Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating surface textures, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. If you've watched any of my DVG Labs or some of my other courses, you probably realize by now that I really like using textures in combination with vector graphics. It gives humanity to the stark, almost too perfect world that is vector-based graphics. So, in this movie I want to use a real world texture I captured with my iPhone while walking in downtown Portland, Oregon, Portlandia if you will, and apply it to some vector-based artwork.
Now we're going to start off in Photoshop to create the texture, and then we're going to use that texture inside Illustrator and I think you're going to enjoy it. Now, the photo you see in front of you is the exact texture that I captured. It was on the side of this metal box on a wall, and it obviously had been peeled of paint, and so on and so forth, and weathered over the years, and it makes a great texture. So this is the starting point, and to create the real world texture, I composed it within the framework or the proportion of the document I'm going to use it in Illustrator, and I'm going to explain that more when we move to Illustrator, because it will be easier and make more sense to understand it there.
But this is how I'm working with it in its raw state in grayscale mode in Photoshop. This is the source photo here, and all I'm going to do, and the reason why I have Adjust Levels on a layer above it is because this is where we'll make the adjustment, so you can check out these Exercise Files and do everything that I'm showing you here, but this is usually where I start. I'll just go up to Image, Adjust, Levels. Bring up the Levels window, and this is where I'm just visually trying to blow it out and create a compelling texture that's going to work well for my design.
So in this case I don't want it so gray, so I'm going to bring that in, and we'll go ahead and let's say I'm going to bring this in quite a bit, because I want to blow it out somewhat. Maybe even farther. Kind of like that, and then the midtones. And on this last one, I want it a little darker so we'll go up, and this is just visually based on what you think. Now I think that's good.
We have some midtones but we have stark white, stark black, with some midtones. This is what works ideally for what I'm going to show you, what I'm going to do with this. So we'll go OK, we'll commit to that. Now, this is where I go in on an image like this and I'll just improve it, so if I turn this layer off, and by the way, this one, this is default because I've just copied another layer, so we're going to rename this. I'm going to go Finessed Detail.
Because that's exactly what I'm doing, so this is after we did the initial level adjustment, and if I turn on Finessed Detail, you can see we've just gone in and cleaned up some of the interior, because what this is going to act as is what you see in black, think of it as the window, and what you see in white, is the window pane, the window frame. So we're going to have our artwork displayed through this window, so I don't want to block too much. I just want to have nice artifacting going on, so I've removed some of the bigger ones that would obscure our visual, took out this long thin kind of scrape that was on the surface, but still captured the essence of the texture and improved and finessed the details, so that's why we did that.
Then, from this point, we'll take our image, and the way we're going to use it in Illustrator, we actually need an inverse of this image as shown here, so we'll just go up to Image, and we'll go to Adjustment, and we'll go Invert. This is the point at which we will then port it out as, in this case, a grayscale TIF image. In which case you just go up to File, Save As, and save it out as a grayscale TIF. Now I've already done this so I'm not going to walk through that process, but I should back up one point.
I did forget to cover this. This does show how our artwork in Illustrator will be nested behind this texture shape, so you can see that it acts as a frame of the artwork we're eventually going to use it with. So now we're going to move to Illustrator, and I'll walk you through the process of how I use this real world texture to compose my design. So we're in Illustrator now, and you can see I have these lines setup, because the outside line is the size of the texture grayscale TIF that we saved out of Photoshop that we created, and the dotted line, inset line on this represents the size or the proportion of our artwork.
Now the artwork I'm specifically going to use for this is just a simple line drawing that I inked out on my iPad Pro and pushed it to Illustrator. And all this is is just simple white shapes sitting on top of a black shape. So you can see that black if I slide it over here, and I've just used a nice tonal family of colors, as you can see over here on the left, and I'm going to apply that to my art, and if you want to try that yourself, all you have to do is just select these shapes, use the Eyedropper, and you can just go right off of those shapes.
