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How To Get Smooth Lineart Easily - Tutorial by zomgmad How To Get Smooth Lineart Easily - Tutorial by zomgmad
I've seen a lot of people struggle with digital lineart. Luckily, there are smoothing functions in lots of digital art softwares now, not just the famed stabilizer in SAI. Even GIMP, a free program, has a smoother.

If you have a program with a smoothing function besides the ones featured here, please make a tutorial about it, and I will be glad to link to it.

Here's a tutorial that better explains the stabilizer in SAI. (I have a Mac, so SAI doesn't really work on my computer.)


For mouse users, here's a few tutorials on pen tools in various programs:


If you want to share this tutorial, please give people the link to this page instead of reuploading. Thank you.
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:iconvivaladiva1994:
VivaLaDiva1994 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
did the photoshop thing but i still find the lines either shakey or painty looking.. *sigh* 
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist
Are you using a tablet or a mouse? If you're using a tablet, I would suggest practicing until you can get smooth lines. You can also work on a larger scale and shrink the image afterwards, and some of the wobbliness will go away. If you're using a mouse, you pretty much have no hope of getting smooth lines unless you use a pen tool.

Out of the programs I cover in this tutorial, I think Photoshop is the hardest to get smooth lines in, even with the smoothing option checked. Probably because there's no settings to fiddle with, you just have to go with what they give you or not use the smoothing option at all. Have you ever tried working in GIMP? It's a free program, and you can save PSDs, so you could do lineart in GIMP and then open the file in Photoshop and finish it however you normally do. FireAlpaca is another free program you could try.
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:iconvivaladiva1994:
VivaLaDiva1994 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I got it all fixed, thank you :3 Uploading my first ever digitally done work now
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist
Great! :)
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:iconalexamoro:
AlexaMORO Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
There is no smoothing options in SAI for Mac , right?
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist
It depends. If you're using the unofficial SAI download for Mac, then I don't think there is pen pressure or smoothing. But if you are using Boot Camp or a virtualization software like Parallels to run a Windows operating system on your Mac and use the official version of SAI within that, then you should be able to use pen pressure and smoothing/stabilizer.
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:iconalexamoro:
AlexaMORO Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you)
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist
No problem. n__n I know of a couple good tutorials/guides on how to set up the virtualization software, etc., if you want links to those.
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:iconalexamoro:
AlexaMORO Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It'll be great)
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:iconalexamoro:
AlexaMORO Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, that's really helpful)
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist
You're welcome. Glad I could help! n__n
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(1 Reply)
:iconquietus416:
Quietus416 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Too bad I use Photoshop Elements. :C
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist
There's no smoothing option in Elements? I haven't used it in years, I forget. But you could always download GIMP or FireAlpaca, they're free and both have line smoothers. :)
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:iconziggyman:
Ziggyman Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
At last.
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist
Thanks for commenting! I hope the tutorial helped. ;)
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:iconziggyman:
Ziggyman Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
It will, I'm sure.
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist
Great! :D
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:iconarrieva:
Arrieva Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
FireAlpaca is an awesome program, and it's free!
It's kind of like GIMP:Photoshop::FireAlpaca:SAI, but I like using FireAlpaca far more than I ever liked GIMP.
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist
Hmm, I have heard so many good things about FireAlpaca, I may have to try it. Thanks!
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:iconecfor:
Ecfor Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
GIMP 2.8 hates any tabelt I use haha, can't get any pen pressure no matter what setting or input devices I play around with. How'd you do?
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
Hmm, I don't know. What kind of tablet do you have? I've only used Wacoms, so I can't help with other brands. Have you made sure the driver is installed properly? I'm really not too good with this sort of stuff, sorry.
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:iconecfor:
Ecfor Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wacom Intuos 5 and yes all drivers are correctly installed as the tablet works with PS and SAI. Are you using GIMP 2.7 by any chance? Pen pressure used to work perfectly there but 2.8 screwed up totally.
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
I'm using 2.8.3. I have a Mac though, if that makes any difference.
I don't really know how to help you, I'm sorry. At least you can still use PS and SAI?
Maybe ask on the Hardware forum? There might be someone there who knows about tablets.
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:iconxpokiehl:
xPokiehl Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
There's also LazyNezumi($10 for student license), which used to be free a long while back so I'm sure you can find older versions somewhere. It has A LOT of control of how you can smooth your lines.
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
I've never even heard of LazyNezumi, but it sounds pretty cool. Thanks for the tip. :)
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:iconkrystalfan-2:
krystalfan-2 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
I didn't know about the stabilizer in SAI D: Or the Smoothing in Photoshop. This will be super useful for me with larger, more detailed drawings.

Thanks for pointing this out!
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
You're welcome. I'm glad it's helpful. :D
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:icontheblackbullets:
TheBlackBullets Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
As a mouse user, I do the outline with a pen tool and the coloring with paintbucket/mouse. With practice, I'm learning to make quicker lines and it's SO much faster than relying on the pentool to make all the smooth lines for me. 
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
Yeah, generally the faster you make your strokes, the smoother they'll be.
And practice is good for anything. :)
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:icondeviousglassworks:
DeviousGlassworks Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Great tutorials, thanks for sharing.  :)
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
Glad you like it! :)
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:iconmr-glaceon:
Mr-Glaceon Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a good tutorial for newbies. ^^ Especially the Gimp part, I recently played around with Weights and Quality myself, and really heavy Weight especially helps for drawing a quick ink line with the mouse. It makes a bigger different than Quality sometimes. (I mostly use Gimp's vector tools, since I don't have a tablet yet.)
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
Thank you!
Yeah, if you're trying to draw freehand with a mouse, a heavy weight would be best.
GIMP ftw :D
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:iconhyperster:
hyperster Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
With SAI, you can also use the vector layer: that's designed for lineart ;)
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
Yup! That's what I'm talking about in the For Mouse Users section. But some people like to draw with a tablet instead of plotting vector points.
Thanks for commenting. :D
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:iconhyperster:
hyperster Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
 Oh okay I didn't see that ;)
Your tutorial is useful though, I hadn't discovered the stabilizer yet X3
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
Glad it's helpful. :) The stabilizer's pretty neat.
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:iconangelandchangeling:
AngelAndChangeling Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great! I'll file it away for reference for when I'm using these programs.

Additionally, for the people out there who use FireAlpaca, the "Correction" drop-down menu available when any of the various "pen" tools are selected serves as the smoothing mechanism for the program. Just putting this here in case anyone was curious.
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist
Glad it's helpful. :)

I did not know that about FireAlpaca (never used that program). Thanks for the tip!
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:iconangelandchangeling:
AngelAndChangeling Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
FireAlpaca's usually my program of choice. It's available for both PC and Mac, and although it doesn't have as many features as most of the programs listed here, it's always getting updated and I find it easiest to use out of any program personally. 
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:iconzomgmad:
zomgmad Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013  Hobbyist
Hmm, maybe I'll try it sometime. Thanks for the info. ;D
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:iconangelandchangeling:
AngelAndChangeling Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem!
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