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EDD Presents: The Process (O_U Wu-Mix) From Sketch to LineArt

In case you've ever wondered how to turn a sketch into digital lineart...

a quick time lapse of vector line art created over a sketch

What Is Vector Line Art?

“...These lines maintain their sharpness even when added to lower resolution images.”

Vector lines (line art) are lines that we work with digitally in programs like Adobe Illustrator; (not so much Photoshop). These lines maintain their sharpness (don't become pixelated) even when resized, or added to lower resolution images.

Why Create Using Vector?

If you plan on creating logos/graphics that don't become pixelated, vector is the way to go. It shows up clean and is easy to duplicate + color digitally. They also work well for screen printed t_shirts.

Keys To Creating Line Art...

1) Feel.

Put the time in to develop feel. This will help you determine what works best for you as you get the hang of how these tools work together.

2) Connect The Lines.

Connecting each line (vs.creating full shapes) will help set up for the next phase... coloring/color blocking; (which we like to use the Live Paint Bucket Tool for, but there is more than one way).

3) Enjoy The Process.

Don't stress, stay loose and enjoy figuring out what works for you.

Basic Tools For Creating Vector Line Art In Illustrator...

There are many updated versions of Adobe Illustrator; but these highlighted tools below are the essentials found in most older (if not all) version of Illustrator.

00:44 Pen Tool (P)

Trace Sketch (Creating Vector Line Art)

Is the primary tool used to trace over a sketch, creating vector line art.

1:13 Selection Tool (V)

Select Lines/ Shapes

Usually I use this when I want to duplicate a line. V to short cut select, then option (+shift) click + drag out the way; before selecting to drag back in the same area to use differently. Most often it's for creating a stitch to go along the same line, as seen in this portion of the video.

2:15 Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C)

Bend/Sharpen Anchor Points/Lines

This tool is used to either sharpen anchor points, by clicking; or it can be used to smooth out a point by clicking + dragging to bend the anchor point into a curve.

2:24 Direct Selection Tool (A)

Select/Drag Anchor Points

By direct selecting an anchor point you are able to drag the handles from the point in order to edit the curve precisely, as you trace over your masterpiece.

Also with this tool, you are able to select lines/shapes individually; without selecting the entire group.

2:51 Scissors Tool (C)

Divide Vector Lines

As you may have guessed, the scissors tool is used to divide vector outlines.

2D In The Growing Age Of 3D...

Although 3D is considered more visually pleasing + is becoming more accessible, vector line art is still the preferred method for an efficient way to communicate with factories in 2D. Even with 3D, factories will still ask for vector files for project tech packs.

(Behind The Design...)


The design you see in the video was inspired by the game of pool; or more accurately by a pool guru I consider a close friend; Bluehand McGill (you will learn more over time).

From it's low to the ground feel, to the shape of a 9 ball rack for lateral support. This was an early concept that was conjured up back in 2018, that I would like to revisit in the near future.

We'll keep you posted. In the meantime enjoy the process of creating your line art; each time is new learned information + repetition.



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