Thursday, October 23, 2008

Walking to Work

This is another assignment for my Digital Illustration class. The teacher said we needed to take an image from a newspaper and turn it into an Illustrator piece.

As soon as I saw this photo I had a good idea of what my finished image was going to look like -- all those straight lines made it seem like this was going to be a natural for a vector program.

I assumed I was going to be able to get away with adjusting the contrast in Photoshop and then using the autotrace function or whatever they call it these days. No such luck -- the image was too grainy and indistinct.

So I went in and used the pen tool to trace the background. Simple labor and the kind I love to do while listening to music. (The missus gave me her old iPod and I like to listen to it on shuffle -- lots of jazz came up yesterday and I particularly enjoyed the bluegrass version of Dave Brubeck's Take Five -- fiddle and banjo suit that song well.)

Then I traced the figure. At first I really tried to make the outline as accurate as possible and it looked awful. So I decided to try and maintain visual consistency by tracing the figure the same way I did the background, just using straight lines. I copied the figure, pasted a white copy behind the black copy, and then used the direct selection tool to pull it out and form a white outline.

After that I made a set of white highlights to bring out the depth and detail of the figure. And then I masked what I did by using a white square to hide the image. With the pathfinder function I laid an oval frame down and cut that shape out of the white square.

And there you go, ready for T-shirts and coffee mugs.


LunchBoxxx said...

hmmm if only i had photoshop or illustrator sadly i must remian in the 2D hand drawn stuff. I love your work maybe you want to collaborate take my handdrawn stuff and see what you can do with it?

Sean Craven said...

Y'know, I was gonna put up a post yesterday about a program called Expression that I love. Microsoft picked it up and were distributing it as a free download -- but when I went to find it for the post it turns out that they used it as the basis for a web design suite. Damn.

Dude, I'll be honest. My initial reaction to the idea of a contribution was, "Hell yeah, after I get done with..." and after I got to item fifteen or sixteen I realized I just don't have the time now. The fact that I can't stop messing with my fuckin' blog doesn't help...

But tell you what. If you're still interested when Christmas break comes along drop me a line and let's try something. I'm guessing you did your own icon and I'm a sucker for a rotting severed head.

Is there anyplace on line where I could see some more of your work?