Thursday, April 28, 2011

Masking in Illustrator

Here's my mock ad for "Tsunami", using masking in Illustrator to create the "reflection" of the can. I had some issues with the process at first; it's those little details that get you! Like using the Transform under EFFECTS menu, not Object>Transform. I kept thinking that maybe the can with 3D Revolve on it was too complex to reflect, and had started a whole new ad with a simpler object, when I realized my error after watching that part of the tutorial yet again. I also had to realize that you double-click NEXT to the thumbnail in the Transparency palette (not on it) to create the mask, and click back on the thumbnail to return to normal editing mode. Yeah, the devil's in the details. I like learning all these little tips and tricks, though I have to make sure I take good notes, so I remember how to do it in the future!

Friday, April 22, 2011

3D Can Label

I have to say I had way more fun designing the can label than playing around with 3D. The first issue I had was that if I didn't rasterize the label art BEFORE applying the 3D Revolve, it was dropping out the bottom gradient and the colors in the Bubble scatter brush (??). So I have lines thru my final art, but I can't try rasterizing to get rid of 'em, because it's already rasterized! The other issue was that I wanted to apply an image of a pop top to the top of the can, but for some reason, it was distorting really badly, squishing in on one side. I tried a 2nd image, same thing. Maybe I needed to redraw or dink with the can shape, but by that point, I just didn't want to. So here is my advert for the wave of refreshment that is...Tsunami!

Gradient Mesh Tool

So here is my line art (that I downloaded from, because drawing with a mouse in NOT my forte); used Live Trace to get fill areas, then applied the Gradient Mesh tool after coloring to add highlights and shadows. I really like the final effect, sort of glowy and stained glass looking, but I did have to do a lot of work adjusting/deleting points on many of the shapes, because I was getting a lot of "artifacts" after applying the GM tool. I can see where it would work a lot better on smoother shapes. The effect is very cool, though, and definitely something I will use again in the future.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seamless Pattern Textures

This is my lovely landscape, featuring a seamless pattern I created, used in different sizes and opacities. This was an interesting assignment, and I can see where it would be useful (although time-consuming!) in creating exactly the type of pattern needed for a project. First, you create your squiggles in a rough square, using the Pencil or Brush tool (I used a simple brush stroke with a bit of a "tail" for interest). After Rasterizing, set options for Live Trace, previewing the effects until it looks the way you want. There are a couple of other steps, but the really time-consuming part comes after cropping with Pathfinder. The block of pattern is duplicated and shifted to the left, then the direct selection tool is used to line up points (lines) with the original pattern block. This process is then repeated after shifting the duplicate to the bottom, and then, you should have a seamless pattern when it is used as a fill! Using the "interesting" brush stroke made lining up some areas a bit of a challenge, but overall, I think it turned out pretty well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bubbles, #$%*ing Bubbles!

So BMar decided to torture us with this tutorial on creating bubbles in Illustrator. I was really hating it at first, because it is so involved--many, MANY shapes, fills, blends and opacity adjustments. (I guess that's the point, though, isn't it?) I was stymied at first, because the tutorial specified using a black to white gradient on some of the reflective shapes, which when changed to Screen blend mode simply turned white (no gradient!) Through experimentation, I finally figured out that using the black to FADE gradient yielded the white to transparent effect shown. Once the main bubble was finally complete, it was actually kind of fun to create the rest of the illustration simply by copying, pasting, and scaling; then creating and adding the star glares, a couple of psuedo-iridescent color areas on the main bubble and the background color effects using the Gradient Mesh tool. (Also used on some areas of the bubble). I'm really happy with how it turned out, although it is pretty much an exact copy of the tutorial, so not too creative on my part!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Illustrator shapes picture

Here's my happy little beach scene, done in Illustrator using only solid colors and the shape tools, utilizing Pathfinder to unite/subtract shapes. The hardest part of this assignment was coming up with an idea; I think I picked the beach because I feel so sun-deprived right now! The waves turned out really interesting; I started with a triangle, puckered it a little, then duplicated and distorted size until I had a full row across. When I selected all and used Pathfinder>Unite, the shapes REALLY tweaked! That's why they are in small groups of 2-4 triangles; I still got the distortion, but it was not so extreme and I kind of like it, very wave-like. I then used the Direct Selection tool to select and expand the bottom edges. Where's my mai tai?