Creating a vector based logo from a picture or image with Illustrator cs
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Advanced Tutorial – Adobe Illustrator
Tracing a Photograph to make a Graphic Image
Today we are going to make a graphic from a photograph and turn it into a cool vector image in Illustrator that can be used over and over for various projects. For best results, the view should understand basic Adobe Illustrator commands, and know how to use illustrator tools, especially the Pen Tool ~ !
So Let’s begin. First thing I have selected my photograph and it is a good, clear LARGE format jpeg that is going to make a nice graphic when traced. Small or blurry images are harder to work with an achieve superior results.
Go to File > Open and locate your picture. Open into Illustrator and resize if necessary.
Lock the layer the picture is on and create a new layer that will be on top of the picture layer. It’s a good idea to name the layers.
You can start anywhere you would like on the picture, but I always like to start with the eyes. The eyes capture the subject’s personality and they are the windows to it’s soul. If the eyes don’t look right, you will not have the portrait turn out to look like the animal or person you are creating.
You can see how ZOOMED into the image I get when working on the eyes. This is why it is important to use a LARGE picture otherwise you will lose detail when zoomed in.
Add the little “white dots” in the eye to help show reflection. You can fade and soften these out later.
I have named the eyes layer (eyes) and locked the layer. Then I created a new layer, changed to a black stroke with no fill, and began loosely tracing the body of the dog. I want it to be choppy and I’m not worried about it looking like hair at this point. I will continue to trace the entire shape of the puppy with one complete loop (I want it to be closed segment with the pen tool)
Notice I’m still on the same segment (don’t break your lines) and I will continue around until the circle appears up by the dogs ear where I started. Hint: you can use the up and down arrows and bottom side-to-side arrows to move around your picture while using the pen tool. If you go to the Toolbar and use the hand tool, you will break your segment.
Once completed, I will fill with black and have my basic puppy shape. While I did not follow the contour line of the pup exactly, I made my arcs and lines curvy and choppy so that the final silhouette will look like a puppy ~ complete with hair sticking up everywhere ~ and will make a more interesting image.
Now I will lock the body layer and create a new layer. I will call this Blaze, and I will trace the white part of the puppy in the center of his face. Once that is done, I will lock the Blaze layer and create a new layer. I will uncheck the “eye” icon next to the lock in the layers palette and set the blaze layer to invisible. I will begin tracing the puppy’s prominent features, like the rust colored eyebrows and rust coloring above the jowls.
The same steps were followed around the nose, mouth, and finishing the front legs. I started to add some small details like the white circles on the nose and the black dots on the blaze.
Let’s uncheck the invisible layers and see how it’s looking:
There’s no denying at this point that it’s a puppy and if you are a dog lover, there’s no doubt that It’s a Bernese Mountain Dog.
To finish the graphic image, I will create yet another layer on the very top. This layer will be used for detail work, like adding small highlights to Stewart’s coat, and I still have to add the beautiful white chest that he has. I also added some grayish-blue highlights behind his eyes, because I felt they didn’t stand out enough.
Now I’m ready to create something with my graphic. First thing I will do is unlock all the layers, drag my cursor around the entire image and Group (Ctrl +G) or Select > Group.
Now I have a Vector image that I can scale up and down without losing any detail.
So now I’ve decided I’m going to take Stewart and create a logo that can be used on the website, mugs, shirts etc….
Right now I’m just experimenting with colors and shapes and putting them behind STEWART on their own layer.
Now I’m going to add a white oval behind Stewart but above the burgundy oval. This will be done on it’s own layer. I would like to add Stewart’s name to the image, but I need it to curve along the oval. I will select the pen tool and draw a curved segment where I would like his name to go.
I will select the Type on a Path Tool from the tool bar and type in STEWART. From there I changed the Font to a more playful font, changed the size larger and added a black fill with a white stroke. I removed the “S” (ctrl x) and pasted it on it’s own layer (Ctrl V)
Don’t forget to save your work at every change. Ctrl S
I selected the S and created outlines (TYPE > Create outlines)
I held down the shift key and stretched the S out larger and put in back inline with the rest of the text. Then I grouped the S with the rest of the text and played with positioning until I got the name where I wanted it. Then I added a drop shadow by going to Effect > Stylize > Add drop shadow. I changed the opacity to 100% and moved the blur down a bit until I found it aesthetically pleasing.
I selected the layer that Stewart was on and duplicated it. I changed the fill to white and left the stroke clear. I moved the white silhouette onto it’s own layer and moved it behind the dog to create a white shadow.
This one of the finished designs that I came up with, and I’m sure I’ll have more!
Stewart’s Story can be found at his website: http://www.countrycomfortinn.com/
Tutorial written and illustrated by: Jessie Schueler ~ Art By Jess