Tracing Artwork with Adobe Illustrator

Day 16

So today I started watching the videos over my newest course, Tracing Artwork with Illustrator.  In the first few chapters I didn’t really get a lot of work done on my computer just more of learning the terminology.  Now I did do a few things that were recommended for good practice on tracing in Illustrator.

The very first thing I jumped into was just simple basics of the trace panel.  This summed up on what it was how to use it and what I can do with it.

The next thing that I went over was the different color modes for it.  There are 3 color modes for the trace panel. the starting one for each trace is just black and white.  These colors are pretty self explanatory, but I’m  not too much of a fan of the out come of the art when it is finished.  The next color set is Grayscale.  I absolutely love this color set because it makes very beautiful black and white pictures and if you want the picture to seem blotchy for design preferences you are able to turn down the amount of grey shades you are currently using. The final color set is “color”.  This  explains itself too, it is just a picture that has been traced in color.  Now being the pictures use a lot paths if “vectorized’ they tend to look blotchy unless you really tweek with the other advanced tools.

The 3 advanced tools are paths, corners, and noise.

Paths:  The paths setting make either more or less of the paths which can really change the look of a picture even if change by 1%.  This fine tuning of your tracing really allows you to have a upper edge on your project and removes plenty of stress from the work in general.

Corners: The corners setting allows you to change just what it says, the corners of your paths. This I’m not 100% sure how it works just yet, but it has the same effect on your picture generally speaking.  It won’t effect your artwork like the paths setting but it will change the points where two lines converge and I THINK it makes the corners more defined only time will teach me about them.

Noise: Noise is the setting of your finer lines that will be more define or more pixely.  In this setting I prefer to keep at 0% because I like solid lines more than anything but during certain occasions I like the pixel look. The way the setting bar works s is opposite to the others.  What I mean by this is that you raise the bar to make it less solid and more pixely, and vise versa if you want it to be more solid.

After learning the general settings for tracing I learnt that tracing is NOT always going to give you the perfect result and that it will take you some time to get your  picture, logo, air piece, ect. to look perfect like you want it too. Now in my refining part I didn’t take a whole lot of time in it and just refined a few lines with my eraser.  The reason why I didn’t want to take to much time on it is so that I could go on with my lessons.

The next lessons covered terms fir tracing. There are 5 terms that I will mainly be working with: Tracing Palette, Limited Palette, Full Tone Artwork, Input Image, Flat Color.

Tracing Palette:  The tracing palette is the general picture that you are going to be tracing.  This could range from a very wide variety of images.

Limited Palette: The limited palette is a palette that only has a certain amount of colors that it can use at one given time.  So if I scan in a picture that has multiple varieties of the same color then it is going to trace differently

Full Tone Artwork:  Full tone artwork is the exact opposite of limited palette.  It has all the colors it could possibly have available.

Input Image: The input image is the image you place into your artboard to give you what you plan on tracing

Flat Color: Flat color is literally just an image with one color no variety, no fading, no shading, no nothing…..just a boring old color…nothing interesting

Day 17

Today is project day and I am tired as can be right now, Im to tired to think of something to do for my project.

I remember one day christian working on a band album cover for a project day so I decided to make a Band cover for a fake band I came up with.

The first thing I did on my project was I gave it a name then I worked on making the effect behind the name. the hard part about this is remembering the trick to making the crescent shape which didn’t take to long after a bit of frustration I just made the general shape with the ellipse tools then I traced the black that was made by them with the pen tool.  This didn’t take any time at all but transforming it the way I wanted to took a bit of time to accomplish. After getting the first transformation I just command D for a few seconds before I got to where I wanted to.

The next thing I started doing was importing different pictures into the file which I DID pull off the internet the artists that actually drew them are unknown, but the reason why I imported instead of drawing it all myself was that I wanted to  use some of the skills I have learned from my current course and it was also quite a bit faster. (I know I’m a little lazy from time to time)

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 10.15.01 AM

Finally I made a few finishing touch ups on the general positioning of the pictures and of the crescents I created.

