Tracing & Coloring with the Pen Tool
I sketch this little base out, because I wanna fill it with some flowers. I don't think it's any secret that... I love to work with flowers. So, you have... I'm gonna lock that whole layer, and I'm gonna use the pen tool, to do this vase, and show you why, when it's a good idea to use the pen tool. I'm thinking, I could just draw half of it, and reflect it, like we did yesterday. But, I actually think it might be nice, if it's not perfectly symmetrical. So, I'm just gonna trace over this, best I can, with the pencil. And sometimes, I just like to use my mouse, when I use the pen tool. You can use the Wacom, or your mouse. The keyboard shortcut for that, is P. Oh, and I'm on my locked layer, so you have to come up to the working layer, and then hit P. So, I do think that I want my top right here, sloped, and I do think that I want my top to be... Perfectly horizontal. So, the smart guise we have on, is gonna help me do that, and I'll come right out here, drop another point. So, I'm draw...
ing right now, with no-stroke, and no-fill. I want to draw with a stroke. This orange is easy to see. And come right down here, and... Think I need to go half, halfway, to do this, the lip, and then half again. Okay, so, this is what I was talking about yesterday. Well, that worked okay. But, this is not really gonna be happy with this direction we're going now. So, what I do, is click on the last point, and that gives me a fresh starting point. It doesn't take the last curve into consideration. So, I'm drawing a fresh curve, from the last point, and I can come down here, and start following this line. And, oops, we'll just kinda zoom right down here. Sometimes, you just have to go back, and click on the last point, if it's giving you a funky... Direction, with your next stroke. I am zooming all over the place here. So, the bottom to this is not perfectly horizontal, but... I don't think it has to be. Right there. (chuckles) You didn't like that? I need to zoom out a little bit, 'cause I'm all over the place. Okay, now we can do this. So, when you... When you start using these handles, and you get off the page, it'll scroll it for you. Sometimes... Sometimes, you don't really want it to do that for you. But, I guess it's thoughtful. I need to do this again.
Hey Bonnie, we had a tracing question come up, while you're doing this. DaZombie wants to know, for tracing like this, can you reduce the opacity level of the bottom lever? The bottom layer?
Yes, and I'll show you how to do that right now.
And actually, it would make what I'm doing easier, anyways. So, we have this little base now. I'm gonna hide my edges, so you can see it. And the pen tool, by nature, looks a little wobbly, well, for me. (chuckles) So, we're gonna smooth that out. But, I'm gonna take a second, to show you how to reduce the opacity. So, under my layers panel, I'm gonna unlock everything, and there are two options. You can just select the image you're working on, and reduce the opacity, right up at the top, to say, 50 percent. And then, lock it back, which is a great way to work. Or, if I undo that, you can, I believe, double click on the whole layer, let's see. Yeah. Okay, so you need to double click on the little box of that layer. And... Because, I think, a lotta people use it, in this way, you can select Dim Images to, and 50 percent is great, and it's gonna dim all of the images, on that layer, to 50 percent. And that is just to help you sketch from the... So, I'll do that, and I'll lock it back. That's gonna make this easier anyways. So, thank you.
