Thinning ink lines

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akizakura
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Thinning ink lines

#1 Post by akizakura » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:52 am

Hey LSF! This might be a really basic question, but it's one I struggle with (along with jagged lines). I'm trying to improve my digital drawing skills and get used to using the tablet and various software. I tend to work with thicker lines for sketching, but also with inking because I find the thinner lines harder to see. Is there an easy/"cheat" way to edit the ink lines after they've been drawn to make them thinner? (I'm currently using GIMP, but I use Photoshop as well, so tips for either program would be appreciated) Or is the only option just to work with thinner ink lines from the start?

Here's the image (fanart) I'm working on with an example of the thick lines:
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Desu_Cake
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Re: Thinning ink lines

#2 Post by Desu_Cake » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:42 am

Only if you're using vector lines. Which you aren't. So, no.
You may want to invest in getting Paint Tool Sai, since you can do that sort of thing in linework layers with it.

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Re: Thinning ink lines

#3 Post by Sharm » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:26 am

No, the only thing you can do is thin it by hand or redraw. If you have a hard time with seeing the lines maybe you need to work bigger.
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akizakura
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Re: Thinning ink lines

#4 Post by akizakura » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:17 am

Thank you both for the replies! Desu_Cake, once I get my PC fixed, I think I will get SAI (I'm on a Mac laptop now).

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Re: Thinning ink lines

#5 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:26 am

You have to work thin to begin with. I often "draw" with the eraser tool. I use lots of light, sketchy marks to find the line I want, then erase to get the curve and taper I want. Work big - your lines will only appear thin when you shrink the image afterward - and if you look closely, even the drawings with the thinnest lines have tapering and line variation.

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Re: Thinning ink lines

#6 Post by magicalfortress » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:14 am

this is an old topic, but there is a way to thin your lines :)

just do a selection of all the white areas, then expand that selection by how many pixels you want to thin the art. then delete the selection! instant thinner lines :)

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Re: Thinning ink lines

#7 Post by bearsrcute » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:58 pm

you can also originally work on a REALLY BIG canvas then scale to the appropriate size

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Re: Thinning ink lines

#8 Post by DerWanderer » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:17 pm

bearsrcute wrote:you can also originally work on a REALLY BIG canvas then scale to the appropriate size
Agreed. If you draw in a really big canvas, the brush will seem thinner and smoother once you zoom out. I actually do this for my digital drawings because the lines seem more natural than deleting selections.

Also, I noticed you're using GIMP. Have you tried FireAlpaca? It has better brush quality, IMO.
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Re: Thinning ink lines

#9 Post by KiloTango » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:49 pm

If you do go back to Photoshop, https://gumroad.com/kyletwebster (primarily the drawing pack) and http://frenden.myshopify.com/products/p ... ng_brushes have some great brushes that, if you have a light touch can give you some lovely lines.

Working on a large canvas is your best bet, as at final resolution even the smallest brush settings tend not to be as delicate as you'd like. Shrinking down also gives you the bonus of smoothing your lines, something that is even more important with ultra skinny lines (as they tend to be less forgiving of wobbles than a thicker line etc)

Another thing that will help with delicacy is using coloured lineart. Pure black will always look harsher, but if you use something tinted to go with what you're lining (browns on skin and warm colours etc) that will soften the lines even more, which reads as them being even more delicate.

If you're having trouble seeing the lines, zoom in while you work. Just make sure to keep zooming back out to check things all work well together.
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