Friday, April 1, 2011

I.T. Ellis-The Photoshop Clean Line Art Trick

Showing the channels. Duplicating the blue channel and inverting it. This allows dragging the channel down to the "dotted line" circle you see at the bottom of the channels window. This makes a selection of the alpha-white.

Go back to levels, Create a clean one. You can see your crawling ant selection waiting to be filled. You need to have deselected the blue-copy channel and have rgb again selected or photoshop will give you a confused appearance.

Showing black filling the selection. With transparency vs a white. There should be no white now. The only color used has been black and the fill has anti-aliased itself into transparent vs white.

Showing how clean color now looks under the new clean black line art.


  1. This is a great way to paint into line art. Losing the line subtly by painting into the selection. Just leave the layer set up for quick selection. The layer will have to be deleted if you want to save as jpg.

  2. Ellis, this is awesome! Thank you so much for the help. I OWE YOU BIG TIME!

  3. My pleasure Marty. Candice at Heavy Iron actually introduced me to this. I told her that there was nothing to stop me from ruling the world now that I had this trick.

    Nothing but congenital laziness.I guess claiming it as congenital is harsh on the parents. Maybe I acquired it in the mid 70s. The pot years.

  4. Gary pointed out that you credited me on this Ellis, thanks buddy. One more tip for Marty. If you keep your Line on a seperate layer and lock the transparency, you can then paint any color line over the black, cleanly.

  5. Aha, very good. I was thinking of wasting another level, using the same selection trick, and painting over the top of the black. Your way is much more efficient.
    Glad you and Gary came by Candice.