Now that you have a Sketch of the image ready to go, how do you start outlining it? Renata talks through the various options for vector lines such as asymmetric, disconnected, straight, and mirrored, and discusses when to use each by having you create an outline of the California bear.
- [Instructor] Before we get started with outlining our bear, let's discuss the different options for vector points. Mirrored is the default and most common method of controlling a Bezier curve. This approach uses two handles that extend the same distance from the vector point, at the same angle. The handles seem to form a single line that is tangent to the curve. The Mirrored option is based on the fact that if both handles are at the same angle, the shape will have a completely smooth curve. In other words, there will be no visible corner point along the shape, as is the case with the Disconnected option.
So if we select our center point here and pull it out, you can see how each side mirrors each other, as do the handles if we go ahead and move those around. Asymmetric is similar to Mirrored in that the handles are the same angle, although the handles do not have to be the same distance from the vector point. This is especially useful when a curve needs to taper off more quickly on one side. So if we go into Edit, pick our center point, you can see how it's mirroring.
But then you can also see how we can go ahead and pull one handle up, and I can do something a little bit different than the other side. But then as we start to move the other side, it does start to keep that mirrored shape, even if one's tapering off more than the other. Disconnected allows you to change each handle independently of the other. There are two use cases for this. One, you would like the shape to have a noticeable angle or corner when it hits that vector point, rather than creating a smooth curve through the point.
Or two, you may want one handle, control over a curve on one side of the point, and no curve on the other side. If this second option is what you are after, click on the handle and control the point you'd most like to remove and press the Delete key. So if we go again into Edit, select our center point, pull it out, it's still in that mirrored look. But as we start to move our anchors, you can see how this changes the look and feel of our lines and how the two points are completely disconnected from each other.
This is really great, for example, in our bear. As we get to this corner point here, for the land, we're going to have to go completely different directions. So that'll be a point at which it'll be really great to utilize that Disconnected option. Finally, when the Straight option is selected, the vector point has no handles or curve through it. If two vector points with this option are adjacent to each other, the path between them will be a straight line. Sketch gives you the option to round the corner of any straight point, a.k.a., a border radius.
Although Sketch makes it appear incredibly easy to round a corner with a straight point and radius value, under the hood the software is actually achieving this by calculating Bezier curves for you, which is pretty cool. If you want to reveal these Bezier curves, simply flatten your shape. So let's go ahead and select our item. Select that center one. You can see how straight away it's not even mirroring. It's just a straight 90 degree angle. As we pull it further and further down, there's no anchor points to move it off of, so really if we just move our points around, it'll stay in that shape.
Then if we want to take our Straight, and go ahead and create a rounded corner. Now in order to see the rounded corner, let's just go ahead and do something really crazy and move it all the way up. You can see how our straight line is creating this rounded corner for us. All right, let's go ahead and delete all these lines and the text. We no longer need them. And we'll get into creating our bear here. So let's first utilize a shape of a star.
And we're going to try to keep it symmetrical, so we want to hold the Shift key down. It doesn't have to match perfectly in this case of our Sketch. So let's get it about the right size and drop it on our artboard. Now let's go ahead and go to Insert, Vector. And now we'll start utilizing these different Vector options that create the various Bezier curves. So let's start at the back of the ear here, and we'll put on a point.
And then you'll see that as we drag out, Sketch just allows us to continue, so we don't need to worry about like, in some applications, sometimes you need to hold down your mouse key as you're doing this. We don't need to do that in Sketch. So we're just going to go here to this next point. And we're going to pull it out a little bit and then go up and around. And just kind of follow the line as we go. We can go back in and fix all this so that it matches the Sketch with our different options.
But for now, let's just get this line onto the board. So then we'll go straight out to make the land. Don't worry that it's not, the Sketch is going up and down, we're not going to worry about that for this. And then we'll just get to this end point of the land. And you can pull out the anchors as you go, if you're trying to make the curves.
Going to come around the bottom of his chin here. Go up and around his mouth, and up around his forehead, now around the ears, up and down and around. And then as we come to the end, you'll see that Sketch gives us the option to close the loop here. And that's exactly what we want to do, so go ahead and click.
