Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a distressed look, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Instructor] Welcome to drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In this movie I want to go over creating a distressed look. I want to approach a clean, crisp graphic motif like this one and see how much distress we can create using the methods available inside of Illustrator. When it comes to texturing, I tend to prefer using real photo based textures captured from actual distressed surfaces, photographs that I take, that is.
But for this movie we'll be replicating the look and feel of that instead and we're going to do that primarily through the use of illustrator effects via the appearance panel. So let's go ahead and look at the appearance panel now. And I'll expand that and you might not use this this much, but surprisingly a lot can be done without ever leaving this appearance panel and it almost works like a layers panel as well. Once you have your effects set up, it will be layered within this panel and that's exactly what we're going to do here.
So we're going to go ahead and start creating or working on this image, which is just simply a black image here. And the first thing we're going to do is just color it this red color, and you can see in the appearance panel it's showing us what that red is. So the first thing we want to do through the appearance panel is we want to go ahead and add another fill color to this. Right now the shape has one fill, one stroke, so we're going to go ahead and go up here to the option menu and we're going to go add new fill.
And you can see it'll add a fill underneath it and we can click right here, we don't even have to go over to the swatches panel, we can do it from the appearance panel. Click here, we're going to select this darker color. And now you can see it's filled with this darker color. Now the thing is, you can't see it because it's under this other fill. So if i turn off this top fill, it's there, it's just underneath. So this is like a layering palette as well. Think of it as a layering palette for your effects applied to any given object, in this case the artwork we have shown here.
So that's the first thing we want to do is add a fill and the next thing we want to do is we want to go down with this darker fill color selected we want to go to effects at the bottom of the appearance panel. Click on that, we're going to go down to distort and transform, and then we'll go over to roughen, I'm going to click on this. And that's going to bring up this panel. And actually, you know what, I forgot. We should zoom in because what we're going to do is going to be affected visually by making choices visually, so we're going to zoom in so we can see this better, and we'll go back to the effects, pull down to distort and transform to roughen, and then we'll move this over here.
Pay attention to the artwork here because that's what's going to be affected now as we mess around, basically with the roughen filter. And the first thing we want to do is for this relative or absolute, we want a absolute. So I'm going to click on that. And then I'm just going to start messing around with this. And oh, it'd help if I had preview. If I had preview on, and you can see what it's doing here. That looks horrible.
So we want to go down so it's really faint. And that's starting to give us the look we want, but it's too clunky, too choppy. So on the detail I'm going to make this detail up. That looks better, that's kind of pushing it closer to where I want to go, but once again it's too sharp, too angular. I want it more smooth, so I'm going to click on smooth here for points. And right now I think the size is what's not looking so hot. So I think it can be smaller, so maybe two.
I want a little more than that, let's divide it. We'll go 2.5. And that looks good. So that's all I'm going to do for this. And if we're going to go ahead and click okay now that we've done that, so click okay. And now if we go up to the appearance panel and I expand this out a little more, like here, you can see that it's added roughen here, and so I can actually toggle on and off this effect and it will hide that effect. So that's how the appearance panel works.
So we're going to leave that one on and the next one we want to do, we want to play with some more effects. I'm going to go up here, and let's see. We're going to add a new fill. And on this fill I want it to be white. So we'll do that. And it's not going to stay that, so don't worry about that. We'll adjust some of these things in a little bit. The first thing we want to do with this fill selected is I want to go to, let's see, we'll go to effects, we'll go to stylize, and I'll do an inner glow.
And on this we're going to select multiply. And I want this to be a 100 percent opaque because I'll control the opacity on the appearance panel, not within the effects itself. And then let's see, we have to pick a color so, we'll pick this darker red color from our palette. Click okay. And then we can preview it by seeing what it's doing here. That's looking good. I think I want it to eat in a little more. Five isn't quite enough. Let's go 8.5, see what that looks like.
And that looks good, that's what I want. So I'm going to go ahead and click okay on that. You can see how it's added that now to our appearance panel. So we now have inner glow added. The next thing I want to do is I want to add another effect to the same white layer, so we're going to go effect. And we're going to pull down to, let's see, texture. And then over to grain.
And this is going to open up a whole new window. And I can use this hand tool to move this over so we can see what it's doing. You can see kind of this dithering effect it's applying to our artwork and we're going to be able to control it over here on the right and then determine visually by looking at the left preview if that's the look and feel we're going for. And this is very, kind of, exploratory. I don't have anything pre baked here, I'm just kind of seeing what it looks like. I want this more coarse, this is too fine. It's almost like why do it if it looks just like a regular gradient, I want it to be kind of more coarse.
And that's looking actually kind of cool. I'm going to, what's it look. All the way, I kind of like it all the way. I want the contrast more, so we'll bump that up. Let's see, I think that looks good. And byte default will be on regular. And we can try, what's enlarge look like? Ooh, that's not bad. I have to remember that, I might come back to that. Looks contrasty. Oh. I like that even more.
So I'm going to do that, I think that looks pretty cool. And I'm going to click okay now. And you can see it's applied this to this top. So you can see it says inner glow and then grain. Actually I'm going to drag grain above this. And then I'm going to select cos I want it more subtle behind the inner glow. And then I'm going to select opacity on this and I'm going to go 80 cos I don't want 100 percent strength.
And then I'm going to select multiply for the blend mode. And because you're working with the facts, there will be some of this processing that comes up, that should be expected so don't worry about that. And you can see how it's now kind of blending through and interacting with the color behind, or multiplying with the color behind. And that's kind of why you want to do that. And so we're going to keep moving forward and I want to add another effect to this. So we'll go ahead and add another fill, actually.
