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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
In this movie, I'll show you how to create the uniformly stroked line art that we created in the previous movie, and we'll turn it into this full color rendering using the Live Paint tool. Now, before we can use the Live Paint tool, we need to add some colors to the Swatches panel, and you can see that the Swatches panel is nearly empty, because I created this illustration from an image file. But, you can still get the default swatches by clicking on this little Swatch Libraries Menu icon in the bottom left corner of the Swatches Panel.
Then, choose Default Swatches and choose Print. Then, go ahead and select all these swatches by clicking on the last one, and shift clicking on the first one, and then just drag em and drop em over into the Swatches Panel. And then you can go ahead and close that Floating Print panel. Now what I want to do is twirl open my Tracing Layer here. And because the Live Paint function ends up changing the nature of the line art, I'm going to create a copy of it. So I'll go ahead and click on the little meatball to the right of the word simplified here.
And I'll press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on the Mac to copy it. I'll go ahead and turn off that simplified art and I'll press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on a Mac to paste the copy in front. And now I'm going to go ahead and rename this guy Live Paint like so. Next what you want to do is draw a big rectangle around your artwork and let me demonstrate why. I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on the Mac to zoom out and it'll click off the artwork to deselect it. We're going to need to fill in the grass around the sides of this creature and at the bottom of the art as well.
And a Live Paint tool, can only fill in areas that are continuously surrounded by lines. So, I'm going to go ahead and switch to the White Arrow tool, and I'm going to click on this point, and Shift-click on this one. And then, assuming that your keyboard increment is one point, press Shift+Left Arrow three times in a row, like so. And then grab this point, and Shift click on this one, and press Shift+Right Arrow three times in a row. Now, I want you to go to the View menu. And choose Smart Guides in the event that it's currently turned off, and that way, you'll turn the smart guides on.
Then grab the Rectangle tool and drag from the upper left corner down to the lower right corner, or vice versa, just so long as you're intersecting those corners like so. And now I want to expand the rectangle, which I'll do by clicking on the word Transform up here on the Control Panel. I'll click at the end of the Width Value and enter + 36. That will give us 18 points on either side. Tab to the Height Value, click after it, and enter + 36 for it as well. Then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to produce this big rectangle that you see here.
Right now we need to fill in a few more gaps. Notice right there on the creature's hand we've got a little bit of gap between the suction cups, and I'm going to fill that in just using the Line tool. So you just need to make sure that things are visually filled in. Now, you want to press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on a Mac to switch to the Outline Mode, so you can see the other gaps in your artwork. So I'll switch to the White Arrow tool by pressing the A key, and this guy's a big gap so I'll go ahead and close it up. And probably at this point you want to turn Smart Guides off.
Which you can do by pressing Ctrl+U, or Cmd+U on the Mac, because they're going to get in the way as we try to snap these points together. So, here I am just working a little bit above the hand. I'll go ahead and close up this gap. You don't have to close up the really small ones. But you might just want to move things into alignment with each other, like so. And I'll go ahead and drag this guy down. And this is a pretty good sized gap, potentially. So is this one here. We've got a gap at this location. This is, obviously, tedious work, but it's worth doing.
Go ahead and select this point and get rid of it. And then grab this guy and drag it over and then maybe to round things out a little bit. This is a big gap so it needs to be closed up. This guy right here can be closed very simply by marking the two points and then just pressing Ctrl+J, or Cmd+J on the Mac in order to join the end points together. With a straight segment, albeit but, you know, it's pretty tiny. So I don't think it'll show up that well. We'll go ahead and drag guys down as well. So I'm just kind of skirting around the outside of the artwork.
And once you get to about the top of his head, you can give up on it. You don't really have to fill in any of the other gaps. You may decide that something like this isn't going to suit you, I'm right below the moon. In case you're wondering where I've gone. And, so I'll select this guy, get rid of him, and I'll just drag this point over to this location, oops. I don't want to move that control handle up. If you're feeling like a big fuss budget, you can take care of that point there. I'm going to leave that area alone. We do have one pretty big problem over here in the bushes to the side of the flag.
So I'll press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on the Mac to switch back to the preview mode. And I'm going to scroll down my Layers panel, and I'm going to turn on the Image Trace item right there, and I'll meatball it. That is I'll click on this little circular target icon. And then go up to this little Image Trace panel icon, click on it, and you want to change View from Tracing Result to Source Image. And that way you'll be able to see what the original pencil sketch or a tleast the original Photoshop image looked like.
This may reek all kinds of havoc on your screen, as it is in my case. My entire screen has turned black, so that's the kind of thing where you think gee whiz, I just crashed the program. In fact, it's just Illustrator's way of trying to attract your attention and also demonstrate that it's having a hard time making this happen, but in the fullness of time so just wait for it. You will end up seeing your screen come back and the image come back as well. So once you see it as I am now, go ahead and close the Image Trace panel and then zoom in on the art work and now you want to select the Pen tool, Which you can do by pressing the P key.
