Low-Poly Effect in Illustrator

low_poly_finalSeveral students have mentioned wanting to create a low-poly self portrait, so I have created a tutorial to show you how to achieve this effect in Illustrator. You do not have to use this style – it is one of many options.

You are responsible for publishing a PDF of your progress to your blog today, regardless of the style you choose to work in.

Planning blog posts have been graded. If you did not publish a planning blog post, you received a zero. You can still publish a planning blog post, but you will only receive half credit because it is late. Remember, the planning blog post is worth 20% of your final project grade.

Part 1: Set Up your File in Illustrator

  1. Create a new file in Illustrator (File -> New Print Document)
  2. Place your reference photo in the Document (File -> Place)
  3. Scale the reference photo so it fits within the edges of the document
  4. Lock your reference layer
  5. Save your file

Part 2: Create a triangular mesh

  1. Create a new layer new_path_icon
  2. In the bottom left corner, set your fill options to “outline only,” and change the outline color to something bright that will contrast with your skin tone.
  3. Select the pen tool. pen_tool
  4. Use the pen tool to draw triangles over the entire portrait. Each triangle should represent a shift in value.

Part 3: Fill in the triangular mesh

  1. Use the black arrow black_arrow to select a triangle.
  2. Use the eyedropper tool eyedropper to select a color in the middle of the triangle. This will change the fill color.
  3. Continue until you have filled in all of the triangles.

Part 4: Align points to fill in gaps

  1. Open the alignment palette. (Window -> Alignment)
  2. Select the white arrow. white_arrow Hold down shift and select the points you wish to align. Points that are not selected should remain white, and points that are selected should change to a color.
  3. Click vertical in the alignment palette.
  4. Click horizontal align in the alignment palette.
  5. Continue until you have filled in all the gaps between triangles.

Save your file as a PDF and upload your progress to your blog.

Today we will:

  • Continue working on our vector self portraits
  • Publish a new blog post with a PDF of our progress



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