The Wait is over! This is Dirty: From Sketch to Vector Illustration Video Tutorial is Here!

From Sketch to Vector Illustration Video Tutorial

The wait is finally over.

The long awaited, highly anticipated video tutorial by Cleveland brand design services guru & Go Media President William Beachy, is finally here. Based on his wildly popular blog post, From Sketch to Vector Illustration, “This is Dirty: From Sketch to Vector Illustration Video Tutorial,” is an intimate look into Bill’s design process.

{Whoops! Somehow missed the popular “From Sketch to Vector Illustration post? Check it out here.}

“This is Dirty,” is a compilation of all Bill has learned over twenty years as an illustrator, designer and entrepreneur.

I want it now.

You’ll spend an intimate 1 hour, 11 minutes with Bill, pouring over an illustration he has created specifically for this tutorial. Bill gives you a raw, rare look into his process from start to finish. Giving away all of his secrets, tips, tricks and talents, Bill shares the resources you’ll need to follow along and includes the following recommendations/information:

Supplies
The Staedler Mars mechanical pencil and sharpener
Eraser of choice
The pros and cons of hard vs. soft lead
Preferred paper type

Drawing (Pencil Sketch)
Getting into the right head-space
Getting your arm loose
Why starting with rough sketches is so important
Getting started
Having proper expectations of yourself
Being flexible while drawing
Drawing using basic geometrical shapes
Drawing the human face
Developing a series of cheats to draw
Shading – how much black vs. white
Using reference materials

Scanning
Equipment specifications
Scanning specifications

(Vector) Inking
Equipment and software specifications
Dell(PC) vs. Apple
Mouse vs. Wacom
Nodes and bezier lines
Setting up your layers
Setting up gradients and picking colors
Inking options
Creating shapes in Illustrator
Cross hatching

Coloring
Photoshop vs. Illustrator
Setting up your layers
Process strategy
Highlights and secondary light source
Adding Shadows
Adding a texture

What you receive with the download:

  • Extended Tutorial (MP4 Video)
  • Blue Concrete Square texture (jpeg)
  • This is Dirty Illustration (pencil art)
  • This is Dirty Illustration Version 1 (jpeg)
  • This is Dirty Illustration Version 2 (jpeg)
  • This is Dirty Illustration – Final (AI File)

Yes. Let’s do this!

We can’t wait to see what you create! Share your work with us over at our Flickr Pool Showcase.

Top Graphic Design Tutorials: Improve Your Skills Now

Top Graphic Design Tutorials:
a Quick Guide by Your Friends at Go Media

Welcome to the Go Media’s Zine!

Are you a passionate creative, student, designer, entrepreneur?

You’re in the right place.

Inside you’ll find the tools you’ll need to successfully do what you love. We’ll share real-world practical advice, solid business techniques, step-by-step tutorials, as well as educational podcasts and webinars to take you to the next level.

Our Cleveland based graphic designers give all of our secrets away and cultivate an open environment for the sharing of insights and inspiration.

Join us.

When you’re ready, we would also love for you to be a part of our community. Please comment on posts, become an active member of our social media community and/or email to find out ways you can contribute your own designs or tutorials to the GoMediaZine.

Quick Guides

With hundreds of posts in our archives sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. Our Start Here page is a great place to get started. This page holds 7 quick guides to becoming the creative you’ve always dreamed you’d be. You’ve landed on one of these lists so let’s get started, shall we? Read on to learn how you can:

Improve Your Skills
1. From Sketch to Vector Illustration
2. Aged Type Effect in Photoshop (w/Ps Action)
3. Intricate Patterns in Illustrator
4. Vintage Typography Tutorial
5. Create 3D objects in Cinema 4D from vector art
6. Tutorial: How to Design and Print Custom Silk Screen Die-Cut Stickers
7. Collaboration! Two samurai (artists) are more powerful than one.
8. Easy to accomplish VSCO Cam effect in Photoshop
9. Screen-Printed Movie Poster Tutorial by Pale Horse
10. Go Media’s Rapid Fire Illustration Technique
11. Thick Line Art: Creating Iconic Vector Art
12. The Lost and Taken Poster: A case study and texturing tutorial
13. Illustration Tutorial: “The Man Who Knew It All”Technical Process & Design Philosophy
14. Typography Tutorial: The Soul in the Machine – Adding Glitch Techniques to Your Work
15. Easy to Accomplish VSCO Effect in Photoshop
16. Distressing Techniques in Adobe Illustrator
17. How to Set Up Your Wacom for Awesome Results
18. Comic Book Style Graphic Design
19. Create a Dream Design with 3D Typography
20. Gigposter Design: The New Sex
21.  Old School Type – Line Gradients
22. How to Create Explosive Typographic Effects in Cinema 4D

Create A Vector Art Twitter Bird Character Icon In Adobe Illustrator

twitter-bird-final-preview

Twitter is quite a social media juggernaut as of late. It’s getting to the point that one has to have a Twitter account. And what good is a Twitter account without a link to it? And what better way to link to your Twitter account than with a cool blue bird character illustration? This tutorial will walk you through the steps from sketch to vector in creating an original cartoon-style character vector illustration.

