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Author Topic: Illustrator first attempt and woe  (Read 1745 times)

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Babs

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Illustrator first attempt and woe
« on: May 29, 2003, 02:09:51 pm »
I've just had a go at following the excellent vector drawing tutorial on the main site, and got mixed results. I'm fairly pleased in one way, because I didn't think I'd be able to do any of it (my past attempts with illustrator have been terrible at best). I haven't finished matching colours or putting on small details but I think I relied on the stroke too much. At it's default size it looks fine, but when I blow it up to printing size obviously the strokes all but disappear and the picture gets all broken up and looks awful.

If any kind soul wants to take a look at it for me it's here. What I really want to know is firstly the best way to correct my stroke badness, and secondly the best way to do the creases in the tunic on the bottom right-hand corner of the picture, strokes was the easiest way but obviously again it doesn't work well.

Should I have been working from a bigger version of the original image to start with?

Thanks in advance.

Frostillicus

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Re:Illustrator first attempt and woe
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2003, 04:39:06 pm »
I've just had a go at following the excellent vector drawing tutorial on the main site, and got mixed results. I'm fairly pleased in one way, because I didn't think I'd be able to do any of it (my past attempts with illustrator have been terrible at best). I haven't finished matching colours or putting on small details but I think I relied on the stroke too much. At it's default size it looks fine, but when I blow it up to printing size obviously the strokes all but disappear and the picture gets all broken up and looks awful.

If any kind soul wants to take a look at it for me it's here. What I really want to know is firstly the best way to correct my stroke badness, and secondly the best way to do the creases in the tunic on the bottom right-hand corner of the picture, strokes was the easiest way but obviously again it doesn't work well.

Should I have been working from a bigger version of the original image to start with?

Thanks in advance.
Yeah that can happen when you use strokes.  In the tutorial I actually mention this very problem a few times, and warn against using too many.  I think I used it only for the hair in the demo.  It's a dangerous shortcut that at first seems great but down the road when it's time to resize, the problems occur.  Everything resizes but the stroke size.  And it doesn't matter what size you trace it from - if you had a larger high-res image you wouldn't need to vectorize it  ;)

My suggestion would be this - for example - for the gray area on the shoulder - lose the black straight lines and just fill in that shape with the gray - you should get some thin 'lines' from the shape itself.  There are a few pictures (i forget what page) where I show how 99% of the lines on Akuma are actually shapes with their control lines angled back on themselves.

Or, instead of doing all the wrinkles together,  you could make just one nice wrinkle shape and duplicate it 4 or 5 times for the creases - they all look pretty much the same anyways - maybe add some slight variations in each one to mix it up.

But it's looking good - just need to clean up some overlapping parts and some white bits showing through.



Babs

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Re:Illustrator first attempt and woe
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2003, 05:00:49 pm »
That brings up a good point actually, how do you move points on an existing shape?

I've found that by selecting the shape, then holding ALT and click-dragging a point I can change the shape of the curve, but I can't seem to move a point. Is it possible and am I just missing something easy?

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Re:Illustrator first attempt and woe
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2003, 06:25:28 pm »
Actually, it's quite easy to scale stroke weight in Illustrator. Click on the "scale" tool (keystroke "s") Then set the option "scale strokes and effects" Then hit OK. Then when you scale the object (even without the "scale tool" using only the "selection tool" it will scale your strokes. There are also options for the way stroke endpoints and corner points look in the "stroke options" pallette.

As far as selecting a point on a shape, use the "direct selection tool" (keystroke A) to select ONLY the point you want to select. If you select the shape and all of the points look filled in, deselect it and then try to click only on the place where you saw the point you wanted to move. When the point you have selected looks filled in and all of the rest look like empty boxes you will be able to move *just* that point. It is quite easy you will find after you get the hang of it.

Also, if you find you need to, you can also outline a stroke if you have been using an overly large stroke (when you should have been using a shape) and you want to convert it to a shape.
Object > Path > Outline Stroke

Formerly known for the (apparently now defunct) arcadeartlibrary

Frostillicus

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Re:Illustrator first attempt and woe
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2003, 09:40:18 pm »
Actually, it's quite easy to scale stroke weight in Illustrator. Click on the "scale" tool (keystroke "s") Then set the option "scale strokes and effects" Then hit OK. Then when you scale the object (even without the "scale tool" using only the "selection tool" it will scale your strokes. There are also options for the way stroke endpoints and corner points look in the "stroke options" pallette.

I'm always learning something new with these programs :)