Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating dimension on flat motifs, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Voiceover] Welcome to drawing vector graphics laboratory. In this movie, I wanna go over creating dimension on flat motifs. Specifically, this approach is gonna be used most heavily when you're working on logo designs. Or promotional graphics. You can also use this on illustration but it tends to lend itself towards more graphic illustration. And a good example of that kind of genre would be like sports graphics. Like sports mascots for example, use this approach to add dimension and detail to an otherwise flat motif.
And I'm gonna show you how to do that in this movie. It all starts with drawing. All of my work starts with analog first. I work out my shape and form, what I'm gonna build before I actually start to build it. That's a big thing. If you can get that down, you'll be able to create anything you want. And it's a skill you can use for a lifetime. So I always encourage you to develop your analog skills. Specifically drawing. It's gonna help you. I feel that drawing improves digital.
And it all starts with a refined sketch like this. I place it in Illustrator. In this case, I'm gonna set my own pastee to 20%. And then I lock the layer just so I can't move it. Now based off of this is what I'm gonna start building what I call my base vector shapes. I like to use a magenta line to do this. Let's zoom in a little bit so we can see what's going on. And as you can see, these are just simply magenta lines with no fills. That's now I build initially. I focus on shape and form.
I don't worry about color at this stage. Now I'm gonna just take my pen tool and we're gonna go ahead and build this nose shape here. So I'll go ahead and start laying down the artwork that creates the nose. And I focus on where to place the anchor points initially. In this case, wherever your drawing comes to a point gets a point. These are easy to discern. And this is my rough build shape. Now it's at this point I can use a tool in Illustrator called the anchor point tool here.
It's only available in CC and above. So if you're working in CS6 for example, this tool will not function this way. So don't think you're doing anything wrong, it just won't. But I'm gonna show you something in just a second that'll show you how to get that functionality regardless of what version of Illustrator you're using. But if you're using CC or above, you just grab the path anywhere and you can start to bend it. It works okay. But this tool was actually built based upon a proven concept by astute graphics, they make plug-ins for Illustrator.
And even though this tool is in Illustrator, and by the way, everything I'm gonna show you, you can use the tools in Illustrator. I just happen to use the plug-ins specifically for this, the pathscribe plug-in which is part of the vectorscribe plug-ins by astute graphics. And it allows me to do the same. I can pull out the paths, adjust the handles. But you see these little white dots that show up? These are called ghost handles. And this is why I love this plug-in because I can grab those handles and start adjusting my path that way and sometimes that's the kind of control you need in order to shape and form your vector art as precisely as you need.
Now, the other reason I love this plug-in, if I double click on it, is I can set the sensitivity to behave the way I want it to behave. And I can adjust it to show me certain information as I build to make the process easier. And this is how a pro tool should work. You don't get any of that control with Illustrator methodology. That's why I choose to use this instead. So once I have all my base vector art showing here, I then will usually switch to the pathfinder palette here, and I'll just start doing some simple shape building.
Now I have a clone set up, which is command C, command F and it's attached to the f3 key, so I can just hit f3. And if you wanna know more about that, check out my original drawing vector graphics course. And it'll tell you how to set up your own keyboard shortcuts and attach actions to 'em. That's what I did for this one. And I'm just gonna copy this brow shape. Select the eyes. And we just wanna trim off this top part that we have here by going to pathfinder and remove from shape to trim that up, to clean it up.
That's all I'm doing here. We'll go ahead and select this inner rectangle and we're gonna clone this, command C, command F. Then I'm gonna select this shape, I just wanna trim off this stuff hanging over the edge on the bottom. And we're just gonna do that by taking that square shape we've selected, and we'll intersect it and it trims off that artwork nicely. We'll go ahead and do the same on this little detail down here. Just trim that off. And we'll go ahead and do the same thing on the opening of the mouth here.
And we'll intersect that. Then we'll take all the shapes within the mouth that make up the individual teeth, we'll unite those with pathfinder like this. And it creates one unified shape. And then we'll subtract that using pathfinder from the original mouth shape to get all the detail showing as you can see there. We'll take this brow shape once again and were gonna go ahead and trim off this little section of the nose up here.
I wanna make a clone of it first, 'cause we're gonna need that shape. And lop off that part of the nose. Then I'll take these two little brow lines and I'm gonna unite 'em, diffuse 'em together. And then I'm gonna punch those through this inner square shape like this. Like a cookie cutter. And I'm just gonna color this yellow really quick so you can see what I did there. So that's all I did is I punched those shapes out of there. And we'll go ahead and get rid of that fill.
And now I'm gonna take this shape bring it to the front, and once again, I'm gonna punch it out of that shape. And we can deselect those. And we don't need that inner shape now. So you can see, I have all my base graphics pretty much created. Now it's a little had to see what's going on here so I'm gonna turn on the black and white, I jut simply fill these in black and white. You can see that here.