So I'm going to close this and then we'll add one more fill. So we'll go new fill. And make sure we're on the right one. Yeah this top one is what we want. And on this one we'll leave it at white and then now I'm going to go to effects. With that fill selected I'll go to effects. Let's see, we'll go to pixelate and I'll go to mezzotint. And it opens up this window.
And this preview really doesn't do a whole lot for me. All it's showing you, all you're basically selecting is if you want fine dots, you want medium dots, grainy dots, coarse dots, so it gives you the ability to basically take mezzotint texture and apply it to your shape. So in this case I'm going to try grainy, see what that looks like. Ooh, that's not bad, I don't mind that. Well let's see what coarse looks like. Ooh I like that, it's not so dense. Let's compare it again.
Yeah I think I'm going to go with coarse. And a 100 percent, if I go down you can see how this is just showing me my display at different aspect ratios. So I want to see what it looks like at 100 percent. That's the most important. I think I'm going to keep coarse dots, so I'll click okay. And that applies to that. That looks pretty cool. I want this to be faint, so I'm going to go ahead and click into this, go to opacity, and I'm going to go to blend mode and I'm going to select multiply.
And I don't want it to be black like this. So we're going to select let's see, opacity, I want this to be pretty faint, so I'll try 15 see what that looks like. Yeah that looks good. So you can see how we're just building up one layer at a time to get this look. And the appearance panel, once again, it's acting like layers. So if I expand these, you can see how all of these various effects are just layered in the appearance panel anytime I can go back and just click off the I icon and it will turn off the effect on that given layer and not display it.
It gives you complete control, complete access, I could double click on any of these lengths for these effects and adjust those effects so it's always live, you can always go back to it. But in this case I'm going to leave these the way they are and I'm going to do a couple more things inside Illustrator. We'll go ahead and close this panel so we can see what I'm going to do next. The next thing I'm going to do is do a simple repeat pattern. What I mean by that is I've just taken this simple little texture that you can see here, and all this is is just an image trace of just the coarse texture, and I didn't worry about it actually repeating from one side to the next because it's a texture.
And you won't notice those lines because there is no lines in the texture itself. This is just a simple little vector texture. Right now it's black, I'm going to colorize it white. And then all I'm going to do is I'm going to drag it right into the swatches pallette, and I'm going to double click on this and it takes us into the pattern tools, I'm going to select it, it's still white. And I'm just going to give it a name rather than the default. And we'll call it white pattern. And that's it.
You can double click the background, it'll take you back to the desktop environment. And now that we have that pattern created, I can create any shape, make sure we're on the right layer, and it will fill this pattern into that shape. So let's say the shape was black and I decided to change it to the fill and I click on it. It applies that pattern into the shape. So that's what I wanted to do, that's what I wanted to create it. So now we're going to go back to our artwork. Now that we have that created we'll expand our appearance panel again and I'm going to go ahead and come back to the appearance panel and I'm going to go ahead, and actually, you have to have it selected.
If you don't have it selected, nothing's going to show up in the appearance panel. So I need to have it selected. Now all of our content comes in. And I'm going to go ahead and add a new fill color. And when you try to disable something when you're doing it, it'll give you that nice little chime if you're on a Mac. So don't do that. So with this color, now it's just white. We'll go in here and I'm going to select the pattern fill. Once again it's processing all this. And you can see how it's added this nice texture pattern running through everything, and that's looking pretty cool.
I'm going to go ahead and close the appearance palette here and go back so you can see the full design. There's a couple more things I'm going to do to this and one of them is just simple color flecking, like this. Once again, this is just an image trace texture. And when I'm using this style like this, I don't want the texture to show up this much on the side, so one thing I'll do is I'll grab the lasso tool and I'll just go in and I'll just select areas that I just don't want speckles to be.
And because it's all vector, I can just lasso an area and then just hit delete. And I'll just do this really quickly like this, just to edit out the unnecessary pieces of this texturing that I don't like and it makes the process kind of go faster and it's going to look better. I want some of those artifacts to be there just because it looks nice going outside of the artwork of the motif on the inside.
But obviously I don't want it to define space that isn't really part of the design, in this case, just dead space around it. I just want enough, this one's a little too big, so we'll toss it. So you can see it just adds a nice texturing and having those little pieces just looks like parts of the element have just fallen apart and are laying on the surface or whatever. Now I'll use that same texture to add white speckles as well. It's actually the exact same texture, just rotated.
And if I zoom in you can see those subtle globs of white translucence here. And in this case I believe they're 30 percent, actually they're not. But they're white and they're there, and it's somewhat translucent. So anyway, you can check out the exercise file and see how that looks, but you can see how easy it is to go from a really clean vector based graphic that's crisp and clean, and just by using the effects inside Illustrator and the methodology within Illustrator, you can create a really fun graphic motif utilizing the effects offered in the appearance panel and control them through the appearance panel.
Now because there's some Photoshop effects embedded into Illustrator, you will kind of get this spinning beach ball if you're on a Mac, for example, for a few of those things just because it has to redraw those effects and displaying every time you toggle them on and off. So just keep that in mind as you work. But it's manageable, you can deal with it, it's not a big deal. If you like this artwork by the way, you can check out the sample pack I put in the exercise file which just includes some samples from my book Take and Make Art. That's where that artwork came from.
So discovering methods like this come from merely clicking around Illustrator and trying things and seeing how they effect your art. By doing that, you can make a determination if you can use it or not. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. That's just the way it goes. It's pure exploration and experimentation. So hunt and peck through the effects menu and the appearance panel and see what you discover. You just might surprise yourself and actually like an effect that you start playing with. That's how I discovered how to do this.
So as always, thank you for watching DVD Lab. And until next time, never stop drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
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