I'm going to drag from this point, like so, and then drag down here. I might go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac to get the white arrow to on the fly and drag that control handle up a little bit. And then I'll Ctrl or Cmd, click off of the path, to deactivate it. Now I'll click here in order to wake up this guy, and click right about there to add a segment. Alright so that should take care of that. I'll go ahead and turn off that Image Trace object, so that it can better see what the art work looks like. And I want to fix these other bushes.
So I'll press Ctrl+Y, or Cmd+Y on a Mac, to switch to the Outline mode. I'll press the A key, to get the White Arrow tool, and I'll just drag these points around a little bit. And this guy shouldn't even be here, so I'll get rid of him. I'll just select this guy, and move 'em up like so. That'll do it. So I'll press Ctrl+0, or Cmd+0 on a Mac in order to zoom out. Press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on a Mac, in order to preview my artwork. And I'll press the V key, in order to switch to the Black Arrow tool.
It'll click on the spath outlines to select em all, because they're grouped together. Just to sort of be able to tell what you're doing here. You'll want to press Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on a Mac to hide those selection edges. Now drop down to the Shape Builder tool right there. Click and hold and select the Live Paint Bucket from the Flyout menu. Now notice as you move around the artwork you'll see various locations that you might fill. So I'm going to select this shade of orange. Its C0M50Y100K0, here inside the Swatches panel.
And then click inside the dude's face in order to fill it like so. And notice it gets this big thick edge. I don't really like that, and there's a lot of little areas inside this artwork that are not going to be served well by the thick edge. To get rid of it, Double-click on the Live Paint Bucket tool in order to bring up the Live Paint Bucket options. By default, Paint Strokes is turned off. I want you to leave it that way. So, only Paint Fill should be selected. A red highlight is just fine, but let's change the width to one point and then click OK. One of the little time savers associated with this tool, you can just click, like so, in order to fill these regions.
Or you can drag kind of in and out of them. So you're not creating a marquee, you're just dragging in and out of the regions that you want to fill like so in order to achieve this effect. Now I want his eye to be white. So I'll go ahead and switch to white here inside the Swatches panel. And I'll click inside of his eye. And notice by the way, it's not the end of the drip coming out of the paint bucket that's hot, it's the top left point on that arrow cursor. So in other words, you want to click with the arrow inside the eye. But that ends up filling up the dude's entire face. So that's no good.
So we'll press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on a Mac, to undo that. The culprit is under the Object menu. Then you drop down to Live Paint, and then you choose Gap Options. My default is finely set to three points, we want it set to two. So knock it down to two, and you'll see where all the gaps are, all the two point gaps, inside of the artwork highlighted in red. And, so what the Live Paint tool's capable of doing is automatically filling in gaps on the fly. However, it's not so great that it could uniformly take care of all the different gaps that we had before.
That's why we had to fill them in manually. Anyway, I'll go ahead and click OK now. And, then click inside the eye and you can see I can fill it with white. Finally let's go over to this dude's hand here and I'm going to select that same shade of orange. And I'll drag inside the various regions of the hand and I'm not doing anything. If I start dragging around in here, I can get something accomplished like so. And, I just want to stay inside some of these regions here, but I'm not going to fill in the entire hand. Now just as soon as I release, I didn't fill in the big area.
And the problem is, that this little line that I drew is not inside the Live Paint object, and it needs to be. So what we need to do is press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool. Press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on a Mac in order to bring back the selection edges. Go ahead and Shift-click on this little guy to select him, and you might as well do this inside the Layer's panel. Go ahead and Shift-click on this path right there. That is to say on it's circular so called meatball, in order to select it as well.
So that we've got that outside rectangle selected. That's the big rectangle around the whole artwork. And now you want to go up to this button, Merge Life Paint, and click on it, here inside the Control panel. I'll zoom out a little bit. And I'll press Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on the Mac, in order to hide the selection edges. I'll switch back to the Paint Bucket tool. And then I'll just click inside the hand, and I still need to fill in these two regions as well. All right, now I'll zoom out a little bit. I'll go ahead and do the same thing, drag around inside this other hand.
And just make sure that I get all the bits. It looks like I've gone too far, and I filled in his jacket as well. And I missed the finger, so I'll go ahead and click on those guys. We can always come back to the jacket, so I'll just leave it the way it is for now. And now the really fun part, just dragging around inside this weird sort of anatomical detail of the bottom of him, which is, you know what passes for feet and legs if it was a person. But he's an alien, so he's kind of squid like or something.
And now I'll drag around in these regions. And I think I've got it all. No, I missed one little part. Well I got most of it. I just missed this lovely detail, over here. Now let's fill in some other stuff. I'm going to select purple, C 75 M 100, and I'll click in this area, and I'll sort of drag right here, to get those two pieces. The national flag of this land also has purple in it and this little fluffy detail that he's wearing is purple as well.
