Manual tracing

show more Manual tracing provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Nigel French as part of the Designing a Book Cover show less
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Manual tracing

In this next book cover mock-up, I am using some similar tools that we have already used. Remember we are coming out with a series of books here, and they need to work together as a series. But I am using the same approach of big type for the title, big type for the author, and we also have a little bit of symbolic imagery here. This is the flag that was adopted by the animals once they took over Mana Farm and threw out the humans. So this is the horn and hoof flag and in getting this, I simply found a picture of a horn and a hoof and I traced over them with the Pen tool and then fiddled with them a bit, filled them with solid colors and incorporated them into the flag.

The type that we see for the title was created using the Blob Brush which I used in an earlier movie when I was drawing the Joan Miro inspired hand-drawn type. We see on the pasteboard some experiments with the Blob Brush, and here I have experimented with just a regular brush applying a choke brushstroke to it. Didn't really feel that worked. I think this with the implied drips of paint works a lot better. But this one here, I was trying to combine certain letterforms together, the A and the N and the A and the L, and this might seem like a bit of a leap really, but I was inspired to do this by the work of stonemason and typographer Richard Kindersley and here is an example of his work.

Obviously, a lot more graceful than mine, but I felt like I could get away with the rough look here, because this sign would have been painted by animals who, let's face it, they are not too good painting. So if it looks a bit rough and childlike that's the reason why. I can use that as my excuse. I decide not to go with that, to go with this slightly more typical approach, but let's get to the meat and potatoes of this and trace over these elements.

These are just found images and I am going to manipulate them. I am not going to use them. You will have to find your own, but a simple Google Search will yield a picture of a horn and a hoof, not necessarily these ones, but ones at least as good. So I have put these on their own layer, called it tracing elements. You can if you wish make this into a template layout. I am not sure it's necessary for this, but if you wanted to do so, you would just double-click on it, choose Template, and that's going to do two things.

It's going to lock the layer and it's going to dim the images to 50% like so. So you can't interfere with them and so the color isn't too distracting. So I'll now need to create a new layer above that and then it's a question of just drawing over it with the Pen tool. One could use several tools here, but I am going to use the Pen tool. In this case, I am clicking-and- dragging because I want to create some curves and we don't need to worry about any shading. We are just going to use a simple shape like so and then I will repeat the process over here. And then if I need to make any adjustments to that, I can choose my Direct Selection tool and pull on these anchor points.

Now that I have those in place, I am just going to come and delete the original so that we can replace it with our new versions, which I will drag into shape, resize them, and holding down the Shift key so that resize that proportionally. I want to spin this around, reduce its size, reduce its size some more, and find a good point of overlap, so that the two are still distinct and then put that into position, group the two objects together, and if necessary reduce the scale of the group, and now we have our horn and hoof flag, an important part of the story. So a telling detail shows that you read it, incorporate it into the book cover.

Manual tracing
Video duration: 4m 42s 2h 46m Intermediate


Manual tracing provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Nigel French as part of the Designing a Book Cover

Illustrator InDesign
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