But I'm not going to do that. I already have my artwork kind of prebaked like this, and so this is the artwork that I want to texturize and really bring it to life. And it's going to involve using a real world surface texture, so this is the texture that we created in Photoshop. We can turn off this document lines now. If I select this texture, and just to show you what's going on, let's go ahead and change the opacity to 50%, so you can see how it's sitting over the top of our artwork, and part of the art is going to show through the central part of this texture.
That's all we're doing here, and this is how we're going to compose it. So, the way you want to do this is let's go to this layer now. It's the same setup. I have our texture on top, and if I slide this over, you can see our artwork is right underneath it. And so, all I've done is actually on the artwork itself it's grouped, so that's important to point out. It's just going to make it easier to manage. I'm just going to drag select both elements, so the texture on top, the artwork underneath, they're both selected, and now I'm going to go over to the Transparency palette, and notice it has a button that says Make Mask, so I'm just going to simply click Make Mask, and you get this nice effect where it takes that bitmap texture we created, and it masks the artwork to that bitmap texture.
So we've created this really compelling looking and authentic looking, and that's the nice part about it, it is authentic looking because it's a bitmap TIF. It's not vector-based, so we get all these great elements of artifacting going on that have levels of alpha quality and transparency to them that really give more immersive aspects to the artwork itself. That's why I do it. And so the next thing we're going to do is we're going to add some other textures. So I have a texture here on top, and I created this texture years ago.
You've seen me use it in other ones, but we're going to go ahead and use it again and this first texture, it's called Scorned_Dermis. I like giving my textures names, so we're going to colorize this one white, and this is once again just to break up that surface texture. But I don't want it stark white. Let's zoom in so you can see what's going on here. So if I toggle this off, this is what we're adding, and it looks good, but I don't want stark white, I want the opacity to be about 45% value, and I think that's going to work better.
Then all we're going to do is we're going to keep layering textures upon textures. Here's another texture. This texture was just made with India ink and an old toothbrush to get this nice kind of speckling texture, and on this one we're going to go to our Color palette here and select the dark blue that's the outline of our artwork, and we're going to go ahead and colorize this texture with that dark blue. And we don't want the value 100%, so we're going to hit 70%.
Then we're going to go to Blend Mode, and we're going to go to Multiply. So that's first texture, second texture, let's do the third texture, and it's another speckle one. It's a different speckle one, the same look and feel, but a different kind of texturing of speckles if you will, and on this one we're going to pick the same dark blue color in our Color palette here, and on the opacity we're going to go to 50%. And for the Blend Mode, we're going to go to Color Burn.
Now the reason why we did this is so if we zoom in you can see as that speckling goes over different colors, it changes colors according to the colors it's going over. When it goes over the yellow it turns a little orange. When it goes over the purple, it turns more purple, so on and so forth, so it gives one more level of detail, and kind of dimensionality to our textures that we're kind of layering, doing the layering effect here, and the last one is going to be once again another speckled texture, and on this one I do want this to be somewhat stark so we're going to take this dark orangeish red and we're going to colorize that just to add a nice speckling of that color throughout.
So you can see how compelling you can get a piece of artwork using real world textures. Now the reason why this works is because all of these textures are real. I'm not trying to fake it. I really do not like auto-tracing, or image tracing that is, textures I think it looks very fake, and the results aren't that great in my opinion. Now this applies to any art, so this is one piece of art. We could also apply different artwork as well, so if we turn on this you can see we have this artwork.
We can turn off the textures really quick, and what we're going to do is push this one to back, and we can drag select this, and we can mask this artwork, turn our textures back on, and this is how quickly you can take any piece of artwork and utilize this methodology to add a nice rich textured look to any artwork, so if you've never been texture exploring, I encourage you to try it. All that is is drive around until you see some surface that's absolutely horrible, capture it with your camera, with your iPhone, and utilize it within your design.
The most beautiful aspect of textures is that it doesn't matter if your camera isn't super 40 megapixels, because it's degraded. It's going to actually still work really well, so take the time to go texture exploring. I'm going to warn you, it's addicting. You're going to get hooked on it, and you can see mere examples of texturing being used in design via my course on textures called Creating and Using Textures for Design, so make sure to check that out, and remember, if you have any questions related to texturing, related to anything vector-based, or how to work with vectors, make sure to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and as always, 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.