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Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Lesson 11 of 31

Creating Objects from Scanned Sketches

Bonnie Christine

Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Bonnie Christine

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Lesson Info

11. Creating Objects from Scanned Sketches

Lesson Info

Creating Objects from Scanned Sketches

We're gonna start off right away making some art. We're gonna start with sketches this morning, scanning those in and really working with them in Illustrator. Segment two is gonna be based on photographs. So, we're gonna be actually taking some photos, and then learning how to get those in Illustrator, and work directly from those. Session, segment three is gonna be directly from Illustrator. So no sketching and no photos. We're gonna be using the tools within Illustrator to create some art. And then this afternoon we have a guest coming on that I'm really excited about. Anne Tunheim is here who's a creative lawyer. We're gonna be talking about the business of surface pattern design, the legal side of the business. And so, bring your questions for this afternoon, and we'll be talking about all the things that we always have questions about. I'm gonna get started. First things first, we're gonna start scanning in some artwork. We had a little bit of homework last night. So, I don't know...

if you're following along at home, but if so, our homework for today's class was 10 to 15 sketches, one photograph that you would like to illustrate from, a photograph that you wold like to pull a color story from, thoughts on a theme for a collection, and I think that was all. So, share those with us... Oh, and an inspiration board. So what are a few things that are inspiring your collection? Whether they be photographs, a digital inspiration board, or a physical inspiration board. If you're following along with the challenge, which we'll be talking about throughout this course be sure to upload your homework sketches, and inspiration boards to the student gallery area, on the main course page. So, I have already done all of my sketches, and I've scanned in most of them, but I've left a few for us to go over today. I have a scanner over here. It's HP Photosmart 5510. Most scanners kinda operate the same way. So I'm gonna walk you through how to optimally scan in your sketches and what settings you can be looking for. I just have a plain black and white. Went over this with black pen, and it's on clean white paper. So, we're gonna scan this in. When you're working the scanner you'll just go ahead and open up the scanner. And right off the bat you will see kinda of a preview of what you're gonna be working on with the scan. If that doesn't happen for you automatically, you should be able to select a button that says preview. I'm not sure If I can, make it a little bigger for us. This looks pretty good so far. What I want us to do is kinda isolate the particular image that we wanna work with. Because if I go ahead and scan this in right now, I can work off of it from a tracing perspective, but if we're gonna use maybe the live trace tool, this black area is gonna give us some problems. So, usually you can just simply draw a marquis over what it is that you're interested in actually scanning in. Okay, sometimes this will be probably be automatically set to color. I want us to set it to black and white. I always scan in at a minimum of 300 dpi, that seems always be plenty, but if you get much lower than that, especially sometimes it's set to 72 dpi, you're not gonna get a nice clean trace. So, make sure you're scanning in at least 300 dpi. This is all fine, I'm gonna do jpeg. Image correction, you have this option on your scanner. And, I want us to go down to manual. And this is already set up, because I played with this a little earlier. But, usually it'll be right in the middle. So, this is what you're gonna be looking at. This is pretty nice, but what I want us to do is increase the brightness and then increase the contrast. So, start taking the brightness up just to eliminate any like stray pencil marks or pen marks. And also maybe something that's bleeding through from the back page. And then you're gonna bump up the contrast where you get a really nice dark black line. Okay, so all of this can be done in Photoshop, but I know that we all don't have Photoshop, and if we can do it upon Scanin, it just makes everything a little easier. So, we are ready to go and I'm gonna hit scan. So that, I believe, has saved it for us. And I'm just gonna close out of the scanner. So I will go ahead and open Adobe Illustrator. I'm working in CS6, but anything I do today you'll be able to follow along in Creative Cloud and CS5, CS4 should be any of them. I will open a new document here. To do that I just hit command N, for new. I'm gonna name this document. You don't have to but I like to kinda stay organized, so working from sketches. And, I'm okay with all of this. We're gonna do a regular letter size. And seem like a 300. This is all good. If you need some more information about how to open up Illustrator and get set up with your documents, we cover all of that in session one segment two. And, we also covered how to set up your workspace. So, if your workspace looks different than mine, and you would like it to look like mine, make sure to refer back to that, session one, segment two to set up your workspace. So we have a blank document here. And, now what I need to do is get that scanned image in here. You will have decided in advance where that scanned image is gonna save to. I saved mine under pictures. And here's our scan right here. So, all you have to do is click on that, drag and drop it into Illustrator, and it's here for us. I'm gonna just get it into portrait by hitting R for the rotate tool, and just start to rotate that. And if you hold the shift key down, it'll rotate it to exactly straight up. And then we can make it a little bigger. I'm gonna hit S for the scale tool, and just start scaling it up. Again, holding the shift key to make that exactly proportion as I scale. So, there are a couple of things we can do with this sketch now. I'm gonna walk you through several different ways to work from these sketches. Most often I like to lock this in the background, and trace on top of it. So that's what we're gonna do most this morning. But, I also just want to introduce to you the live trace tool. So if you an image that you scanned in like this, as long as it is selected. We have the image trace tool. Over here on the right hand side, if it's not there for you, it is under window. Just make sure image trace is checked. So, there are a couple of settings that we can go over in here. The pre-set. These are pre- set features, depending on what you're working with. So the best thing to do when you're working with a black and white image is black and white logo. It tends to give me a pretty good result. This