This is scanned artwork with the contrast exaggerated to make it easier to see the problem of stray pixels caused by paper texture, dust, etc.
How do you deal with this problem, especially when it’s hard to see where the pesky little unwanted pixels are? Usually when I'm working on an image in Photoshop, the stray pixels are less obvious, more like the image below:
What’s the big deal, anyway... who cares about a few stray pixels? In some cases they won’t matter, but when your image will be used as an illustration it’s amazing how often they turn into glaring blotches in the printed piece that really are bothersome. To find and eliminate them, read on.
This is line work that has been scanned in and lifted off the background white paper. This post explains how to do that.
I zoomed in to erase any visible pixels. But are there more lurking? To find out, add the Stroke Layer style to the lines layer. In the top menu bar, choose Layer>LayerStyle>Stroke. When the dialog box opens, use these settings (most are default):
Size- 3 to 5 pixels
Blend Mode- Normal
Fill type- Color (pick a bright contrasting color such as red)
Either the drawing suddenly contracted chicken pox, or the red stroke around every pixel shows that there are indeed many stray pixels. Select them with the Lasso tool and delete or use the Eraser tool to remove them.
These car images can be enlarged by clicking on them, by the way.
I don’t worry too much about a few blips near the line work, since they will blend in. It’s the glitches floating inches away that seem to show up most annoyingly in the printed book. Now that the art is cleaned up, time to finish coloring it in. Don’t forget to get rid of the Strokes Layer style. The easiest way is in the Layers palette, drag the Effects to the trash, the small icon on the lower right.
Here’s our little car, ready for his close-up. Wonder why he’s got a sail on top?