rEaL0sT’s Tutorial for High Quality Manga Cleaning

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Contract info:

e-mail :

Franky House Forums:

AIM: reaL0st

mIRC name: real0st

                               (yeah I’m so original in my choice of online names)


Version History

September 29-30, 2007

Guide first made


November 11, 2007

Added Step 06.1

Edited pictures

Added stuff to step 9


November 12, 2007

Added redrawing

Moved pictures around so they occupy less space


January 12 - 14, 2008

Redid the whole damn thing ‘cuz I felt like it okay XP


April 21, 2008

Redid some stuff, this is for people who know cleaning already.


The basis of this tutorial mainly came from the following tutorials


This tutorial is how to teach the INTERMEDIATE of cleaning to produce high quality manga scans.


~If you do not enjoy doing this, then don’t. You can always do speed scans. I have nothing against it (other than the fact that there are so many out there quality scans make up like 5% of the scanlations out there.

~Have music on. Makes things go by.

~Take a break once in a while. You may get stressed from doing quality cleans

~Layers are your friends. They are like the bookmarks you stick inside the book you read. You can go back and fix it without ruining the rest of it.

~You do NOT have to follow my instructions exactly. This is a guide, not a demand.

~Don’t go starting $#!* with people over this kinda stuff. This is an online community. The manga world is to share thoughts, ideas, and opinions of Japanese comic books. Although technically what we are doing can be considered stealing, and I’m against stealing..well…can’t stop it so yeah…



Table of Contents

-Step 01 Leveling

-Step 02 Denoise

-Step 03 Auto-trade (not implemented yet)

-Step 04 Graying

-Step 05 Redrawing

-Step 06 SFX

-Step 07 Borders

-Step 08 Final Save



-Step 01 Leveling

First, makes sure the raw is at it’s original size. If you have a slow computer, you can resize it smaller, but only to a height of 2500px. Any smaller and it may mess up stuff especially in redrawing.

First duplicate the page (Ctrl+J). Then Image> Mode > Grayscale it. Don’t flatten it.

Level by pulling the white slider a little bit past the first peak so most of the whites turn white. Then drag the gray slider right to where it starts to rise up. Click in the middle of the graph to make a line appear and use that as a guide.


-Step 02 De-noise

Provided that you have NeatImage, load it up. Then autoprofile it. If you are a beginner at NeatImage, simple drag and make a square that contains an area of solid black on white. Example shown on the left.










Now these are my settings. But they can vary. Play around with it until you get something similar to this. You want something where outside the black lines and stuff there are black smudges surrounding it. But you don’t want them to be too dark. Then click apply.











After you apply, level it again, white slider roughly down before the graph start to become flat, and the gray slider roughly about to the middle





































Now duplicate this layer (Ctrl+J)

and change the blend settings to overlay. Then Apply Filter> Stylizer>Diffuse>Anisotropic to this copied layer. Then adjust the opacity of this layer to ~30-40%. Then merge the two layers (CTRL+E)


Now you’ll have to use the burn tool (O) but in the next step after this (to be added someday) you won’t need to burn. But for now, let’s make the blacks black and such. The result below is what I get before burning.  Let’s name this layer “Original”





 -Step 03 Auto-trace


(pictures are clickable links)





-Step 04 Graying





Now this part is fairly simple, but most time consuming and requires precision. For now we’ll use a different method of filling in grays without using auto-trace method. First duplicate your main layer (the layer that was just merged. Then open up neat image. Then auto-profile the part you know is suppose to be gray. The bigger the area you select the better.



After that, go preview your grayed out area and adjust the settings until most of those dots are blended in and blurred out.

          (see below)












Now we’ll just level this layer.


Meaning only move the white

slider like so.


















Now grab your Wand Tool (W) and set the tolerance to 30-40. Then click the white area that use to be gray. Do this with as much gray as you can. Now create a new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N) and name it “Gray” or whatever you want, as long as you know it’s the gray layer.















Right click this gray layer and click blending options.


