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.