Digital Illustration: Apply Texture + Color to Photographs | Alexandra Coit | Skillshare

Digital Illustration: Apply Texture + Color to Photographs

Alexandra Coit, Educator + Designer

Digital Illustration: Apply Texture + Color to Photographs

Alexandra Coit, Educator + Designer

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6 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1 > Color Blocking

    • 3. Lesson 2 > Textures

    • 4. Lesson 3 > Shadows + Text

    • 5. Lesson 4 > Exporting Images

    • 6. Lesson 5 > Print Production

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About This Class


Learn to how turn your favorite photographs into a unique art print. The series of videos will walk through choosing the right photo to creating a final postcard product you can print and hang on the wall or send in the mail! The class assumes a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. 


M A T E R I A L S   N E E D E D

  • photograph
  • computer with Adobe Creative Suite

Meet Your Teacher

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Alexandra Coit

Educator + Designer


Influenced by an early career and education as an architect, I gravitate towards a technical understanding within any art project or design (especially in software programs like Adobe Illustrator) and my favorite medium is an excellent black ink pen and textured paper. I still get really excited to buy new pens and test out new paper or sketchbooks and will always love line drawings. Spending almost every weekend outside, typically in sleeping in a tent off the grid, I inevitably find an enormous amount of inspiration from my explorations. I am also terrified of rattle snakes.

