Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a reflected design, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Speaker] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. Almost everything I've learned regarding the creative process, digital or otherwise, I've gleaned from observing others in one way, shape, or form. I'll see a workflow or someone shares a really cool method, and I can tell pretty quickly if I'm going to use that within my own creative workflow. I think that's expected and a normal way to develop your own skills. Well, in this movie, I want to show you a pretty cool feature hack.
You can pull off in Illustrator, and I have my French friend, Adam Tutie, to thank for showing me this. And, I want to share that with you now. So, as I was thinking about how can I showcase this mirror effect, this reflecting effect, what kind of artwork I could do that, that's really going to showcase this well. Well, something that it's going to apply to really well is a symmetric based design. Meaning, symmetric, meaning I only have to create half of it and then I can reflect it to create the full effect.
The full design. And, that's the nice thing about this. And, so that's what we're going to do here. And, you can see I've drawn this out. As I do with most of my designs, it all starts in analogue. I draw it out. I set my opacity, in this case 20 percent. And, then I'm going to lock the layer. And, then on a layer above it, I'm going to create. You've seen me do that before many times. And, actually in an upcoming movie I'm going to show you how you can use a template to do the same thing. And, if you prefer to use that you can.
So, be on the watch for that. But, in this movie, I want to show you how you can create vector art. And, as you create it, you can reflect it. It's pretty magical. It's pretty cool. And, we're going to do that now. You'll want to go to the layer you're going to build your artwork on. And, on this layer, I'm just going to select a graphic style of an outline. We'll select the rectangle tool. And, I'm just going to build what's I'm calling, a bounding box. And, all I'm doing is I'm matching my creative area, in this case, the document size, eight and a half by 11.
Horizontal. And, I've created that. And, then the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to pull out my guide and I'm going to snap it. Actually, let's do that again. Have this on and selected. And, then we're going to snap it to the center. Just like that. So, I have a bounding box. This is essentially going to define the area of reflection and the orientation of that reflection is going to be determined by the guide.
And, if we go to our layers, here, this is the primary layer that says build, but if you hit this arrow, it takes us into what I call the scary basement. You've all seen those horror movies. Somebody's going down to the basement and you're screaming at the TV saying, "don't go! Don't go down there!" You know, well. That's the way I feel about the sub layers in Illustrator. I think, they just confuse the whole process and don't really make things easier. So, organize your primary layers well. You never have to go to the scary basement.
But, to pull this off, we do. And, you can see here, if I select this bounding box, it's right here on this layer. But, we're going to rename this layer. It's just called rectangle. We're going to call this magic mirror. Just because I think it's fun. And, we'll leave the guide the way it is. And, we'll go ahead and close this layer now. Now, with this layer, we need to apply an effect to it. And, so if we go to the far right on this layer, you see this circle here, we're going to click it.
And, then we're going to go to the appearance panel. And, we're going to go to effects. And, we're going to pull down to, let's see, distort and transform. And, then we're going to pull over and we will go to transform. We'll click that. It'll open up this box, and we have to make a couple decisions in this box. The main decision is we want to hit reflect x. And, this is the x coordinate. And, then we want to type in copies, we want to put one.
And, then we want to go, okay. Now, if we go back to our layers, and we go to our layer, you can see it's applied a layer effect to this build layer. And, now this is where the magic begins. So, we're going to start building our artwork here. And, you can start anywhere you want. But, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to go ahead and zoom in so you can see how this is going to play out. Let's go in a little further, like this. And, I'll take the pin tool, and starting with the guide, I'll just start building my artwork the way I normally build, like this.
And, notice how it's reflecting that build on the other side. Like this. As I build. So, you get the full demonstration. If you want to use the anchor point tool here, you can grab your path. And we can start finessing our shapes. I like to use this plug in, called pass scribe. So, that's the one that I tend to use when I'm distorting paths like this.
It works the same way, it just has a little more elegance, in my opinion, then the other one. And, then we can just start adjusting our vector art. Like this. To get the look and feel we want that matches our underlying drawing. But, notice how it starts to reflect the artwork, and this will apply to everything you're creating. So, once again, you can start workin' on other elements. So, lets say we want to do the teeth.
