make sure I stay behind the black area, just like that, right in there like that. And then the Layer behind all this stuff, I can call it the eyes. And I'll get a bright yellow from my Foreground, and a deep red from my Background, and I get my Gradient Tool, Radial Gradient, and I could throw a little eye right inside there like that. See, makes it real easy to create those kind of effects.

And we've got this guy, this thing right here. In the painting it has a glow. All right, so what happened there? Let's see how this got created. Now, here is the ball itself. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to do the end of the wand. All right, so this is the wand. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to get a nice light blue. This is the color that I want the edge or the center of this wand to be. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to go in here and start to paint it right in there with my paintbrush. And let's do Select because the eye, the eye selected over there.

And we're just going to throw this tone right inside of the edge of this wand, right here like this. Okay, and here we have to go around the claw. All right, we got to, this part has to be a little clearer, right there. Unless we added some tones to that one that's in front which would make it a lot easier, like the browns for the, for that claw, whatever. And we do this kind of a thing. And the fact, because of the fact that I would like to have this as a nice even glow, let's go ahead and fill this whole thing up so we have the entire tip.

And then right here, we'll just say claw and we'll get a brown, and we'll fill this up. Now this is in front so it's not going to affect our little ball. There we go. Now, to see the next effect, then let's just add this guy over here on the sides, just to get this guy complete.

And we can give this a little texture if we want and all kinds of stuff because these are Layers. And we can give them all kinds of effects and things which is what we're about to do for this last little ball. All right, so here's the beginnings of our little staff with the ball at the end of it. Now, what I'm going to do just so we can see what's going to happen next, is I'm going to go in here into the Background and we'll just throw a red into it. Let's just throw a red into that Background, so there's this red. So now, back to the wand.

I'm going to go in there and double click on it and what I want to do is, I want to give it a inner glow. I'm going to give it an inner glow and I'm going to pick a nice deep blue, much deeper blue like that. Okay, now, it doesn't show because of the fact that since the glow is set to Screen, so if I set that to a Multiply which is that of a shadow then we're going to see the effect. So I go in there and, say, let's give it a bigger size. And there you can see where we're starting to get that nice glow up there. See, right, just like that. There it is. And then I'm going to give it a little outer glow. And the outer glow, go to a nice blue, nice light blue like this, and expand that guy way out so it starts to have this nice glow all around the little ball, like that.

And there you can see how we start to get all these nice little affects to create a finished piece that looks somewhere in the neighborhood of like this. And when we pull back we see all the different affects all through it. And it's a lot of dodging, and burning, and adding of tones. And basically you study a fabric you take a sweater or a shirt and just drape it over something and see how the folds work, and see how the shadows work in there so you can start to replicate those same kind of effects to make it look realistic. Same thing with the beard, there's a little tone, and all these little blue highlights are because of that light.

Something to consider, see, little blue tones in these areas that's because of the color being emitted by the end of the wand. So that's why it's good to go in there and study reality and study how things work so that you can replicate them and make them look right. But basically, what we did is we created a Layer of ink which is based on our original drawing, which was done in pencil and marker. And then in Layers behind it all the additional tones were added to create the final affect which looks like that.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pixel Playground .


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Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
 
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