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The wonders of Vector. Questions...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by XNine, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. macrumors 68040


    So, vector art is awesome, and I know how to get it done effectively by hand, that's not hard at all. but I'm having a hell of a time using photoshop or illustrator to do it.

    What's the best techniques to get it done? The hardest, I find is faces and hair.

    What are the best tools, methods of getting these things done efficiently with not spending all damn day on it?

  2. macrumors 601


    I'm in love with vector art too.

    I just wish I knew how to really use Illustrator. :rolleyes:
  3. macrumors member


    I'm confused I thought vector art could only be done digitally as it see's images as a series of points and mathematical equations which is why it can be enlarged to any size? Or did you mean drawing your project on paper scanning it in and converting to vector which I often do sometimes (I find i'm doing that alot more lately for certain tattoo designs I come up with).
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Practice, practice, practice...! :) I am not very good at faces and hair yet, I started on real basic stuff with geometric shapes etc., and I primarily use vector art for diagrams and scientific figures rather than artwork (which is harder IMO). A good place to look for advice is the newsgroup alt.graphics.illustrator. Lots of helpful people on there.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Basically, yeah. Or even taking a photograph of someone, scanning it in at a large resolution so it can be scaled down if need be from there. But basically taking things that already exist (again, my art or photos) and making them vectorized. And not through a filter, but by using illustrator itself and perhaps the pen tool or some other method.
  6. macrumors 68040


    The Live Trace feature in Illustrator CS2 can do a pretty decent job of creating vector artwork from scans or other images. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but on logos and other simple files, it can be a great headstart. It's also fun to up the settings as high as they can go and let it go to town on a photograph, just to see what kind of a job it does. I was decently impressed.

    You should get to know the Pen tool intimately. :) I use that tool (and it's alternates- the add/subtract point and convert point tools) as well as the Direct Selection Tool more than anything else in Illustrator.

    One more thought: The pencil is a pretty cool tool, as well. Though to get it to work its magic, a graphics tablet is best. The other tools will work fine with a mouse, but this one really needs the tablet, I've found.
  7. macrumors member


    ah yeh, I was addicted to converting my photos into vector when I first discovered it, you can actually do it in photoshop with a filter then put that image into illustrator and convert it into a real vector, gives it a more graphicy look.

    like this
    photoshop filter:

    then that image put into illustrator with very minimal tweaking with the pen tool:

    About the only thing it doesn't look too brilliant with (imo) is faces and figures. I haven't had any success with making it look good atleast. I wouldn't mind seeing anyones face pics that have come out looking good.
  8. macrumors 68040


    Is that photoshop filter the PASTEL filter?
  9. macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    And then practice some more! It's also useful to look closely at vector illustrations to see how the artist has made them up – a lot of the illustrations on lifeinvector.com will show you how they're put together if you move your mouse over them. ;)
  10. macrumors 6502a

    I did the main drawing of this in Illustrator, then drew the reflected image & did the transparency in Photoshop.

    I use a Wacom Tablet for all my graphics. It's more benefit in Photoshop fo rpainting, but is very handy for drawing in Illustrator too.....

    Attached Files:

  11. Moderator emeritus

    One of the first things I learnt about using Illustrator was to use an illustration as a template and to trace the illustration with the pen tool, and then, to colour the vector art to match. After everything is done, we disposed of the template layer.

    To do more complex, photo-like vector illustrations, use lots of layers. My instructor had done this and had some impressive illustrations, but I think that you have to be very determined--or better, committed :D to making it all work, especially with Adobe Illustrator.
  12. macrumors G5


    mmm... Vector -- clean edges, and so nutritious too

    Attached Files:

  13. macrumors 6502a

    This is sound advice, and a bit of a funny one for me. In the workplace, I ALWAYS use layers to their full value, and label them correctly.

    However with my work I do at home, personal stuff, I have a bit of a "Rain Man" thing going on, where I don't use as many layers as are probably required, and never label them, and I somehow seem to keep track of it all in my head.

    It's probably because I come from an art background, not a technical one, so I just use whatever technique to get the creative result I want, regardless of whether that follows the text book method.

    Listen to the man though. Layers are your friend.....
  14. Moderator emeritus

    I challenge anyone to find a text book which has created art. :D
  15. macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

  16. macrumors 6502a


    This is the first (and only) one I did. I spent about 3 hours on it I guess, working from a template. Al paths drawn myself - Illy 10 doesn't have a vectorise tool! It's quite "coarse" - not much detail in hair and face - but I was quite pleased with it for a first attempt.

    Attached Files:

  17. macrumors 6502a


    Very cool, btw :) . How long did you spend on that? Looks very realistic.
  18. Moderator emeritus

    The book itself didn't create anything, though it might have engendered ideas or facilitated technique but nice try.
  19. macrumors member


    Hiya Onizuka that filter is in filters > artistic > cutout.


    Those settings usually bring out the best results for me (I do mostly cars and bikes). Then drop it into illustrator cs2 to play around with the livetrace.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    It took a while. Probably about half a day at the time.

    None of it is done with the gradient mashtool, either. It's made up completely of individually drawn shapes with the regular gradient fill applied at different angles.....

    There are obviously ways to cut corners, like the first wheel in the foreground went on to become the rear wheel & the wheels on the reflection, and once you have enough sections filled with gradients you like, you tend just to sample them for other bits with the eyedropper for other parts.....
  21. macrumors 6502a

    An easier way to start with hair, is to have a lot of patience, draw your areas to hold the highlights individually, and apply a gradient (hairgrad), build these up, alter colours as you go to add lowlights too (girl_clipped) and you'll end up with something where you have a deeper, richer feel to it...

    Make solid blocks of your colours to use first, then turn them into swatches, so you can just drag them onto the gradient bar......

    Attached Files:

  22. macrumors 6502a

    I did this one in a really boring job I had a few years ago. I was supposed to be designing a catalogue at the time. Lots of sneaky flipping between Illy & Quark......:p

    Again, all Illustrator, just the regular gradient bar.......

    Attached Files:

    • VU1.jpg
      File size:
      163.9 KB
  23. macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Hair like this? Send me an email and I can show/tell how to do the basic in about 5 mins.

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