How to make my vectors more organic? Or not vectors at all?


richpip

New Member
Hi,

I've been playing around with Illustrator to turn my doodles into vectors. I tried using Photoshop to begin with (for some coloured images) but I couldn't get the result I was after which is to get my lines looking solid without my illustrations looking too clip-arty (which was the result I was getting when I had tried Inkscape in the past for vectors). I have downloaded a trial of Illustrator. For the most part, I am pretty happy with the results I am getting on my black and white illustrations, for which I have been using the 'Sillouhettes' preset, although there are some images which have a more 'scribbled' style which are coming out okay, but not quite perfect. As for my coloured work, I can't seem to be able to vectorise (is that a word?) the illustrations without them looking very unnatural. Does anyone have any tips on how I can achieve this? I want a vector style but still want my work to look organic and not over-edited.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Depends on complexity of images

I'd recommend getting a free month with what was Lynda.com https://www.linkedin.com/learning/subscription/products?trk=sem_ldctest2lillp_learning
Which is now linkedin learning.

 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
It's difficult for us to comment and advise unless we see the kind of result you're after. Can you attach a sample of one of your
illustrations and a sample of the kind of thing you want to achieve?
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Those look ok, what effect are you trying to achieve, is there a reason you need them as vectors?
Are you wanting to reproduce those exactly?
 

richpip

New Member
Here's a couple of examples of what I'm aiming for (I realise my illustrations aren't as technical as these). As for colour examples, I can't find any at present, but essentially just want to achieve the same effect, but with colours instead of black and white, if that makes sense.
 

Attachments

richpip

New Member
The reasons I was heading towards vectors are because I couldn't seem to achieve the same results in PS with non-vector techniques. Vectors seem to give me the closest to what I am aiming for. I don't want something overly rough, but nor do I want something overly polished. I want my lines to be consistent in shade (I did some colour stuff which I can't seem to upload due to file size, for example, which I edited with PS and you could see where I had gone heavier with my pen, which I want to eliminate).

I also want to make prints/pin badges/tshirts. I don't think I need vectors for that, but something to consider I guess.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
It is possible you could use those drawings as they are, scan them properly, and clean them up in Photoshop to get the desired solid black line.

You could then either colour them in Photoshop or Live Trace and colour them in Illustrator (quick but not easily editable). Or you could redraw them in Illustrator,
which will take a long time and you may not get your organic look.

I use Photoshop 90% of the time, purely because it's what I'm used to, but also because I make sure my linework is the best I can make it before I scan it in. You'll need a
decent scanner and a flat image, and ideally a graphics tablet.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Just a thought, if you're fairly new to both Photoshop and Illustrator, you may find you're better off with Affinity, so check that out.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
As @Wardy says.

People will often skip between Illustrator and Photoshop.
Usually Illustrator to create the image and then take it into Photoshop to add any subtle effects.

Affinity Designer has both built in as vector and pixel persona and you can flip between the two with the click of a button.
 

richpip

New Member
Thanks both. I will look into Affinity. I was just working on a piece and ended up skipping back and forth between PS and Illustrator. Mainly to speed things up because I know my way around PS better.
 

richpip

New Member
Have either of you used Affinity? Interested to know how you feel it compares to Adobe, both in terms of UX and end results. Just looking at it now, and it does look like it might be more suitable for my needs, and much more affordable too.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I've only had a brief go but I found it to her very similar to Illustrator and others say so too.
I've only heard positive things from anyone that have.
There are a few things that work differently but there are lot's of tut's and walkthroughs on YouTube to show the differences and get you around the user interface.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
I've not tried it myself but heard good things about it. I wish it had been around when I was starting out in the digital world,
but I'm maybe a bit too set in my ways now. I also use Live Trace a lot and Affinity doesn't have a similar function yet.
 

richpip

New Member
I've been reading up on it today. The fact that there's no live trace tool is a bit off-putting. As already mentioned, I am still determining whether vectors are right for my illustrations. I guess the best thing is to download the trial and have a play.

I have also been considering a new scanner for a few reasons. I have a CanoScan Lide 200 which I bought secondhand to get me going. However, when I was at uni 6 years ago I remember scanning some illustrations and getting a much better result. I can't remember what scanners they had now, but for example, I was able to get away with not vectorizing my illustrations by turning up the contrast, etc, as opposed to with the CanoScan where I need to vectorize to get a decent result. The CanoScan is just an A4 scanner too, and I feel an A3 scanner may be useful. Any tips on scanners? Would upgrading make a significant difference? If so, any recommendations on affordable, quality scanners?
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Just go for a decent brand and the best you can afford, but you don't need to spend a fortune on a scanner. I've had an Epson Perfection for a few years now,
probably cost around £150, been excellent. I wouldn't bother with an A3, I scan A2 sized originals sometimes on my A4 scanner and just stitch them together in Photoshop.

Don't get hung up on Live Trace, it's just a handy tool. If I were you I would either just concentrate on getting neater originals in the first place to scan in, or get the hang of
the tools in Affinity or whatever, and see which are going to give you the desired result. If you're drawing digitally you will need a graphics tablet of course, unless you choose
the vector route, in which case a mouse and pen tool will suffice.
 
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