Categories
tutorials Illustrator

Create a Color Picker Icon In Illustrator

 

In this tutorial I will show you how to create a color picker icon from some blends, gradients, and simple shapes. This icon works great for web design project and in user interface design. Moreover, you can use the techniques in this tutorial in other icon, web, and print projects. Let’s get started!

Final Image

Take a look at what we will be creating.

Preparation

There isn’t much preparation needed for this tutorial. All you need is Illustrator CS4 or CS5 and a beginning to intermediate knowledge of how to use the program.

Step 1

With the Line Segment Tool (/), create a path that is about 80 px tall. Make sure the new path has a 1 pt stroke and change the stroke color to an orange.

Step 2

With the line selected, choose Effect > Distort and Transform > Transform. In the Transform Effect dialog, change the number of copies to 6, select the bottom center reference point in the Reference Point Locator, and set the Angle to 60. Generating six copied will place one copy in front of the original. We want to do this so we will have a complete blend in the next couple of steps.

Step 3

With the transformed line selected, choose Object > Expand Appearance and Ungroup (Command +Shift + G). Change to stroke colors to primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary colors (orange, purple, green).

Step 4

Select all the strokes and choose Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt/Option + B).

Step 5

Create an ellipse within the blend with the Ellipse tool (L) centered over the blend. Select the ellipse and blend and choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command + 7).

Step 6

Create another ellipse about half the height and slightly smaller width as the previous ellipse. Place it close to the top side of the masked blend. Change the fill of the new ellipse to a linear gradient and in the Gradient panel, change the Location to -90, change both colors stops to white, change the opacity of the second color stop to 0, and change the middle point Location to 30.

Step 7

Copy (Command + C) the highlight ellipse and Paste in Front (Command + F). Move and rotate the copy to the bottom side of the mask blend. Change the first color stop in the gradient to a light gray and set the Blending Mode to Multiply from the Transparency panel.

Step 8

Create another ellipse about the size of the main masked blend and fill it with a radial gradient. Make sure the first color stop in the radial gradient is black and the second is white. Squish the ellipse and place it behind all other artwork. Set the Blending Mode of the ellipse to Multiply and change the opacity to 50 percent.

Step 9

Now that we have the color wheel done, we can concentrate on the eyedropper. Create a rectangle with the Rectangle tool (M) about three fourths the height of the color wheel. Create another smaller rectangle about a fifth the height of the main rectangle and half its width and place at the bottom of the main rectangle.

Step 10

Select both rectangles and press the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Next, choose Effect > Stylize > Round Corners. In the Round Corner Dialog, change the Radius to 3 px. Next, choose Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 11

Copy (Command + C) the eyedropper shape and Paste in Front (Paste in Front). Create another rectangle that covers the bottom part of the eyedropper. Select the main copy and the smaller rectangle and press the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 12

Create a rectangle towards the top of the main eyedropper shape. Make the new rectangle about double the width and one sixth the height of the main eyedropper shape. Next, choose Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and in the Round Corner Dialog, change the Radius to 5 px.

Step 13

Create another rectangle slightly wider and about a fourth the size of the main eyedropper shape. Place the shape towards the top of the previous rectangle and round the corners 15 px.

Step 14

Select the top eyedropper shapes and go Object > Expand Appearance. Next, go Object > Path > Offset Path and in the Offset Path dialog change the Offset to -2 px. This value might be different depending on the original size of your shapes.

Step 15

Now that we have all the shapes done for the eyedropper, we can place them over the color wheel we already created. Creating the shapes and not filling in before we place the dropper makes it easier to see the white and transparency parts of the gradients when we fill them. So, place your eyedropper shapes over the color wheel at a 45 degree angle.

Step 16

First, select the smaller rectangle and its offset from the top of the dropper and go Object > Arrange > Bring To Front (Command + Shift + ]). Select the original top shapes (not the offsets) and fill with a linear gradient. Change the first color stop in the gradient to a dark gray and the second color stop to black. Change the Angle to -90 in the Gradient panel.

Step 17

Select the offsets of the upper rectangle shape and fill with a linear gradient. Change both color stop in the gradient to white. In the Gradient panel, change the opacity of the first color stop to 80 and the second to 0. Change the Angle to -90 and change the middle point Location of the gradient to 15.

Step 18

Select the main body of the dropper and fill with a linear gradient. For this gradient we are going to add three more color stop giving a total of five. Add these color stop by clicking right below the Gradient Slider in the Gradient panel. Once you added the color stop, change the first stop to gray, the next three to white, and the last one a dark gray. Change the Opacity of the first white color stop to 56 and change the Opacity of the third white color stop to 35. Change the Location of the first white color stop to 12, the Location of the second white color stop to 30, and change the Location of the third white color stop to 63. Change the Angle of the gradient to -45. Finally change the stroke to white and press the Align Stroke To Outside button from the Stroke panel.

Step 19

Select the shape at the bottom of the drop and fill it will a linear gradient. Change the first color stop to white and the second to a gray color. From the Transparency panel, change the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Step 20

Select the main small rectangle from the top of the dropper, Copy (Command +C), and Paste in Back (Command + B). With the copy still selected move it slightly down. Select the main dropper shape, Copy (Command + C), and Paste in Front (Command + F). Select both copies and press the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Change the fill to a light gray color, change the Blending Mode to Multiply from the Transparency panel and slightly scale it to fit over the stroke of the main dropper shape.

Step 21

Select the main dropper shape, the main top shapes, and Copy (Command + C) and Paste in Back. With the copies still selected, press the Unite button from the pathfinder panel. With the Selection tool (V) move and rotate the new shape clockwise to create a shadow of the dropper.

Step 22

Create a ellipse the size of the color wheel, select the ellipse and shadow shape, and Intersect them.

