assalamualaikum

This is the second part of the tutorial where we will continue discussing on how we can use colorize mask in Krita. If you haven’t watch the first part, then you should do that first before watching this one. In the first part we have discussed the basics and in this second part video we will cover more advanced topics and tips to really make use of the colorize mask in our workflow. Okay.

Colorize mask tutorial video:

Colorize mask written article:

Creating transparent line artwork

Now let’s discuss about the line artwork types. Besides transparent line artwork, Colorize Mask support non-transparent line artwork like this one.

A non-transparent line artwork

This is a black line artwork on a solid white color. Unlike what we have before which is on a transparent layer. We can see if I select the “colorize mask editing” tool and click on this layer. We can quickly colorize this layer also just like how we did with the transparent line artwork.

Colorize mask result on non-transparent line artwork
Colorize mask result on non-transparent line artwork

As we can see even if you don’t have transparency in your line artwork, colorize mask will work as well. Sometimes we do need to work with non transparent line artwork like this, if for example we created the line artworks using a real paper and then scan that paper into a digital image. Okay.

Now although you can use non-transparent layers for the line artwork, you need to understand that this type of line artwork is not really the ideal type that you want to use with colorize mask. I strongly recommend you to use the transparent type, like the one we used before. Why? Because, by using a non-transparent layer, you will not be able to use a feature called transparent key color. We will discuss that feature later after this. For now, I want to show you how to convert a non-transparent line artwork like this, into a transparent line artwork type in Krita. So to do this, first make sure the layer is selected. Then you want to invert the color. To invert the color you simply press Ctrl + I. If you forget the shortcut you can also access it from the “filter” menu, “adjust”, and then choose “invert”.

Inverting the color
Inverting the color

Okay. Next we need to right click on the layer. Choose “convert” and then choose “transparency mask”.

Converting the image into a transparency mask
Converting the image into a transparency mask

Now you may think that something very odd just happened here and that Krita has some kind of bug. Notice now we can not see the orange background anymore.

Orange color layer not visible
Orange color layer not visible

Now, there is no bug here. What just happened is that Krita created a transparency mask. But the transparency mask doesn’t have any parent layer. Essentially it’s now parented to the whole image composition. And so it’s affecting everything including the orange background layer. To fix this, all we need to do now is to create a new layer and parent the transparency mask to that new layer. Okay.

After parenting the transparency mask to a layer
After parenting the transparency mask to a layer

In the new layer we can draw anything with any color, but what is visible in this layer is now controlled by the transparency mask.

The layer's visibility is now controlled by the transparency mask
The layer’s visibility is now controlled by the transparency mask

If you want to have just a plain black color line artwork, then just press D to get the default colors, which is basically set the foreground color to black and the background color to white. Pressing D is the same as pressing this small button up here.

Default color button
Default color button

And then just press Shift + Backspace to fill the layer with the foreground color. After that we can flatten the layer by right clicking on the layer and then choose “flatten layer”. Please be aware, not “flatten image” but “flatten layer”. Okay. Now the transparency mask is gone but the effect of it is applied on the layer. So we have a transparent based line artwork which is the ideal line artwork type for the colorize mask.

Merged transparent line artwork
Merged transparent line artwork

Transparent key color

The biggest benefit of having an on transparent line artwork is to have transparent key color while doing colorize mask. Let me show you how it works. Let’s use the colorize mask tool again and click on this layer. Let’s add some colors again just like before on the milk box. Okay. Now let’s say, we want to make this outer area transparent.

Making the outer area transparent
Making the outer area transparent

To do that we can pick any color, any color you like as long it does not exist inside the solid region. For example this red color. Now we want to put that color in the outer area. You can draw any stroke shape that you like it doesn’t have to be X like this.

Adding red color on the outer region
Adding red color on the outer region

Now let’s focus our attention on this color table. Krita listed all of the active colors that we use for this colorize mask in this color table.

Key strokes color table
Key strokes color table

Now make sure the red color is selected. And then click this “transparent” button in here. Notice now Krita will register this red color as the transparent color.

Assigning the red color as a transparent key color
Assigning the red color as a transparent key color

So now, if we click update, wait for the process to finish and then turn off the edit mode. The outer area will be rendered as transparent. Now we can see the orange background layer beneath this layer.

The result of transparent key color
The result of transparent key color

Grouped line artwork

One of the greatest feature that Krita has over the other graphic applications is the layer encapsulation. I don’t exactly know the official terms for this feature of behavior. But essentially in Krita, if you have layers inside a group layer. That group layer from outside will be treated just like a simple flat layer. This may sounds simple, but really, it gives huge benefit when working on complex composition. If you need to do this in Photoshop for example, you would have to rely on smart objects which can be very hard to work with, because you can not see the relation to the main composition when editing a smart object. Basically in making complex composition Krita is clearly the winner.

One usage scenario of layer encapsulation is when we need to work on complex line artworks. Let’s say you already done the basic line arts. For example like this one.

The main line artwork
The main line artwork

And then you need to create another pass for smaller and more detailed lines. With Krita, you don’t have to do all of them in a single layer. You can just create them on a new different layer, like this one for example.

Additional line artwork on a different layer
Additional line artwork on a different layer

As you can see at this layer, this line is not forming a close loop because it doesn’t have to. Also the bottom ones, they just open ended like that.

The additional line artwork not forming closed loops
The additional line artwork not forming closed loops

But when both layers visible, and we put these layers inside a group. This group layer now act as the representative of these 2 layers combined of flattened together. And so if we apply colorize mask on this group layer, everything will just work as expected. Remember we’re applying the colorize mask on the group layer not on the individual line artworks layers inside the group.

Applying the colorize mask on the group layer
Applying the colorize mask on the group layer

And just like before, add key colors as you like then click the update button. Okay, so there you go, adding colorize mask on a group layer. This method opens up many workflow variations and flexibility. For example you can create lines to define shading and highlight color regions. After you do colorize mask you can simply hide the layer if you don’t want it to appear.

Converting colorize mask

Depending on the art style you want to after, sometimes you don’t want to have flat colored look. Perhaps you want to tweak the color more to give it more texture or more painterly look to it. If that is the case you may want to convert the colorize mask to an ordinary paint layer. To do that just right click on the layer, “convert” and then choose “paint layer” in here.

Converting colorize mask to a paint layer
Converting colorize mask to a paint layer

Now we have an ordinary paint layer, not a mask anymore. That is why it is blocking the line artworks layer beneath it. Just press the layer down button a couple of times until it is located below the line artworks layer. And just do what you need to do with the new paint layer.

Moving the paint layer so that it is below the line artwork layers
Moving the paint layer so that it is below the line artwork layers

Okay guys that’s it for now. If you want to learn Krita from scratch, and master all of the in-depth digital painting skills in the shortest time possible. Then you should definitely join my Udemy course “Krita basic to advanced digital painting”.

Udemy course: Krita basic to advanced digital painting
Udemy course: Krita basic to advanced digital painting

I also have this course at Skillshare if you prefer to use Skillshare.

Skillshare course: Digital Painting with Krita | basic level
Skillshare course: Digital Painting with Krita | basic level

This course will guide anyone from the very basic, step by step to the advanced level. So even if you have never used Krita before or any graphic software whatsoever. You are good to go. You will learn a lot of things in-depth in this course. From the fundamental concepts to the technical side of things. You’ll have many different hands on projects with different variety of styles to practice.

Check out my other Krita tutorials. Wassalamualaikum.