This guide assumes Photoshop and a black and white image, I don’t recommend colour at all as a lot of this method would really mess up your colours. Colour in photoshop.
I’m pretty sure you can find all these settings and methods in other popular art packages.
Also you’ll be making things a lot easier for yourself if you use a good black pen that gives consistent lines.
1. Camera settings
Use the flash! Yes, finally a use for it! Have everything in high resolution as possible, RAW is not really necessary though.
Place the paper on the floor and hold your camera perpendicular to the image. try and get a clearance of about 1-2 meters (3′3-6′6 ft). Keep everything nice and straight or you’ll just have more work to do in post production.
3. prepare your image
Cut out the image area using the polygonal lasso and paste it into a new document.
Convert to greyscale Image –> Mode –> Grayscale.
If you are very precious about the final picture (I’m not) you might want to compensate for any page bend or rotation using the Edit –> Transform tools such as perspective, skew and rotate to flatten out your image. For this I recommend turning on the grid. IMHO though once you have the image all black and white its hard to tell if the paper was flat or not, but that’s because I’m a pretty messy drawer anyway.
4. Minor adjustments
Zoom to 100%.
Adjust the brightness and contrast (Image –> Adjustments –> brightness/contrast) so that the blacks look blacker - make sure you can see every single line. Don’t worry too much about the whites at this point. This usually entails pushing the contrast right up and the brightness down to counteract my nuclear flash.
Zoom to 100% then go to Image –> Adjustments –> Levels.
Bring in the outer pins (highlighted) in a bit so that it looks like its getting there, with the blacks blacker & whites whiter. Pay attention to line thickness & don’t go overboard.
Now select the black dropper (highlighted) and press it on an area of undeniable blackness. Make sure not to get the edge of the are or you will hit the anti-aliasing grays.
now select the white dropper, and click it on the ‘white’, you may need to do this a few times in different shades of gray. But be fairly careful cause you might notice the black fading, if this starts to happen you might need to sacrifice some of the whiteness and either ignore it, or get rid of it by hand using the eraser later. EG a fold in the page is impossible to get rid of using this method.
As you can see some of my lines have gone a bit too thin for my liking, this can be rectified by running the image through the Image –> Adjustments –> brightness / Contrast again, but this is why you have to make sure these lines haven’t completely disappeared.
There we go, a nice black and white image, it’s not perfect - if you want perfection I would use a scanner.
It should now be much easier to do your post production, erasing stuff and what not.
Of course you can automate a lot of these steps to save time later but I always do it by hand, it really doesn’t take long once you get to know the process.
I am very new to this myself so would love to hear from any designers about additional steps or better methods and i will update the guide appropriately.
Here is the final comic [link]