Cute Furry Creatures in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Cute Furry Creatures in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Cute Furry Creatures in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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5 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Graphic Design for Lunch Create Cute Fury Creatures Introduction

      1:30
    • 2. Pt 1 Create the fur

      7:10
    • 3. Pt 2 Create the face

      7:42
    • 4. Pt 3 Add the hands and background

      8:37
    • 5. Project and wrapup

      1:24
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn to create a cute furry creature in Illustrator. You will learn a technique for creating faux fur that won't slow your computer right down and you'll learn handy tips and techniques you can use in other projects too. 

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4 Exotic Patterns in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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4 Illustrator Shading Techniques in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

5 Cool Text Effects in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

5 Hexagon Patterns in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Cutout Text Effects in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Graphic Design for Lunch Create Cute Fury Creatures Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, Create Cute Furry Creatures in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic design for lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and working with applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Now today's project is all about fun and we're going to create a cute little furry creature. We're going to learn how to make the fur and we're going to learn how to make it in a way that isn't going to stop your computer in its tracks and have Illustrator crash left, right, and center. The techniques that you'll learn in this video will be applicable to other projects at other times. Now as you're watching these videos, you are going to see a prompt which will ask if you would recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, would you do two things for me. Firstly, answer yes that you would recommend this class, and secondly, write even in just a few words, why you're enjoying the class. These recommendations help other students to say that this is the class that they too might enjoy and learn from. Now if you see the follow link on the screen, click it to keep up to date with my new classes as they're released. If you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. So if you're ready, now let's get started on today's dose of cuteness and create a furry creature here in Illustrator. 2. Pt 1 Create the fur: To create our fairy creature will start with a brand new document. I'm making mine fairly small. It says 1200 by 1200 pixels in size. I am working in RGB color mode. I'll click Create. Now we'll start with a circle so I'll go to the ellipse tool, hold the Shift key as I drag out a smallish circle. I'll remove the stroke and I'm going to fill it with a gradient. Now to find a gradient to use, we'll open the Swatches panel, click the fly-out menu, choose Open Swatch Library, and then select Gradients and Sky, and we'll use about the fourth to last gradient here, it's called Sky 21. When I click it, it's added to the swatches panel and the shape that was selected is now filled with that gradient. We'll open the gradient panel here and rotate the gradient to 90 degrees. Yellow at the bottom and blue at the top. It's also possible to adjust these colors a little bit by just dragging on the sliders. I'd like a little bit more yellow, so I'll just adjust that slightly. Go to the Selection tool hold Alt on a PC option on a Mac and drag a second circle away from the first and then alter, drag on it again and create one in the middle, the middle one you're going to size to a larger size. Select either all three of them and just line them up using the horizontal align center option here. If you don't see them, you could use the align panel here and of course, any of these panels, if you can't see them on your screen, you can always get to them by choosing the Window menu. We're going to make a blend from the shapes, so we'll go to the blend tool, click first on this shape, then on the second shape, and then on the third shape. Now you may or may not see things exactly as I'm seeing them on my screen. That doesn't matter. Simply double-click the blend tool to get access to the blend options, turn preview on and choose specified steps and we'll increase the number of steps. Each one of these steps is going to become a furry element later on. I'm using something like 12 or 13. I'll click OK. For the body of the furry creature, I'll use a longish Ellipse. Select the direct selection tool here and target the anchor point at the very bottom of the Ellipse and just drag it up. The shape of the animal or the furry creature is going to be something like a flattened egg. With the selection tool select over both the blend and the shape and we'll replace the spine the moment that blend has spine, that's a straight line. We're going to use this shape as the spine for the blend, choose object and then blend replace spine. There is a slight problem with this and the problem is that when you put a blend on a closed path, it doesn't join up, but it would join up if this were an open path. We'll go to the scissors tool and locate the anchor point at the very top of this egg shape and click once, and that just cuts the path at that point. The result is that the blend now goes perfectly around the path. The path or the spine is still selected so if you need to make any alterations to it, you can do so now. Just going to even this up a little bit to make the bottom of the shape a little bit