Challenges of this Project:  This project provided a general amount of challenges in itself.  The main one was the gauntlet because when it was imported its background was actually the color of some of its pieces.  This proved to test my patients more than anything in this project.  The reason fro that is because it required me to take shapes and slowly fill in the empty spots that were translucent.  This took way more time than I had expected it too, to be honest.  The plus to when I had traced it with the trace option, being that the background is black, I didn’t have to do a whole lot of cleaning up on the lines which really cut down on the time I was using on this project already.

The final part that got on my nerves was coloring the crescents. Im not even joking this made me mad because I couldn’t get any color to go well with the rest of it but not using up the space around the images looked VERY bland and boring to me.  I am still unsatisfied with the colors but I have tweeking to do to them which Im hoping I can get down tomorrow.  I wouldn’t doubt it if I spend a good amount of my time tomorrow on colors tomorrow because I am very picky about coloring my projects.  If its anything short from perfect its going to mess with my head and spoil my mood for the day so I have to get these colors down.


Thoughts: This project had so far been a good project to use some of my new skills and also use some of the old ones that I hadn’t used in a long time.  The reason why I went with this was for the soul purpose of using some of the old skills so that I wouldn’t forget them.  The best way to keep up with old and new skills is to constantly use them.

Day 18

Today is the last day of the week, and also a project day.  Being that its project day I worked on my band color album photo which os starting to come together.  I threw in a bunch of gradients and repositioned a few things and now I’m coloring one of the daggers in the background. The one I’m coloring is proving to be a great challenge for me because it is very intricate.  This proved to get to me often while working on it.Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 8.28.33 AM

I did a few adjustments on the crescents I placed yesterday and I moved them around a little bit until they were where I wanted them.  After getting them placed I worked on their gradients which took a few minuets to get where I wanted it but I got it to a color that I think looks perfect.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 8.34.18 AM

I adjusted the positioning of the crescents again because the angle was bothering me then until I got to the point that having two crescents was bothering me so I deleted the bottom set of crescents and the i was satisfied with the crescents and moved onto the right dagger.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 9.59.26 AM

WOW!!! Did this get annoying….it was just flat out aggravating to work with so much on this.  I have no clue where to start on the agitation.  First thing I colored was the blade which was the easy part then as I moved up the lines got more detailed and harder to select which royally peeved me.  The hardest part that honestly took up all my time was selecting and deselecting the lines I wanted and didn’t want so I could color them black and make the line defined.  The handle coloring was easy…it was a breeze but after coloring the general parts of it there were a bunch of small and hard to select lines which took, not kidding , 30 minuets to select it all.  I ended up getting fed up with it to the point of coloring all the main important parts selecting the rest and just coloring it all black.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.14.53 AM

After finishing a few tweakes on the dagger I actually looked at the text and I was unsatisfied with it (boy am I picky) so I changed its font and I added a glow to it which made it pop out of the screen to me quite a bit. With the outer glow added I then was satisfied with the text, it reached my standards and now I’m finished with 3 main parts I was working on: the crescents, right dagger, and the text.

The next project day I’m going to work on the other dagger and then the gauntlet.  The gauntlet I’m going to make almost a solid black then I will make its lines have a silver looking glow on them so that it will make it look more metallic and even more realistic.  The only problem Im currently thinking up is the fact that I’m going to have to make it have some definition to its look and make it look like a real gauntlet.  The next dagger I’m debating on making it the exact same dagger I did today to make my life easier but also I want it to have some diversity to its look so that it doesn’t look like  I’m only half doing it.

Overall I’m really enjoying this project and I’m taking a lot of pride in it and I can’t wait for the finishing product of it and also look froward to the next challenges that it will provide me.

Im so ready for the weekend!!!!!!