And it's at this point, once I get my artwork built to have what I consider my base shapes, my base art, I'll print this out physically, and then I'll literally draw on top of it with a pencil again. So I'm moving from digital back to analog. And I work out my drawing. And my drawing is creating all the shading that I need to build. So I'm using the same methodology I did to create the artwork to now create additional elements to this artwork, namely, the shading.
And I'm using a light source that I've defined. Which is from the top down. Therefore all the shading is on the shapes underneath. Because the light source hitting the top is gonna be lighter. So that's the principle I'm thinking of as I'm thinking of my lighting. Now it's very forgiving, this isn't photo realism. So you can take a little artistic license with how you shape your shading and where it falls and stuff. There is no absolute rules to this. And if you scrutinize any of the NFL team logos, you'll see this style used a lot on certain types of graphics.
And it's not a definite guarantee that their lighting source is correct. It just looks good. That's all that matters. So that's what I'm going for here. And once again, I'm gonna use the same principle and build on these base shapes just using my drawing as a guide here. And I'll use pathfinder to create the final shading shapes. So just to demo on that really quickly, here we have the shape that's the left hand cheek of our figure. And here is the shading shape we've created on top of it.
So I just select these two shapes and go intersect to create the final detailing shape. So if I turn on this, you can see how all of that shading detail works within the context of this design. Once we have this, we're gonna go ahead and start coloring it. You can see a tonal family that I have here. We have black, which is the base color. That's obvious what we're gonna be using there. But I also wanna introduce some other colors to this, namely, the foundation color which is gonna be this orange.
So we'll take the eye dropper, we'll color that orange. So I'm gonna take all the shading shapes that make up the shading on this orange, and we're gonna take the darker hue value of the same shape. Basically, if you look at this artwork, and we go to color here, you can see it's 80, 100, and zero. By the way, I always work in CMYK. I never work in RGB. I just find it a hassle because most of my stuff is gonna end up in print. And it's easier to go from CMYK to RGB than it is RGB to CMYK.
So that's why I do that. So this base color is zero, 80, 100, zero. And the shading hue for it is the same base, 80, 100. And I've added 30K to add that nice darker value to it. Now if it was a lighter color, like an orange, I might just add a little more red. I wouldn't add a lot of black to that. Because it tends to look muddy. But this kind of value for the shading on this base color of orange, I think looks really good. Now, the other colors here that make up the shading detail on the rest of it such as the eyes and teeth, are gonna play up on this grey color here.
And I filled it in. Now, as good as this is looking, I think it can look even better. And this is where additional minor detailing can really play a big part. And I'm just gonna turn this layer on, you can see it looks good now, but looks way better with these little slivers of highlight here and there. Really adds a nice visual aggressiveness to it. And since the face is kind of that aggressive like (growling), I'm going for it. I think it works really well to pull that off. Yes, I make sound effects as I do these.
So the final context of this design was this here. Fierce technologies. And I love the way this design came out. I love the way these kind of detailing really adds some dimensional aspect to the design without getting too illustrative. I think that's important to point out. Now, sometimes when I'm working on a design like this, I go, this looks cool. But you know what? I think what might look even better is I'm gonna go ahead and clone this background shape, the black shape here.
And we're gonna bring it to front. And we'll change it to just an outline here. Then I have this texture I placed in here. Just gonna slide this over. And we'll go ahead and put this in place. And I'm not gonna leave this black. I don't want it black. So we'll go ahead, go back to swatches, I'm gonna color it white. I kind of like how it's eating away at the image. But I don't want it to destroy the image. I want it to be texturized without blowing too much of the visual impact away.
So we'll try setting this. Let's try 20, see what that looks like. Oh, that looks good. So I'm gonna use that. I'm gonna take the clone of the background shape. And this will become the mask. And I'm gonna mask it. Now, if you mask it, you can go to object, clipping mask and make. But notice how I have an f1 key assigned to that. So I can just have the two objects selected, hit f1, and it masks it. Actually have f2 set up to unmask. And it would unmask it. But in this case, we wanna keep it masked. Once again, check out drawing vector graphics and setting up your own keyboard shortcuts to do that kind of stuff.
It really makes the process go faster. So this is a fun methodology to use on a design. Once again, I've used this on a lot of different designs. And just to show you one additional example, here is a sports mascot I did for an elementary school in Chicago. I used the exact same methodology to pull this artwork off. Created a tonal family wit the base color and the shading color for the different components in this visual image. So vector art is ideal for this style of design.
Because it can be used for a wide range of projects such as brand logos, or characters like this, or screen printed apparel, embroidery, vinyl applications. And the list goes on. For more information rega6rding shading and detail, see my drawing vector graphics color and detail course. Thank you for watching DVG lab, and until next time, never stop drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.