Step 23

Select the new shape and go Object > Arrange > Send Backward (Command +[) until the shape is behind the original eyedropper shapes. Fill the shape with a linear gradient, change the first color stop to a dark gray, and the second color stop to a light gray. Change the Blending Mode to Multiply from the Gradient panel and you are all done!

Conclusion

That wasn’t too bad was it? This tutorial uses some pretty basic concept that can easily be applied to other vector illustrations, icons, and more. What can you come up with?

Po

Categories
General tutorials photoshop

Create a Refreshing Beer Themed Poster Design in Photoshop

 

When you create a print advertisement, it’s important that all the elements of your composition are geared towards selling a product and promoting a brand. Today, we will demonstrate how to create a refreshing beer-themed poster design in Photoshop.

Final Image Preview

Take a look at what we will be creating.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 3 Hours

Resources Used

The following resources were used during the production of this tutorial.

Step 1

Let’s start by creating a new A4 document in Photoshop. Working with large files allows you to zoom in and focus your attention on small details, that can make the difference between a good and great design.

Step 2

Right-click on the background layer, in the layer palette, and apply a radial gradient using layer styles. Set the gradient from a #464646 to #202020.

Step 3

Download the grunge texture and drag it onto your canvas. Press Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + U to desaturate it and switch the layer blend mode to overlay with opacity 30%.

Step 4

Create a new layer between the background and the texture, grab a white soft (hardness 0%) brush, and paint some spots over the center of the canvas. Reduce the opacity until you’ve obtained a subtle light effect in the center.

Step 5

At this point I think the background is too light. A layer adjustment can help. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layers > Curves and put this layer at the top of the others. Create an anchor point on the curve and move it to the bottom as shown on in the screenshot below:

Step 6

Select all the layers created and group them (Cmd/Ctrl + G). Title the group “background”. It’s time to create the floor where to place the bottle. Create a new group and title it “floor”. As I always write in my tutorials, organization is fundamental while working with lots of layers, as in this case. There’s nothing more irritating than spending your time searching for a layer among thousands of untitled layers!

Download and paste in the parquet image. Press Cmd/Ctrl + T to activate the transform tool and squash the image to create the idea of perspective:

Create a new group and title it “clouds”. Create a new layer inside “clouds”, make sure to select black and white as the foreground and background color and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Step 8

Press Cmd/Ctrl + T to enlarge the cloud layer.

Step 9

Now switch the layer blending mode to screen and reduce its opacity to 20%.

Step 10

Grab the Eraser tool (E) and use a large soft brush to erase some areas of the cloud layer, in particular over the corners.

Step 11

You can add more cloud layers, that can be removed at any time in case their effect is obtrusive. Here is my result:

Step 12

Create the “bottle” group and paste in an image of a beer bottle (Google it and you’ll find tons of free images).

Step 13

Realism can’t be achieved without a correct use of light. Let’s suppose our light source is in the top-right area (in front of the bottle). If you are unsure about how to create shadows, try experimenting with the lamp on your desk and any type of object. Since the light originates from the right, use the burn tool (O) to darken the left side of the bottle.

Step 14

Using the Burn tool, with range “midtones” and “exposure” 80%, select the floor layer and create a shadow effect below the bottle. Darken the corners too. These dark areas will drive user attention to the center where the product is.

Step 15

To darken the corners a bit more, create a new layer and use a large soft black brush to paint over these areas. You can then play with the layer’s opacity until you’re satisfied with the effect.

Step 16

Create a new layer between the floor and the grunge background. Using the same black brush from Step 15, paint where the floor meets the grunge wall. This will create a sensation of depth.

Step 17

Now paste the water droplets image onto the canvas in a layer above the floor. Make it the same size as the floor.

Step 18

Set the layer blending mode to “darken” with 70% opacity.

Step 19

Switch to the “bottle” group. Select the bottle layer and duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl + J). Apply a black color over lay to the bottle using a layer style. This layer will be used to create the bottle shadow.

Step 20

Move the black bottle below the original. Press Cmd/Ctrl + T to activate the transform tool, then hold down Cmd/Ctrl and move the transform handles to add perspective to the shadow.

Step 21

To complete the shadow, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and enter a value of about 65 pixels. Reduce the opacity a little if you think it’s too strong.

Step 22

At this point we can play with colors. Cool colors will portray a sensation of freshness. Create a new gradient map layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map) and add a gradient going from #1b4f03 to #28e30f. Set the layer blend mode to overlay with an opacity of 50%. Keep in mind that this gradient map will be always be on top of all the other layers.

Step 23

Create a new layer above the bottle and name it “splash effects”. Open the first water splash image in Photoshop and double click on the background layer to unlock it.

Step 24

In the channels window (Window > Channels), Cmd/Ctrl + Click on the red channel thumbnail to select water pixels (choose the channel with the strongest contrast with the background).

Step 25

Press Cmd/Ctrl + C to copy the selection, switch to your working document and press Cmd/Ctrl + V to paste it.

Step 26

Set the layer blending mode to screen and use the Eraser tool (E) to eliminate unnecessary areas of the splash.

Step 27

Use the same technique with the other water splash to add more detail to the composition.

Step 28

Create a new group above and title it “light sposts”. Set the group blending mode to color dodge and create a layer inside the group. Grab a white soft brush and click once over a detail you want to enhance (i.e. in the top-right area, near the cork). reduce the opacity if the effect is too strong.

Step 29

Add more light effects, but create them on different layers to have more control.

Step 30

A nice slogan can help to reinforce the concept behind the design, even if it’s already evident from the image. In this case, I’ve opted for an elegant font, Colaborate, with a gentle outer glow, to create a simple yet useful text effect.

Step 31

The composition is almost complete, but I think it needs some color adjustments. Create a new group immediately below the gradient map layer, and set the blending mode of the group to overlay. Create a layer inside the group, set a vivid yellow as foreground color, grab a soft brush and paint over the center area.