I teach product design, architecture, and visual communication/graphic skills full time at the local state University and have a few online Skillshare classes; I hope to add several... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to the first series of turning photos in tow. Art. My name is Alexandra, and this is my first skill share course. I have worked professionally, but architecture and graphic design. It would like to share some skills and techniques I picked up along the way. In this course, I will walk through the steps to create a layered texture print using Adobe illustrator Photoshopped and in design. This is assuming students already know the basics of illustrator fund shop and in design. However, I will go through each tip and technique, but I like to use. Each one will walk away with a primitive format to turn dish will file into print ready product whether that be a postcard, a poster or rescission prints. Thanks for watching and I hope to see you in the course. 2. Lesson 1 > Color Blocking: Hello and welcome to Lesson one and photo art. Layered texture prints. In this lesson, we will be looking at color blocking. You could see here on my screen the final image with text textures and layers in less and one, we're going to end with a color blocking image looking something like this. So to begin, Open Adobe Illustrator and let's go to file new here. I'm going to name this lesson. One example. Please feel free to name it, whatever you'd like and then change the width and height to whatever aspect ratio you would like your image and hit. OK, so here we have a blank campus. I'm going to start by placing an image onto my canvas in Adobe Illustrator. So when you're choosing a photograph, be sure to keep in mind what the subject is. Is there a clear background, middle ground and foreground? And then, lastly, what do you want your final product to look like? Is it a portrait or landscape print? Um, we'll be on a poster or postcard, and what you bring that photo onto your blank canvas, adjust it where the art board line is inside the photo and you can see here. I'm cropping a little bit of the photograph out. Next, I usually go into layers and rename that layer the original image. I'm gonna make sure to lock it because that image is never changing. Were always referencing it, So have it all set up. We chose her photograph, and now it's time to start color blocking. If I go back to our end result. Today's lesson. You can see here that there's eight different colors. Feel free to use a variety anywhere from 4 to 50 colors. If you would like, however, keep in mind, that's probably simple to keep it within the 8 to 12 color range, depending on your photograph in what you would like it to look like. I want to start by creating a new layer. When I call her block. I like to think of the layers in the back layer to the front and foreground, so I'm gonna start with the sky. However, feel free to do whatever layer you'd like to first, and I can show you a way where you can change those later and adjust the image. See, you're always referencing the original image for each color blocked layer. So let me go over here. So my pencil and roughly trace where the sky is on the image. Being sure to go outside of this art board box so well in that sky layer and this pen is selected, I'm going to go to the original image and grab that color. You could do this in a couple different ways. This is my typical technique, Holmes. You can see here if I turn off original image. We have the sky as our color block right here. So next up, I'm going to do the trees. But what I like to dio is always drag the original image to the very top in place, the new layer above it. That way you're always referencing that photograph. We're gonna call this one trees, and I am going to quickly trace over them. Feel free to go really slow. Um, Zuman become a little bit more precise. Same technique. I'm just going to do this for the sake of time and teach you what it's about. We'll make sure toe loosely trace these trees, come back and go back to the image like we did last time and choose a green color. All right, so there's me trees. I turn off the image. I could see I have to color blocks right now so we could continue just dragging that original image up, creating a new layer above it, naming them in adding each color block one at a time. Right now, I'm going to the mountain in the back, and you can get his precise is you would like and see Mine is not why it exactly what's going on? Um, let's turn off the image. Actually set this one behind the trees. Right now we have her image gun and create a new layer. So continue this process with each layer, adding it above until you get something that looks like this and you can see here my photograph is on the very front still. Well, I saved it as my color blocking stage one. We can continue to save the same file, and all my layers are just separated by the color, which is my way of keeping the workflow and each layer separate. If I'd like to adjust it, One other trick, we go back to the lesson One example when I'm going through these and we go into these trees and I see that well, this little no, that's a little too loopy. I want to fix that. You go into your direct selection tool, then click on those control points. You have these little minor adjustments within Adobe Illustrator so you can go in if you loosely trace something and refine it a bit more. It depends if you want to take the load of work in the very beginning, tracing it accurately or if you want to go through and do some clean up after that image is already drawn, you can fix a few things in here that will change this one. So this is just another tool that I like toe refine it and perfect. What? What is showing when with the edges look like? All right, so that concludes Lesson one in color blocking. Save your file and I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Lesson 2 > Textures: Hello and welcome to photo toe art. Layered texture prints. In this lesson, we will be working on applying textures to our color blocked image. Could see here this is my image from lesson one of my color block photo with eight different hues on the screen. Gonna open that in a deadly Photoshopped. And we're going to slowly apply textures to each layer with the end result in this lesson looking something like this, after which we will continue on applying shadows and text and finalizing image for print production. So let's go ahead and open that color blocked image and create a new layer. The process for adding texture is adding these different layers for each color blocked area of a different blending mood and texture over that image. So what we're gonna do is create these new layers, bring in textures for each one, crop them down toe what that color is, for example, the green for the trees and look at the different blending mode options, how you can change the opacity and how you really adjust and refine each texture. So I'm gonna start by creating this new layer in placing one of my texture examples. I like to save a whole folder full of textures For these images. You can find them grunge layers online. Or you can take photographs of items around the house, such as the rough surface of a drywall or a pattern on the sheet. Somebody go