And, I think I'm gonna leave it over here, to come back, and smooth it out some, using the smooth tool. I mean... I like a hand drawn look, but I don't like a... Such a wobbly look. So, we'll just smooth this out. So, nothing incredibly exact, but this is... A great example, of how you get that nice point, with the pen tool. And you can come in, with your direct selection tool. The keyboard shortcut for that is A, and just move one thing at a time. So... And I'm thinking, this one is nice and pointed, and this one's curved. So, I'd like that one to be nice and pointed. I can convert that anchor point, by coming out in the fly-out menu, from the pen tool, and it's looking for an anchor point. That will convert, either a curve, to a point, or a point to a curve. So, I'm just gonna get that point in a little bit better. And I'll smooth this out, right here, and then using my direct selection tool, I just... Brighten that up a little bit. Okay. So, I am happy with that. And so, the glory, with the pen tool, is you have this vase now, and you can see, that it has a stroke of orange. You can take that stroke away, and fill it with orange, say... Instead of having use the live paint bucket tool. That's the difference between working with the pen tool, and the blob brush tool. But, if I use the pen tool, on the leaves, that I was just working at, you have to work with intersecting points, with the pen tool, where all those leaves met. So, in my opinion, when I'm working with big shapes, like this, the pen tool's great. When I'm working with more intricate shapes, that tend to connect a lot, I like to use the blob brush tool. So that I can see my image here, I'm gonna take that back, and just do a stroke. And, I believe while I'm using the pen tool. I'm gonna come in here, and just add... Okay, so... The other thing you have to work with, with the pen tool, is sometimes, it's finicky, when you wanna add a point to a line. So, sometimes, I drop a point, right beside the line, and I'll scoot it back in, in just a second. Zoom out. And so, I can just bring this line, right down, and duplicate it. To do that, I just drag it down, and hold the shift key, and the option key, to duplicate it. So, with my direct selection tool, I wanna scoot that into the line, and then I'll scroll over here, and do the same thing on the left side. Okay. And, I'll add some little triangles. I think I'm gonna use the blob brush tool for this. No, I'll use the pen tool. I'll use the pen tool. I'm just gonna quickly... Draw on these, these triangles. So, once you've finished a shape, with the pen tool, you can see that, as I get close to that point, a little O pops up, next to my pen icon right there, and that means I'm about to close that shape. So, if I click on it, it's closed. And I believe, it'll let me move right on, to the next one, because I closed the last one. If you didn't close it, say I was a little short, and I came over here, it's gonna follow right along. So, you wanna make sure you close your shape, before you move on. So, these are gonna be really easy, to color up. Yeah.
Question. On the bar, that you put across the bottom, did you create it? 'Cause, I didn't see you join it to the outside shape of the bottle.
I have not joined it yet. And so, I am probably going to... Expand this, and so that it's three different shapes, so that I can color that in.
That you would join it, versus leaving it as a freestanding overlay, like the triangles?
I know what you're getting at, because this is the problem with the pen tool, is that if, I can't color this a different color right now, because it's not joined. So, there's a couple of ways, to get around that. I can come in here, and... Close the shape. So, if I change the color, maybe of these two, so we really see what I'm doing. So, these are separate from the outside. So, maybe it would be easiest, if I come in, start back at this point, and join these two. And then, I can do it on the other side, and then I can color it independently, from... From the base. The other option would be to... And you just have to pretty much try your best, to get that lined up perfectly. There are a couple of other options. We could expand everything, and use the live paint bucket. That would give us a little bit of a outline, to work with. But, I think, maybe this is gonna be the easiest way to do that.
But, I can see the downside of it now, is that you gotta get it to line up, when it's a freestanding shape of its own.
So, the other thing we could do, is use the trim tool, and I think that's probably what I'm gonna do here, in just a second, to make sure that it's exact, on top of it. So, I think, I'm ready to color this. I'm gonna add these little blobs, grab the blob brush tool, and I'm just gonna blob these on here, just to give it a little... Extra texture. And, I want these triangles to run off, to run off the edge here. So, think I'll do the same thing, that we discussed, use the trim tool, to get those exact. Okay. And... Quickly do this little guy.
Hey, Bonnie. I know that you may have touched on this earlier, but everybody's trying to follow along, in the chat, and they were wondering a specific question about the autosave feature. As people are doing each one of these, is there a way that they can ensure, that everything's being saved, as they're doing it?
Do you guys know? I don't think so. I think you manually have to save.
Have to manually just save every now and again?
Do you guys know how to autosave?
Is the cloud up and active yet? The Adobe Cloud? I think it was supposed to autosave, but the last time I checked, a couple months ago, it wasn't ready yet. I don't know.
