Learn why animators and storyboard artists sketch with non-photo blue pencils.
- [Instructor] When you're sketching your characters or drawings for the animatics, you may want to start using pencil, but when you come to drawing the ink, it can be a bit problematic, because then you have to erase all the pencil lines. There's a way of avoiding this, and it's by using a different pencil, which is called a non-photo blue pencil. So in this drawing, you'll see that I've used a normal graphite pencil, so I would have to go over with an eraser to rub out all of the marks before scanning it in. But, if I use a pencil like this, which is a non-photo blue pencil, it's a particular pure cyan color of blue that can be easily removed when scanning or photographing a drawing.
You can also use Photoshop to remove the blue from a drawing. I'm going to show you some examples of where I've used non-photo blue, and how I've dealt with it in Photoshop. So one time where it was really useful to use non-photo blue was when working with artist Belle Miller on her animations. She would draw in pencil and then kind of refine sketches, and she preferred drawing on paper, so we had to scan it in. I realized that if we used non-photo blue for the pencil drawings, then what we could do is use Photoshop to remove that blue.
If we have a look down at the channels panel here, switch off the red and green channel, you'll see there's no information in the blue channel. So we can use this to remove the blue from a sketch, and I'll show you how that's done. If we move to this one here, this is banquet scene animatics scan. You can open these as well if you want to follow along. You'll see here, we've got some further drawing being done on top of the non-photo blue drawings, and then it's been scanned in. So here's how I would remove that non-photo blue. There's a few different ways of doing it.
One way is to copy and paste the blue channel into the RGB channel, but there's a much easier way which is to use the channel mixer. So we're going to go up here to the adjustment layers, and I'm going to add to the channel mixer, to this, and if I go up to the channel mixer panel, you'll see here that I have control over the red, green, and blue sliders, and I could adjust the sliders manually to get rid of the blue, but an easy way is to switch on monochrome, and then if we go up here to our menu, you'll see we've got presets, and if I choose black and white infrared RGB, you'll see that the pencil marks completely disappear.
Or you can choose black and white with blue filter. That also gets rid of the pencil marks, and you'll see that it keeps more of the lighter gray marks that you want to keep, so this one is probably the best one to use with the blue filter. From there, I can go onto this one here, where we've tidied it up even farther. You'll see if I switch on clean glares, I've started building up the different layers in Photoshop. So you'll see, here are the final drawings being composited on top. And then we're ready to animate those layers in After Effects for the animatic, or indeed in Premiere Pro.
- Drawing digitally with the Adobe iOS apps
- Getting ideas down quickly with Photoshop and Illustrator
- Adding audio, animation, and effects with Premiere Pro
- Using Dynamic Link with After Effects
- Reviewing and approval the final animatic with Frame IO