Step 32

Reduce the layer’s opacity to 20%.

Step 33

Create another layer and do the same, this time choose a bright blue and paint over the 4 corners.

Final Image

Reduce the opacity to around 30% and you’re finished! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned some new tricks about advertisement design. Here is the final result.

 

Categories
tutorials Illustrator

Working With Pattern Swatches in Illustrator

 

The Swatches Palette in Illustrator can be a very powerful tool for someone who knows how to use it. Most of us already know that the Swatches Palette stores colors for us to use in our designs, but did you also know that the swatches palette can store vector data and that those vectors can then be applied as fills or strokes? If not, I hope that this short tutorial will help you fully understand the power of using seamless patterns in the Swatches Palette.

Before we get started, download the swatch that we will be using for this tutorial and save it on your hard drive.

Now, create a new document the dimensions don’t really matter.

Then, open up the Swatches Palette and click the arrow on the upper right-hand side of the palette. In the fly out menu select Open Swatch Library > Other Library > and locate the swatch on your hard drive.  If you saved the swatch to your Adobe Preset Swatches folder, this swatch will be available in the User Defined folder.

With your new swatches palette open, select the rectangle tool and draw out a rectangle.  Any dimensions will do.

Now apply the pattern to the rectangle’s fill by selecting the rectangle and clicking on the pattern in the Swatches Palette.  Your shape should now be filled with vertically spaced black lines.

You can now see how powerful the Swatches Palette can be.  If you only needed spaced out vertical lines, you could stop here but in this tutorial we are going to take it a step further and show you how to apply transformations to this shape without altering the shape itself.

Select the rectangle and right click it.  In the menu, select Transform > Rotate.  When the Rotate Dialog Box appears, rotate the lines 45 degrees by unchecking Objects and by checking Patterns.  This will rotate the lines 45 degrees.

If you are pleased with how the lines look, you could again stop here but we are going to perform one more step.

Right click on the rectangle againSelect Transform > ScaleCheck the preview and Patterns boxes and uncheck Scale Strokes & Effects and ObjectsSelect the Uniform radio button and scale the pattern to your liking.  You can see how the pattern gets larger and smaller depending on the percentage that you enter.

I hope that this short tutorial will help you explore the power of seamless patterns and hopefully you can start using them more often in your designs.

Categories
tutorials Illustrator

Create a Burberry Style Plaid with Illustrator in 4 Steps

Since I posted my set of 50 Plaid Pattern Illustrator Swatches I’ve had quite a few requests for a tutorial on how I created them.  The cool thing about plaid patterns is that they are very easy to create; so easy in fact that you can create them in about 4 steps.  In this tutorial, I will guide you through the steps necessary in order to create a Burberry style pattern swatch in Illustrator.


Step 1: Select your color palette

For this tutorial I will be using the following colors:

#B39D62
#45402D
#E8EEDC

Step 2: Draw horizontal lines

In this step draw 8 rectangles as shown.  Make sure to keep each rectangle is exactly the same width and make sure that none of the rectangles overlap.  When you are finished, make sure that the total height of all 8 rectangles matches the width (a perfect square).

Step 3: Duplicate, Rotate and Change Transparency

Select all your shapes.  Copy and paste them to front.  Rotate them 90 degrees counter clockwise and set transparency to 50%.

Step 4: Create and Apply Swatch

Open up your swatches palette.  Now select your entire pattern and drag it into the palette.  Once you’ve created your swatch, draw a rectangle and apply the swatch.

Download Source File

If you would like to download the source file, you may download it here.

Categories
tutorials Illustrator

Create a Burberry Style Plaid Part II Applying a Twill Pattern

Last month I discussed how to Create a Burberry Style Plaid with Illustrator in 4 Steps. Creating a basic plaid in Illustrator is fun and easy but some of you may have noticed (especially those of you who work in the fashion industry) that there was an essential component of creating a plaid that was missing; the simulated twill. For those of you who don’t know what a twill is, a twill, is a type of fabric woven with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs. If you take a look at most of your plaid shirts you will see a twill pattern woven into the fabric.

In this tutorial, I plan to show you how to simulate this effect in Illustrator.  I should warn you that while the previous plaid tutorial was relatively simple, this effect takes a bit longer to achieve and involves quite a few more steps.

Let’s Get Started!

In this tutorial I am not going to go through the basics of creating a plaid.  If you would like to learn more about the basics of creating a plaid take a look at my previous tutorial.  For the purposes of this tutorial, let’s assume that you already have a basic pattern in mind and you simply want to add some more realism to it by adding a twill pattern.

For those of you who haven’t already created a plaid of your own, download the lesson files and open the burberry-twill-start.ai file.  When you open the file, you will see that the basic plaid that I already created that’s composed of two identical groups of rectangles with one group rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise and with its opacity set to 50%.  We will use this object as a guide to create our new swatch.

0Our first step should be to duplicate our plaid and to delete the group with the reduced opacity.

Once you’ve deleted the vertical rectangles you will now want to duplicate the horizontal rectangles 3 times as shown.  You will be using these to create your diagonal overlays.

Select the bottom two sets and rotate them 90 degrees counter clockwise as shown.

Once you’ve rotated your shapes, we’re now at the point where we need to decide where we will place the twill patterns.  The best place to do this is with the darker stripes.

In the lesson file that I included in this tutorial I also included a block of diagonal lines.  This block of diagonal lines is special in that it is seamless and tileable.  If you’ve ever looked at a twill pattern, you may notice that the diagonal stripes line up.  So in order to make your plaid look right your diagonal lines must be completely seamless; otherwise you will notice where the tiles come together.  Think of this swatch as two completely separate patterns overlaid on top of each other.  Both patterns will repeat at the same time and therefore must fit perfectly together.  For more seamless diagonal lines you can download this set 55 Seamless Line & Crosshatch Swatches.

