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Crash Course Guides to GIMP - Sketch to Lineart by Mr-Glaceon Crash Course Guides to GIMP - Sketch to Lineart by Mr-Glaceon
This is a guide I wrote today when I discovered how to easily transform my scanned drawings into readily usable line art in GIMP. I couldn't find a tutorial like this before when I tried to find one on Google, so I hope this proves useful to anyone trying to give their sketches a little digital flare. ^^

While I know that you can easily color on top of a sketch with a multiply layer, you are otherwise left to clean up all the noise and eraser smudges from the paper if all you wanted was the line art. This method will allow you to extract only the lines from the scan and not have to worry about manually cleaning up anything. This should work for either inked or penciled sketches just fine.

Although the 2.8 version of GIMP is used for this tutorial, it should be generalized enough to work with the 2.6 version as well.

Tutorial and art by :iconjohnluke728:, OC designs featured from a request by =Caipryss

Finished Version of the piece used in this tutorial : [link]
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:iconlilyandstrawberry:
lilyandstrawberry Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow! Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! I am new to Gimp, so this was very, very helpful! I am going to try this out tomorrow. :D I can't wait!
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you found it helpful! Converting sketches or traditional inks to digital isn't as complicated as other tutorials on deviantART. This can even be done in Krita, if you prefer it for blending traditional and digital media together.
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:icondazymae:
DazyMae Featured By Owner May 19, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
oh my god this is the most amazing thing i've ever seen uwu ;v; 
thank you so much oh my lord
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad it was helpful for you. I really should update the artwork in the tutorial with better illustrations, omg the anatomy keeps bothering me. :XD:
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:iconbloodyroseofdeath:
BloodyRoseOfDeath Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your GIMP skin :D its easier on the eyes than the white backgrounds D;
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually, since GIMP runs on GTK, it was skinned by my old Xubuntu installation's theme. (Forgot what the theme was called, sadly.) Although you can use themes on GIMP, and some of them look as professional as any other art program.

This one's probably the best there is for GIMP.
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:iconbloodyroseofdeath:
BloodyRoseOfDeath Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much :D
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome! Dancing dummy GIMP can be pretty too.
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:iconwinterazazel:
WinterAzazel Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Um, you said to create a new layer after we turn the alpha color white, right? Should the layer be white or transparant?
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's best to create a new layer for coloring on, yes. Always use transparent, unless you need a vivid background color to help you spot errors in coloring layers.
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:iconkawaii-alpacasso:
kawaii-alpacasso Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
eeeeeee thank you so much!!
I don't have Sai or PS and every other tutorial on lineart is for those two...
DOMO ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU 
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. ^o^ It's a lot easier to transform your sketches, or inked traditional drawings, into digital lines than other tutorials let on. Any art program with alpha locking, contrast/brightness and HSV adjustment can do this.
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:iconrevengex360:
revengex360 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The scanned thing , can you make it 100% digitally!!! I mean with all the digital pencils , right!!!??? Isn't that what all you GIMP users do!!!???
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The digital pencil brushes in GIMP aren't that great for emulating organic brush strokes. I've only seen good pencil brushes in Krita's brush engine, and that has some limitations as well.

So this tutorial exists to extract only the pencil lines from the paper, instead of needing to clean up the noise around it too, and this should work for extracting traditional ink lines as well.
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:iconravenpl13:
RavenPl13 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013
GOD! I've finally found a tutorial that provided me with all the data I needed! :la: You're fantastic, wonderfull and brilliant all at once! Words cannot describe how grateful I am. :tighthug:
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, you're welcome. ^o^ I'm glad you found it useful. ^^
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:iconwastelander7:
Wastelander7 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Nice tut! Thank you for sharing! :D
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. ^^ Glad you found it useful. XD
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:iconfractalbee:
FractalBee Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
Thank you! :clap: :D
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. ^_^
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:iconfranzinot:
Franzinot Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
YES!! JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO LEARN THAN YOU <3!!
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, you're welcome. XD I'm glad I'm not the only one who wanted to use sketch lines in GIMP. ^^
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:iconpandajerk007:
PandaJerk007 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This tutorial is very useful! (I used it to get started on a piece of art I was meaning to do for a while :) )
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to hear it. ^^ Should be a lot less trouble than inking over it again in GIMP. XD
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:iconthynkpynk:
ThynkPynk Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Yay! Very helpful tutorial, every step's clear and well-explained. :D So many tuts say "1. multiply this layer and do something with alpha until it's good 2. do a barrel roll and divide by zero 3. use levels to polarize the image and send a message to Curiosity on Mars 4. if you did it right it will look perfect, if not then your computer will explode", I was glad that this one (which is going to help me quite frequently) is simple. :3
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. ^^

lolyeah, I know what you mean! Quite a few tutorials involve complex layer effects most of us intermediate users haven't even played with yet. XD I was glad I could make a simple and easy tutorial to follow; I try to keep them all like that, even my Street Fighter II guide on GameFAQs. XD
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:iconlindaakari:
lindaakari Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
Reeeeaaaallyyyy useful tutorial, thanks a lot :squee:
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. ^^ I had a feeling I wouldn't be the only GIMP user wanting to use sketches as digital line art. XD
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:iconlindaakari:
lindaakari Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Yes, I really wanted to find a way to use them easily and then you just made this tutorial, thanks a loooot ovo
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad everyone is finding it so useful. ^^ I was pretty excited when I discovered how easy it was do almost by accident, (Before I ink a vector over a scanned drawing, I always change the hue and increase the contrast so it's easier to tell the lines from the paper up-close. That's when I thought to change the white to alpha, and bingo!) so it's great other people are able to do this without expensive software.
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:iconnolwenamiel:
NolweNamiel Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
Thanks for the tutorial!
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. ^^ I'm glad it was helpful.
Reply
:iconkemiro-wolf:
kemiro-wolf Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just used this technique on one of my scans, and it worked perfectly! Thank you very much for making this tutorial, Johnluke728, and you're getting a fave from me ^.^
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Daw, you're welcome. ^^ I'm glad it was helpful to you. :3

Also, I've updated the tutorial already to explain how to get the line art to be solid black, if the Hue and Saturation tool step makes the lines too gray to change them to a darker color. That's something the only tutorial I could find before never explained. XD
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