Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Preparing Images for Blurb: Color Management

I've been away from the blog for a while, but now I'm ready to pick up where I left off.  In the last post, I showed a process video of how I shaded and highlighted my drawings.  Once all of my pages were completely colored, I added a few shadows with the pen and shape tools.  Also some extra little effects here and there that I felt were needed.  Then it was time to prepare my illustrations for Blurb.  First, I decide to test print a few pages to see how the color would look.  My images were printing much darker than they appeared on screen.  Thankfully, I went to the Blurb website and found a way to help improve the color.  I downloaded their Blurb ICC Profile.  This way I could view my illustrations in Photoshop and have a more accurate idea of how they would look printed.

Here is a link to the Blurb ICC Profile:

Color Management Resource Center | Blurb

ICC Profile in Photoshop:

Once the ICC Profile was downloaded, I used color adjustments to change some of the colors.  I created two new layers above all of my other layers.  One for the color balance adjustment and the other for vibrance.

Here is a before and after:
(The changes look subtle, but it actually made a big difference.)

I then test printed a few pages and was happier with the color results.  Now I was ready to prepare my files to create the book in Blurb.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ninth Step: Coloring in Photoshop-Part 4- Shadows and Highlights

Here is a video I have annotated describing some of my shading and highlighting process.  
Click this button on the lower right hand side of the video to view in full screen.  

Sorry the quality is not at its best in full screen.  Trying to find a better solution!  :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eighth Step: Coloring in Photoshop-Part 3-Coloring Line

Once the flat color was done I decided to paint the black lines a different color.  I used the eyedropper tool to select one of the flat colors from one of my characters.

Then in the color palette I selected a slightly darker color.  This was the color I would give to the line surrounding the original flat color.

I then clicked on my Black Outlines layer and clicked the Lock Transparent Pixels button.  This button enabled me to only color on the black lines.

With my Black Outlines layer selected, I chose a hard paintbrush and began to color over the  black lines.  I kept choosing different colors as needed and painted until every black line was colored.

I also masked out the black lines that were dividing my pages.  To do this, I selected my Black Outlines layer and then clicked on the Mask button.

Then I selected the paintbrush, selected the mask layer and made sure my color was selected to black.  I then began painting over the black dividing lines.  This turned my lines invisible.  I could have just used the eraser tool, but if I accidentally went over a line I didn’t want erased, I could then change the color to white and unmask any area I had accidentally masked out.

And here is the final image:

Next Step:  Coloring in Photoshop: Part 4 - Shadows and Highlights

Friday, December 30, 2011

Seventh Step: Coloring in Photoshop-Part 2

After I had colored my background, I then filled in the rest of the characters with solid flat color.  To do this, I first created a new layer below my line work and above my background layers.  Then, with my new layer selected, I used the magic wand tool, and selected an area to color. 

I then made sure there was no space between my selection and black lines.  To do this, I clicked on Select-Modify-Expand and expanded my selection by 3 pixels.

I then used the paint bucket tool and filled my selection with color:


I used this method for the remaining areas and ended with this:

Here is a look at my layers palette after all of the areas had been filled with color:

Next Step:  Coloring in Photoshop-Part 3-Clororing Line

Sunday, December 18, 2011

eGift A Tooth For Tilly!

A Tooth For Tilly is now available for eGifting at Barnes and Noble and Amazon!

Giving a digital gift is quick and easy - we call it eGifting! NOOK Books and NOOK Apps can be eGifted to anyone with a valid email address. You do not need a NOOK to purchase a digital gift.

To eGift a NOOK Book or NOOK App, click the "Buy as Gift" link under the "Buy Now" button on the product page. You will have the opportunity to enter your gift recipient's email address and an optional gift message. You may preview the eGift email before purchasing. When you are ready to place your order, just click the "Buy Now" button.

Your eGift recipient will receive a notification of their gift at the email address you provide. You will receive an email notifying you when your eGift recipient has claimed their gift.

Click here to eGift A Tooth For Tilly at Barnes and Noble!

Amazon eGifting details:

Any Kindle book available for purchase in the Kindle Store can be given as a gift to anyone with an e-mail address. You do not need a Kindle device to send or receive Kindle book gifts, and the recipient can read their gift on a registered Kindle device or any free Kindle reading application.

To gift a Kindle book, click the Give as a Gift button located under the Buy button on Kindle Store product detail pages. You can also gift Kindle books through your recipient's Amazon Wishlist. 

For more info click here.

Click here to eGift A Tooth For Tilly at Amazon!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sixth Step: Coloring in Photoshop-Part 1

Next, I exported my inked Illustrator images to my painting program, Photoshop.  I clicked on File-Export and saved my files accordingly.  Then I opened my first page in Photoshop.

Once I had opened my file, I saw one flat layer of line work. 

 I then opened a new file and set it at the correct dimensions for my book.  We had chosen a 7x7 square format, so I opened my new file to those dimensions.


I set my new file at 300 ppi, RGB Color and made sure i was using the correct color profile that Blurb recommended. 

After I had created a new file, I dragged the line layer onto the new blank 7x7 canvas. 

Then, I selected a new layer underneath my line layer for my background colors.  I chose a purple and gave it some gradients. 

I repeated this step for the ground color.  I chose a shade of green and then used a gradient.

Then I added in some grass I had created in Illustrator to the background.  I then lowered the opacity to 31%.

Next Step:  Coloring in Photoshop-Part 2

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fifth Step: Inking In Illustrator

After my images were placed and arranged, I started to outline my drawings.  I used a program called Illustrator to create my outlines.  I also used an Intuos 3 pen tablet by Wacom.  I learned how to ink my drawings through trial and error and tutorials I found online.  One of my favorite tutorials came from danidraws.com.  If you are interested in this process please visit her site and check it out!  Creating Line Drawings in Adobe Illustrator | Dani Jones • danidraws.com

Here is an example of one of my pages before and after it was outlined:


Next Step:  Coloring in Photoshop