So, when there is an autosave, it's gonna make all of our lives much, much better, because I've lost a lotta work. But, chances are, Illustrator's not gonna crash, when you're working with a simple line, like this. It's more like, when we're live tracing bigger images, that have a lotta color, which we're gonna get into next segment, or if you're working with something that has, if you don't expand your live paint bucket illustrations. I've had a lotta stuff crash, because I had a lotta live paint bucket images not expanded. So, keep your document simple... Or, as simple as you can. So, don't build in those extra no-stroke and no-fill bits. If you don't need 'em, always delete them. And Illustrator shouldn't crash, when you're doing simple stuff like this. But, when we get into repeating patterns, you just wanna make a habit of hitting command-S, to save, every time you finished a chunk of work.
Okay, that's good.
So, let's color this guy. I'm gonna grab the outside, and I'll just take the stroke away, and fill it with orange. And... Just gonna draw a marquee over those triangles. And then, by holding the shift key, I can de-select the vase, and color those, maybe, cream? I like to hide my edges, so you can see what I'm doing. Grab these two, and do those white, too. And then, this bar down here, let's make it... We can make it green. So, I am just gonna scale this longer than the vase, so that it runs off the edges, and then we're gonna trim it back. So, with the scale tool, I'm gonna, instead of coming at a diagonal, I'm just gonna go straight out, at a horizontal, and that's gonna run it over the edge. And I don't need a stroke on that. So, to trim that guy, I'm gonna get the main vase, and make a copy of it, by hitting command-C, command-F. So, now there are two copies there, even though you can't tell, and I'm gonna right click, and bring it to the front. Then, I am gonna try this. I'm pretty sure I can trim all three of these objects, at the same time. So, I'm gonna grab... I'm gonna grab the vase, this little guy, and then this, you can't hardly see it, but this triangle is hanging over the edge, and this triangle is hanging over the edge. And if I come over, to my pathfinder, and select trim, it is... Did that do what I wanted it to do? No, I think you have to do one thing at a time. So, that means, I need three copies of this space, so I'm gonna make two more, command-C, command-F, command-F. So, I'm gonna trim this guy first. I think, then I just need to delete this. I'm gonna have two other copies on top. No, that's working backwards. Okay, I think I'll just work with a clipping. Oh, I need to make a clipping mask first. But, you guys know that. Did you guys realize that I wasn't doing that? Okay. What I have to do, is make a clipping mask of these three objects first. And to do that, you select everything, and hit command-seven. Then, I can hit the trim button, and that has trimmed all three of those images, so they're no longer in a clipping mask, and they are perfect, along the edge of my vase. Sorry about that. I can also see, that these triangles have a stroke, and we don't need that stroke in there. So, we're just gonna say, this says question mark, because these two don't have stroke, but these do have stroke. It doesn't matter. I just want all of them to not have stroke. And I can unlock my sketches layer now, and grab this guy, and delete him, and we have our vase. Gonna group it all together, and scale it down, and just move it to the side, so we can move on. Next, let's get, I have one I wanna work with. And maybe it would be easier, if I didn't have all of them in here, but I do, so... This guy, I want to bring the opacity back up to 100 percent, so I'm gonna double click here, and just de-select the dim images. And I'm not gonna lock the layer, because I'm gonna use a live trace on this guy. So, I am perfectly happy, with how this sketched, and how it scanned in. So, I'm gonna come over to live trace, and hit black and white. That looks pretty good. I can up the threshold a little bit, maybe. Corners, I can play around with this, so that you can see it, but it really doesn't make that big of a difference for this. I'm gonna select Ignore White... And so, did you notice, that when I hit Ignore White, it gets a little bolder? So, that happens, and if you, like if I de-select that, it will get a little lighter, I can just come down, in my threshold, make it a little lighter. Just take that into consideration, and... And remedy it, by changing your threshold. So, I'm happy with that, I'm