Your first step is to duplicate the diagonal lines as shown.

Now drag the diagonals on top of each square as shown.  In this step it is important to make sure that each set sits perfectly on top of each other.  If they don’t line up properly, the final product will not look right.  You can line them up perfectly either by using smart guides or by aligning them to their centers.


::__IHACKLOG_REMOTE_IMAGE_AUTODOWN_BLOCK__::1As you can see we have now overlaid our diagonal stripes on top of our objects but this screenshot is slightly misleading.  At this stage we now want to intersect the diagonals with darker shaded stripes.  To do this however we will first need to ungroup all the rectangles, then select the rectangles as shown and finally use the pathfinder palette to combine them as shown.


Now intersect the new compound shape with the diagonals.  Your shape should now look as shown.  Repeat the above steps with the vertical stripes.

Now that you have created your twill pattern you will now want to edit the colors of the squares to the left.  In this step simply use your eye dropper to edit the colors of the stripes as shown.

Now we can simply drag our twill patterns on top of our other pattern as shown.  You can delete the left over shapes from the other two sets.

.jpg” data-mce-src=”https://web.archive.org/web/20120209193749im_/http://colorburned.com/imagestutorialsburberrytwill/0014.jpg” width=”498″ height=”239″>Now let’s group both sets of stripes and align them both to the center.  After that set the top layer’s opacity to 50%.  Your plaid should now look as shown.

Right now our plaid looks pretty good but we’re not finished yet.  If you’ve ever taken a good look at a plaid you will notice that they are opaque where the stripes intersect.  To do this, grab your original plaid and duplicate it again as shown.


Now delete the rectangles as shown.

Select all the horizontal lines and combine them using the pathfinder palette.  After that, select all the vertical lines and combine them as well.

Now let’s intersect both compound shapes as shown.

Drag the intersected shape on top of the previous plaid as shown.

At this point, we’re almost done but not quite.  We want the diagonal lines to be the same color as the squares that we just created.  To do this simplly select the diagonal lines and combine them using the pathfinder palette.  After that, bring the diagonals to the front.  Your plaid should now look as shown.

Create the Swatch

To create the swatch, simply drag the plaid into the swatches palette.

Apply the Swatch

To apply the swatch, simply draw out a square and apply the swatch as a fill.

Final Image

Poste

Categories
tutorials photoshop

Photoshop CS4 Tutorial Create Vintage Style Photos

Not happy with the stained, drab, dried look of standard vintage photos? Stock photo filters getting boring? Good! Today I’m going to show you how to keep the good qualities of vintage-effects and throw in some beautiful clouds of color by utilizing the adjustment layers in CS4.

Don’t have CS4? These principles should translate into PS3 with some minor tweaking.

Final Image Preview

Download Original Image

Note: Be sure that “Use Legacy” is unchecked for each adjustment layer below.

Step 1:

Open up your adjustments panel and create a new Brightness/Contrast layer. Leave the brightness at 0 and set your contrast to 30.

Step 2:

Create a new Gradient Map layer and choose the “Violet, Orange” preset. Once applied, set it’s opacity to 15%.

Step 3:

Create a new Exposure layer and set Gamma to 0.80.

Step 4:

Create a new Brightness/Contrast layer and set Brightness to 17.

Step 5:

Create a new Solid Color layer and set it to Overlay. Set the color to #00f6ff and the opacity to 10%.

Step 6:

Create a new Solid Color layer. Set the color to #00d480 and the opacity to 8%.

Step 7:

Create a new Solid Color layer and set it to Multiply. Set the color to #009ced and the opacity to 5%.

Step 8:

Create a new Gradient Map layer and set it to Screen. Create a custom gradient using the color #308eb1 on the left (Location: 0%) and #f6ff00 on the right (Location: 100%) and set the layer’s opacity to 25%.

Step 9:

Create a new Brightness/Contrast layer. Set the Contrast to 52.

Layers Overview

Double check the order of your layers.

Conclusion

Finished! If you’re not happy with your results, feel free to play with the settings and colors. Mixing shades to get the perfect result can take time and practice. Get to it!

Download this tutorial as an action

Want to save some time? Download all these steps as an action and apply them to your image.

Visit author’s website: http://www.joeyfigaro.com.

Categories
tutorials Illustrator

A Comprehensive Guide to Illustrator’s Live Trace Tool and More

 

With designers relying more and more on vectors over the past few years designers have been looking for ways fast and effective methods of converting bitmap graphics into the scalable vector format. Originally Adobe utilized a program known as Streamlined but with the release of Adobe Creative Suite 2 this product was discontinued as users were introduced to the new, powerful Live Trace.

What Are Vector Graphics and Why Use Them?

Adobe Illustrator is a program created by Adobe that utilizes vector graphics as its primary method of creation. Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics (Definition). Due to the mathematical nature of vector graphics, it is possible for these forms of graphics to be resized both larger and smaller without any loss in quality. This makes vector graphics one of the most effective methods of creating drawings and illustrations.

What is Adobe Live Trace?

Adobe’s Live Trace function found within illustrator is a method of converting a bitmap graphic into a similar vector graphic consisting of primarily paths and shapes. To use Live Trace there are two primary ways to begin. The first is from the “Object” menu at the top of the screen. From here in the sixth group you will find “Live Trace” and all of the options that come with it. Similarly, you may simply click the “Live Trace” button found along the top menu bar. From each you will receive different options as to you would like to use Live Trace.


The most basic way is to simple choose one of the presets found from the “Live Trace” button found along the top menu bar or to choose “Make”. The results from this would range from simple a simplistic black and white image to a more detailed color image.


For most projects though these options simply won’t suffice and I highly recommend that professional or amateur designers DO NOT use the presets or default settings found within Live Trace.

