Wednesday, January 21, 2009

hee yaa!

I just did this really fun (and easy) Adobe Illustrator tutorial over at blog spoon graphics. Actually, despite the fact that I was able to do this with relative ease, there are some cool little tricks that I learned that I can use in the future.

Some interesting tools here: Relying on the Pathfinder tool box! There are so many awesome functions right there, but if you don't have it set to view, it's easy to forget about it. So a basic action is add or subtract to area, which were used to create the ninja's face opening and also in making the body one unit for editing with color. Another freakin' cool customization tool, is in the layers box. By clicking the appearance tab, you can add additional strokes, assign them their own color, and then you can further customize by going to the stroke tab and giving the strokes each their own weight, and deciding on their alignment, which is key. In this image, the black stroke is set to align itself to the outside of the path, and the grey stroke is set to align to the inside of the path, and so this gave me 2 nice thick 4 pt. strokes. If you do the tutorial, play with those settings, and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Creating the weapons was fun. I had a tough time with the star in the tutorial, so I did mine by touching the each point with the twirl tool once... and I like mine better actually :P Another technique to learn, was in making the links on the nunchuks. Basically, all you're doing, is making 2 circles, set them apart from eachother, highlight both of them and go to Object> Blend> Make, and select 5 specified steps. Right away, the 2 circles are connected by 5 more circles. To add movement, draw with your pencil tool a curve, select the entire group and go to Object> Blend> Replace Spine, and voila! The chain assumes the shape of that line you just drew.

I know what I just wrote won't make sense if you don't try it out on your own, but I wanted to include it to highlight the valuable shortcuts that you learn here. Another great thing about this tutorial, is that you can create as many characters as you'd like, and therefore, you're learning the techniques over and over, and really creating on your own memory and instinct after the first couple that you do straight from the lesson.

Additionally, if you're really into graphic illustration, you can easily see how you could start another project and use these tools.. the object blending tool alone is extremely handy.. off the top of my head, you could re-produce that same process in making a necklace, a dog leash, a strand of popcorn on a Christmas tree, a strand of lights strung through the air.. and that's just a few obvious choices.

I'm posting the image that I did straight from the tutorial. I started this late, and after making 2, I decided that I wanted to start getting ready for sleep. Overall, I'm pleased with how they came out and I kinda wish I'd made a few more. I did want to add my own personal touch to this, since it is a mirror of the tutorial, and ended up quickly throwing some of my own details in for fun. I felt compelled to create little critter ninjas.
.. don't they look menacing with their weapons?


Dean said...

really cool. How long did it take out of interest?

Mlle said...

Uh, gosh I'm not sure, I think I spent a little bit over an hour on this, including the stuff I added.