Welps at a request from Macho and Darkest, I've decided to make this tutorial on how to clean manga from start to finish. Yes, some steps are grueling and time consuming , but it's the price you pay for being a cleaner. In this tutorial I'll be adding in pics incase you need examples to base it off of and step by step instructions. I’ll be adding in typesetting later depending on the reactions to this lol
NOTE: This Tutorial is incomplete, I still have to add in a few things (Gutter Shadows, 2pg spreads, Pen Redrawing), Ill be filling these in soon (1 or 2 days) Er if I've placed this in the wrong section could you move it to the right one?
Anywho first thing, stuff you'll need:
1. Photoshop (Any version is fine, I'm using CS3 Extended)
2. RAW Manga (Uncleaned manga basically)
3. and er 200% Willpower and spirit cause you'll need all of it XD
Soooo now that we know what we need, I'll be going over the steps that you need to do to clean manga. Each of these steps varies upon the RAW's, some RAW's are good some are bad. Hidoi~! Raws are fairly good, however if your planning on joining a group that does releases from WSJ expect to do a bit more. So heres the order of steps (After you've opened the image in photoshop of course)
Steps to Do (depending on RAW)
1. Rotate (Depends on RAW)
2. Crop (Depends on RAW)
6. Dust Removal
7. Re-Drawing (Depends on RAW)
There are a few more steps that really depends on the RAW but I won't include them into the steps, but will add them in the bottom of the Tutorial.
If your RAW doesn't require one of the steps, Skip to the next step.
So the first step, Rotating the RAW. Again this step varies upon the raw, if your RAW looks Straight, then no need to rotate. However if your RAW needs to rotate we'll get into this now.
So you've got your raw right now and its looking pretty crooked and slanted, not even straight D: No worries though we can fix that. So the first thing we do get the measure too which can be found when you right click the eye dropper tool on the tool pallet.
Next find a straight line on the manga as long as its Horizontal or vertical. You might wanna zoom in a bit .Now click and drag your measure tool from one end of the line to a good distance on the same line.
Now that you've done that go to IMAGE on the menu bar. Then go to Rotate and under rotate click Arbitrary Rotate and a pop up should well pop up with stuff like Angle, CW , CCW. We're going to ignore all of this seeing as Arbitrary rights the manga for you and makes it nice and straight.
So all we have to do is click OK and Presto! Your manga should be nice and straight :D
If your not sure if its straight or not and wish to check. Use the rectangular Marquee tool and create a box right beside the border for one of the boxes in the manga. And if the box's edges dont intersect the border line on any of the length then it is STRAIGHT! which means we can move onto to the next step.
Welps Now that your scan is nice and straight :3 There should be a big black border that surrounds your now straight manga scan and we don't want that there, so we must ELIMINATE it. We'll be using the crop tool to do this, so select it on the Tool pallete or just press C.
Now we shall "Crop" the image. So what we do is create a box like we did with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, however this time we will be making a box around the manga. However you might wanna zoom in and crop, anyways heres my example
And after your done outlining the Manga, press enter and you should now have a manga without the annoying huge black frame around it. The crop tool basically cuts off everything outside of the box and keeps everything inside the box. Presto heres your result, well my result but yours should be very close to this.
This step is really optional as it depends on the cleaners and editors and the group itself. Most groups have their own standard manga sizes, so it depends on the group you'll join but, in this tutorial we'll be doing 800X1200 (Dont be scared if your measurements are only a few pixels off. Also, some people prefer to Level before they Resize seeing as you get more resolution, but I don't mind either method. It's up to you I guess. So what we do now is we go to IMAGE on the menu bar once again and we go to Image Size. Now a bunch of numbers should pop up, but the only thing we change is the width to 800. We don't have to change anything else because the height changes automatically to fit the width. Neat Eh?
So now you should have a smaller scan like so.