Live Trace Options Panel

  1. Preset – Presets are the fastest way to toggle between settings within Adobe Illustrator. Though these are a good place to start, most projects will require tweaking to other settings to receive results as the designer wishes [or will require time after the trace to clean up it up]
  2. Mode – The Mode option allows the designer to choose whether the final vector will be in Black and White [1-bit], Grayscale [8-bit], or Color [8-bit].
  3. Threshold – The Threshold option will allow the designer to toggle what Adobe Illustrator views as blacks and white when working in Black and White mode. An example would be with a grayscale image, a high threshold level will result in more black objects while a lower threshold level will result in more white objects. Setting the threshold too low or too high can result in a loss of image quality.
  4. Palette – The Palette option allows for the designer to choose between Adobe Illustrator choosing the appropriate colors or the user to decide the colors to be used in within the piece. To change this from Automatic you must first load a custom swatch library the palette drop down will include these as available palettes. This forces live trace to use only colors found within that palette.
  5. Max Colors – The Maximum Colors option allows the designer to choose the maximum number of color variations found within the final image. The more colors, the larger the file size will be and the more memory the computer will need to complete the trace.
  6. Output to Swatches – The Output to Swatches checkbox will send the colors used in the image to your swatch box for easy access at a later point.
  7. Blur – The Blur Option allows for the adjustment of the Gaussian blur which is used before finding the edges of the image. For most situations, the higher the blur the vaguer the shapes will become. Blur is especially useful when trying to remove noise from a traced image.
  8. Resample – The Resample option allows for the user to change the resolution of the source file. This can speed up how long the trace will take as it lowers the scanning resolution of the image.
  9. Fill / Stroke – These two checkboxes will change how adobe illustrator works with the pieces. By checking “Fill” Adobe Illustrator will create a vector that uses fills to create color and a solid object. On the other hand, checking the “Stroke” checkbox will allow you to only stroke the paths which Live Trace creates. This can be helpful if you would like to place the trace above a background that you wish to be able to see. Generally, a fill will create a more complex result that will match the original image best while strokes will create less anchor points but a less exact trace.
  10. Max Stroke Weight – The Maximum Stroke Weight option allows the designer to choose what areas will be considered a “Fill” and what will be considered a “Stroke”. Anything larger than the Maximum Stroke Weight will be considered a “Fill”. This is only available when stroke is turned on.
    Min Stroke Length
    – The Minimum Stroke Length option allows the user to choose the minimum length of required for a stroke to be included in the final image. Any value lower than this number will not be included in the final image. This is only available when stroke is turned on.
  11. Path Fitting – The Path Fitting option allows designers to decide how closely Adobe Illustrator will follow the lines within the source image. Setting this value lower will force Illustrator to more closely follow the lines within the source image while setting this higher will allow for smoother and more relaxed lines overall.
  12. Minimum Area – The Minimum area option allows users to choose what the smallest area that will be traced is.
  13. Corner Angle – The Corner Angle option allows for users to set how sharp the corners can be. This option is measured in degrees. Think of zero as a flat line while 180 would be a very hard corner. The default for this setting is 20.
  14. Ignore White – The Ignore White checkbox allows for users to decide whether Illustrator will leave the areas that include white transparent [checked] or if they shall be filled in with white [unchecked].
  15. Preview – The Preview checkbox allows you to toggle live preview. Live preview is helpful when tweaking the settings as it allows you to see what the final result will be. If your computer is on the older side this may be to taxing in terms of resources yet it is one of the most beneficial options within the “Tracing Options” panel of Live Trace.

Expanding:

Once you have your image you can either leave it as a single layer trace or you can expand it into vector paths which you may then edit with the Direct Selection Tool [A]. To expand a newly traced item, you may either go to Object > Live Trace > “Expand”, Object > Live Trace > “Expand as Viewed”, or click “Expand” within the control palette along the top.


For those wondering, the difference between “Expand” and “Expand as Viewed” are rather simple. “Expand” will convert the entire tracing to vectors paths. “Expand as Viewed” will look at the settings you have under the View menu of Live Trace [as shown below] and expand the image based on those settings. An example of this would be if your view options are set to viewing “Outlines with Tracing”, Adobe Illustrator would then create vector paths that have a fill and stroke of “None”.


Results:

Here are the results that I was able to achieve. Please note that as with most designer programs, you will become better with Live Trace the more that you use it.

Live Trace

With the following settings:


The result was:

With vectormagic the result was:

Note the smoother background gradients found within the vectormagic version.

When should I use Live Trace?

For many, Live Trace is a good option to begin a design when working from a picture. It allows you to save time by getting a basic vector created so that you can expand it and tweak the final results with other Illustrator tools. Even if it doesn’t give the best results each and every time, it can save you time and allow you to get more comfortable with vectors. Have fun and keep designing!

Tips:

When working with a black and white image, choose grayscale to have Adobe Illustrator include anti-aliasing.

Although Live Trace is a good starting point, oftentimes it does not include the configurability needed to create high quality vectors of complex images. For those cases a good alternative is to go to http://www.vectormagic.com.

Start in black and white mode – this allows you the see the most contrast that adobe illustrator is finding and allows the output of better quality images. When ready to tweak your settings, change to grayscale or color.

Live Trace is integrated greatly with Live Paint for adding color to your results, experiment with this to get some unique and fun results!

View author’s website at razerdesign.com.

Follow author on Twitter.

SOURCES

Stock Photo Used:

Sources consulted while compiling tutorial:

Categories
tutorials Illustrator

Create a Character Mascot with Adobe Illustrator CS4

 

Mascots are becoming increasingly popular in web design. In this intermediate Illustrator tutorial we will show you how to create a vector character mascot from a sketch in Adobe Illustrator CS4. The techniques in this tutorial can easily be applied to other illustrations, icons, and design elements; as well as legacy versions of Illustrator.

