Cleaning - A lesson in contour tracing | MangaHelpers

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Cleaning A lesson in contour tracing


MH Senpai
英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
Jul 24, 2006
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United States
I just put this together for my cleaners and I thought it might be useful for some people here so I am posting it here.

One thing that I have learned since I started doing cleaning on a more complex level is that the more you know about art and basic drawing the better your cleaning. The better your cleaning the better your basic drawing becomes as well.

The reason for this tutorial is to help people with redrawing the finer details. Alot of the time these finer details are difficult to interrupt at first due to the degradation of the image file in the scanning process. I found that taking the concept of contour drawing and applying it to tracing/redrawing these details was a big help for me. The main thing to do here is to not think about what you are drawing but to trace the lines that are already there. And to trace them faithfully even if they don't make sense at first. We will start out with a simple image to work on through this tutorial and I will add another image that isn't redrawn at all in this tutorial for you to practice on at the end.

Here is the image we will be working on with in this tutorial. It already has the whites, borders and text bubble taken care of.

To begin this process make a new layer (shift + CTRL + N), zoom in to 400 percent and focus on the left side of the flowers in the left bouquet. Again don't think about what you are tracing just think about the line that you are tracing. Use the brush tool at 1 px and begin tracing the line. These smaller details should only require that you go over the line once except where 'line edges' almost meet. Line edges are where two objects come together and touch each other sharing the same line edge. Here is the beginning of the process for you to see.

Now just continue on tracing the lines until the bouquet is complete. You will start to see the flowers as individual flowers now that the tracing is done.

Next move on to the next bouquet. This second bouquet has even less obvious detail but we do want to bring out the detail that it does have. Here is how it looks after tracing/redrawing.

Then we work on the little unreadable lines of text on the grave stones.

Then complete the tracing/redrawing on the remaining image.

And now that you have completed this exercise here is a more complex image to practice on.