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This workshop from author and animator Angie Taylor teaches how to use Illustrator's tools and features to prepare 2D files for animation in Adobe After Effects. Discover how to make the most of Illustrator's drawing tools and Autotrace feature, and to how use Live Paint and Kuler to recolor artwork. Plus, get a ton of tips and tricks for giving artwork a hand-drawn look and find out how to set up layers, aspect ratios, and transparency options for importing into After Effects. The lessons are focused and solution-oriented, and all the project files are included.
Okay, so I've almost finished my character ready for animating in After Effects. But I need to make a hammer, for him to hold in his hand. And rather than try and draw it to look three-dimensional, I'm going to actually make a three-dimensional hammer, and then apply some effects to it, to make it look a bit more cartoony. So I'm going to go into my effect menu and into 3D and extrude and bevel. And if I click on preview you'll see what it does. It extrudes my circle and gives it some depth.
Now I'm going to change the rotation settings. I don't want it to be rotating on the X axis or the zed axis but only on the Y axis. And I know from a bit of experimentation that a value of 70 gets it at roughly the right angle as if he's looking at it while he's hitting something on the wall. And that's just through trial and error that I discovered that. I'm also going to bring down the extrusion depth rather, to 35, and that will just reduce the fatness of it, if you like.
Make it a little less flat. In fact, 30 is probably enough, so let's just bring it down to 30. And we're also going to put a bevelled edge on it, and there are lots of different bevels to choose from, but I'm going to choose a rounded bevel to give me a nice, rounded effect. Now, you can go into your shading settings as well. By going to more options, you can do things like adjust the highlight intensity, bring that up a little bit, just to exaggerate it. Adjust the ambient light if you want to make it lighter or darker.
Adjust the highlight size even. So, you can get those settings exactly how you want them, before you apply them to your layer, and then, click Okay. So I've got one layer ready, I need to also create three D from these shapes. Now to join those together, what I'm going to do is use my shape builder, just to drag those shapes together so they form one single shape. Now theoretically once we have that shape, we can just go back to the effect menu and go into the 3D extrude and bevel, and apply all the same settings.
So, we had 0, 0, and I think we had 70 here. And if we preview that, it should look the same. But as with many things, they don't always work logically. Let's try putting -26 back in, which is the default value. And you'll see that coincidentally that seems to work quite well. And I think a value of around about 25 should be about perfect. Let's go a little bit lower than that, let's go to 23, okay, maybe even 20.
So minus 20 we're going to try. And I think that's pretty good. Now, we'll leave the extrusion depth. But we'll put a bevel on here as well. So let's go to a rounded bevel. You have to be a little bit careful because you can get what's called a bevel self intersection. If the object is too small for the bevel. So I would maybe just take that down to, I don't know, a value of two maybe. Which may still cause a problem or may not, depending on how particular you are, how fussy you are. It looks okay to me. Use your own judgment.
And again, you can adjust the highlight intensity, adjust the highlight size, do all that nice stuff before clicking OK. So we've now got the hammer and we've got the head of the hammer, so I'm just going to move the head of the hammer onto its base. OK. And we may want to make some adjustment to that, but that's pretty much OK for now. If we do need to make changes, it's very easy to do so. All you need to do is click the layer and if you go into the Appearance panel, you'll see that the effect remains live, and I could go into Extrude and Bevel, and I might decide that I just want to rotate it a little bit more.
So, let's go to minus 15, say. Oops, wrong direction. Minus 50, I've typed in. So, let's put minus 15. And see if we think that fits a little bit better. I think it does so I'm going to click on OK. Now as well as being able to change that I can also change the color as well. So I could come in here and choose a different shade of grey. Even choose a gradient if I want to. go into my gradients and find a metallic gradient.
So let's go into our swatches, see if we can find some metallic gradients. Here we have our metals, and I can choose some different gradients to apply to my hammer. So I'm going to go with a silver gradient for now. And of course, I could apply the same gradient to my fill color of my hammer head as well if I want to have a silver hammer head. But I'm going to leave that as it is, and all I'm going to do there is just choose a lighter gray for that than I had before.
Now of course, you can double-click that and go into your color picker and choose HSB and just edit the color yourself if you double-click that to open it up. We can edit the color, make it a little bit more of a bluey-gray. Okay, I reduced the saturation. So there we have them matching a little bit better so anytime you can go in you can adjust the fill stroke, extrudent bevel or any other of the live effects that appear here in the top of the menu.