Final Image

Below is the final illustration we will be working towards.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator
  • Version: CS4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2 hours

Step 1

To start, create a sketch of your character. I like to use my Wacom pen tablet and Photoshop to create the sketch, but you can use whatever medium you choose. After creating the sketch, scan it (if you are using traditional media) and save it on you computer in an easily accessible spot.

Step 2

Now to Illustrator. Create a new document and place you sketch in your new document by going File > Edit > Place. Find you sketch on your computer and center the image on your document.

Step 3

Once placed, choose Template from the pop-up menu of the Layers panel, making it a little easier to trace the image in the following Steps.

Step 4

Now that we have the sketch on a template layer we can create new layer to trace the sketch. To create a new layer, press the new layer button in the bottom right of the Layers panel. Creating multiple layers helps with organization and workflow. It is also a good idea to name the layer by double-clicking on the new layer and renaming it in the Layers Options dialog. Name the first layer Face.

Step 5

With the Pen tool (P), start tracing the dominate shapes of the face, making sure you close the paths for easy filling, like the skin of the face and the hair. For some of the other face elements like the nose and mouth outlines, you can keep them as open paths. In the next Steps we are going to create a brush that make it easy to give the paths a tapped stroke look.

Step 6

Now that we traced the shapes and lines of the face we can create the irises of the eyes with the Ellipse tool (L). Create three ellipses, one big, the second smaller and centered within the bigger one, and the third off to side of the centered ellipse.

Step 7

Use the Ellipse tool (L) a create an oblong ellipse, considerably wider than it is tall. Drag the ellipse in the Brush panel and chose New Art Brush from the New Brush dialog. Once in the Art Brush Options dialog, change the Colorization to Tints, making it easy to change the color of the brush.

Step 8

Select the open paths from your trace, and select the new brush form the Brush panel. You might have to change the Stroke Weight on some of the paths from the Stroke panel depending on if the stroke needs to be thicker or narrower.

Step 9

Fill in the closed shapes with appropriate color and change the stroke color for the brushed paths.

Step 10

Using gradients creates a sense of a light source. For this tutorial we are going to imagine the light source coming from the left side of the character. Start with the face shape, and create a linear gradient from the Gradient panel. Use your skin color for the left Color Stop and a darker skin color for the right Color Stop in the gradient. By default you gradient is probably already looking correct, but if not, use the Gradient tool (G) and adjust the gradient from left to right, making the lighter part of the gradient on the left of the face.

Step 11

Go through the rest of you closed shapes and create linear gradient keeping in mind your light source. Also keep in mind you want smooth transition from shape to shape. A good example is the right ear shape. If you adjust the gradient so the lighter part of the gradient is on the left side, the ear will look funny. A simple fix is to reverse you gradient so the colors next to each other match. For the eye make the gradient vertical so the darker part of the gradient is at the top of the iris shape.

Step 12

The face is starting to look pretty good, but let’s add some more shapes and gradients to give a little more depth and character. Start by creating an ellipse with the Ellipse tool (L). Make the ellipse about the size of an eye and place right below the right eye. Fill the ellipse with a radial gradient from the gradient panel. Change both of the Color Stops to a pink skin color. Then, change the Opacity in the Gradient panel of the second Color Stop to 0. Copy (Command + C) and Paste (Command + V) the ellipse and place under the opposite eye.

Step 13

For the next shape, use the Pen tool (P) and create a shape that distinguishes the contour of the nose mouth and eyes. Next, select the main face shape, Copy (Command + C), and Paste in Front (Command + F ). Select the copy and the new face shape and press the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. FIll the intersected shape with the same gradient as the previous Step’s ellipses except make the gradient linear. Adjust the gradient with the Gradient Tool (G) and go Object > Arrange > Send Backward (Command + [) until the shape is arranged right after the face shape.

Step 14

Create a new layer from the Layers panel and name it Body. In the Layers panel drag the Body layer below the Face layer.

Step 15

In the new Body layer, trace the body of you character, like you did the head. Also trace the keyboard of the laptop, but not the screen.

Step 16

Fill the shapes in with some basic color like with the face.

Step 17

Also just like the face, fill the shapes in with gradients and draw extra shapes to create more depth. Great places to do this are in the clothing and skin.

Step 18

Create a new Layer and name it Computer.

Step 19

Trace the laptop screen with the Pen tool (P) like you have previously done.

Step 20

Again, fill it in with some basic color, add some gradients to create some depth, and finish it up with some extra Pen tool (P) drawn shapes. Use the technique in Step 13 to Intersect the new shapes so they align with the object below.

Step 21

Create a new Layer and call it Background. Arrange the Background layer in the Layers panel so it is behind all layers except the Template layer.

Step 22

To create the background shapes, first create an oblong ellipse with the Ellipse tool (L). With the Selection tool (V) rotate the ellipse slightly to the right. Copy (Command + C) the ellipse and Paste in Back (Command + B). With the copy selected, scale it slightly with the Selection tool (V). To scale it proportionally from the center, hold down Command + Option/ Alt + Shift. while scaling.

Step 23

Hold down the Option/Alt key and drag out a copy of the original ellipse to the bottom right side of the other two ellipses. Copy (Command + C) the original ellipse and Paste in Front (Command + F). Select the copy and offset copy and press the Intersect button in the Pathfinder panel.

Step 24

Fill the first two ellipse with a light blue-green and a dark blue-green. For the offset ellipse, fill it with a radial gradient with the first Color Stop a light green-blue and the second a darker blue-green color.

Step 25

We are pretty much done, but we can customize it more by adding a logo to the t-shirt and computer screen. For this tutorial, Grant was kind enough to let me use the Colorburned logo. No matter what logo you are using, place a copy on the Body and Computer Layer.

