I’ve realised that the way I use Photoshop to storyboard isn’t that well known. This way of working uses Frame Animation within the Timeline panel. It takes a short while to organise new shortcuts and change a few settings, but once that’s done it’s easy to add new frames and scroll through the storyboard. Most importantly, it’s simple to export.

I have used this technique in CS5 and CC. This tutorial uses Photoshop CC 2018 on a Mac.

The size of the canvas doesn’t matter. I generally use a 1920×1080 pixel canvas if I’m boarding in 16:9; the inbuilt Film & Video presets can be helpful. Like with any Photoshop file, a large canvas area plus lots of layers can become unwieldy.

Setting up the document

Open the Timeline panel by going to Window > Timeline.

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Click ‘Create Frame Animation’.

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In the bottom left-hand corner of the Timeline panel there will be a single frame. Click the little arrow in its bottom right-hand corner.

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Change the amount to 1.0, or one second. This is important because in order to export the frame rate is set at 1fps.

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Click the ‘Duplicate Frames’ button to add two more frames.

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Click the button in the top right corner of the Timeline panel.

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If ‘New Layers Visible in All Frames’ is checked, uncheck it.

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I like to save a copy of the document as a template.

Setting up shortcuts

By default, Photoshop does not assign any shortcuts for Frames in the Timeline panel. Click Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

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Next to ‘Shortcuts For:’ choose ‘Panel Menus’.

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Scroll down to ‘Timeline (Frames)’ and open the dropdown menu.

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I set shortcuts for ‘New Frame’, ‘Next Frame’ and ‘Previous Frame’. Choose whatever keystrokes suit you best. I don’t worry too much about what the shortcut is as I then assign them to buttons on my Cintiq.

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Click ‘OK’.

To assign the shortcuts to a Wacom tablet, open the Wacom Tablet Preferences. This can be accessed either through the Radial Menu or, on a Mac, System Preferences.

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Select ‘Functions’.

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Click the drop-down menu next to the button. Select Keyboard > Keystroke …

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Add the keystroke and assign it a name.

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Click ‘OK’.

It’s worth testing the buttons a few times, to make sure they’re working as expected. Usually if I have problems it’s because I’ve made a mistake in entering the keystroke.

Storyboarding

This is not a tutorial on how to storyboard, but I’ll give a few hints about how to use this setup.

First, don’t add any layers on the first frame. Always leave it blank. I like to have both the first and last frame blank.

Add a layer to draw. I like to keep my layers reasonably tidy, by sorting all the layers for one shot into one folder.

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It’s easy to reuse layers across several frames. As long as you don’t transform the layer (resize, rotate, etc.) you can move it without duplicating or redrawing. This progression was a simple case of duplicating the frame, then moving the position of the figure. If I rotate the layer with the figure on frame 4, it also rotates on the other frames. It’s the same if I decide to add to the drawing.

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As creating a new frame duplicates the current frame, you need to turn off the layers you don’t want to see in it. (This is when grouping layers can be particularly useful.) Then, add a new layer to draw.

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Exporting

Go to File > Export > Render Video …

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Change the name and save location.

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Change the dropdown menu from ‘Adobe Media Encoder’ to ‘Photoshop Image Sequence’.

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Change the Frame Rate to ‘Custom’ and enter 1 fps.

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Render Video automatically exports all frames, but it is possible to select a group of frames on the Timeline and then export the selected frames only.

Once you’ve finished adding the information you need, click ‘Render’.

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If only a few images have exported, or some have been exported two or more times, check that the frames are all set at 1 sec and that you are also exporting at 1 fps.

This is a very quick walkthrough of the process, so please let me know if you think there’s something I haven’t covered. Ask any questions below!

Updated 18th October 2017

Kyle posted a link to this Photoshop blog post today, announcing that his brushes will now only be available through an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. If you have already purchased and downloaded his brushes from Gumroad, you can still use the tutorial below to install the brushes into Adobe Sketch. If you do not have the downloaded files, you can only access his brushes through Creative Cloud.

If you have any questions about the new system, please direct them to Kyle or Adobe. I do not know how it works and cannot help you with it! However I will continue to answer questions about the old system, if I can.

Updated 11th May 2017 to include information on deleting files, and importing from sources other than Creative Cloud.

I’m a huge fan of Kyle T Webster’s amazing Photoshop brushes, and use them almost exclusively. It’s now possible to load these brushes into the iPad app Adobe Sketch, which until recently only used .abr (brush) files rather than .tpl (tool) files, which is what Kyle’s brushes use.

My iPad is a recent purchase and I’m still figuring it out. As a result of that it took me a while to load the .tpl files, so here’s a little guide to tell you how to do it! I’m using a Mac with Photoshop CC.

Loading Files

1. Preparation

The first thing to do is to make sure your Adobe Sketch app is up to date. You can check this by going to the App Store and pressing the Updates button on the bottom right. There’ll be a list of apps that need updating.

2. Choosing Brushes

Kyle is now organising his brush downloads differently, so if you download the newest Megapack, for example, it will be organised into folders named Blenders, Brushes, and Erasers. At the moment erasers, mixer brushes and smudge tools can’t be brought into Adobe Sketch. The brushes are broken down into different groups so you can choose which files you want to bring into Sketch.

If you want to create your own file, perhaps with your favourites, then you’ll need to do so from within Photoshop on your computer. Select Edit>Presets>Preset Manager.

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Change the Preset Type from Brushes to Tools.

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Select the tools that you want to export and click Save. Here I’m selecting some of Kyle’s Gouache brushes.

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Save the file wherever you wish.