Well Well Well, we finally reach the stage of leveling. Leveling helps the manga by well turning the whites to whites and blacks to blacks. This is really a delicate stage lol. Leveling is more of your own judgement, and each level depends on the RAW itself. So No need to follow my leveling directly, but adjust as you see fit. However there are things such as under leveling and over leveling where you over level and destroy detail lines and make everything too dark. Underleveling is basically not enough of the leveling. So the first thing we do is press Control+L and this opens up the leveling. What we see right here is something that looks like a graph and 3 sliders under it. The one of the far right symbolizes your blacks and makes the blacks darkers. The middle one represents your midtones such as gray. and the One on the right is the white, which basically makes the whites white XD.
So the first thing we touch is the white slider. Slide this slider to the left and you'll see the image becoming whiter in the gray areas. Slide it to the left untill all greys are gone from the white areas. NEVER EVER LET THE GRAY SLIDER MEET THE WHITE SLIDER.Next we're going to touch the gray slider (middle one). Now slide it to the right to make the black lines and such darker. This stage is really based on your judgement, theres a fine line between over levelling and just right. However slide it to the right untill you think its right (Note: what you think maybe be right could actually be wrong so, compare your leveled manga to a cleaned manga and see if it's near the same).
And Voila we now have a leveled scan XD.
This one of the most grueling stages of manga cleaning as it is time consuming. Inking is basically removing the noise(noise is the white dots in the black areas) in the black areas and making them completely black (Example: Hair, Clothes, etc.). There are various methods of inking and I will be going through each one of them that I know of. Denoising is a method that’s available but I'm not such a fan of it lol. But if you do want to learn about denoising then here [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
lets get on with the ones I do like though lol XD.
This is a fairly useful tool lol, I still use it occasionally from time to time. So what it does is basically it allows you to create a polygon around a certain object. However what we want to is surround a black object with noise and completely ink it. So first we get the Polygonal lasso which can be found by right clicking the lasso tool.
So now that we have the polygonal lasso out, its time to lasso this annoying shape. In order to create anchors you just click. So in order to outline the shape you want to ink, just click along the shape’s outline and then click back to your first spot you clicked. And you should have something like this.
So now that we’ve lassoed the target and we wanna ink it. Right click in the object that’s lassoed and click fill. Now we wanna fill it black so choose black under Contents : USE and press ok.
And Blam presto, no noise for the most part. You might have to go over the noised small parts with a brush or burn tool. But it should look fine for the most part lol XD.
Now this tool is a fairly effective method for inking blacks, but you have to be careful when using it. It’s fine for big blacks and such. But if over used it can destroy detail lines and basically mess up your manga. So we’re going to do controlled burning. First thing we do is get the burn tool which can be found by right clicking the dodge tool . Ignore the settings on my comp and set your range to Shadows
So now that we’ve got the burn too out, choose an area of black that has noise. Then carefully select a small brushsize (3-20) and brush the inside outline of your blacks. Like so.
Then go over the spots you missed inside your outline and your result should be like this. Burning is meant for speed scanlating though, but can be used to clean blacks fairly quickly. Go over any white spots left in your blacks with a brush.
Now this tool is my favorite and is invaluable to a Cleaner as it is very handy for doing all sorts of things. However in this case we will be using it to ink blacks. In this case its very much like a polygonal lasso. So the first thing to do is select it. And make sure the 2nd option the arrow is pointing at is selected.
Next just do what we did with the Polygonal lasso and outline the shape you wanna ink.
Then right click the inside of the object once your done and click fill path. Make sure the fill is black then press ok
And there you go, your done inking that. Get a brush or burn tool and go over the parts you missed and bam its all black.
Anywho Choose any of these 3 methods or make you own and ink the blacks in your manga. When your done it’s time for the next step.
Dust are like the noise for the whites, except they’re gray. Really hard to see but necessary to clean nonetheless if you wish to have a HQ Scan. I don’t think you guys need a tutorial on how to use the brush tool , but in order to catch dust you must be at 300% magnification and when you find the dust just use your brush tool and white it over. I’ll add in examples of what dust look like in a bit. But for now we’ll move onto the next step!