Step 26

After placing the logos, we want to make sure that the look like they have the correct perspective. For both logos we can get away with just rotating them slightly to the left. For some logos you might have to alter them considerable more. I suggest using the Transform tool. With the Transform tool (E), click and hold an anchor point, then press the Command Key (Ctrl for Windows), and adjust accordingly. Make sure you click and hold on the anchor before you press the Command Key, or else it will not work.

Step 27

For the logo on the t-shirt, we are going to keep the Colorburned branding color, but for the logo on the computer, we are going to make it look like it is stamped into the laptop. To start fill the computer logo with a gradient similar to the lightest gradient in your computer, but with both Color Stops lighter. Adjust the Gradient so the darker color is at the bottom of the logo. With the logo still selected, go Object > Path > Offset. In the Offset dialog, change the Offset to 3 px (this can change depending on the dimensions of your illustration) and choose Round from the Joins drop-down menu. Fill the offset shape with a linear gradient with the first Color Stop white and the second Color Stop a dark computer color. Adjust the gradient so the darker part of the gradient is at the top of the offset.

Step 28

Now all that is left to do, is press the visibility icon in the layers panel for the Template layer and you are done!

Final Image

Again is the final character illustration.

You may download the source file for this tutorial below.  The contents of the download however are for educational purposes only and cannot be used for personal or commercial use, sold, or redistributed without the expressed consent of Colorburned Creative.

File type: .ai
Compatibility: Adobe Illustrator
Size: 170 KB Here
Categories
tutorials tutorials photoshop

Create a Rebellious Skateboarder Using Digital Painting Techniques in Photoshop

 

The aim of this tutorial is to take you through the process of coloring an image in Photoshop using digital painting techniques. Being such a flexible piece of software, there are several ways to approach this task, each with its merits. Concept artists will often work in grayscale for their base and apply color on top, which is a great method. The method I’m going to demonstrate in this tutorial uses a regular color base, and the shading is done with Hue Saturation layers. This method enables easy modification of color values and frees you up from worrying about any existing color values in your image while shading. To achieve that aim, we’ll be working a lot with the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

Rebellious Skateboarder

This is the image that we will be creating. You can download the source files for this tutorial here.

Preparation

You’ll need:

  • A copy of Photoshop (preferable CS3 or greater)
  • A sketch – you can use the scan provided in the source file or make your own.
  • A Wacom tablet (any model is fine).

I have a collection of brushes I’ve accumulated over the last few years that I regularly use for Photoshop work – but I tend to use a very small subset of them for most of my work. You can download the brushes used in this tutorial here. They’re nothing special, just a variety of brush settings is all.

Brush 1: Sharp Edge Brush

This brush will be used to block out the main areas of the image

Brush Tip Shape:

  • Hardness – 100%
  • Spacing – 25%

Shape Dyamics:

  • Size Jitter – Pen pressure
  • Minimum Diameter – 0%;

Other Dyamics:

  • Opacity – Pen pressure

Brush 2: Detailing Brush

This brush is used, surprisingly, for details such as highlights

Brush Tip Shape:

  • Hardness – 0%
  • Spacing – 25%

Shape Dyamics:

  • Size Jitter – Pen pressure
  • Minimum Diameter – 0%;

Other Dyamics:

  • Opacity – Pen pressure

Brush 3: Soft Brush

This brush is used for some delicate ambient shading jobs

Brush Tip Shape:

  • Hardness – 0%
  • Spacing – 25%

Shape Dyamics:

  • Size Jitter – Pen pressure

Other Dyamics:

  • Opacity – Pen pressure

Brush 4: Pallette Knife Brush

This is the heavy lifter in the tutorial – the main thing to note about it is that the Angle Jitter is set to direction, to make the brush angle track with the direction of motion. It uses an image as it’s base – but it’s pretty basic, just a circle blurred laterally.

This brush uses a graphic – it’s a simple ellipse blurred slightly in the X axis:

Brush Tip Shape:

  • Spacing – 10%

Shape Dyamics:

  • Size Jitter – Pen pressure
  • Minimum Diameter – 0%;
  • Angle Jitter – Direction

Other Dyamics:

  • Opacity – Pen pressure

Tip: While paying attention to the brushes you draw with, pay equal attention to the brushes you erase with. A general rule of thumb is always erase with the same brush you use to draw.

Step 1: Prep the Artwork

Ok, we’re all set. First , we need to ink the artwork. I tend to use layout pads for work like this, it’s ideal for making adjustments and tracings. I ink on a separate sheet to preserve the original sketch. Try to be tidy, it’ll only cause you more work later if you rush.

How you ink the drawing is entirely up to you. Inking is a whole art form in itself, but here I’ve gone for some fairly simple inking – the sketch is rendered first using a 0.5mm pen, and then a fatter outline is made with a 0.8mm, with an eye to emphasise the main elements of the form. Scan the artwork in using gray scale – you don’t want any color artefacts in your line work.

Switch to the Sharp brush, and try to clean up the artwork, removing any unwanted artefact or mistakes you made while inking. I actually sometimes use this phase to completely rework a component. In fact, I completely redrew the face at this stage – I felt that the original was a bit bland. Try to ensure that the outline of the overall form is closed, this will be important in step 2.

Tip: Set the background color to white, foreground to black. As you’re working round the image, use x to switch between white and black. The image will be used as a multiply layer, so any white will be transparent anyway – so it’s slightly quicker than moving between the eraser and brush all the time.

Step 2: Block Out the color

Now we need to block out the color for the drawing. Click on the magic wand tool, and make sure it’s tolerance is set to 64.

Select the white space outside the figure. If the outline is closed, it will make a nice solid selection. Any openings will allow the magic wand to leak inside the figure – if that’s the case, take another look and try to close any openings in the outline. You can create the first block of color using the lasso tool, but that can get real tedious.