3. Saving to the Cloud

Put a copy of the .tpl file into your Creative Cloud folder.

You can also use iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or other file sharing app to move the file to your iPad. If you’re using Dropbox or Google Drive, make sure you’ve downloaded and set up the appropriate app on your iPad.

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4. Importing into Adobe Sketch

Once the file has synced, you can open Adobe Sketch on your iPad. Press the + symbol.

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Click “Add”.

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If you put the file in your Creative Cloud folder, select “Import from CC Assets”. Clicking “Import from other source” will allow you to bring in the file from Dropbox, iCloud etc.

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5a. Importing from CC

After clicking “Import from CC Assets”, navigate to the file and select it. Press “Open”.

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5b. Importing from iCloud

After clicking “Import from other source”, select “iCloud Drive”. Navigate to the file and select it.

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5c. Importing from Dropbox or Google Drive

After clicking “Import from other source”, select “More”.

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Switch the switches on and click Done.

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Dropbox and Google Drive will now be listed under iCloud. Click the appropriate drive, navigate to the file and select it.

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If you’re unable to select or find your file, it’s worth checking in the apps to make sure that the files are available offline. However, I was unable to access my Google Drive file even after trying this and was only able to import it after clicking “Open in” and selecting Creative Cloud. If anyone has any idea how to fix that I’d like to know!

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6. Loading

The brushes will load into your library.

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Now you can access your brushes in Adobe Sketch!

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Deleting Files

At the moment it isn’t possible to delete brush files within Adobe Sketch. Don’t worry, though, there are two ways to delete them!

If you have the Creative Cloud app on your iPad you can navigate to “Libraries” and select and delete the files within there, wherever they’ve been imported from. As you can see below I was able to delete the file imported with Dropbox.

What I do not know is whether it’s possible to use the Creative Cloud app if you don’t have a CC licence. I’d be interested to know if anyone’s tried this.

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The other way to delete the files is to log on to Adobe here: https://assets.adobe.com/assets/libraries and then navigate within your library to find the file to delete.

I’m pretty sure that it’s accessible to anyone with an Adobe ID. Again, I’d be interested to hear if anyone’s had issues with this.

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Once the file is deleted it will no longer be accessible in Adobe Sketch.

 

I hope this has been helpful! If you have any questions then please ask; I’ll do my best to answer.

How do I delete the white background from line art?

Over the last year I’ve been Googling the sentence above – how do I delete the white background from line art? I know that I know how to do this, but I keep forgetting. So I’ve decided to write it down so that I can reference it in future, and hopefully help others as well.

I’m using Photoshop CS5.1 on a Mac.

Technique No. 1
Black line with white background, on Multiply to show colour.

This is the way I was taught, but kept forgetting because it’s a string of keystrokes that if done in the wrong order doesn’t work at all.

Black line with white background, colour and background layers turned off.

First, turn everything off except the layer you want to cut out. In the example above you can see the white areas behind the black lines that I want to get rid of.

Duplicate Line layer.

Duplicate your line layer, so you have a spare, and turn the original off. I like to duplicate by Alt+drag while clicking on the layer. (It took me a long time before I realised I could do that, hence why I’m writing it here!)

Next, select the entire layer (Cmd+A) and cut it (Cmd+X). Fill the now-empty layer with black (Alt+backspace).

Quick Mask button off / on. (Use Q.)

Turn Quick Mask on by pressing Q, or selecting the button under the colour picker (as above).Paste line art.

Paste (Cmd+V) your line art into the layer. It should look like the above.

Turn Quick Mask off (Q).

Press Q again to turn Quick Mask off.

Invert line art (Cmd+I).

Inverse the image by pressing Cmd+I.
Cut background (Cmd+X), leaving line art.

Cut (Cmd+X) to leave the line art, like so!

Colouring line art.

The reason this is my preferred method is because it’s the best way to recolour my line art. For the purple example above I Cmd+clicked on the preview window in Layers (which selects the entire painted area on a layer) and then filled it (using Alt+backspace again) with purple.

If, however, you aren’t interested in painting the line, then you may prefer one of the other methods.

Technique No. 2

This begins in the same way as No. 1: Duplicate your line layer, copy it and cut it, fill the layer with black.

Create a mask.

Then you select the layer, and add a mask to it using the button highlighted above (“Add vector mask”).
Alt+click to select mask.

Alt+click on the white mask to select it.

Paste line art into mask.

Paste (Cmd+V) into the mask.

Cmd+I to invert line art.

Invert (Cmd+I).Click on ordinary layer to view.

Click out of the mask onto the ordinary layer. As you can see above, though the line art is now free from white the background that was transparent is now black. This is easily solvable by filling in the transparent areas before beginning, but it’s one of the reasons I don’t tend to use this method. Also, there is no way (that I have yet discovered) of colouring the lines.

Technique No. 3

This is the simplest and perhaps best method if all you want to do is get rid of the white. It’s quick and requires no cutting, pasting, or inverting.

Double-click preview window.

Double-click on the line art layer preview window.

Layer Style window opens.

The Layer Style window will pop up.

Select top white slider and drag a couple of degrees.

In the Blend If: Gray area at the bottom, select the top white slider and adjust it by a couple of degrees. I moved it from 255 to 253. The white background will disappear.

Exit window.

Exit the window and, as you can see, only the line art remains.

Example of painting using this technique.However, as the background still exists on the layer and is only hidden from view, it means that painting the line art is not possible.

In the past I have had problems with this method – jagged white remains in corners and so on – but recently it’s been working beautifully.

I hope this is helpful to someone out there! Please let me know if you know of other / better ways of doing this, I’m always looking to learn!

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