gonna hit expand, and un-group it. Then, I'm gonna grab the no-stroke, and no-fill box, and I need to select the same fill color, so all the no-strokes, and no-fills, and I'm gonna hit delete. Next, I just want this to be one solid color. So, I'm done with live trace. I'm going to use the shape builder tool. I'm just gonna drag right through this, and make it one color, that way it's one image. I can throw a color on it, and be done. I can see, maybe, if you have something like this... I actually like that. It looks like, a little bit of a leaf. If it's real noticeable, like a jagged, jagged-y... Real noticeable pencil strokes, see, I like that. It looks like I cut that. You can go in, with a smooth tool, and remedy that. So, we are rollin' here. I'm just gonna move this over here. I can stick 'em in the vase, maybe, just for safe keeping. Let's see... I live traced these earlier, and I thought, maybe... This is what we started class with. I thought, maybe, I would go over 'em with a trace, but let's see what happens, when I use what I have. Let's start with this guy. I am going to use the live paint bucket tool... To start coloring him. So, I'm usin' all three of these color palettes. I'm gonna decide on one, for my pattern collection. But, right now, I just wanna get something pleasing to the eye, and roll from there. And then, I have two options. You can change all the black, to say something, and I might just, something like pink, which gives you one way to work, or you can say no-stroke, and no-fill, which gives you another way to work. I think I'm going for this look. So, I'm gonna object, go and, let me bring my edges back, so you can see. So, I have all those little no-stroke, no-fill bits. I'm gonna expand that. And because I was using live paint bucket, that's already grouped together, and I'm happy with it. So we can go with this guy, maybe? This... This, I know, I need to close this end right here, so that I can use a live paint bucket tool on it. So, I believe I can just grab my blob brush, and boop, close that. And since I had it selected, it automatically joined the two. I think I must have not had the last one selected before, which is why it didn't join. If yours didn't join, you can select two, and unite them, using a pathfinder.
A pen tracing, using the pen tool, and you left something open, and then you went back to close it. Can you close it with the blob, or do you have to close it with the pen tool?
You need to close it with the pen tool, unless you expand your pen tool, and then use the broad brush, to join the two. But, they do work, independent of each other.
I'm pretty sure. Yes?
Can you please explain to me, the expand? What does expand mean?
Yeah. I'm gonna expand this one, so let me touch on it, while I'm doing it. It'd be easier to explain. (sniffs) I think. I'm gonna grab the live paint bucket tool. I'm gonna color this like the same way I did the other one. So, here, and instead of clicking on all those, I'm just gonna go in a circle here. I got all those. And if I do the yellow, for the center, I didn't get these two guys highlighted, when I started live paint, so they're not available to me right now, but I can do 'em in just a second. And then, maybe I want the stem to be green. And then... I don't wanna outline. I think I wanna keep with my clear, or transparent outline. Gonna hide my edges, so you can see what this is looking like, and that gives us that look. So, when I expand this, oh, and I forgot this guy. So glad. Hold on. I thought he was longer. So, it got really skinny right there, and so live paint bucket just separated those for me... But I wanted them together. So now, they look like that. So... I have... So, what expand does, is... Maybe there's a better description, from somebody else, but I view it as basically... There's no point, and in no-stroke, and no-fill shape, which is what this is, right here. So, if I just click that, it has... This outside has no-stroke, and no-fill, and we just don't need it, as part of our illustration, unless maybe we're gonna go back, and add this, a color to it. But, I know that I'm not going to, so I just wanna get rid of it. And so, to do that, I expand it. So, when I hit expand, it's gonna expand the object, and the fill on the stroke. Separate it. Separate it is a good way--
Then, you could keep, or delete, by your choice.
Right. So, when I hit okay, it just takes all that away. So, it's basically simplifying. It simplified my illustration. So, I don't have that no-stroke, and no-fill anymore.
Does it cut down on file size?
