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Tutorial - How to separate lineart by Zedrin Tutorial - How to separate lineart by Zedrin
Say you draw your lineart and save it as a B+W image, or you draw your lineart on a white background layer. Either way, at one time it was just a sketch, but now you want to go back and color it, and do some stuff with tinting, etc--so you want it on a transparent layer again.

This is how you do.

This is a relatively straightforward process once you understand how masks work. Though I wrote this for Photoshop, you can do the same thing in Sai (if hotkeys are different, understanding the process will allow you to figure it out for yourself).

A mask converts the VALUE of a pixel into an amount of opacity (with 0 0 0 black = 0% opacity and 255 255 255 white = 100% opacity). As a result, they’re always grayscaled.

Essentially, the layer is totally filled with black. The mask makes it so anything that contains white (which, once inverted, is your lineart) will be the only thing that actually shows up on the canvas. Applying the mask simply erases anything that doesn’t show up, giving you the original lineart.

Naturally another option is to set your lineart layer to ‘multiply’, but alpha lineart is still pretty important for other applications.
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:iconshotisha:
shotisha Mar 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
HOW SHOULD I PASTE THE IMAGE INTO THE MASK?
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:iconzedrin:
Zedrin Mar 8, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Are you on Photoshop?

What you can do is once you have the image copied, you can hold ALT and click the mask's image in the thumbnail in the layers panel. It should bring you inside the mask.

Another option is to do it through the channels after creating a mask, and view just the 'Alpha' channel. From there you can just ctrl V.
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:iconrandomdraggon:
RandomDraggon Aug 19, 2013  Student General Artist
or you can simply click the layer tab, then go to 'luminance to transparency' and WOP done. 
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:iconzedrin:
Zedrin Aug 19, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Don't see any option for that. You talking about Sai or Photoshop? (Essentially that's the exact process going on here, just automated if such an option exists)
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:iconrandomdraggon:
RandomDraggon Aug 20, 2013  Student General Artist
i'm talking about sai.....

are you sure? there should be an option for that. You're looking at the layer tab right? up top? but my sai has it, i dunno. I haven't added any add ons to it so i was pretty sure it came with it. 
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:iconzedrin:
Zedrin Aug 20, 2013  Professional Filmographer
This is a tutorial for Photoshop, not Sai. That function isn't built in. Specifically this tutorial is just how to turn a raster layer into a mask itself.
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:iconrandomdraggon:
RandomDraggon Aug 20, 2013  Student General Artist
oh oAo well i was looking for how to use masking i guess this helps for sai too welp! -shot- haha gomen. 
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:iconzedrin:
Zedrin Aug 20, 2013  Professional Filmographer
yosh
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:iconblazah99:
This will be very useful. What drawing techniques can this be applied to?
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:iconzedrin:
Zedrin Aug 5, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It's meant for two things:
1. you accidentally draw on the background layer instead of a new one
2. You are given a black and white sketch and you want to turn it back into original lineart, for purposes of layer control (e.g., tinting, filters, etc.)
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