Digital Illustration: Using Photography As Texture | Chris Clark | Skillshare

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Digital Illustration: Using Photography As Texture

teacher avatar Chris Clark, Designer & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (9m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Lesson 1: Making The Vector

    • 3. Lesson 2: Choosing A Photo

    • 4. Lesson 3: Prepping For Photoshop

    • 5. Lesson 4: Mastering The Clipping Mask

    • 6. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to use photography as texture by layering it over a vector illustration using the clipping mask in Photoshop. In this class I will walk you through the process of making a vector, choosing a photo, bringing it all into Photoshop, and mastering the clipping mask. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Clark

Designer & Illustrator


Designer & Illustrator in the Mid-West.

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1. Intro: Hi, I'm Chris, a designer and illustrator, and welcome to my class on skill share. Digital illustration. Using photography is texture. Today in this class will be doing just that. We're going to be taking a photo and Larry in over a vector illustration that we've made this technique as a lot of depth and complexity to our composition as well as gives us more options. Win illustrating Before we begin, I recommend you have a basic knowledge. Both Photoshopped and Illustrator will be using each and tandem during this class. The main technique we're going to be covering is the clipping mask. It could be found in photo shop and illustrator, but I prefer the Photoshopped version, especially when dealing with photography. In this class, I will walk you through the process of making a vector, choosing a photo, bringing it all in the photo shop and then mastering the clipping mask. Finally, I want to suggest that you watch the class in its entirety first before starting your project. That way, you can better use the videos reference when you're working. I look forward to seeing what you will create. Let's do this 2. Lesson 1: Making The Vector: Hi. Welcome to the first lesson of this skill share. Making the vector. The first thing we need to do is create a new document. An illustrator. I use a 1500 by 1500 canvas because it gives me enough space to move around and be precise . Now that we have a document set up, let's get started making our vector. I always start by playing with shapes, layering them until I get something that I like. Also, I usually have a keyword or phrase in my head. When I get started for this illustration, I'm using the word ascend. I start with shapes toe have a big stroke in no fill. This lets me layer up more shapes as well as gives me the option later to add fills. These fills can help balance composition at a focal point or help accentuate the texture I will use. Feel free to play around with your ideas. And don't be afraid to toss an idea that just isn't working for you. I do want to make a known don't throw anything away. Take the adoration idea that isn't working and put it somewhere off canvas. It may not be working for you today, but tomorrow you might figure out what it needs. One tool. Use a lot to break my symmetry and add more dynamism. Is the cut tool shortcuts. See, the cut tool lets me take away sections of the shapes. This gives me the option to reuse shapes and make them unique in each illustration. Finally, if you're having trouble coming up with something, my advice is to keep it simple. There are a lot of different times where I take simple elements and put them together to create a conflict idea. So start with simple elements and play around with him until you get something that you like. That's all for this lesson and our next lesson. I'll talk about what I look for when finding a photo and where I go to get them. 3. Lesson 2: Choosing A Photo: Hi. Welcome to the second lesson of this skill share. Choosing a photo. Now that we've made a vector illustration, it's time to look for a photo. Since I'm using the word ascend his inspiration, I'm going to go for a space themed image. The key things I work for and I'm choosing an image are one, ah, high resolution. It needs to be at least 1500 by 1500 but the bigger the better to know figures. I try and keep people out of it. Having a figure in your photo creates another focal 0.1 that could compete with your illustration. Three. Looking for possible abstraction. There are a lot of different ways you can treat in a range of photo to abstracted, using it solely for its texture and stripping away its context. Finally, I look for an interesting color palette or high contrast, both color and contrast. We can edit in photo shop, but I prefer, and I'm drawn to the photos that don't need to be edited now that we have the guidelines for what to look for. The main question is where to look the first sources taking our own photography. But if you don't have the strongest photos or don't have the ability to capture the imagery you're looking for, then it's time to turn to the Internet. We want to look specifically for free photography that we have the rights to use. There are a fair amount of places out there, but my two favorites are unspool ash and new old stock. Today I'll be using unspool ash. That's all for this lesson. Next lesson. We're going to proper illustration in our photos and bring everything into photo shop. 4. Lesson 3: Prepping For Photoshop: Hi. Welcome to the third lesson of this skill. Share prepping for photo shop. Now we should have all the pieces of our final illustration, although we need to do is prepped them and bring them into photo shop. For that, we need to make sure our vector illustration is ready to be used with a clipping mask. So first things first. Let's open up her illustration and illustrator and convert our strokes toe outlines. Then we need to start joining them together into one path, if possible. The tool I use most for this is the shape builder tool the short cut has shift in. This tool is useful for joining together complex paths. Another thing. The shape of their tools useful for its adding fills to your illustration. I encourage you to play around with this after you've brought your factors in the photo shop and have applied the clipping mask. Now that our illustration is consolidated, we could bring it into photo shop. A simple copy and paste is all that we need. Copy it from Illustrator and paste it into Photoshopped. Photoshopped will ask you what you want to pasted as and you'll want as a smart object. This allows you to edit it very easily. All you have to do to edit is double click the icon in the bottom right corner of the layer . Thumbnail. This will open up a new tab in illustrator with your vector illustration. Then make your edits and save with command s or control. As for PC, the smart object will be updated when you get back in the photo shop. Notes. The smart object remembers its position in its original document, so I recommend centering the vector on the canvas before you paste it into photo shop. Otherwise, you have to hunt it down off campus when you come back to edit it later for the photo. The easiest way to bring it in is to use the place option in photo shop. Once it isn't Photoshopped, it needs to be one layer above your factor. Smart object. That's all for this lesson. In our fourth and final lesson, we will be utilising the clipping mask as well as some other tips and tricks. I used to add a lot of versatility to the technique 5. Lesson 4: Mastering The Clipping Mask: Hi. Welcome to the fourth and final lesson in this skill share. Mastering clipping masks. We should have everything in Photoshopped ready to go. Let's get started. The first thing we need to do is double check that are. Layers are in the correct order. Are layers from top to bottom. Should be our photo are vector in our background. I like to add my own background shape because it's easier to edit in a fill layer. The color I use is F nine F one e four. I use this color in all of my illustrations as it's very similar to the color paper I used when silk screening posters. Now that we have everything in the right place, let's get started playing around with our clipping mask. The first thing need to do is right. Click the photo wear and choose create clipping mask there. That's pretty much it, but we don't have to stop there. There are a lot of different things we could do with this. For instance, we can rearrange the photo and create a more interesting and dynamic texture. Or we can add layer effects to either the photo layer or the vector layer or we could change the opacity and edit the photo layer to punch up contrast and change the colors. The point is, there are a lot of different things that weaken Dio. So I highly encourage you to explore and discover what works best for you. The final thing I like to do when I'm done is to save for WEB. You can access this under the save as option or use the claw shortcut, which is shift command option s or shift control. All s for the PC. I like to save it as a maximum quality J peg and scale it size down to 7 50 by 7 50 This is best for sharing on the Web. That's all for this lesson. And that's all for the class. Now you have an illustration utilizing photography as texture. In the last video, I will give you my final thoughts on the process. 6. Final Thoughts: That's it. You finished. But before you go, I'd like to leave you with a few notes. When I'm making these kinds of illustrations, I tend to focus on three things. Exploration, discovery and having fun. Don't stress out about making it perfect. Just work on it for a little while. Put it down. And if it's not done, pick it back up tomorrow. As a final note, let me know if you have any questions as well as any feedback. For me, this is my first skill share class. I love to hear your thoughts so I could make the next class is more enjoyable. I look forward to seeing when you'll create. We did this.