will often come up, tracing may proceed slowly, because the image is large. That's because we scanned it in at 300 dpi and it's okay. So, I just always hit ok. And this is just gonna take, just a second. And this is what we get. This is now vectorized, and so it's no longer a sketch. You have to expand it? I will get there. What you can play with here is threshold. The threshold, if you take it down, which I think I need to take it up, you take it down, that's gonna pick up less of your black line. And if you take it up, it's gonna pick up more of the black line. And since we have such a nice clean scan on that white background. You're gonna be able to take it up pretty high. The other thing I wanna do is expand the advanced, down here at the bottom. There are a couple of things you can play with. Usually, I just leave it as is, but the changes that you make will show you live, when you select them. So, play around with those. See if there's something that you like to do. But, what I always like to do is hit ignore white. What that does it removes the white background behind your image. And so we're on a white art board right now, so you can't really tell what just happened. But, it removed the white paper behind. So it's transparent now. It's just the black line. We are done here, so I'm just gonna close image trace. After that this is still all kinda one... I guess it's still kinda one image really. So, what we need to do is hit expand. Expand is up at the top of your tool bar. What that does is then turns it into anchor points and lines. So a couple of other things we need to do in order to get this where we can really work with it. First it's all grouped still, so we need to right click and un group it. Now this is all un-grouped. The other funny thing, I don't really even know why this happens, but it always does. The other thing is that it has everywhere that there was white, it now has no stroke and no fill area. So, you can see if I select this back box. It has no stroke and no fill. And so when you're working with your illustrations, this just tends to get messy. So what I do is select. Because all these inside here are also no stroke and no fill. So like the inside of that pedal I can bring out, and it's just a bit that we don't need. So what I do is select one of them, and I make sure it's no stroke and no fill. And the tool that I use all the time is under select, same, and select same fill color. So when I do that it selects everything that has no stroke and no fill and I can hit the delete button and now we're left with just black lines. Again these are not... That's one, that is one piece. We might be good here. But, nothing is grouped together. Like this little bit right here, is not a part of that flower. So what I'll do is go group my individual illustrations together just so I can move them around the page. So I'll just do that with these really quick. So now I have four illustrations all grouped together, and they are ready to get colored up and start illustrating. We're gonna get to that in just a little bit. But next I wanna show you what your option is if you don't have a scanner, or if you are not interested in using the light trace tool. We can simply take a photograph, from our sketchbook, and get it straight in from that way. I am going to use my Iphone for this. You an use anything, any camera that you have, but the Iphone is always by my side and a lot of times it works out really well. I'm just gonna be using another of my sketches. Gonna show you how to do that. Grab my Iphone, and we're gonna get it up on the screen for ya. So I'm just gonna head on over to my camera, and you can see my sketchbook right here. What I wanna do is make sure that I take the photograph, not skewed. So if I'm over here the illustration is gonna be skewed. I wanna make sure I'm directly above it. That I have no shadows, so I have really nice light. And we can crop this down, but it's great to kinda get all of that extra stuff out of the way. So I just have white paper right there. I'm gonna go ahead and take that picture. The next thing is that I love to use an app on my phone to brighten pictures, increase their contrast, and my favorite to do that is called Afterlight. I'm gonna go ahead and open up the Afterlight app. I'll hit new, go to my camera roll and grab this picture that I just took. And I will say use for that. I'm just gonna brighten this up a little bit. To do that I go to the second icon down there, and right above that you'll see the brightness. I'm just gonna increase the brightness here. And if one swipe on the brightness is not enough, you can go right back and do it again. The next one over is contrast. And I'm just gonna up the contrast a little bit. Now you can crop as well. I think I did a pretty good job of not getting the binding on my notebook included here, but if you need to cut anything out you can crop just right over here with the little crop signal, and the one on the left lets you free hand crop. I might just bring this in a little bit around the edges. Hit the check box and I will say that I am done. In order to save this image, I just hit camera roll to save. So the next thing that I need to do is get that photo in Illustrator. I use Dropbox. You can email this photo to yourself, you can tether it to your computer to get it, just which ever way you prefer to get photos onto your computer will work great. I'm gonna head over to the Dropbox app. I am in photos. I'm not sure what this is called, but I'm just gonna hit those three circles up at the top right hand corner, and select upload. That takes me to my camera roll and I can grab that picture that I just finished in Afterlight. So I'll select that, and hit upload. And in just a second, it's gonna alert me on my computer that I have that. So we are going to switch back to using Illustrator now. I'm gonna take these that we've worked on, on just gonna scale em down, and move them over to the side so we can use this art board for some more work here. See if I have this yet here. Okay, there it is, right under my Dropbox photos folder. And here is that picture that I just took. All I have to do is drag and drop it over to my art board. And it's gonna be huge, which is fine, all I need to do is scale it down some. So I hit the scale tool, if you can see it, that dropped the marquis to where I scale from, right there in the center. So, in order to gain the most control over sizing this photo down, I'm gonna start from any diagonal, left, right, whichever diagonal you want, and hold the shift key to keep this proportional, and just start dragging in. That's gonna scale this down for me.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Did you know that you can turn your sketches, drawings, and doodles into patterns? Join Bonnie Christine for an introduction to creating patterns to use in your very own fabric prints, stationery designs, website backgrounds, cell phone covers, and much, much more.