Assuming you have a clean silhouetted selection, hit CTRL+Shift+i. This will invert the selection. Create a new layer, and fill the selection with your base skin tone. Make sure the line art is at the top layer of the document, and set its blending mode to “Multiply”.Now, create a folder and pop the new color layer inside it. CTRL+click on this layer to create a selection, and create a mask on the folder using this selection area. This will guarantee that you don’t color in outside the lines!

Step back inside the folder, and create a new layer for each component of the model, applying color as you go – e.g: a new layer for the shorts, new layer for t-shirt etc. Some of these layers will get merged into one later, but for the sake of simplicity, make a new layer each time. Work down through large areas of color to smaller. This will reduce the need to worry about overlapping areas. You can sometimes do several components at once if they have a common “theme” – so I tend to group all metallic parts into one layer, and all details into another layer.
The actual colors you choose at this stage are not so important; you can easily adjust these colors at the end of this stage.

Once you’re done, take a quick once over, make sure your colors are neatly applied. Make any tonal adjustments now if you wish – and collapse any layers together you think are too trivial to merit a separate layer.

Tip: At this stage, I would advise you to go through your layers and NAME them. It can be really helpful when working with the document – but is generally good practice to get into. There’s a certain joy in opening a flat PSD comprised of 200 un-named layers. Try to group layers in folders, and apply colors to the folders to increase layer readability.

Step 3: Apply Basic Shading

2 down! Now for the fun part. Photoshop provides lots of options for shading artwork. You could hand pick colors in the traditional fashion, or use overlays/transparencies of color. The method I’m going to show you now is one I derived from my work as a texture artist in the video games industry. All too often there would be a last minute change to a texture, or multiple variations required for a multiplayer mod. This method allows you great flexibility, so you can change color values easily as you progress.

Create a new folder called “Shading”. Apply the same masking technique we used for the color folder. Within this folder create a sub folder called “Dark”. Create a new Hue/Saturation layer in this folder. You can make one by clicking on the black and white button at the bottom of the layers panel

Slide the lightness down by about a third, move the saturation up by about a quarter, and nudge the hue left or right slightly. This last part ensures that your shading doesn’t become too “monochromatic” and gives the image more body. (Taking a hint from the old masters, you want to try and alternate your layers of shading through cold/warm variations). The whole image will appear dark. Set the background swatch to black, hit CTRL+A and then CTRL+X to clear the layer of information.

Select your Palette Brush and, setting the foreground swatch to white, begin working in to the image. I love working with this brush, it’s directional nature is really “tactile” and you can get very involved sculpting the form out with shadow. I like the way that it lends itself to creating strong geometric forms as you shade.

Work over the entire figure applying a medium level of shading. As you can see, the shading technique will nudge the existing color down and across slightly – thus bypassing the need to keep manually selecting colors relevant to the base, while the slight hue adjustment prevents the shading from being too tonally flat. There is one caveat to this technique. If you have used the hue slider to push the color towards red (for example), the layer will struggle to apply the effect to that colors complementary. In contrast, it will be really strong if you apply the shading to the color’s analogue or the same color. That being the case, you might have to make a couple of additional HS layers to accommodate this problem. Overall however, this technique is pretty fast.

Once you’re done with the dark shading, make a new layer doing the same for light – experiment with the hue/saturation settings to get a nice value across as much of the image as possible.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

All things being good, you should now have a relatively nicely shaded image. Now for some finishing touches. Create another darker HS layer, and select your Soft brush. We’re going to apply some “ambient” shadow, picking out some softer shadows to emphasise the form. You don’t need to get too specific with this level of shading. Do the same with a light layer.

Create a new standard layer, but move it ABOVE the line artwork. This will allow us to apply some nice highlights to the image. I like to use a very light yellow for this job – picking out fine details like the shine in the eyes, or on the bridge of the nose. Use the Fine Detail brush for sharp edges or highlights, and the Soft brush for broad soft areas like the shoulder muscles.

Next I want to try and add a little bit of tonal variety. Using the lasso tool, select an area around the chin where the beard would grow on the character. Create a new HS layer, and drop the lightness and saturation values slightly. Apply a Gaussian blur filter to this layer.

Create another HS layer, and focus on making a more ruddy skin tone. Clear the layer again, and use the soft brush to apply a the redder skin tone to key areas like the cheeks, nose, knees and fingers.

I grabbed a swatch of camo of the internet and applied it to the shorts layer. This is primarily to demonstrate a point about the advantage of this method, in that you don’t need to worry about any color values in the underlying image. Working with HS layers takes care of that for you.

Finally, I create one last HS layer, above all the shading but beneath the color, drop the light values and nudge the color in the general opposite direction of the dominant color in the image. Apply a simply linear gradient to this layer, and it adds that last little touch that emphasises the direction of light.

I have to confess to a little cheating in this next step – to create a simple background I popped out to the local retail park and took some photos low to the deck. I then applied a spherical distortion filter, and applied a cutout filter to simplify the image. Finally, I made a little sun using a white circle selection with an outer glow filter – and added a dark orange soft-light layer to the backdrop to unify and warm the color slightly.

Conclusion

So, to round up – this tutorial has hopefully shown you some interesting methods using HS layers. The joy about this method is that you are effectively painting a black and white image – which adapts itself to any underlying color information. It’s fast and versatile – and that’s just the HS layer!! Try the same trick with some of the other adjustment layer types to see what you can come up with!

You may download the source files for this tutorial below. The contents of the download however are for educational purposes only and cannot be used for personal or commercial use, sold, or redistributed without the expressed consent of Colorburned Creative.

File type: .ai
Compatibility: Adobe Illustrator
Size: 10.47 MB
Categories
General

10 photoshop Brushes free downlaod

10 photoshop Brushes free downlaod

Border Motifs

Free Ornament Brushes