And now we've created our shape. Now what we want to do is to go ahead and fix all these different lines to make sure that they fit within the actual look that we're going for. Because if we remove the border and add the fill and then just click out of it, you'll see it's not quite the shape we want, right? It's a little bit sketchy in some parts. So let's go ahead and go back into Edit mode. And let's zoom in, so we can better see what we're working on.
And we'll start back here around the tail. And I think because this is pretty rounded, we can just utilize this mirror and pull out our anchor points. We'll go up to the top of his rump here and move the anchor point around, pull that out. We have this kind of point that's at the top. Ah, most bears don't really have that, so I'll just choose to ignore that for now. But we might want to kind of make him a little bit more round here in the back, so we'll take this anchor point and move it up a little bit.
And then we're still on the Mirrored, we'll pull it out. So now he's got this nice round back down around his rear. And so let's go, continue moving on the back. Now here we're moving in different directions. We have one going straight out and then one going up. So what we want to do at this point is go with Asymmetric. And we'll move this up just a little bit and then with this one.
And we can always, the nice thing is, we can always undo when we make a mistake, so, since that moved a bit. And we can click out and kind of observe, decide do we like that? Maybe, maybe not. He does look like he has this kind of weird shape here, so let's just kind of move these around.
And you can always just sit here and play as you're trying to mimic your shape. So if you don't like something, you can switch to, say, you prefer Disconnected in this place. And then maybe you change your mind. You're like, no, I don't really like that. I would prefer Mirrored. And you see, Sketch just works with whatever it is that you need to do, so, it's very forgiving in that regard. So again, we'll make this Mirrored.
Now again, as we get down around the ear, we want to go ahead and do a Disconnect because they are going in different directions here. And it's really hard to see the anchor point here, just, you can barely see it, but we'll pull one out. And then let's go up on the other one that's close to it that is the top of the ear. Let's move it up a little bit, so we can see what we're working with. Go back to that anchor point and pull it down a little, so we can just get it into the right area.
And this does take a little bit of futzing sometimes. It can be a little tricky, especially around some of these corners. Now it looks like we could probably have a couple points in here. And so we might just want to go ahead and add one, which Sketch just makes it easy. We just, we get over that line, we go ahead and add it it, and then we can move it into place so that we can have a straight line there. And then we have this top of the ear that's really a bit out of place, so we'll just move it in.
And because we don't really want it straight, like, you know, ears really aren't at a 90 degree angle, right? So let's go ahead and do the Disconnect and kind of round it off a little bit using our anchor points here. And then we'll move on to the top of his forehead and just make that look a bit more like a natural forehead. Now, at the present, we have this line going straight from his ear to the top of the forehead, and it just looks a little weird.
So let's go ahead and add another anchor point, and we'll pull this one down. And now that looks a little bit more natural, like a proper bear. So we'll just keep working our way around. And honestly, this is how you do it. You just keep working on the different points. Right now we're around the top of his nose. We want that to be Disconnected again 'cause they are going different directions.
And we just work with the different points here, moving things around. Move our handles around, get them in the right spot. Let's move the top of his mouth out a little. This one, also, we don't want to be Straight. We want to be Disconnected. So that one rounds around the bottom of his mouth, and one also rounds up around to his nose.
Let's move our mouth anchor point up a bit, so it's in the right position, and then the bottom part into position. Now he's starting to look a little bit like a bear. We're almost there. We'll move this other point down. And now we've got a little bit of a mouth here. This one we're going to make Disconnected as well. Again, we don't want that 90 degree angle. This is a natural being. It's not a robot. So we want him to look like something we would see out in the natural world, and so, you know, we don't, this guy is not in any way a machine.
We want him to look as real as possible, so we want to really make sure that we have those rounded corners. And so any time you see a Straight, maybe just switch to Disconnected. Or if you really meant to have it Mirrored, depending on what you're working on, that works, too. Whatever works for you. So again, we just keep moving these points around, getting them into the right shape and the right place, making sure our lines make sense.
