Adding Shadows, Highlights, and Other Details in Illustrator

Sometimes when you see a vector image, it’s difficult to figure out how the artist created the intricate shadows, highlights, and textures. Try to determine how the details were achieved in the illustrations below:

will_run_for_pasta_cream   will_run_for_dessert_aqua

Now let’s break down the frosting on the cupcake.

I started with an outline of the shape of the frosting in a mid-tone:
frosting_midtone

Then I added a layer with several highlight shapes:
frosting_highlight

Followed by a layer with several shadow shapes:
frosting_shadow

Here is the frosting with 4 layers representing four shades of shadows and highlights:
frosting_combined_layers

The cupcake wrapper was created the same way:
vector_cupcake

By the end of today’s class, you should create a new blog post with the following:

  • a PDF of your progress
  • a paragraph describing what parts of your poster you are happy with, and what parts of your poster you would like help or feedback to improve

Inspiration vs. Originality

Why do we need to either sketch our own designs to trace, or combine several unique images and words?
Why can’t we just trace an image we found online?
What is the difference between using imagery in class and in a commercial portfolio?

Today we will:
– discuss copyright and fair use
– work on our posters

By the end of today’s class, you should create a new blog post with the following:
– a PDF of your progress
– any images you have used in your poster
– a paragraph describing how any images you have used fit under fair use

Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law considers the following four factors when determining fair use:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

Read more about copyright law and fair use here.

If you’re wondering why your teacher seems to care so much about copyright, originality, and fair use, it’s because she has stake in the game:

kathrine_switzer_quote2

Sketch or Mock Up of Our Poster Design

Today we will visualize the design of our poster. Keep the following things in mind:

  • How will you integrate the text and imagery?
  • How will you balance the positive and negative space?
  • How will you incorporate the rule of thirds in your composition?

By the end of today’s class, you will create a new blog post with the following:

  • A jpg of your composition (either a photograph of a pencil sketch or a photoshop mockup) that you plan to vectorize in Illustrator. Here is an excellent example created by Lauryl last year:
    lauryl_tshirt001
  • The answers to the following questions:
    • How will you integrate the text and imagery?
    • How will you balance the positive and negative space?
    • How will you incorporate the rule of thirds in your composition?

Remember, you must post a project update to your blog every class in order to receive participation points for that class.

Mini Lesson: Text in Illustrator

There are several techniques we can use to create visually appealing text in Adobe Illustrator.

1. Converting text into outlines (so each letter becomes a separate shape with points), and altering the points to create your own custom letter forms:

deconstructivism_letters

 

2. Tracing over hand drawn text with the pen tool (note how the fill color is black and the stroke color is white):

grateful_dead_lettering

 

3. Drawing a new path with the pen tool, selecting the “type on a path tool,” and typing a word or phrase along the path you just created:

text_on_path

Today we will:

  • learn a variety of different ways we can create visually appealing text in Adobe lllustrator
  • practice using these techniques
  • post our practice files to our blog, and analyze which techniques will be most useful in the creation of our vintage poster

 

By the end of today’s class, you will create a new blog post with the following:

  • a PDF in which you traced over each letter in the design with the pen tool
  • a PDF in which you typed a word in Illustrator, converted the text to outlines, broke apart the letters, and arranged them creatively (bonus points if you adjusted individual points on the letter to create a unique letter form)
  • a PDF in which you a drew new path with the pen tool, selected the “type on a path tool,” and typed a word or phrase along the path you just created
  • a paragraph describing which, if any, of these techniques you plan to use in your final poster design

Project Guidelines: Vintage Poster Design

Reminder: Curriculum night is this Wednesday, 9/17 from 6:30-8:00pm.

Project Requirements:

  • create a 12×18 vector poster in Adobe Illustrator
  • poster must fit the style of a chosen era in graphic design history
    (identify 3-5 characteristics of this era and successfully incorporate them into your poster)
  • all artwork used in the poster must be original
  • any typography used in the poster must match the typography of the time period

Some graphic design movements you may want to consider:

Art Deco (1925-1940)
art_Deco     Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 7.10.10 PM

Mid Century Modern (1945-1970)
beall

Psychedelia (1960-1975)
Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 7.14.19 PM     Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 7.13.52 PM

Deconstructivism (1985-2005)
Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 7.19.43 PM     neville_brody

 

By the end of today’s class, you will create a new blog post
with the following items:

  • the name of your chosen graphic design era
  • a minimum of 3 inspiration images from that era (more are great)
  • a paragraph (written in your own words) describing that graphic design style
    (colors, style of text, types of images used, famous designers from that era, etc)
  • a second paragraph describing your idea (or ideas if you have not yet narrowed it down) for your poster

The Parkland College Graphic Design website is a great place to start.
(Mid Century Modern is separated into two categories on this site: Late Modernism and Swiss/International Style).

If the above link does not work, copy & paste this URL into your browser: http://gds.parkland.edu/gds/!lectures/

Vector Illustration of a Raster Image

Today we will create a vector illustration of a raster image. In short, we will use the pen tool in Illustrator to trace over part of a photograph.

For example, we can turn a photograph of chocolate chip cookies into a vector illustration:

chocolate_chip_cookies vector_cookies

After the demonstration, you will:
1. Download a photograph.
2. Create a new file in Adobe Illustrator and place the downloaded photo in that file. (File -> place)
3. Create a new layer. Trace over your first shape. (You may need to decrease the opacity of this layer so you can see what you are tracing.)
4. Bring the opacity back 100% and adjust the color if necessary.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you are happy with your vector illustration.
6. Save your Illustrator file, and then save a version as a .pdf
7. Create a new blog post. In this post, upload your source photo and the .pdf of your vector illustration. Write a brief paragraph describing your image. Include any difficulties you had creating the image, and how you worked through them. Credit the source where you got your photo, so you don’t wind up in trouble like Shepard Fairey:

hope_poster_controversy

Vector Art & The Pen Tool

Here are some examples of vector art:

air-jordan-logo-brand-1000x500   OVO OWL1-B-LOGO-JPG

80s_hard_work_beats_outlines_black   will_run_for_dessert_cream

Today we will practice using the pen tool. After the demonstration, you will:
1. Download the “vectorpractice.zip” file here.
2. Unzip the file.
3. Open the .ai file in Illustrator.
4. Trace over each shape with the pen tool. (They are numbered from the simplest to the most complex.)
5. Save your file as a PDF.
6. Create a new blog post. Answer the following question: “What are some differences between vector and raster art?” and upload the PDF containing the vector images you have traced. Also describe any difficulties you had with the pen tool.

If you finish early, finish or edit your digital collage blog post so that it follows these guidelines and matches this sample blog post.

Important note: If Word Press is not letting you publish posts, you need to verify your email address.