I currently work in Adobe Illustrator CS4, but most of the steps here can be retro-fitted to earlier version of Adobe Illustrator — or to alternate vector art graphics software. This tutorial also assumes you have a working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, the basics of creating vector paths using the pen tool, and the basic vector art tools. What follows is a walkthrough of a method to go about creating cartoon-style illustrations in vector art giving them a clean, yet hand-drawn look. Hold on to your Beziér curves, and let’s get started…

10 Tips to avoid designer’s block.

title image for avoiding designers block Ever feel like some days you can crank out amazing looking designs with little effort? Then on other days it feels like nothing is working, you’ve lost all your talent and you’ll never make another good design for the rest of your miserable life? Don’t panic – this is

Jeff’s Moleskine Round 2

Here we are again with another round of scans from my Moleskine. Not much to say about these other than I was just having some fun drawing skulls and things. I was using just a regular ball point pen, which to my surprise, works great in these books. I think I’ll do so more often.

Details

So the last time we posted some of my sketches, fellow Cleveland designer Geoff May ask for some close-ups. So, these are for you Geoff! By the way, he has some of his own sketches to feast your eyes on.

Moleskine: The Artists’ Notebook

I’ve often felt product lust over those shiny Moleskine notebooks on the shelf in Borders, and this is why: guys like Jeff Finley use ’em – they must be good.

As I was flipping through the Moleskine that sits on Jeff’s desk here at Go Media, I thought you might like a peek at it too! Read on for scans of the first few pages of the notebook, and Jeff’s comments on his sketches.

Drawing Skulls with a Wacom Tablet

Essential Strategies to Inking Your Pencil Drawings

Essential Strategies to Inking Your Pencil Drawings

Ornate Lettering Process

stonesour-final.jpg

I’m going to show you the process as to how I do my ornate lettering. This is a new design I did for Stone Sour that utilized this technique. Now right off the bat, this is not a step by step tutorial. It’s more of a look behind the scenes into how I work. The very core of this process is having a solid drawing ability and a good understanding of letterforms, typography, spacing, composition, yada yada. Also, I assume you know your way around Illustrator, Photoshop, and 3D Studio Max. There is no simple process to this – so yep, that means it actually takes work! So for those of you who are only interested in a shortcut to get this look, you can probably just skip reading. Because there really isn’t anything short about this. It’s good old fashioned hand lettering that’s tweaked and finalized on the computer for a vector final result. Here is how I do it:

Process

Start with a Sketch:

Sketch

No of course, it took lots of bad sketches to get to this point. I probably went through about 4 or 5 sheets of paper with lots of various concepts. Once I had one I liked, I scanned it into the computer and placed it into Illustrator. Then I started creating my first letter using the Pen Tool.

Start Forming Letters with the Pen Tool using Sketch as Reference

adding cirlces to start off

I started placing basic geometric shapes (like circles) in place of where some of my major smooth curves are going to be. For me, it’s hard to get such perfect curves using the Pen Tool alone, so I give myself some help by putting circles in. I plan to clean this up later.

add more to S

You can see I started getting a little more detail in there. Just creating shapes with only the Stroke Color on and not the fill. I’ll use the Pathfinder tool and subtract or add shapes together as I need to. Again, I will clean up this mess as I go.

solids and subtract

I started making my letters solid fills now and used the subtract tool to knock out some of the circles.

cleaned up S

You can see now that the S is cleaned up. The basic form is down and I am happy with it. I will add more fancy frilly stuff to the S later. At this point, I move onto the other letters. I will skip some of the redundant steps, but I basically do the same thing. I trace out the shapes with the Pen Tool or use basic geometric primitives to give me a good base. And tweak and tweak. I’m not afraid to merge shapes together and then tweak the points.

Continue to build the rest of the letters

stone incomplete

Here is the rest of word Stone in its basic form. You can see each shape I created with the Pen Tool. Some of the perfect circular shapes were just circles that were merged with the other shapes.

stone complete

This is what the basic form of the word “stone” looks like. Let’s move on to the other letters.

stone sour blocked out

Adding Swashes

add swash

I added a swash underneath the letters to fill the negative space there and balance things out. I created this by making a custom brush in the shape of a tall triangle. This way the brush starts thick and ends in a point as it progresses down the path.

Adding Details

Now that all the basic letterforms are finished, now it’s time to add in details. Smaller swashes, frills, flourishes, ornaments, etc. These are kind of improvised based on what I’ve already created. I just eyeball it and see what might look good where. I might see an area that is begging me to put a flowery type shape there. Or a certain place that might look cool with an ornate swirl. I also duplicated my S and mirrored it and put it on the right side. I dressed it up with some cool detailing and arranged it in the piece until I was happy. This isn’t a science here, it’s just about what you think looks good. This is where I can experiment and I usually try some things that I don’t like and move things around until I am happy. This is my final piece after all the details were finished:

final vector shape

I think it looks very cool at this point, but I know there is more I can do to give it some extra kick. I will merge all the shapes into one path and import the path into 3D Studio Max. From there I can make it a solid 3D object and can get some cool effects that I cannot get in Illustrator. Well, it’s sort of possible with Illustrators 3D engine but in my opinion, it’s not as accurate and creates weird shapes. And I just like working in real 3D anyway.