ahead and place that layer and adjust it so it definitely covers the sky but look slightly the way I want it to soon noticed. When these images come in, none of them are rest arised. So we want to right click on the images and rast arise the layer. Next, I like to keep all my layers organized and named some of the name it sky in. Turn the layer off temporarily so I can grab exactly what the sky is so going down to my color blocked image. I like to use the magic wand tool to directly select that light blue hue. You can do this in a couple different ways, but this is the technique I have developed and find the fastest for my process. So now we're gonna go to the sky, select the inverse that layers turned on in delete the excess of that texture, right click de select it, and you can now see that I have that texture completely over laid on the sky layer. Next, we're going to apply a blending mode to that layer. So under this little arrow, there's several options from darkened multiply color burn all the way down to different lights, which is hard light, vivid light, linear light. I recommend going through playing, looking at what each one does when you can see here. I'll go through a couple that each layer really changes but look of the entire texture and I'm gonna go appeared a hard light. Lastly, for this layer, you can change the opacity, but either scrolling this little tab or clicking in the box and saying 80% so that's the first texture applied to the sky. Next wouldn't continue doing this through every single color in our color blocking image by adding a new layer, placing a texture, continuing the process of what I just showed you every single layer we're gonna place that Brassed arise it turning off in order to select the layer you want, select the inverse, delete the access, change the blending mode, try to find something you like and Lastly, adjust the opacity. Teach in every layer until it looks something like this. You can see here I have my color blocked image at the bottom. But I also copied it to put it on top just so you can see the difference of what the textures dio and how every single layer has its own Phil associated with it. That concludes. Lesson to in less than three will talk about shadows and applying text. See you in the next lesson. 4. Lesson 3 > Shadows + Text: welcome to lessen three and photos art layered texture prints. In this lesson, we're gonna work on applying shadows to all of our different texture layers and lastly, text on top of the image. So to begin, open your image and Dobie Photoshopped and go over here to the layer panel on the right to apply shadows. I'm gonna double click on each layer. For example, we're gonna go to trees and look at the layer style options. Click on drop shadow and go to that box. Highlight it. And you can change all the different options within that layer. So I'm gonna just the opacity and bring that down a little bit. Um, maybe the angle in the distance I usually don't mess with spread size or the quality, but feel free to make any adjustments to the default mood and drop shadow in push. Okay, you could see here the effects and drop shadow are within that tree layer. It could turn off in one that's applying depth to my image for the look, someone to go through and go toe each and every layer under the drop shadow and adjusted accordingly. Until I got an image that I like. It's important to keep each layer separate and save it at the end of this lesson so you can go back and adjust those different Photoshopped layers where the next lesson we're gonna learn how to flatten image and get it ready for print production. I always say this as a different file. Just so you have it for reference and can go back later if you need to change anything, someone, it continue going through all of my layers and at a little depth to everything. Okay, so now that I have applied shadows toe all layers, I wanted to drop a shadow for I am going to add a new layer on the very top. Then go over here to the tea from a text box. So I'm gonna drag the text up here and make it black. For now, you can see I have my phone option. What thickness it is the point size and couple alignment tools. You could also click on the character box for more options of Kern ing and adjusting the actual front. If you don't have this on the right, you goto window and make sure characters collect Next. I'm going to type into a text box The phrase that I used in my example. If you're familiar with John Muir, this is one of his famous quotes, and I'm going to use that for the sake of simplicity on this one image as an example, so you can add as many text blocks as you would like, or perhaps no text. If you'd like to keep the image simple, let me make a couple minor adjustments in alignment, and you could see I have my text here in the layers as well. That concludes Lesson three. Thanks for watching. 5. Lesson 4 > Exporting Images: welcome back to photo art, layered texture, prints in lesson. Or we're going to work on exporting that images. So they are already for print production to bring them into a doobie and design and send them to a printer to begin. We're gonna open the image that we have the end of Lesson three with our different shadow layers and textbooks so you can see here on the right my layer panel have all the different layers. Be sure to save this so you can go back and edit the layers later on before we flatten the image. It's the next step is we're gonna go down to any layer, right click and say, flattened the image. I usually go down to the bottom layer, but it doesn't matter. It will still flatten all of the visible images. If you have any hidden layers, it will asked, Discard hidden layers. You can go ahead and say Yes. So now we have this image as background. It's locked. You can always change that, but we want the flattened image ready for print ready file. So next we can go up to image and address the image size. So this is where you can change the width and height in the pixels resolution. I like to keep it. It gave me 100 pixels per inch. That's pretty high, just to keep it clear. And at the beginning of this exercise, when we started thinking about Okay, we're doing a poster or postcard greeting card. What sizes are end result? We all went through and and change. The size is appropriate. This is where you can adjust it. However, I would always recommend Skilling down and not up. So I'm going to keep this width and height. You could see here. It's about 12.5 by eight inches, which is fine. I want to make a nice little print and probably a postcard with this, so I'll make it even smaller. Um, but for now, I'm gonna keep the image like this larger in photo shop, and we're gonna go to file save as and look at all the different options here, someone to create a new folder under my still share class Final images. And when your name this image tunes image one. Next, I'm gonna go into the format. So here you have a couple different options. There's the Photoshopped files a couple different Photoshopped types within that and to image files that were going to use for this class. You can either DOJ peg or a tiff. I recommend doing it to files. The J Peg could degrade over time so you receive it as a tiff on your final images and no compression wouldn't leave. This is all the tip options. Then push. OK, so if I go into my desktop under sculpture class final images, I have my final image. This concludes lesson for, um flattening the image and getting it ready for print production. In the final lesson, we're going to open Adobe inside and figure out how to apply it ready to send to the printer. Thanks for watching. 