Inking in Flash


Although Adobe Flash was never intended for this purpose (at
least I think not), you can use Flash to digitally ink still
drawings.  This actually makes a very, very clean line, not
much unlike that of professional anime.  It allows for you to
erase, copy, paste, and many other things analog ink just won’t allow
for.  Also, with this, you can skip a process in the inking
process, which is to retrace your own work…  as long as it’s
not too sloppy.

Scan in the image you
want to ink.  You can even take a digital picture of it with a
camera if you don’t have a scanner.  (Though it’s 10 times
easier to just buy a cheap scanner and scan it in.) 

Anyhow, you should
change anything you want to before you ink it.  This can be
easily done with Photoshop.  You can drag things around and
resize them.

Then import the picture
into Flash MX.  (File >> Import on Flash MX.)

You should resize the
work area in Flash to suit your picture’s needs.  This can be
done by clicking on the white work area, and clicking on the properties
tab.  Then click on the button next to “Size: “ 

Create a new layer
over the original sketch.  Make sure you select the new layer,
or the lines you draw will simply slide underneath the copy of your
original sketch.

Now, trace the
drawing.  Make sure you Smooth on the pencil options on the
bottom left, and change your pen width on the bottom in the properties.

I highly recommend using
a Wacom Tablet, or a similar product to trace.  Though a mouse
works alright, though much slower.

Don’t be afraid to press Undo, and don’t be too impatient to completely
redraw a complete body part.

3 (continued):
This took me well over
4 hours to trace up to this point. 

Try viewing the picture
without the picture in the background.

Delete the sketch
layer, once you are confident enough not to need it anymore.

Obviously, if we were
perfect, we wouldn’t need this step.  Even then, computer
error can come into play;  Flash likes to stick lines to other
lines, making things look very awkward.  This means you need
to micro-manage.  Zoom in and drag things around.
Look at everything that looks even slightly weird.

Here I am dragging the dragon’s
arm up.  I did this by selecting the black cursor on the tools
menu, and held shift while I select all of the pieces to his
arm.  Then, I just clicked and dragged up.  After
that, you need to do some simple erasing and extending.

5 (Continued):
Here, I have copied
the wing, by holding shift and selecting it like my last example, but
instead of moving it, I just copied and pasted it.  Then it
was a simple matter of inverting it and rotating it (Using the Free
Transform Tool,) then erasing the portions that overlapped.



Once you feel that you
have completed the drawing to the best of your abilities, publish
it.  Make sure you edit the Publish Settings first.
(File >> Publish Settings.)  Uncheck the Flash
and HTML types, but click on the JPEG.  Then click on the JPEG
tab in the upper left-hand corner, and change the quality to 100%.

Now print it, color it
on Photoshop.  Whatever you want.

Flash can also be used for
many other things, like actually sketching a rough draft, inking, and
coloring.  But that’s not something I have ever
tried.  That’s a technique from
Alpha Shade
comics, whom gave me the idea to try this out.  (The technique
on this tutorial was completely made by me, though.)


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