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30 July 2007 @ 01:18 pm
Basic Manga Tutorial  
Coloring Manga without those pesky textures and all those complicated adjustment layers.

Skill-builder tutorial for the beginner in manga coloring.
Photoshop 7, Translatable.
Should at least be knowlegeable in changing Layer Type/Blend and selecting colors.

I made this tutorial for a friend, who is not used at coloring manga. Very EASY STUFF. Very Wordy because I like to explain WHY. All tutorials should explain principles

How to make base into Voila

This tutorial was made using the Web Hues Swatches Pallette.

1. Take your Base: base and make sure it's set to Normal. This works if you put the coloring layers ABOVE the Base. If you color BELOW the Base, Set the Base to Multiply. For this tutorial, we'll set the Base to Normal and Create Layers Above.

Create a Layer Above the Base and fill with #003333.
Set Layer to Exclusion.
Adjust Opacity to 10%.

With 10% Exclusion

Exclusion layers give your final output a richer look and it also prevents a washed out look. Since we'll be doing very basic stuff, an exclusion of 10% is enough to give it a very light pinkish er...color, just to prevent a washed out look and to avoid any further color adjustments.

Note on Exclusion Layer: #003333 as an Exclusion gives a rich pinkish color. You can also use colors such as #003366 which gives off something golden. Experimenting on Exclusion Opacities is highly recommend.

! Because the lines of this base are very bold and clean, we'll just go ahead and use this Magic Wand. Teh Magic Wand.

2. Coloring. :D We'll create the Coloring layers ABOVE the base. Setting this Coloring Layers to Multiply (or Linear Burn) allows the darker areas (the black lines) of your Manga to seep through the layer. You won't have a headache coloring because you can see the black lines.

2a. SKIN.

Make sure your BASE Layer is selected. Click on the Magic Wand and click on the area on Watanuki's face.
Create a new Layer Above your Base.
Fill that with #ffcc99.
Now Set that New Layer to Multiply. The darker lines wrap around the color so yay.
But it's too dark, so Adjust Opacity to 40%.
Repeat Process for Hands.
Name this Layer: Skin Layer (For Clarity purposes)


**Select the Base Layer Again and Click on the Area inside the Question. If the Wand did not cover all the area you want to paint, just Press SHIFT (you'll see a + sign) and click again.
**Create a new Layer Above your Skin Layer.
Fill with #ffc761.
Instead of setting this to Multiply, we'll set this to Linear Burn to make the color a little more vibrant. (You can experiment to see the difference). The darker lines will still pass through the layer so you won't any problems coloring.
The color is fine as it is. No opacity adjustments needed.


By now you should know what you will do to color. **
Fill with the #ffc761.
Set this Layer to Linear Burn.


You're already good at this so... after the usual method
Fill with #dfbc9d.
Set to Linear Burn.
Adjust Opacity to 60.

3. Teh PINK.

To quickly color with minimal trouble, go to your base and use your Magic Wand to Click on the Area Inside the Question Marks. Press Shift and Click again if you miss any areas.

Create a new layer.
Set to Multiply.

RIGHT CLICK on the Active Area (the Question Marks Area Created by Your Wand) and Select INVERSE. :D You'll like this technique.

Fill that Layer with #ff545e.

The pink around Watanuki should be easy to erase. Since the base lines are very clean, get a hard round brush for erasing.

The Layers should look like this:

Final Babblings:

The Magic Wand is only reliable when your base lines are as clean as this one...which is very rare.

The colors are fine as it is. The icon is simple to make. While textures add zest, I think it's always awesome to ...respect, I guess, your base. :>

the little hobbit ( o w o )erinae on August 2nd, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
Thank you ^_^This one is really easy to get.I can finally get some colorings right.
Anything that happens, happens.: innocence akira hikarutininess on August 2nd, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
glad it could help! ♥
the synchronicity highway: LIGHT: when you throw away your humanityvelshtein on August 2nd, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
Neat. I never thought about using that first exclusion layer. Thanks!
Anything that happens, happens.: eh?tininess on August 2nd, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
Interesting. YOu mean you don't start of with exclusions? When do you add exclusion layers? *curious*
the synchronicity highway: L LIGHT: you'll never be free of mevelshtein on August 2nd, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
I usually color stuff, merge, duplicate that and set the second base layer on softlight, add an exclusion layer between those two and then add some selective coloring layers on top.
Anything that happens, happens.: innocence akira hikarutininess on August 3rd, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
I see! I'm paranoid when it comes to coloring since I tend to change my mind a lot so I only merge when I finish it all. ^_^"" Not merging is a kind of insurance for me XDDDDD Thanks for the info! :D ♥
anagram42anagram42 on August 3rd, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
I love the simplicity of it, :)

Here's what I got ---> What I made, :3
Yeah, Xd
Anything that happens, happens.: oh yesssstininess on August 3rd, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
XD Awesome! Thanks for showing me your result. =)
anagram42: The Finest Lineanagram42 on August 13th, 2007 05:28 am (UTC)
I loved your tutorial, I had to try it out, :3
TA・KA・IIkykou_yk on August 4th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
Sankyu for this tutorial, surely this might improve my iconing 8D;;
Corbeauncorbeaun on October 8th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
I was so impressed by the coloring that you did for the HnG icons you posted in October that I back-browsed. Thank you so much for putting up this tutorial. I love it when artists/authors share their creative process and techniques. *^.^*

*is off to try out tutorial*
slovak vampire: Fuji is confusednumisma on November 30th, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
...What if you use a program that doesn't have options like Exclusion or Linear Burn?
Anything that happens, happens.: HAAARTStininess on January 3rd, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
sorry about answering so late -_-" (lost comment).

If your program doesn't have linear burn, multiply Layers will do. Linear Burn layers give stronger colors than Multiply Layers, so you can add a Color Burn Layer (don't set it too high too) at the top. The overall effect of the Color Burn Layer is determined by the color you use. If you want a "diplomatic" burn, try using a gray shade. You can try other colors. :DD

As for exclusions, just use an unsaturated Tan/Pink Multiply Layer. That way you can easily avoid the colors being too bright or too washed out. The reasons why I use exclusions is that Exclusions affect the darkest lines of your base, so if you're using a colored base to begin with, it's fantastic to use for adjustments. But for uncolored images like in this tut, a multiply layer is good enough.
slovak vampire: lost timenumisma on January 3rd, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
*laughs* It's all right. I'm happy you got around to it eventually.

I'll be sure to try this out. Thank you very much!
lyss.: [furuba] behind the anger i still feelxsay_goodnight on January 3rd, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
ooh, thank you so much for this! i'm new to manga icons and i plan to use this for practice!
Anything that happens, happens.: HAAARTStininess on January 3rd, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
glad I could help :DD
Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo: Batman approveswiley_wiggins on January 16th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
shirahimesyo on November 8th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I will have to give it a whirl!
Anything that happens, happens.: shijima is unsure; *^_^*tininess on November 8th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
if you already have those photoshop muscles, you can view the other more comprehensive and more headache-inducing tutorial:


I wanted to update this to make it more user friendly, but I'm too lazy DD:
Anything that happens, happens.: waaaat?!?!?!tininess on November 8th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
fail -_-;