It cuts down on file size. In my experience, it has... Cut down on the file size, and just made it work easier. I am going to see, if I can show you this really quick. Gonna... Because, I think, because I... Oops. Now, let me bring that back. Yeah, you get really pretty shapes like that, when you accidentally get into it. Okay, so I'm gonna un-group this, 'cause I just wanna work with this... This grouped, on a couple of different... Sometimes, when you use live paint bucket, it groups it several times, so just keep on grouping, until you can get the one thing you want. I want to delete these. I don't want to make 'em white. I literally want them to be transparent. So, we can basically chop a hole in the middle of this flower, by selecting the image on top. You have to do this, one at a time, and the shape below. And using pathfinder, you can select Minus Front, and that puts a hole in it. It also brings it to the front. That's why my black bit disappeared. So, I can arrange it, and send it back to the back, grab this... Black, and minus it, from the front. That way, if I had a color underneath here... Send it to the back. And I will have a color underneath it, come tomorrow, when we make patterns, you can see straight through that. You could've made it to color, but that's just what I'm going for. Okay? Moving right along. Gonna do this one same way, and not so sure where I was going with all that, (chuckles) but we'll see what it does. Live paint bucket tool. I'll do these guys, in a circle, like this. And do the yellow, for the center. And I'm gonna fill in all of this center, with the yellow as well, since it's the extension of the flower. Then, what I need to do, is grab no-stroke, and no-fill, and just start deleting that, and it might've done, might've done the whole thing for me. Yeah, that looks good. So, to get rid of that no-stroke, and no-fill, I'm gonna expand. Okay. It just depends, on how much you love this... This kind of hand drawn look. I'm not really sure, if I wanna keep this, so I can come in, with the blob brush tool. I'm gonna just use the direct selection tool, to just grab this yellow bit. And with the blob brush tool, it'll automatically, since I have that selected, it's automatically gonna start with the same color I had, and just come in here, and... Smooth that out a little bit. So, you can take back some, take back some of your hand drawn look, if you want. And I'm not sure if I like all this right there. I'll decide later on it. I might just color that in, solid. And this guy was just not pretty, so he's getting cut. Told you, never to do that, but... Now, I'm gonna group everything together... So, that I'm just working in nice groups, because when I... When I have a whole bunch of illustrations over here, I wanna be able to grab whole motifs at a time. So, I like to work, by grouping them all together. Let's see, what do I wanna do next? Let me show you... I might do that later today. Let's go with this one. I am gonna use the live trace tool on this as well, 'cause I am, this is not gonna make the cut, but these two guys, I like how they look. So, I am gonna leave it unlocked, and just come up to Black and White Logo. That looks pretty good to me. I'll just hit Ignore White, which is gonna make it a little darker. Hit expand, and un-group this. I'm done with live trace. So, I have to get rid of all those little no-stroke, no-fill bits. So, select Same, Fill Color, and hit the backspace button. I'm gonna go ahead, and get rid of this guy. And I just want him to be solid. So, I can do that, by using the shape builder tool. And the same thing... I'm gonna select all the little bits inside, and de-select this background, and group those together. So, that way, if I select this, I can make it one color... By using the shape builder tool. And because I don't have the other bits selected, it's not gonna take those into consideration. It's not gonna join those for me. That way, you can add a color to 'em. Now, you can't see it, because it's a different color. But, if I add color to those bits, and change this color, to maybe orange... Then, I have something like that. We'll just throw some color on those. So, I wanna group those two items together. So, that's gonna be a group within a group. I've got the bits, and the leaves are grouped, but I also have all the bits of group two, so if I need to get in there, I'm gonna have to un-group a couple of times. What next? We already did that one. Let's work with this one. I can't remember what this is. Bee balm, maybe? But, I wanna work with the... I believe, I wanna work with the... Blob brush tool with this... So that I have a lot of control over what I'm doing. So, I can dim it. I'll just use the opacity up here, to 50 percent, and lock this layer. So, I'm gonna start on the... Petals up here. I have to go back to my working layer, and I can collapse that. I'm gonna grab, I'll just stick with the orange color, and I need to increase the dimension of my blob brush tool. So, we can see, that's really pixelated. That's because it's not vectorized yet. But, that doesn't matter, for what we're doing, so... So, I can color this in. I might just do it manually, since it seems pretty simple. I'm gonna come back, and add the little center on top. So, if I grab another color, oops, need to de-select that, and then select another color, and come in here, and just add a little center to it. De-select, and grab the orange again, to do this guy over here. So, this woulda worked, with the live trace tool. I would've had a lot of empty space, if I deleted all of the black, or I would've had a pretty heavily outlined thing, and I just want 'em to all be a separate shape. So, that's why I chose to use the blob brush tool, instead of live trace. And the pen tool just doesn't really make sense for this. You could use the pen tool, but it's gonna be really hard, to get... All your curves, the way you want 'em. That a little bigger. I think I have another flower, somewhere. So, the hand tool is the space bar. That's how I'm getting that. And I will grab pink, and add this little guy right here. See what I'm working with. So, I think it's time to add these, these are little buds, that haven't opened yet. Did I... I got that color to... Orange, somehow. So, I wanted the orange, let's just do... Let's do purple. So, I don't... I want some of them attached, maybe not all of them detached, but I'm just gonna roll through, putting these guys in. You could make some of 'em different colors. But see, when those touched right there, they instantly joined. So, that's one big shape now. It won't happen with the orange, because it's two different colors. So, I know I have a lotta these. So, I'm just gonna move quickly here.