Import paths into 3D Studio Max

3d Path

You can use whatever 3D program you want if you are trying this at home. But I grew up using 3DS Max. So here are my paths in 3D space. I set up a camera exactly how I want it, which is perfectly centered and in front of my object. I also moved it slightly down to sort of “look up” at my object from underneath – just a tad. This will give it more of a “big” feel.

Extrude the Shapes

3D extrude

I used the Extrude Modifier to give my text a 3D shape. In most cases I would use Bevel to give my shapes a more realistic edge to them (because real life objects always have at least some sort of bevel on the edges and are not perfectly flux together). Bevel gives edges an accurate highlight along them and can really add to the realism of the piece. But in this case, since our final output is vector and NOT a photo realistic 3D piece, extrude is the tool to use. So while extruding, I simply tweaked my settings to my liking. Now it’s time to choose my materials that will best help me export this beast in a format that I can live trace easily.

Extruded Shapes

Pick Materials

materials

I want my letters to be white and the sides of them to be black. This way the letters will really pop. To do this, I applied an Edit Mesh modifier to the stack and sleceted only the front faces of my letters. I made a material that was white and self illuminated. This is guaranteed to be white with no shadows. I applied this to my letter faces and then selected the inverse. As a result, everything else was selected. I gave the remaining selection a black material that was self illumincated to prevent any odd shadows or highlights from affecting my final output. This is good if you plan to live trace your 3D rendering which I am about to do.

Render a high res image

high res render

Once I have the materials applied the way I like them, I render out a high res image – usually bigger than 2500 pixels. This gives me a nice size image to live trace. Also, render using a TGA file extension with an Alpha Channel. This is so you can easily cut your image out of the background.

Live Tracing

Before I Live Trace in Illustrator, I must go into Photoshop and separate my colors. For the whites, I select my highlights and invert them and copy and paste the now “black” letters into Illustrator. They’re ready to be live traced. For the black shapes, it’s a bit different. I make a copy of my render layer and use it’s Alpha Channel to make a selection and delete the background away. I make a selection around my rendered image and fill it completely with black. Then I give it a good sized stroke to give it some extra thickness. Then I take that into Illustrator and live trace it using the default settings. Here are the two pieces as you see them in Illustrator after they have been live traced:

two separations

Final Result

final result

I hope you enjoyed a look behind the scenes into the creation of Ornate Lettering.

Here are some other examples using this technique or similar:

tough or suffer

alanjackson.jpg

dragonforce.jpg

kornbw.jpg

From Sketch to Vector Illustration

Hey everyone! Welcome back to Go Media’s Design Blog – where our talented graphic designers share their wisdom with our fellow artists. There has been such a wonderful response on my vector art tutorial “Beautiful Vector Illustration” that I thought I better write another one. If you recall in that tutorial I discussed how to create vector illustrations using photographs as your starting point. A technique of vector illustrating that takes a little bit more skill that I did not cover is starting with a hand drawn sketches. I will focus on that technique of vector illustrating for this tutorial.

For those of you without good sketching ability – please don’t jump ship just yet! I will also discuss a number of tips and techniques to using your pen tool that applies to ALL vector artists – so keep reading. You’ll still learn a thing or two. And who knows – maybe you try to sketch something anyway.

I am going to meander a bit between different sketches, but here is one example of a vector illustration that was based off of a sketch.

Mr Gnome Poster

This is a design our firm was hired to do for the rock band Mr. Gnome. The theme was straight forward,

Tutorial: Comic Book Style Graphic Design

Tutorial: Comic Book Style Graphic Design

Hey designers, want to meet the Go Media team? Attend our all-inclusive soul-fulfilling three-day design retreat, WMC: Off-The-Grid, this October 5 – 7th. To learn more, head to wmcfest.com.

We have often been asked the process by which we create our illustrated flyers and posters. I will try to give you a clear tutorial on how our Ohio graphic designers create our illustrations and turn them into flyers or posters. Our end product will be this flyer which was created for our recent Go Media Inc. art show:

Before I go into an insane amount of details I want to give you a quick snap-shot of the process:

  1. Draw with Pencil on Paper.
  2. Ink your penciled artwork.
  3. Scan your artwork at 300 dpi.
  4. Create a second copy of the artwork at 150 dpi.
  5. Create a color layer just under the artwork (set your artwork layer to multiply)
  6. Color your artwork.
  7. Delete the artwork layer, and return the color layer to 300dpi
  8. Open the original 300dpi artwork and paste it above the color layer.
  9. Flatten the image and save it.
  10. Import the image into your design software
  11. Add text and graphics
  12. Export the final design.

Step 1. Draw with Pencil on Paper. The very first step is the pencil drawing. I could write a novel about how to draw, but this tutorial will focus on the process of the steps it takes to go from pencil drawing to the finished, designed, commercial piece of artwork.

Tools you’ll need:

Paper: I use a plate finish Bristol. This type of paper is heavy enough