Oct 15, 2010

How to Clean-up Manga Scans

I am finished reading One Piece 600 and Naruto 513.  Kenichi and Koukin are still fighting at episode 402.  In Fairy Tail 204, the Mage Exam has just started.  Bleach 424 will only be out on the 27th Oct 2010.  They are on 2 week hiatus.  And Itagaki's fight with Karasawa was pegged at Hajime no Ippo 906.

These are just some of the Mangas that I am following.  I bet somebody out there also have the same list as mine.  But I still have some that i did not add in the above list.

I read manga for the story within, and I am enjoying it.  Some are very nice and neat;  some with colors; some are poorly drawn; some even have pixelized;  and some were not cleaned well.
But every time I came across with one or two very neat and colorful manga pages, I always wonder on how they really do it.  "Google is my best friend" - so I found myself a good tutorial.  This is from ChibiDesign.com.

How to Clean-up Manga Scans

If only cleaners are counted a profession I suppose I can[2] be one of them ^^. But too bad it was a voluntary job which signifies you acquire nothing from practicing the job, but for certain there are lots of photoshop newbies who wanted to learn how to clean a manga and contribute some of their free time.

On this tutorial I will share my simplified method on extracting the artwork out from those manga scans to be able to reprocess them for scanlations .

Cleaning those scans is effortless and will only take you 3-6 mins per page, 10-20 mins if the scans are horrible. (I'll be truthful with that coz I did search for the ugliest scans ever and try to clean it, and still the end product is horrible.)

I did apply for a cleaner from one of the prominent scanlations and I did pass their tests, then I pull back after that ^^. It was out of curiosity. (it was way back a year ago)

Ok let me show you how to clean manga scans the right way.

First of all download a sample of a manga scans/RAW on MangaHelpers.com.

for this tutorial I'm going to use naruto's last 2 pages of chapter 437.

Open up page 16 on photoshop, then grab your crop tool [C] and expand the whole page, it doesn't matter if you expand it too much, its better than too short.

Then open your page 17 and combine the two of them.

Then select the layer where the page 17 resides, grab your marquee tool and delete the excess part of the pages, do the same on page 16.

Surely you would come up with a visible cut between them, so your goal is to blend them perfectly by using the clone stamp tool.

Make sure you make a new layer before you do your cloning stuff, never embed your clone on the original coz it's no turning back. When you are cloning from another layer make sure to check the ‘sample all layers' option.

After doing the cloning stuff, join them. its time for us to pull out those Art and embed it to another paper ^^, yes we don't want the grayish background so we need to pull out those artwork using my favorite masking partner, go to select >color range.

And select the color you wanted to pull out and that would be any kind of black ink.

After you press Ok, mask it, when you are done masking you will be having a transparent background, at this point we have already done pulling out the artwork all you need to do is add new layer underneath and filled it with white.

Then you can add curve adjustment, to make the art darker.

Time for removing those Japanese scripts , select your mask [Alt Click], then grab your brush tool reset your palette [D] and press[X] to swap your fore ground and background palette.

Then paint it using your brush tool to mask the area.

Then select the artwork and add some fresh effects by adding drop shadows and inner shadows, the drop shadows must have less than 20 opacity, zero distance, zero spread and 3 to 5 size, the inner shadows must have 49 or less opacity, 5 distance, zero choke and 5 size.

If there are some unwanted noise on the final output just select the mask and go to filter > noise > dust and scratches to fix them.

You can also watch the tutorial in video.  Just click here:  Manga Cleaning in Video

Later, I'm gonna do this manga scans cleanup myself.  I'll post it here in my blog when I'm done.  You might want to try this too.

Who knows!?  Maybe next time we read a manga, you might be the one who had it cleaned-up!

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