And then I'm going to switch to this shade of blue which is C85M50, and I'm going to drag down like that through the pocket in order to fill in that area. And I'll click there in order to fill in that little bit inside the pen and we've got these guys in the back that need to be filled as well so just drag across them oh, and his sleeve has to be blue. And notice you can see these little swatches above the Paint Bucket cursor. Those show you three swatches at a time that you can choose from. So if I want to go to the next shade of blue, the lighter shade of blue on the left, I just press the left arrow cursor, and I select it.
And then, I can just click and drag inside some of these little guys, in order to fill in his you know, ceremonial elbow pads and also the center of the flag. And then, I want to grab this lighter shade of purple over here. And I'll go ahead and drag down these two details here. Alright, now let's color the sun by selecting the shade of yellow, which is C5Y90. And I'll click inside the sun, the outer ring that is, and I need to click there as well. And in these little towers, by the way they're golden towers of course but in case you're thinking this is just some kind of a little building, it's not.
It's very far away. Very large castle that this guy lives in. So, we just have a little bit of forced cartoon perspective. All right, now I'm going to select this sort of creamy color there, and I'm going to drag around inside the main portion of the building to fill it. This is also the color of the moon, so you just want to drag inside him, including his nostril. Make sure to get that and his arm. So that'll fill him. I missed the sun's face so I'll go ahead and select this light shade of orange and click inside of it.
And then what else do we have here? We've got the flag and the flag pole and all that jazz. I'm going to select this shade of brown, which is C35M60Y80K25, and I'm going to click inside of the flag pole, and click at the top of it as well. Then this next sort of creamy color, C40M45Y50K5, is the color of the base of the flagpole. Have to drag across it as well as this little ceremonial pen that he uses to sign, you know, documents and junk.
And, finally, we've got this light shade of green right here which is C50Y100. Just go ahead and click at the bottom to fill it and then this slightly darker shade of green, C75Y100, click on the right side and then click on the left side. For the bushes, we've got this dark shade of green right there, and I'm just going to kind of drag, sort of hit and miss across the bushes, see if I'm able to pull it off. Looks like I got those guys. Then I'll try to see if I can hit all of them.
Gotta click inside him independently. Drag over these various bush pieces. And I'll click very carefully on him. Alright, the reason I don't want to do the sky is cause we're going to handle the sky differently. Lets say you want to fill the sky with a color that's not currently represented as a swatch. Well you need to represent it as a swatch. So, I started by selecting this kind of pinkish color right there. Then I went to the Color Guide panel which you can get to maybe in a different portion of your screen. You can get to it by choosing Color Guide from the Window menu.
And, then I selected two tints over, this guy right there, to come up with that paler shade of pink. And, then I'll switch over to the Swatches panel and I'll click that little Page icon and I'll just leave the swatch name what it is and click OK. And then I tried using that as a color for the sky and it just seemed like I was overwhelming things, so I decided I wanted a gradient instead. In which case, make sure the Gradient panel is up. You could also get to it by choosing Gradient from the Window menu. And, of course you can get to any panel in Illustrator from the Window menu.
And then, I just need to see the bar, the white to black bar, and just drag the little pink guy there. And drop where the black swatch was previously, and you'll get pink instead. And then you need to save that as a swatch by clicking on the little Page icon. And I'll call this guy, Pink Grad, and I'll go ahead and click OK. And now I'll fill the sky with that gradient and also fill this little wedge right there with a gradient, too. Now, it's going in the wrong direction. I want pink to be at the top and white to be at the bottom, so I'll go ahead and switch to my Gradient tool.
And then you drag from down below, right here at the line, I think, and press the Shift key, and then release somewhere near the top of the art board in order to create this effect here. Now, for some reason, Illustrator sees fit to ruin all the strokes. So what you do to fix them, is to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, go up to the Line Weight Value and change it to one point. And I want you to see, notice these weird edges that are surrounding the lines? And, so, it's like we've got halos around the lines between the strokes and the colored fills.
That's really something that can show up, by the way. If you press Ctrl+K, or Cmd+K on a Mac, and switch to appearance of black. To really see what's going on inside of a document, you want to make sure that On Screen is set to display all blacks accurately, and that way you'll know what's going on. So if it's not set that way, go ahead and set it that way, and then click OK. Now, notice as soon as I changed the stroke from this weak black, which is a standard black ink, with no cyan, magenta, or yellow, to our rich black that we created in a previous movie, we end up getting these better transitions here.
And that way, we're not going to have any trapping problems, whatsoever. You should also go ahead and click on the word Stroke, and just make sure that the Round Cap and the Round Joint are still selected. Which, for me, they are. So, it takes a little while to pull it off, but it is possible, and actually quite a bit of fun to color vector-based illustrations using the Live Paint feature, here inside Illustrator.
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