We'll do it like this. And, it's just reflecting that over on the left hand side. Like this. But, it's a, it's a fun way. I mean when I, when he was first showing me this, (mumbles) What? How'd, how'd you do that? And, then he kind of figured it out. Now, it's something he kind of stumbled upon, and he also stumbled upon another thing I'm going to show you coming up.
So, once again, lets go ahead and increase this, it's pretty small. So, you can see how it starts to reflect things on the other side. Now, once again, this is only going to work if you apply that affect to this layer by selecting this right hand side. Now, this will apply to any kind of building. So, lets go to this one here. And, you can see how I've gone ahead and if I go command A, it's just one side that I built out and it's reflecting everything on the other side.
So, you see how you're whole image is kind of being composed and coming together as you work. It's pretty cool. But, this will apply to any kind of building. So, if you're doing shape building, like this, to work out some of the shapes. We'll go to pathfinder here. Ya know, you can see how it'll just mimic and reflect these areas as well. So, you can just select your shapes. And, it's just going to reflect the exact same behavior on the opposing side. Like this. And, we're just using simple shape building.
In this case, we want to get rid of that artifact. And, you can see how it's just creating on the opposing side and reflecting. It's cool 'cause I'm not used to seeing what the other side's going to look like until after I have my artwork built. And, the benefit of workin' this way is at times, when I've gotten to that point and I've reflected my art, I see, oh it'd look better if this was thinner or if this was thicker. Or, the spacing doesn't look right. And, you can tell this on the fly as you're working, and then go ahead and make those decisions as you're building.
So, that's the benefit of working this way. Now, once you have all of your artwork created, so, lets go ahead and turn these on. These are the only shapes where I didn't build on this layer 'cause I don't need to reflect them. They're just circles. So, that was easy. But let's say I want to take this artwork, now, and I want to get access to this right side. Well, how do you do this? Well, this is where the other element of him figuring out how to get that.
It doesn't work if you just simply go to object and expand. It'll just turn your strokes into shapes, and we don't want that. We want to keep 'em strokes. So, the way he pulled this off, the way he figured as a work around to get access to this, and this is something where it's very unintuitive to think this way, but he selected just the line tool, he painted a line like this, worked out a line, then on this line he went to just the default brushes that come with Illustrator and he applied a brush to it.
So, on this line right here, we're going to apply any brush. We'll apply this one. And, let's go ahead and increase this so you can see what that looks like. So, we've just applied a brush to that. And, now he'll go command A, will select everything. And, now we're going to go to object and we will expand appearance. So, what this will do, because we have a brush, is it will expand the brush but bring forth all the other paths.
So, we'll do that. We'll go like this. And, you can see we'll have to ungroup this a few times. So, we'll ungroup to get access. But you can see it's expanded these. Once it has, this side is still grouped, so you'll have to ungroup it. By the way, if you want to ungroup, you just do that. I hit F six key. I have a group set up to do that. Just to make the process go faster. And, so now we can toss these paths, that was just serving the purpose of getting access to our full artwork.
So, that's how you would get access to the reflect artwork. So, now we have all of our artwork. And, now if we go back to our layers we can turn on our nose detail that we had built just using simple ellipse tool over here. And, now we have access to the full artwork. So, that's how you can illustrate our a symmetric design, have it reflect as you're creating it, and then when you're ready, you're going to have to do that little trick with applying a brush and then expanding it. And, for whatever reason, it just focuses on the brush. Ignores all the paths, but reveals the paths and gives you access to all the artwork.
Now that you have these, you can just simply select the shapes that you need to fuse together. Unite with pathfinder, like this, to start welding all these symmetric shapes together to form your final composition. So, that's what we have here, is our black and white artwork. And, it's at this point we can start focusing on color and having a lot of fun. But, that cool reflection methodology got us here a lot faster and a lot more effectively. So, we're going to turn on this tonal family. And, this is where I'm just going to go ahead and I'm just going to start colorizing my design.