flatter. Now that it has some blend applied to it. If we have a look in the last panel, we can see what's happening here. What we have is a blend. We've got a spine and the three ellipses that make up this blend. Now in other videos that you might see, for example, on YouTube for creating this fairy effect, most people will go ahead and create the fairy effect on this blend. The problem with that is that it will slow down your computer and the end result of what you create is going to be a little bit different. The method I'm going to show you is going to break the circles out so that we have individual circles and we'll apply our rough and effect to those. The end result will be a little bit different. It's probably a little bit more manageable, and it's certainly going to result in a far less overhead on your computer. What we'll do is go to the Selection tool and select everything. You want to have the last panel open so you can see what's happening. We'll choose Object and Expand Appearance. You'll say that practically nothing has happened here. We're still going to blend, we still got the spine, we still got the ellipses. We'll do that again object on Expand Appearance is no longer accessible but expand is. So click Expand. Now you don't want to expand your fills, so disabled that, that's really important. You just want to expand the object. What that will do is break this blend out and we're just going to end up with a whole series of circles. I'll click OK. Now we have a group and the group is a whole series of circles and every single one of those circles is filled with a gradient. Very simple documents structure here. I'm going to break these out of the group by choosing Object Ungroup. In this layer now, I just have lots and lots of circles. At this point we're going to apply the effect that's going to give us the resemblance of fur. With everything selected, we'll choose Effect and then Distort and Transform and Roughen. Turn preview on. You will use very high values for size and detail. You could start at, for example, 50 percent on size and around 50 per inch on detail and that's going to give you the resemblance of fur. You can increase this a little bit if you want to have an even spikier, but just choose something that looks good to you and click OK. The result of this is that we have a layer and applied to the layer is this rough and effect. Well, we want to break that out again. What we want to do is end up with paths that are a series of spiky circles, every one of which has a gradient applied to it. With everything still selected, we'll choose Object expand appearance. Now we have a whole series of little spiky objects, each one of which is filled with a gradient. I'm just going to drag one out of the way so you can see what they look like. Now we've got the basic fur. We're ready to go ahead and to create our furry animal and we'll do that in the next video. 3. Pt 2 Create the face: Before we begin creating the features for our character, let's go and save the colors from this gradient. So select any of these objects. So you have the gradient fill visible. Go to the swatches panel and click here on new color group. You'll choose selected artwork. There's no need to convert process to global or to include swatches for tints. But we can click okay and that will give us the three colors from the gradient. That will give us access to them if we want to use them in the design. I'm going to make a duplicate of this last. So I have two lots of this fur. What I'll do is I'll sandwich the face of the character between these two layers. I'm going to lock down the back one so that it won't move. But I can alter the top one. I'll add another lab, but I'm going to place this one in-between the two fur layers so that the face will be covered on the top by the fur. Let's turn that allow off so we can't see it right now as we work on the face. Now the face is going to be built from an ellipse so I'll drag out an ellipse on the document here. Let me make sure I've got that layer selected and let's just drag out our ellipse, place it in position. I'm moving it by holding the space bar as I adjusted position. It's filled with the gradient, but we can get access to those gradient colors through this panel here, because we saved those colors. If you want this color, but perhaps the less saturated or more saturated version of it, just select the color and then double-click on it and you can adjust it. I'm going to make mine a little bit lighter and brighter. All-day select that selection because now I'm ready to put my eyes in. I'll go to the blob brush. The blob brush is a nice handy brush for this. But you will want to make sure that nothing is selected when you select the blob brush. I'll go for black and I'm going to increase the brush size by pressing the close square bracket K. If you don't have access to that doesn't work or whatever, double-click the blob brush tool and you can adjust the size here, but I'm able to do that here. I'm going to add in a couple of large eyes. Then if you want to add some freckles, use the open square bracket K to size the brush down and then you can just add a few little spots in around the face. I'll zoom into an area over here so I can build the mouth. The mouth is going to be built from an ellipse. I'll drag out a tall-ish ellipse. I want it to be filled with black and have no stroke at all. I'll go to the ellipse tool again and this time I'm going to drag an ellipse over the top of this one because I want to keep this area down here, but remove the area at the top, selecting both of these ellipses. I'll go to the pathfinder. Again, you can get to that by choosing window and then pathfinder. In this case, I'll choose minus front because this is the front pace we want to subtract it from the back pace and that leaves us with this mouth shape. I'll click away from the shape because I don't want