And while you're doing that, Bonnie, I do wanna tell people, that we actually did get a response from the chatroom, about that autosave feature, and it looks like there is a plugin, that people can use. This is from Ally Reed. She says, there's a plugin, called Autosaviour, from Astute Graphics. A free Illustrator plugin. It works beautifully, autosaves, at whatever intervals you specify, so she can't recommend it highly enough, and it's helped her, when she's saved work, or lost work, from crashes. So, somethin' to check out, if you're lookin' for that autosave.
What was her name?
That's from Ally Reed.
Ally Reed, just... She just changed my world. (mediator laughing) Thank you, Ally.
Can you tell me what a plugin is? I don't know what that is.
So, a plugin is... I haven't installed plugin, for Illustrator. Have any of you? It should be very straightforward, on how to install it. A plugin is basically something, that is available, from a third party, that you can install. Plugins are common on blogs. But also... Also, programs. And you can install 'em, from a third party, and it just does something, that... Is helpful. It's almost like--
Within the software, but it's from a third party.
Almost like an app, if you will. It's just something that, that is a third party... Addition.
It's like in your browser, like you have a Facebook plugin, or you have... Yeah, so it's just like, in your browser, is an added bonus feature, that adds something special. It automates something, that you might normally do.
That didn't come with the software?
Yeah, that didn't come with the software.
What was the name of that app?
Yes, Autosaviour, from Astute Graphics, is the company that makes it. She says, that it is a free plugin.
Free, whoa. That's great. Okay, so I'm done with those, and I'm just gonna turn my eyeball off, of this lower layer, just to see how it's looking. And I think it's looking okay. So, gonna come in, and add these leaves, and the stem. To do that, I will use, maybe green. So... Two options here, I can outline the flora, like I did, or I could've drawn way into that, and just sent it to the back. But, I think this outline look is what, so far, we've been going with. So, that's what I'm gonna stick with. It would probably be faster, for me to use the... Something else, to do this. But, I can do that. Then, I want this, to have a little stripe. So, I'm gonna do that, by using the eraser tool. That's shift-E. And it is only gonna erase, if you have something selected. It's only gonna erase, from what you have selected. So, I can't erase anything over here, and I'm just gonna do this little thing in the middle. Okay. Then, you can see right through it. And I have a weird... I don't know where that came from. Weird thing back there. That didn't join up. Okay, I'm back with my green. (Bonnie chuckling) And I think I need it a little smaller. And this time, I may just build that center in, like that, so I don't have to use the eraser tool. And rather than color that in, I can just use the shape builder tool. And do it like that. Finally, I'm gonna draw the stem here. I'mma just come down. The great thing, with flowers, are that... They're never perfect. So, you don't have to be perfect. Now, if I close that down here, which I think I did, yep. I'm gonna make that look a little more less blob brushy. I can color that in, using the shape builder tool, too. Okay, so that is what that's looking like, and I think it's going in a good direction. I might play with changing the colors of some of these, to... The deeper purple? And then, I can group this whole guy together, and move him to the side.