So you want to digitally tone your work? Here, I will cover
only the use of seperate tones much like the tangible Letratone
and similar tone sheets. There is another way to "tone"
by using the grayscale and/or gradiant feature (if your
software has it, anyways) plus some others but that's another
tutorial. Anyways, moving on to the fun stuff, let's get
1. Get Yourself Some Tones
The first thing you have to do is to get yourself some digital
screen tones. These tones may be scanned from patterns,
originally made, or digitally made using the grayscale/gradiant
feature. Ashura has a neat collection available in our Guest
Tutorial section called Screentone Depot.
For more tones, here are a few other sites on the net you
can get some tones:
Celes Chere Digital Screentones
Mandichan's Free Use Tones
2. It's All About Layers!
Now that you have some nifty tones, you've got to have a
graphic software that can do layers. Layers allow you to
have multiple images stacked together, each seperate from
the other, on the same picture. It's much like animation
where they have the background and several cells on top
for the characters and special effects like fog.
Some software's that have this feature is Adobe Photoshop
and Corel Draw. There are definitely others out there but
you should be able to accomplish the same result regardless
of which software you'll be using. Speaking of which, I
will be demonstrating how to tone using Photoshop.
3. Getting Started
Now that you've got some tones and a nice software, open
up your drawing in that software. Make sure the lines are
all cleaned up, crisp, and the background is crystal clear.
If you've already done that, unlock your image by creating
a copy. To copy your drawing, just drag and drop your drawing
layer onto the paper icon on bottom of the Layers window
as indicated by the arrow below.
Now that you have an unlocked layer, you can edit your
image such as color on it, move it, and all them good stuff.
Make sure you delete the locked version, btw. You don't
need it anymore. Just drag and drop it onto the garbage
icon just right of the copy layer button.
Click on the Magic Wand (stick
with sparks) on your toolbox and select areas in your
drawing that you will tone. In my case, I'll be toning everything
so I deleted all the white within my artwork. When you select
an area, the Magic Wand will select everything of that same
color. If you have a broken line, it will select colors
outside of that line as well so manually use the Eraser
if you want to avoid that problem. Here's my finished cleaned
4. Putting in Tones
Here comes the good part - putting in the tones! Select
an area you want to tone first. For me, I'll do the suit.
Decide what tone you want to use. Open that tone file, click
on the Move button on your Toolbox (arrow),
and drag and drop it over your drawing. If it's not under
your drawing, drag and drop the tone layer below your drawing
in your Layers Window.
Example: Ashura's marble tone used for suit
5. Editing Tones
Move your tone around till you have it positioned in the
correct place by using the Move tool . If your tone overlaps
another area that will be toned, just erase the excess tone
with the Eraser tool. Keep putting in your tones, position
them, and erase any excess off until you have all the tones
that you want in your drawing.
Example 1: Erasing hair tone....
Example 2: All tones have been added =)
6. Finishing Off
Add highlights and shading by CGing in the appropriate color
over the tone. Make sure you do the colors on another layer
and not on the tone layer itself. If you do so, you'll be
erasing the tone and it's going to create a lot of problems
for you - especially if you made a mistake or change you
what I did for my example:
Shades: I decided to darken his shades but wanted to keep
the speedlines a bit visible so I used 40% opacity brush.
Hair: Originally, he was supposed to be medium haired but
I changed my mind and I lightened up his hair. I CGed his
whole hair in white and just erased the parts that were
in shadow (exposing tone below).
Other: I also erased some other white areas for his nose,
ear, chin, and under his jaw. I also moved him to the right
side to create more impact and added a black gradient at
the far right.