anything selected because I'm about to change my fill color. I'm going to change it to a pink color. Grab the ellipse tool again, drag out a circle. I'm going to place this just either the bottom edge of the mouth, but not symmetrical. I don't want it to be exactly over the bottom. I'm going to select both of these shapes, and this time I'm going to use a command and the pathfinder that will divide. I want this pace and this pace and this pace all to be separate. From the pathfinder palette, I'll click here on divide. Now, I can go to the group selection talkers. These shapes are all going to be in a group. Click away from the shapes and then click on just this piece here because I don't want it any longer and I'll press delete and that leaves me with a shape that is my mouth shape. I can now bring it over and place it in position. If it needs to be a little bit bigger, I can drag on its corner handle to size it in proportion. Control or command zero just zooms back out so that I can see the product that I have so far. We'll put the fur back on and you can see the immediate problem is that the top layer of fur is covering up the face. Well, let's lock down the face for now and let's see if we can do a little bit of work on the fur. I'm going to enlarge it a little bit and then I'm going to come in here and start pulling away. I'm most concerned about the fur that is actually over the face. So that's going to be in this area here. I'm just looking to move it out of the way and start revealing the face. If you think there's too much, you can always just delete any access. So just press the delete key if you need to get rid of some fur that's right in the wrong position. You can also scale down these furry objects if they're too big. Some of them are pretty big here. Because we've got the bottom layer of fur already locked down, we're not making any changes to it. The only fur that we are having any effect on is the fur above the creatures face. So there is quite a bit of fur underneath this that is maintaining the body shape of the animal. All we're doing is really just trying to reveal its face, but to keep it looking as cute as possible, we don't want to get rid of too much of this fur. We just want to sort of frame the face in fur, if you like. I'm going to speed up the video as I continue to just work on this top layer of fur, until I have a result that I like. Then the next video, we're going to finish off with the hands and we're also going to create a background for it and some lighting effects. If you need to soften the edge of the face, if you've got problems with the face at any point, you can always just squash one of these fur elements up just to be able to get it close enough to the face to soften the effect around the face. So you don't want to say that hard edge of that ellipse if you can possibly help it. You can also duplicate shapes by holding the alt or option key as you duplicate them, that will allow you to fill in little spots if you want to with some additional fluffs of fur. Because we've used a linear gradient on the shapes, just rotating a shape around is going to send a different color to the top so you can create this little spiky, almost mohawk effects with a slightly different color by copying a shape and then just rotating it. 4. Pt 3 Add the hands and background: Now the creature's hands are going to go on the same layer as the face, but I'm probably going to build them just over the edge here where it's a little bit easier to see. I'm going to keep a little bit of the creatures face in the field of vision so I know how to scale it. I'll use the pencil tool for this, I'll target the pencil tool double-click on it just to see what the settings are. I'm going to back off the smoothness just a little bit. I do want Illustrator to smooth out my pencil lines, but not totally smooth them out. So that's a pretty good setting here. I have kept selected and closed paths when ends are within 20 pixels and edit selected paths within 20 pixels all set up. That's a fairly good setting for the pencil tool. I'll click "OK." I'm going to draw out a long arm and then I'll draw out the thumb, and then the hand. If you don't like the effect that you've created with the pencil tool you can delete it and start again, because we have our pencil tool line selected, we can also just re-draw it. I'm going to draw it up a little bit square at the end here. Just go over it with the pencil tool and it's re-drawn for you. I'll go to the selection tool and let's go and get the color from the face because that's going to be the color we'll use for the hand. Now I want to put some claws on here, so I'll do those with a triangle. I'll go to the polygon tool, click once in the document, make a three-sided figure. Ignore the radius, just do whatever it is that Illustrator is going to give you, because the radius is a very weird value for triangles. Going to size this down and make it black. It has no stroke. I'll rotate it around because I want it to attach to the hand here and I'm going to put three across, so I'm going to size them down. They're roughly going to fit across the hand. I still think it's a little bit big. Once I've done one, I'll alter option drag and other one away and Alt or Option Drag and third one away and just position them over the top of the hand. You can nudge them into position with the arrow keys if you need to. Quite sure what happened there. Let's just go and put that back. I'm going to grab all three of these claws, I'm going to group them with object group, then I'll place this behind the hand. I'll choose object, arrange, send backward, and then we'll just put the claws behind the hand, grab everything and group that. Now I can zoom back out and place the hand in position. If I need to, I can increase the size of it. Looks like I've built up on the wrong layer, so it's exactly what I've done. So let me just cut