And you can see our outline back behind as well, so it's really helpful to let us know where things need to be. So in some cases, you might need to, like this case here, it wasn't showing our handles, so we had to just click on it and then drag out. Like, don't let go of your mouse, just click and drag, and now we have our handles. So I can make this a bit more rounded corner. I'm going to pull this one down a little bit, move it around a little. And then our land is not really even that he's walking on, so, it's okay that it's a little bit funky here.
We can go ahead and do a Disconnect again. So we can pull one up. And then our other handle is a little bit further down, so we'll move that up, then move our next anchor. We have this Straight point here, but we really don't want Straight 'cause we don't want anything in this entire image to be a completely straight corner. So we're going to move that to Disconnected, and we're going to make sure it looks like a land shape.
And it's okay that this whole bottom part is as straight as possible. It can even be a little rounded, that's perfectly okay. Now let's come back to this last point here at the end. Click Disconnected again. Pull in our land. There's not that much land in this image. And now we have the rough outline of our bear. Now the last bit we need to do, if we click out of that, you'll note we have these three elements here in the background, that show his legs.
And right now we can't see that, right? So we need to create three more shapes. So we go in, and we choose our Vector tool from Insert, Vector. And then go ahead, and we can make these really quick. Just go out and around the shapes. Go to Insert, Vector again. You have to click outside of it in order to get back in the Vector. Be nice if Sketch would allow us to just close a shape and then move on, but they don't.
And now click back out of it again to get back out. Go back into Insert, Vector. And we're going to create this last and final shape. And now let's really quickly go through and give them a little bit of curve to it. So we'll utilize the Disconnected in our middle one here. You have to go back in to go to Edit.
Click our top corner here and go Disconnected. And then he's got a little bit of a belly, so let's make sure he shows a little bit of a belly. And then his leg kind of goes back and around that way. And then let's also select this other one, make it Disconnected. Make sure since that part of the leg goes out a little, this part goes in a little, just kind of give that a little bit of that shape there.
And then we'll go ahead and give this a fill as well. And for the sake of argument, for the moment, just make it brown. Doesn't really matter what the color is. You'll see why in a moment. So we'll do the same thing here. Again, the color doesn't matter. So even if we just throw red on it, doesn't matter, but we do need to make sure our shape looks good. So let's go back to Edit, and select this top section here, so we can kind of give his legs a little bit of a curve, with the Disconnected.
Move this up, make that Disconnected as well. And let's pull that in. And then we click this shape here. Let's move it down a little, so it sits right in this corner part of our shape. And that's about right. Let's just select this last one here, make it Disconnected, give it a little bit of shape there.
Okay, and one more. Again, let's get rid of our border, add a fill. Doesn't matter the color. Then let's edit our shape. And we want this to be Disconnected. Perfect, it's already selected it for us. And we're just going to fix it, so it looks like his legs, and they look like land, and everything looks the way it's supposed to.
I'll select this top area, Disconnected. Move out our handle. And this is probably the longest part about making any sort of icon, is really just trying to get these points in the right place, can be a little tricky.
All right, let's select each one of these three shapes. And we're going to go ahead and do Command + X. So they just disappeared, don't worry about that. We're moving our bear back into place. We just cut them off the board temporarily and then do Commend + V. Now you see they're sitting on top of our image. Let's go ahead and select our image, and now we're going to do Difference. And now we have our bear. So if we do Command minus, we'll zoom back out a little bit.
And for now let's just go ahead and hide our Sketch. And look at that, we have a California bear, woo-hoo!
In this course, discover how to create icons with Sketch. Renata Phillippi takes you through each stage of the process, explaining how to set up a file, create and combine shapes, add color and depth to your artwork, and finally, export your design. Upon wrapping up this course, you'll have created several simple icons, and have the knowledge you need to start bringing more of your design ideas to life.
- Conceiving the design
- Setting up the file
- Building initial shapes and outlines
- Adding color and shadows
- Manipulating type
- Preparing and exporting your icon for developers to integrate