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Vector Illustration describes digital artwork using a variety of high precision tools to create a crisply illustrated image. Hallmarks of vector illustration include highly controlled lines, curves, and shadings, as well as a new generation of tools that employ the Wacom Pen and Tablet to create natural media appearing Artwork. As opposed to expressive freehand, illustration vector illustration resides at the opposite end of the scale, and is constructed using mathematical expressions. Because of its math underpinnings, vector illustration can be re-scaled without loss of quality.
The traditional equivalent of vector illustration is pen and ink, executed with drawing aids like rulers and French curves, although modern apps can now include natural media emulation in which the Wacom Stylus' pressure sensitivity and tilt become contributing vectors. So I'm going to go ahead and start drawing here, and if I didn't tell you I was in Illustrator, you might assume from the marks that are being made on the screen that this is a pixel-based application. But in fact we are in Illustrator and we're taking advantage of the great new tools that they have that do address the Wacom Pen and Tablet. And just to show you, I'll kind of start very lightly here, see how these are very light, and then as I increase my pressure as well is tilt, I can alter the impression that is made on the canvas.
And so what happens here, and if we look at this tip as I move it around, you can see that I can create many different shapes based on the tilt and pressure of this pen. And the result of that is that with a single tool in my hand, I can get a wide variety of expressive variability within those strokes. And that's really useful because rather than concentrating on switching from one pen to another to get a different strokes, for example, I can just stay within this one brush and because of the nature of the changeability through the pen pressure as well as its tilt, I can get a really wide variety of looks within this particular tool.
I'll go ahead and use a different brush here just to accent the outline a little bit, and maybe we'll go in here, let's add a little leaf element. Once again, take a look at those lines, they you don't look at all like the vectors your mom and dad used to use. I'm going to go head and zoom in using the scroll wheel here, and notice when we get really close to this, it's not breaking down into individual pixels like you would normally see in a pixel-based image where it turns a little mosaic.
In this case, it's maintaining the sharp , crisp edges of all of the strokes that we've made. And the reason for that is this mathematical underpinning. So an illustration like this can be resized to a very large scale and maintain all of the focused crispness that the vector lines deliver. If you try to do the same thing with a Photoshop image, at some point it's going to break down, become soft and pixilated. Okay, now I'm going to use the one of the express key here where I can change my tool into the command key, and that lets me select one of these individually.
Now that it's selected, I can readjust or move this individual element, I can rotate it for example, and this is something you certainly couldn't do with a pixel-based image. The fact that every stroke in here maintains its live nature means that you've got a whole of set of individual elements that can be controlled individually. And once again, as I'm saying, you cannot do this in a traditional environment. Vector based tools like Illustrator definitely benefit from the stylus-based input, particularly in the area of selecting and adjusting the individual points that make up an illustration.
The precision of a fine-pointed stylus trumps the ham-fisted manipulation of a mouse.
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