Now, I'm going to apply another 3D effect. This time I'm going to apply a revolve, and a revolve will do exactly as it suggests. It's going to make a cylinder out of my selected shape. So I'm going to experiment with the settings and I"m going to try a value of 0 and 0 again so we are not rotating on that axis, and maybe try a value, positive value. Well it doesn't really matter with this, because if I change the wide rotation value, it's not really making that much of a change to the result we get. I might give it a slight rotation forwards.
No, I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to leave it on zero. So, I'm actually with that. I'm going to click okay. Again and I add my metals think it was this one that we used, to my fill color, and I'm going to also make it narrower just by squeezing that together, and that is going to form the metal bar, that joints the hammer to the base. Now you'll notice that that's in front of the hammer and the, I really want it to be behind the hammer. So what I'm going to do is cut it by hitting Cmd+x or Ctrl+x on the PC, and then pasting it, but instead of just pasting it, I am going to say paste in back, and that's going to place it behind the hammer, which makes it look as if it's holding the hammer up.
Okay, so what I'm going to do is select the handle and go into my revolve settings again. And again, we're going to have a value of zero, zero, 70. And we should have the kind of result we want. Now I'm also going to just adjust the shading slightly. You can also choose a custom color for the shading, so if I choose like a deep dark, very dark blue color then I'll get a slight amount of blueiness coming through in that. So I'm going to pull this in, make it a bit smaller. And then just nudge it into position okay, now the only other thing that I need to do now is just fit it into his hand and maybe just adjust the shape a little bit.
To do that what I'm going to do is go to the object menu and chose expand appearance which makes this into regular editable layer. And what I can do now is just use the warp tool, and the pucker and bloat tools, just to adjust the path to make it look a little bit more organic. So I'm going to hold down the alt key and just make the pucker tool bigger and just reduce the size of the middle of the hammer. Now that's a little bit too much. So, I'm going to go into my pucker settings And I'm going to put that down to a value of two and click okay.
So I've got precise control over the amount of pucker that happens. And you'll see now its just puckering slightly and I'm also going to round off the edges using the warp tool. I'm going to make that smaller, okay just reduce the size down and just round off these edges a little bit. Okay so using these tools are fantastic, the other thing that you could do to render off of course is to use the eraser tool. So I can make the eraser tool smaller. Let's just zoom in so we can see whats happening there and to round off the corners I could maybe hide the selection by hitting Cmd+H, and then just trim off the corners a little bit, just to give it a little bit more roundness. Okay? And we'll also do that at the top here, okay.
So it now looks like a much more organic kind of hammer. I think the head's a little bit too big on that hammer. So I'm going to reduce that down in size a little bit. Then I'm going to get the whole thing. I'm going to group it together to create a group. And I'm going to apply another effect to it. This time I'm going to use the effect gallaery. Now these are not editable in the appearance panel, but I know that I"m going to be able to create a hand-drawn look by using somehting like poster edges. So I'm going to bring the edge thickness down to about one.
And the intensity down to a minimum value. Now, you can choose how much it posterizes. I'm going to choose something like a value of 1 or 2, I think. And of course, you can combine these effects together if you need to. But I'm just going to stick with poster edges. Click okay. Reduce it down in size a little bit and then I'm going to put it in his hand. OK, now what I need to do is make it look like it's inside his hand instead of on top of his hand.
So I'm going to rotate it around a tiny little bit and then I'm going to use my old friend the eraser tool. Just to erase part of it, so that it looks like it's sitting in his hand, instead of on top of his hand. So we reduce all of this until all we're left with is the top and the bottom of the hammer. That would've made life easier if I just made the brush a little bit bigger. But there we go. It needs a little bit more work. I could maybe recolor it a little bit.
Select the hammer, go into color, and just edit those colors. Maybe do a global adjust on them and bring the brightness down. Okay, and reduce the luminosity a little bit as well. You could also saturate it a little bit more the, give it a bit more color, not quite that much. Okay so a little bit of color in there. So you get the idea play around with the setting till you get something that you really like. In fact when saturation is not working, so I'm going to reduce that again and click okay.
So there you go a few ideas about how you can use illustrators 3-D capabilities to create a 3-D hammer that would have otherwise been quite difficult to draw by hand.
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