Monday illustration tips, tutorials

  • Scott Hansen has created a tutorial (with source files) demoing the techniques used to create a Dylan poster homage.
  • Heh–I had no idea that it’s possible to designate a “key object” in Illustrator & align objects to it. Check out Terry Hemphill’s quick tip to learn more.
  • The Chopping Block does symmetry with these Illustrator reflection templates. (Illustrator’s combo of live effects + the ability to target anything from individual paths to groups to layers is enormously powerful–and woefully underused. The Appearance panel in CS4 makes things much easier, but I find that many artists just won’t make the cognitive leaps necessary to harness this power.)
  • PSDTUTS shows how to create insectoid 3D text using Photoshop + Cinema 4D.

4 thoughts on “Monday illustration tips, tutorials

  1. The appearance palette is one of the most powerful things about Illustrator, and it’s a shame that it’s so clunky and obscure. I’ve been using it for years, and every time I show it to someone they say “WHOA! REALLY??” Literally NOBODY knows about it. Even most Illustrator “teachers” don’t really know what it can do.
    I wish AI would bring appearances to center-stage, and make them a more integral part of the interface/illustrator experience. And the functionality should be hugely expanded!

  2. Exactly the same live auto-updating refection can also be done in Photoshop. With Smart Objects: Two INSTANCES of the same Smart Object, one flipped. The reflected object can then be seperately color blanced (adjustment layers using a clipping group), distorted and then masked. Changing the contents of either instance with a simple command S updates the whole image.
    Talk about cognitive leaps – perhaps its best if I make no comment

  3. Pretty nice on the reflection thing. I’m a huge Appearance user but didn’t know Transform could be an Appearance. I’ve used the ‘key object’ method for awhile — I discovered it when I accidentally clicked on an already-selected object and noticed it’s select-outline got suddenly fat. I guess accidental feature discoveries should be published as tips.

  4. You’re absolutely right about Illustrator’s Appearance panel. (I use it, but not enough.) If the Appearance panel got the prominence of Dreamweaver’s property inspector, maybe it would be used to greater potential.

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