This course will take you through the process of working with Adobe Illustrator to create digital versions of your artwork. You’ll learn tips and tricks for working in Illustrator and how you can use the software to create repeating patterns of your very own drawings. Bonnie will guide you step-by-step through the process of transforming sketches and tracings into vector art which can be used for an endless array of printable and online projects from customized stationery to computer wallpaper. You’ll also learn how to assemble your collection of designs into a portfolio you can use to impress potential collectors and buyers.

This course will lay a solid foundation for those new to Illustrator and open up exciting new possibilities for people already familiar with the program. If you are ready to bring your drawings to life in new ways this class is for you.


Adobe Illustrator CS6

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Desktop and Smartphone Backgrounds

Grow Your Blog eBook

Jouney to Becoming a Surface Pattern Designer

Design Printables

Color Palettes and Pattern Mockups

Keynote Session 1

Keynote Session 2

Keynote Session 3

Math Made Easy with Rotate Tool

Industry Resources and Supplies

Keyboard Shortcuts

My Creative Story


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Emily Leggett

I am so glad I took the time to sit through all 3 days of this course. I have been to hour long classes that I can't wait to get out of and this one I sat in for 3 days and I am wishing it wasn't over. I take a lot of continuing education classes and am always trying to learn new things and I have to say this is by far the absolute most informative, educational, inspiring, and motivating classes I have ever taken. Bonnie Christine was an amazing teacher. She took the time to take us through all aspects of the process and even beyond showing us so many things that can be done with everything she taught us in this class. I think she did a great job with the class, was easy to follow and is someone I would love to learn from again. Great job on everything. I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn about surface pattern design and Illustrator. Great job to everyone involved in putting this course together!

a Creativelive Student

Awesome awesome awesome course! Thank you Bonnie! Thank you Creative Live! I have learned so much... so much great information packed together in one class. I am so glad I bought the course so I can rewatch it any time I need to.

a Creativelive Student

I'm about halfway through my first viewing of the course and I have to say, its been electrifying! There is so much quality information here, its an excellent starting point, and I do think I can start working towards a career in design now. It also makes me want to find more information and courses in the art and design area. Bonnie is such a joyful, honest and enthusiastic instructor and really, it feels like she';s hosting an amazing party for her friends. Thank you Bonnie for doing this course and thank you CreativeLive for pricing it so affordably