The past week has been devoted to fixing up the draft print of When the Warlock. As I stated previously the pencils scanned in far lighter than the ink for the word balloons and it was pulling several people out of the experience. Figuring out how to change the balance on parts of the page and not others took some working around, but I think I've finally cracked it.
Some of my problem was that I'm a very sloppy photoshopper. As Timothy described it, I wasn't so much using technology effectively as I was making a collage on the computer. Things were covered over instead of cleaned up, scans were inconsistent, remnants of drafts were buried under layers of final copies. In short, it was a mess. Here's how I (hopefully) fixed it.
First I went into the original photoshop files and merged all the visible layers. This cuts down on my options to move individual objects but it also ensures that when somethings moved I don't have other things peeking out from underneath them. Next I selected a color range, only grabbing the darker blacks on each page and copying that selection. This grabbed all the lines I wanted, and left most of the smudges behind. I would paste that selection onto a fresh pre page and then darken the pencils and balloons with the levels adjustment. This still left a fair amount of disparity between the pencils and balloons even though the pencils were darker. To fix this I duplicated the new layer three times to stack the pencils. This darkened the pencils significantly without really altering the black in the inks at all.
Today I'm turning all these new pages into JPEGs to get ready to send to the printer again for a new trial. I've got my fingers crossed that these turn out a lot better.