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Speed Up Comic Coloring with Lock Transparent Pixels

July 17th, 2012 by

A while ago I stumbled across Tony Cliff’s site and it on it there was this amazing tip for coloring your flat colors in Photoshop. It’s a very simple button on the layers palette, near where you lock your layer, called Lock Transparent Pixels. Instead of having to worry about flatting your characters and objects with very different colors so that you can easily select them with the wand tool later, you just click this button! It locks the transparency of the layer so that anything that’s got a filled in pixel, stays at that transparency.

For example, if you have pixels that are 100% transparent(0% opaque), 50% transparent(50% opaque), and 0% transparent(100% opaque), they will stay that way when you color over them!

The completely 100% transparent pixels won’t accept any color.
The 50% transparent pixels will accept the new color, but stay 50% transparent.
The 0% transparent  pixels will be 100% new color.

You don’t have to waste tons of time making and saving selections!

Watch the video I made below for a quick overview, it’s only 5 minutes. Blow it up to full-screen for the best results!

Then, if you want a static tutorial, check out Tony Cliff’s flatting tips with the lock transparent pixels button–which he learned from Kazu Kibuishi.

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