So, I'll select elements, like this. And, when I color a design specifically like this, I try to balance my application of color throughout my design. And, I'm using these swatches right here, just because it makes the process go a little faster. I don't have to go to the swatches pallet every time. I can have the eye dropper tool, and if I hold down, you can see I have eye dropper tool, if I hold down the command key it goes to select.
So, I can select. And, then once I have it selected, I let go of the command key. And, then it gives me the eye dropper. And, then I can select my colors and apply it. So, it goes a lot faster than having to go over here, click, go back over here and select. It just makes the process go faster. And, I'm all about improving the speed of creating without destroying, ya know, obviously, the precision of creating a well-crafted design elements. And, so that's all we're going to do now, is go ahead and color all the various elements.
These last ones are going to be purple. And, we'll do that. Actually these should be gold. And, you can sample here, and once you have the color applied you can actually sample your color directly from the artwork itself. And, these inner ones of the nose are going to be gold. So, this is our base color. They're establishing our base color that is. Now, it's at this point that I would also print out a black and white version of this.
And, this is where I use both analogue and digital methods together throughout the creative process. So, in this case, I printed out a black and white, dropped a stroke down the middle just to divide it knowing exactly where the middle is, and then using that as my print out, I'll actually draw out all my shading. So, you can see how I've worked out how I want to shade this. And, I've shaded it in a way that it almost gives it kind of bevel looking effect, and like my base art, I'm just using that to build all my shapes upon, on top of it, to work out my design, work out exactly the shape and form of that.
And, because it's symmetric, I only, once again, have to create half of it to get access to the final design. So, we'll go ahead and show you how the final color looks here. And, then the shading that I created, these are all of our base tonal families here, and the shading if I turn that on, look at how cool it just brings some nice depth and character to this artwork. So, our tonal family has our base color.
And, then I worked out a darker hue of that same color for the shading. And, then I also went in and I added what I call deep shadows. Now, on deep shadows, if I zoom in on his eye right here, you can see a deep shadow here that I've added, actually let's just select that, you can see I have this shade here. And, if I go to transparency, it's set to multiply, set to 35. So, I'm going to select the same shading, and you can see the color is kind of this muted gold color.
And, you might think, well God, this doesn't go with the gold at all, but it works really well in terms of shading hue if I select the attributes of this one on the left with the eye dropper tool. And, I use this methodology all the time without having to always go back to the transparency pallet. You can see how it applies that nice effect on that. And, if I go down here, I have a nice deep shadow here. And, this one is a grey. It's not red. So, I'll select this. And, I'll sample that shadow.
And, it'll apply it to the bottom part of the nose. So, that's how I handle deep shadows. And, it just adds another element of depth and interest. Now, in this design, I wanted to push it over the top a little bit, so I went in and added some very subtle highlights. Now, if I zoom in on this, these are subtle, so let's actually zoom in even further. And, I'm going to toggle this off and on. So, you can see how those little subtle highlights are adding even more dimension.
Even more interest to the overall design. Now, as much as I like this full colored design, I also thought it would work really well and be a little more sophisticated if I limited my color pallet, and I use color pallet that wasn't so saturated, if you will. And, that's what I did here. The same principle of shading, but I just focused on the colors to be black and like, a nice, a rich gold color. And, use the shading hues within that tonal family to pull that off. So, this is another look and feel that came off really well using that kind of color exploration.
And, of course, tribal designs work really great in simple black and white. And, I've applied that to this T-shirt design here. So, once you have digital art, it's so easy to use it, in so many different ways. I'm always trying to find ways to repurpose designs and artwork I did. Just to give the life of it a lot longer longevity than a simple one use application. So, there are software plug-ins, like Near Me, for example, by Astute Graphics, that utilize the same kind of reflection methods.
And, make them more intuitive via their product. But, this type of functionality is kind of magical and can help when creating a symmetric motif, like the one you see here. I encourage you to experiment with this reflection feature hack and see what you can create using it within your own symmetric design. If you have a suggestion or questions, send it to question at DVG lab dot com. 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.