How to integrate your sketches in your digital works
This tutorial will teach you a technique to integrate your doodles in your digital works. We will use Photoshop to increase the contrast of the image, Illustrator to provide colors and once again Photoshop for last retouches.
Hand Drawn elements are so cool, both in web and graphic design. In according with Jacqueline Thomas, this style will be a trend during 2010. So lets understand how our horrible sketches can be turned into a skill.
Preview of the result:
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Make a sketch. It’s not important that your are not an artist and that you prefer the mouse to the pen. Turn off the computer and start sketching. If you give a look at css galleries and digital works, you’ll notice that everyone can create hand drawn elements on a paper. This is what I’ve realized:
After scanned the sketch, open it in Photoshop. The image has to be in gray-scale, so if you’ve used colors, desaturate it(shift+ctrl+U). The aim of this step is to increase the image contrast: later we will vectorize the image using the illustrator tracing tool, so we need a strong contrast between black and white areas. The best way to reach this result is to combine some adjustment layers: curves, levels and brightness/contrast. Go to Image>Adjustment>Curves and make a “S” with the curve. Use the screenshot as a reference. Do the same with levels and contrast. At the end of this process, save the image as a jpg.
Open the image in Illustrator. Go to Object>Live Trace>Make and Expand. Now we have a vector image. Grab the Magic Wand Tool, select the white area and press delete.
Take a look at the layer window: there’s a group. Duplicate it by dragging it on the “create new layer icon” on the bottom right. Now lock the upper group and select the bottom one. Switch the fill color to none and go to Object>Live Paint>Make.
Start coloring with the Live Paint Bucket tool (K)
If you’re not satisfied with the color result (I wasn’t!), select everything and click on the recolor artwork icon. Then press edit in the pop up window and change the colors.
This is my work fully colored in Illustrator. Save it as a png image (to preserve background transparency).
Create a new document in Photoshop. Add a radial gradient from a light blue (#b7e2ed) to a darker one (#82b3c0), and paste in the illustration.
We could stop here, but I like to texturize my work (maybe a lot!). If you want an example of how to perfectly combine vectors with textures, give a look at this poster illustration realized by Von Glitschka. Download this grunge texture from Bittbox, paste it into the Photoshop document and set the layer to screen (black will disappear). Done!
This is an easy illustration, but the focus of this tutorial is the technique. I hope it will be useful for your next project!
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