Set Render Dimensions
For this technique to work well, we need to render at a large size. I usually use 4000x3000 pixels. If you have a powerful computer, you might experiment with even larger sizes.
Choose Render Settings
Now go into the Render Settings. Click on the "Preview" tab. This will let us render from the preview window.
Check the Antialias box, and enter 12 in the "Toon Edge Line" text field. Since our render is so large, we need to increase the thickness of the lines, too.
Now click on "Save Settings."
Back in the preview window, things are going to look like this image. Not to worry. This means that you set up the lines correctly.
Now click on "Render Settings" again. If your copy of Poser is like mine, it forgot that you wanted to use the Preview engine! So choose the preview tab again, and click "Render Now (Preview)."
You won’t see a progress bar like you do with a Firefly render. All you get is an hourglass. So be patient and wait.
When it’s finished, your render is too large to look at in Poser. So save a copy. I usually save in PNG format because it’s compressed and includes an alpha channel.
Examine Your Work
Let’s open the render in Photoshop and see what we made. It will probably look something like this image.
Here’s a possible red flag. Do you see how the lines are dense and the color is dark in the hair on my render? This is bad, because this whole area is just going to become a black blob.
I’ve seen this with the hair models that I use from Aery Soul. But the basic aiko and hiro hair models have many less shapes, and so their lines aren’t such a mess.
If you get dense hair lines in your render, you’ll have to go back into Poser, hide the hair, and re-render. The bad news is that you’ll have to draw your hair back in during post. But keep your first render, because you can use it as a guide.
On the other hand, if your hair lines were clean, you can proceed without re-rendering.
Converting to Line Art
So far, our images have been grayscale. There were various light and dark sections throughout. Now it’s time to switch to pure black and white.
In Photoshop, click on Image>Adjust and choose "Threshold." Read the next step before clicking OK.
The best practice for this part is to move the slider as far to the right as you can. Stop when the shadows start intruding too far into your image, and move back to the left until they recede. The idea is to try to keep your lines relatively thick, while also making sure your shadows behave. Don’t worry about the jaggy look of the preview. Click “OK” when you’ve found the ideal setting.
Now photoshop will smooth out the preview, and you should have a nice inked-looking image like this. Zoom in very tight, though, and you’ll see that Photoshop actually converted all pixels to one of two colors—black or white.
This is the reason for the large size of our render. We can get away with jaggy edges when the image is this large.
Preparing for Postwork or Colors
Now we’re going to make the final step for this tutorial. Choose the magic wand tool, and de-select "Anti-aliasing" and "Contiguous."
Click on a white patch. The tool will select every white pixel in your image. Delete them.
You now have a single layer of pure black pixels. And the quality isn’t too bad. If you’re just practicing, or if you’re happy with the lines, you can put flat colors underneath them, and even paint some shading.
The Need for Retouching
You will notice some strangeness if you zoom in on your lines. They’re kind of rough up close, and Poser puts spaces between them. Plus, you may need to draw your hair back in, or add some accessories to your scene. Or, you might want to distort your linework or fix the eyebrows and eyelashes, which don’t usually render well using this method.
That is why I think of this step as more of a pencil drawing than an inked drawing. But, it’s a good start and there’s not far to go to make this a full-fledged inked drawing.
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Special thanks to Joe Webster [jwebster45206] for providing Part One of his renewed tutorials for the Front Page News.
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