Then tick “Pattern Overlay” and select the gray pattern that you should already have. Ask me for it if you don’t have it




















Now select your gray layer with your used-to-be-gray-layer still selected by the pen tool and fill that area with the paint bucket tool (it doesn’t matter what color)


Now everything should be grayed out! But wait! There are small little details that are still not grayed out. Don’t worry, there are two ways to fix this

1) Use the wand tool (W) again and select those small areas


2) Use the brush tool (B) and draw in those grays. Yes now you can draw in grays with the brush tool (as long as the selected layer is the gray layer)


3) Use the Polygonal tool (regular or magnetic) or Pen Tool (P). All three of these work the same. Polygonal uses anchor points you want, magnetic makes anchor points based on where you position your mouse (I find this to be the best incredibly easy once you master this tool) and Pen Tool, a favorite of mine combines both. You choose the anchor points and you can adjust the curve much easier. For graying, I’d use magnetic polygonal tool.




Try to get as much of the gray layer filled in. Don’t worry if it looks too ugly when zoomed in, as long as when you zoom out to 50% and it looks somewhat good it’s ok. When you resize the details will be all right.

After you fill in all the grays delete the layer that was created and modified by neat image.


-Step 05 Redrawing

 Redrawing is incredibly simple, but time consuming. I go about three  ways of going through this


First off create a new layer. We’ll call this layer “Lines”

1) Pen tool :Faded line effect.

 Get these settings:

I primarily use Pen Tool for two things: connecting broken curved lines and faded line effect. Play around with pen tool, as I will not explain connecting broken lines, it’s easy. I will explain how to do the faded line effect



First select the px size of brush you are going to use. Then open up the Brushes window (At the Menu Bar: Window>Brushes). Then have these settings



Next Using the pen tool draw your line, then right click>Stroke Path and check of “Stimulate Pressure”



Now because I’m lazy and this page doesn’t look to have a need for this faded stroke look, I’ll just do a quick example.





As you can see, the simulated pressure line looks more sleek, and can have (at certain times) more uses than the standard brush.











2) Line Tool: Speed Lines using Line Tool (U)

      Speed Lines are a pain. You know that. But finding this method cut my line drawing in half.





**Note* the px size will vary depending on the line.**

Now have your Line Tool (U) to these settings and find your speedlines!


*Note* When using these settings you also change the Pen Tool Settings Too!!! So if you are switching between Pen Tool and Line Tool REMEMBER TO SWITCH SETTINGS



Now find your speed lines. Create a new layer “Lines White Back”) is what I would call it I guess. Anyways put this layer behind the “Lines” layer. Then select the area behind the speed lines you are going to draw over and fill that area with white. Then set this layer’s transparency to 50%














Then click where the pointed tip of the speed line starts. Then drag to the end of the speed line. After you did this to all the lines, make the Lines White Back opacity to 100%













3) Brush tool……the easiest damn method to drawing there is. You just set your brush px size, click and hold at the beginning point of the line, hold shift and click the end of the lines. It’s that simple. But it’s very effective on speed lines that aren’t pointed like the one above.



-Step 06 SFX

For SFX I’m going to use the layer with the original after it was leveled then neat imaged ONCE. Create a new layer called “SFX”. Hide all layers except for SFX and the Original Layer. Grab your either Polygonal Tool or Pen Tool and on the SFX layer outline the SFX text. Fill the area you just drew with a gray color. Then go to Menu Bar>Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Now the only thing you must do is have  your % under 50, and have monochromatic ticked.


Experiment with different shades of gray and using either Uniform or Gaussian.




-Step 07 Borders


Too lazy so just follow this guy’s tutorial. Plus this is the hardest one to give a clear image without going over the size of this page so yeah….



-Step 08 Final Save


1) One final look. If you missed something go back to the step that covers it and fixit! Remove any text bubbles and make it clean so the typesetter can easily type it in.

2) Resize the image to a height of 1100px

3) Look again

4) Ctrl+Alt+S

5) The settings on the left

6) Click save AND YOU ARE DONE WOW!!!










BEFORE (resized)               RESULT




Will add more to it later…someday



-Special Credits (that I can think of for now)-


Mr. Prince

He started this little group. Wherever you are, I’m sure everyone, old and new members thank you.


The one who kept Franky House alive. Without him this community would not exist..


Helped teach me and the other original members of FH learn to clean


Another original member, amazing help


Helped skywalker with some of the methods of cleaning

Kalendel (

One of my first cleaning guides, got me into cleaning manga

shinwei  (

One of my first cleaning guides, got me into cleaning manga