Join William Everhart for an in-depth discussion in this video Propellers and other rotors, part of Creating Aircraft Profiles with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
- So now let's turn our attention to the propellers of this aircraft. Now for me, personally, I avoid drawing the propellers because, to me, they seem to take away from the overall aesthetic of the profile of this aircraft, but if you want to illustrate them, there are a couple of different options for you. I have seen some scenarios where people would take, perhaps, a ellipse tool here, and just kind of create a ellipse, try to center it up, about like so, and then just give it kind of a greyish color, or blur it a little bit, something like that, just kind of give the idea that there is something there in motion.
Once again, I personally don't care for this type of look. Another way to illustrate the blades, is if you are drawing the aircraft maybe in a landed position, then the blades would be still, so I actually have that over here, I've just taken and created a layer here, and I've drawn the blades in their profile view. And basically, this aircraft has four blades, so I have one blade here, pointing at us, and let me just zoom in on that so we can get a closer look. So this would be the tip of the blade.
The blades actually have kind of a funny shape to them, they're kind of flat, and kind of concave on one side, but then as they go back towards the nose cone itself, they round out a bit, so I've got, actually two shapes there, these would be filled with a alternating colors here just a little bit to give that illusion that there is the tip of the blade there facing you and then of course, just profiles top and bottom of the other two blades. So, that's certainly, one way to illustrate these. Another way to do it is to maybe use some of your reference photos, and if you have one especially where the blades are moving, and I happen to have one of those.
So I'm just going to turn this layer off, I'm going to turn on my reference photo here. So I could use something like this, and perhaps trace around the basic shapes of those blades, in this case it's four blades in motion here and that's certainly much more attractive than the oval shape that I showed you earlier, so what I would do is just kind of trace around these with the pen tool. And when I get out here towards the end where it is blurry, I'm not going to worry about the exact shape so much, because once I move this over into Photoshop, I will apply this blurring effect.
I don't get a good blurring effect here inside of Illustrator, so what I can do is just manipulate this, and get just kind of the basic shape, just the basic outline here. And then I can blur this in Photoshop. So one blade down, three to go. And so now I have finalized the other three blades. And as you can see, I just kind of given the illusion of the blade shape. I'm not too particular about it because, once again, when I take this over to Photoshop, I am going to blur this considerably, so you'll see it looking more like motion.
So I don't have to be super accurate here. Let me just go ahead and turn off the reference photo so you see what we've got. We've got just the overall shapes. Now this one blade down here, I did go ahead and add the little demarcation line here when the yellow will go. I'll most likely remove that a little later on, but I just wanted that to mark that specific spot, because that particular blade, it was a little more defined.
- Finding source imagery
- Preparing the Illustrator document
- Drawing aircraft sections
- Adding base colors
- Adding camouflage patterns
- Illustrating bare metal
- Adding highlights and shadows
- Adding depth to panel lines
- Exporting for print and web use