6. Lesson 5 > Print Production: in the final lesson a photo art layer texture Prints were going toe work on print production in bringing those final images into adobe in design and getting it ready to send to a printer. So to begin, we're gonna open adobe in design and create a new document. It's when you open up a new document. You can change size. I'm gonna create something that is four by six inches. In order to create a small print or postcard, feel free to change whatever you would like in the width and height for the page size and say OK and create a new document. So now we have adobe in design open. I want to place the image into the box. However, I am going to use the rectangle frame tool to place the image so doesn't come into large, and I'm going to use the entire space of that four by six Image next. While that box is highlighted, I'm going to go to file place and bring in our final mountain calling image. So now you can see simple placing an image and Dobie in design, but the whole image is not showing a couple different things here, right click and go under fitting, and you can fill the frame proportionately, which will fill it. You can fit content proportionately, which my aspect ratio should be similar to four by six. However, sometimes you get a little white space, and then you could also change the frame to the content. However, I want to say Phil, frame personally just to make sure I'm getting all of the edges. And I have some different margins that were set by default Here. This is where you can adjust those, depending on what your printer may need. I'm going to keep it a full four by six and go to view screen mode preview. So this shows the actual final image without the white space around it, and that's what it's going to look like. It looks a little bit blurry. You can right click, go to display performance, high quality display. Um, this is just an option to change. What you're looking at on your screen is using less energy toe show the high quality in vaginal times. Okay, so I've pleased my image. It's in the frame that I wanted to use next. I want to go under the links and make sure to embed that image someone to go to the links. Right click and in bed Link. If you don't have the links over here again, you can goto window and make sure links is checked. So if I scroll over here, you can see the little embedded image tab. That's important. So if you ever open this file again in Adobe in design, that image will still be linked in within the file rather than exporting. All the different files has a separate folder. So to begin with saving it, we're gonna go under sculpture class, create a new quarter files and call this Coast Guard print one feel free to me that whatever you would like. Okay, so I have my debian design files saved here. Next, I want to look at exporting options. So a couple things that are really important when exporting to a printer. You want to talk to them beforehand about what kind of file? Usually they like a pdf one. X a 2001 will go through this and crop marks or bleed marks a lot of printers like a hunch bleed. If it's a full full picture like we have here, so I'll show you how we can change that. So I'm gonna go up to lay out margins and columns. And here you consume emergence. I could change it, Teoh. 1/4 of an inch everywhere, and it's linked by this little paperclip here. Oh, okay. Next I want to go in on and a document. So under file documents set up, you get a box that looks like this. And here you can change the bleeding. The slug. I'm going to change the bleed. Teoh. An eighth of an inch everywhere. So this automatically linked it. Then push. OK. And I want to go back to view screen mode. Normal. So now I have a red box around it. I want to be sure to drag my picture out that box. So you're setting up your document. You can do this in the beginning, or you can add this later. Get your image and see what it looks like. See if you want to change anything and then come back and change these bleed settings. Someone, a right click fitting still frame proportionally go outside. And so now it's going to the full bleed of eighth manage outside this black box. That's my final print. So I'm gonna go back to view and screen mode preview. Now, you can see what part of images cropped here. You can get your direct selection tool the white arrow, cook the image, and you can even move it around. Um, I'm going to leave it. How Waas Say good center just to have that eighth inch bleed around and you can see my image even goes a little bit further than that bleed setting. Um, if you wanted to, you could do some minor adjustments here where you stretch the image. Just making sure not to. You're less than that. Revenge plead can click outside to have it once elected. See your final image again. So now I'm all set to export this with the printer expert. We're gonna go to file hand. I'm gonna go under adobe pdf presets and under here, you could see you have a couple different options for pdf's. We have a high quality print, which is re your usual standard exporting Pdf to send to someone or email. Um, next is your pdf Exe won a 2000 won. This is pretty standard in the print industry. It's for his imagery goes. We're gonna click on that and I wonder in design print files, Whisker print one. I'm gonna keep it. Is that pushed? Save Next. I'm gonna get a list of a bunch different options. This is the important part. So under general, it's saying, Okay, all of my pages air selected, we only have one image here. That doesn't matter compression. I'm gonna leave that as a default under these adobe pdf presets, marks and bleeds. This is where I want to come in and make sure I'm clicking what the printer may need. So all printer marks. It's going to select crop marks, bleed marks, registration, color bars and page information. However, only want to show our the crop marks, uh, eighth of an inch. And I also want to use the document bleed settings. So we're including the bleed there already. The crop marks are with showing on the printed document for the printer to cut down. So I'm gonna push export and show you what comes out. My default is shown toe automatically Pull it up. Sometimes you have to go into your file and open it Okay, so here we go. You have a final image, and these little black streaks on the corners are the crop marks, and you can see they're going into the image about eighth of an inch that is applying the bleed settings to it. So the print Erkan definitely get all the image in no white spaces on the edges for that bleed. The next step is to remove printer and communicate with them what you would like. You know what paper is a color? Black and white. How many prints would you like? And so forth? So on. That concludes Lesson five and the class on footed art. Layered texture, prints. I hope you have great print product ready to send to the printer. And I'm excited to see what everyone is creating. Thanks for watching.