this. I'm going to select it and choose edit cut, and let's go to the face layer, target it and choose "Edit paste." Now it's on that layer, it's a better place for it. Because then it's going to be underneath the fur. I haven't selected, so I am just going to start moving it using the keyboard until I can see it clearly to select it. Then just re-size it or rotate it as you need to. Once you've got this one correctly in place, hold the Alt key on a PC, option on a Mac and just drag a second copy over the other side. Choose object transform reflect, we're going to reflect it across the vertical when we preview, you'll say that the thumbs are right way up and it's been flipped or clicked "OK." That gives us a second hand for this side of the furry creature. Let's just rotated into a slightly different position. You can fine tune that as much as you need to. But let's have a look at the finishing touches. The finishing touches, I'm going to add a gradient behind everything. Let me just close up these layers and let's add another layer to the document and place it behind absolutely everything. We'll go to the rectangle tool with this layer selected and create a rectangle that is 1200 by 1200 pixels that's the size of the art board I created. To position it immediately over the art board, go to the selection tool, open up the align panel, display the options for the align panel by clicking this little icon here and choose "Align to art board." Then if you click "horizontal align center" and "vertical align center," it will be aligned to the center of the art board. Now, black is not a happy color here, so let me just fill it with the gradient that we've been using. Then let's go to the gradient tool will turn it into a radial gradient. I'm going to pull this stop off the end and then move the middle stop out to the end. Then let's go and get the gradient tool and drag this because I want a lot more yellow behind our creature than I had previously with just a little bit of blue in the corner areas, perhaps. Just fine tuning this gradient to suit. Now it's possible to blend this rectangle in a little bit by selecting the rectangle and just decrease the opacity. That's going to lighten the background effect just a little bit, if that looks better to you. Now for a finishing touch, I want to add a couple of little light spots, and I'm going to do that with an ellipse. I'll go to the Ellipse Tool, still working on this layer, this very back layer of the document hold the Shift key as I drag out a small ellipse. It's filled with the gradient, but we're just going to make a quick adjustment to the gradient here. We'll click on this last stop and set the opacity to zero. What we're doing is fading this gradient out to zero. I'll just adjust it across so that we have a literal light spot. All this is doing is giving us a very small light spot. Now I'm saying it's got a slight blue edge around it. I'm going to select over the shape and let's go to the gradient tool. Lets just pull this gradient out a little bit, so it's more yellow and a little less blue on the edge, and let's just test that. That's looking much better. Now, I'll Alt or option drag this to create a second ellipse and just scale it down a little bit. Now we can just drag copies of these ellipses to different places on the document just to add a little bit of light. Now I discovered this lighting effects, those making these little furry creatures, and I wanted to post an image of one to Instagram. I was about to shoot it with the iPhone off the screen of my Mac, I was seeing the reflection of lights that were overhead from where I was sitting, reflecting in the Mac screen and the quality of the image wasn't going to be very good. But I saw those little lighting effects and thought, that's really cute. I really wanted to be able to do something like that here and just get some nice little spotlighting effects. That's what we're going to do. We're just trying to get little spotlights around the creature. If you want to add a little bit of movement to this, you could do so. So go to the pencil tool and then go back to the swatches panel and pickup the sky 21 gradients. It's just a plain linear gradient. Makes sure that this gradient is on the line and not on the fill, and here you can just add a few little motions. I'm just going to increase the line weight here, and you can say what the Pencil tool has done. It's just added a little bit of movement. Once you set that up, you could add a few other little movements. Again on that layer to suggest that this creature is really quite happy. 5. Project and wrapup: Your project for this class will be to go ahead and create your own furry creature here in Illustrator. Create the fur, create the face, create those two layers, move the fur on the top layer around until you get a result that you like. Add a background, add some movement, and just have fun with this. This is a nice cute little project, teaches a few techniques. At the end of it, I think you've got something that was well and truly Instagrammable. It would be lovely to see you sharing these finished projects on Instagram, particularly since this one is just so cute. I hope that you've learned things about Illustrator in this class of which you were previously unaware. If you did enjoy the class and when you see a prompt which asks if you would recommend it to others, please would you do two things for me. Firstly, answer yes that you would recommend it to others. Secondly, write in just a few words why you're enjoying this class. These recommendations help other students to say that this is the class that they too might enjoy and learn from. If you see the follow link on the screen, click it to keep up to date with my new classes as they're released. If you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of graphic design for lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.