Well in a RAW, authors are kind enough to place text over pictures sometimes. So it’s our job as the cleaner to remove the text and redraw the missing details, So the typesetter can put in the translated text. There are various ways to do it but, this is what usually destroys a cleaner. Some people can redraw and some can’’t. However I’ll be teaching you how to use the cloning method and the pen method. First we’ll do the cloning method.
Well cloning is a very easy concept to understand and is very handy XD. Always good to replicate a background that is extremely hard to hand draw. So first we must select the clone stamp tool.
Now that we’ve got it, look theres text in the grey areas! How do we get rid of it?! Panic? No, we use the handy clone stamp tool. First you hold alt and select a source meaning click on any part of the grey background and the brush will clone from that source. The source moves in the same direction as your brush so example.
So select a source from the thing you think will cover it up and blend in and brush and yey no more hiragana in the picture woot.
What we just had was fairly easy cloning, wouldn’t qualify as redrawing really but meh. Now there are more difficult redraws where the text goes over the picture itself rather then just sitting in the background. For those types of redraws there are people who use a tablet and brush or people who use the pen tool. However the clone tool can also be used to redraw the picture, but it requires ingenuity and resourcefulness. I will be putting up the pen redraw tutorial in a bit but I wanna get the bulk of the tutorial finished first before I get into redrawing. So onto the next Step for now until I finish the tutorial.
As you can see, from when we leveled our picture the border gets quite noised and loses its rectangular shape. But, good news rebordering basically allows us to recreate the border so the scan looks nice and crisp. So first off we will go to the line tool, which can be found by right clicking the rectangle tool and selecting line tool.
When you’ve selected it make sure the weight is 3px. Now we’ll go along a border and drag your cursor from one side to the other making sure the line matches the shape of the border and release when your sure its matched up.
Repeat the steps till all the borders are done and then you should have nice crisp clean borders like this. Now we can move onto the last step.
There are plenty of text in the bubbles and we don’t want them there seeing as we’re replacing them with the translated versions. So we must remove and eliminate them! There are many methods again to do this lol. Using a brush with white and just erasing it all, Filling in the bubble white or creating a custom white rectangle in each bubble to white them all out. Choose either one lol XD, however I’ll be using the custom shape method. So first select the rectangle tool which can be found by right clicking the line tool or it could already be on the rectangle tool.
Now pay attention to the red circled areas and make sure the ones I have selected are the ones you have selected.
Then create a rectangle around the text, make sure to not touch the bubble and release when done.
Keep creating rectangles until the text is all gone. Like so.
So, These are the basics for now. I’ll be adding in the redraw with the pen soon, along with Gutter Shadows and two page spreads. Like I said with typesetting I will add it in later depending on the reaction to this.
Which of the inking methods is the best?
They are all good, and it depends on your own style. Each of them produce results but perhaps a bit differently. It all depends whether or not you wish to speed scanlate, do HQ scans or MQ scans. The Choice is up to you.
Are there other methods to cleaning?
Yes there are, the newest and most popular one that I’ve been seeing is denoising. Which uses software to remove all the noise and dust for them and even sharpen the image. There are some people who can achieve quite a good clean with denoising.
How long should a page take me?
If you have just started cleaning and wish to produce a good scan it should take you over 2 hours with all the inking and dust removal. However once you get better and more experienced a page should only take you 15 minutes to do the appropriate steps to clean. Sometimes more depending if there are redraws on the page or not.
Are all these steps necessary?
In answer to this No they are not necessary, some steps are skipped in certain groups such as rebordering and dust removal. It all depends on the group you have joined, there are speed scanlating groups that produce LQ scans. MQ groups and HQ groups are the groups that do those little extra steps that give a better cleaner looking result, which we all enjoy. Quality > Speed, unfortunately this isn’t the case sometimes seeing as most groups are competing against each other.
Lol well that’s all for now, I’ll be editing this thread making the steps a bit more clear as I go along but first I just wanted to put the basis down XD.
EDIT: I still have some screenshots to add but I must watch my animus :3.