Illustrated Mock-ups: visualize patterns on products with vectors | Sue Gibbins | Skillshare

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Illustrated Mock-ups: visualize patterns on products with vectors

teacher avatar Sue Gibbins, Designer at Rocket & Indigo

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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

15 Lessons (1h 21m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Tools for Class & Project

    • 3. Benefits of Illustrated Mock-Ups

    • 4. Shape and Pattern Basics

    • 5. Saving Files (avoid phantom lines!)

    • 6. Shadow and Highlight - CERAMICS

    • 7. Shading Effects - RAIN BOOTS

    • 8. Patterns Inside Patterns

    • 9. Drop Shadow - FASHION FLATLAY

    • 10. Vector Texture - TEXTILES

    • 11. Custom Gradient Fills - PAPER

    • 12. Selling Illustrated Mock-Up Resources

    • 13. Including Photos - WRAPPED GIFTS

    • 14. Your Project

    • 15. Thank you

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About This Class

Hello! Welcome to this class about making illustrated product mock-ups on which to display surface pattern designs.

We'll start by looking at the benefits of using the illustrated type of mock-up. There will be detailed demonstrations showing how to create several styles of mock-up that can be used to show your prints for apparel, homeware and paper goods. We will look at handling placement prints and pattern positioning within objects, as well as saving files to the correct format to avoid phantom lines. Additionally, I’ll also talk about some of the considerations if you want to sell illustrated mock-ups for extra income.

The class is geared towards designers who want to learn how to create different types of unique mock-ups in vector-based software. I will be demonstrating using Adobe Illustrator, so that is the recommended software to make it easy to follow along, but equivalent software that you are comfortable using could also work for this class.

I’m excited to show you how to create a variety of illustrated mock-ups, so let’s get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Sue Gibbins

Designer at Rocket & Indigo


Hi, I’m Sue Gibbins (aka Rocket & Indigo), a British surface pattern designer inspired by my surroundings, travel and nature. My artwork style mixes graphic shape with hand-drawn line, often using bold colour palettes. I especially enjoy drawing animals and plants. To see more of my art and to chat, let's meet on Instagram @rocketandindigo. 

In addition to designing, I have also been a teacher and instructor in one form or another for many years. I'm passionate about sharing what I know and seeing how others take that forward with their own projects. I hope you enjoy my classes and share what you make with us in the project galleries. Have fun!


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1. Welcome: Hi, I'm Sue Gibbins, a surface pattern designer from the UK working under my studio banner Rocket & Indigo. In my previous classes I covered many of the essentials of creating designs, including making motifs and laying out various types of repeat patterns. This new class will focus on making illustrated product mock-ups on which to display surface pattern designs. I'll cover the advantages of using the illustrated type of mock-up and demonstrate how to create several styles of mock-up that can be used to show your prints for apparel, homeware, and paper goods. We'll look at handling placement prints and pattern positioning within objects, as well as saving files to the correct format to avoid phantom lines. Additionally, I'll also talk about some of the considerations if you want to sell illustrated mock-ups for extra income. The class is geared towards designers who want to learn how to make different types of unique mock-ups in vector-based software. I'll be demonstrating using Adobe Illustrator, so that's the recommended software to make it easy to follow along. But equivalent software that you are comfortable using could also work for this class. I'm excited to show you how to create a variety of Illustrated mock-ups. So let's get started. 2. Tools for Class & Project: Welcome back. First, let's consider what the term mock-up means. Essentially, it's a way to show how something will look when it is made. This might be for design or marketing purposes or both. Now consider what mock-up means in the context of surface pattern design. For surface pattern designers, mock-ups are a way to visualize a print on an object by applying the design to a picture of the object. The picture can be a photograph or an illustration of the object. Typically, raster-based software such as Photoshop would be used for photography mock-ups, whereas vector-based software such as Adobe Illustrator would be used for illustrated mock-ups. However, it is possible to create both types of mock-up in either type of software. In this class, I'll be using vector software and focusing on illustrated mock-ups. Towards the end of the class I will also provide a little bit of information about bringing in photography to vector software to use for a mock-up. I'll be demonstrating using Adobe Illustrator, but other vector-based software will likely offer most or all of the features I use in this class. The demonstration lessons are a mixture of step-by-step instruction and accelerated action. This is so you can learn the new techniques, but also see the whole process of six mock-ups being made without the class taking many hours. Lessons tend to build on each other, so it's recommended to watch them in order. As lessons are quite action-packed, some prior experience with vector software is recommended for this intermediate class. To help you see what I'm doing in the software, I'll generally use the menus and select the tools with the mouse at least the first time I used them. But a faster way is to use shortcut keys for tools and actions you use a lot in the software. The website has lists of Illustrator shortcuts for both Mac and Windows. Note that if I mention shortcuts that use the Mac command key, in Windows it will be the same shortcut except using the control key. In the resources section of the project tab I will provide these link so you can download the lits relevant to your operating system. Also in resources you will find a full written transcript of the class to refer back to as you are designing or to follow along with during class if you wish. You may also like to have plain paper, pencil and pen, plus a smart phone or camera handy to help with planning your project, but those tools are optional. As you might have guessed, your project is going to be to create an illustrated mock-up onto which you can apply a design. 3. Benefits of Illustrated Mock-Ups: Hello again. In the last lesson we looked at types of mock-ups and tools to create them. Now, I'll briefly touch upon the benefits specifically of illustrated mock-ups. First, software. Designers who primarily use vector-based software may not have access to photography software, or may prefer to stay in the illustration software for the mock-up stage of the design. Second, efficiency. Applying vector designs to illustrated mock-ups in vector software is much faster. Time is saved because there's no need to export swatches, switch software, or wait for rendering. Third, image availability. Creating an illustrated mock-up is an alternative when a particular photo cannot be sourced. Illustrated mockups created using pure vectors are also fully scalable up to very large size, which may be useful for some applications. Fourth, image suitability. Sometimes an illustrated mock-up may be more appropriate than a photo mock-up. For example, some audiences may prefer not to see photos of people in undergarments or swimwear. An illustrated model could be one alternative. Fifth, style. Illustrated mock-ups are a way for designers to differentiate themselves with a different mock-up style or unique mock-up imagery. It's also a way to add variety to presentations or social media feeds. Illustrated mockups can be used in addition to photo mock-ups if desired. Sixth, monetizing. Creating mock-ups for use by other designers and selling usage licenses as a way to bring in some extra income. Platforms like Creative Market are a hub for design tools such as mock-ups. Illustrated mock-ups are an easy way into this market. I have provided a lesson about this topic towards the end of the class. 4. Shape and Pattern Basics: Welcome back. In this lesson I'll cover a few basics and get you oriented to the workspace. Okay, to start create a new file. Since vector graphics are fully scalable, the exact size is not critical. I commonly work on 300 mm squares I set up the document as CMYK. I first like to have some colors prepared. My Swatches panel is open and docked here, but if there's ever a panel not visible in your workspace, just go to the Window menu and select the panel from there. I'll go to the Swatches panel menu and select all unused swatches, then click the trash icon. I'll also delete the core black, white, and gray swatches because I like to mix my own neutral colors too. I'll click the new swatch icon and change the percentages to mix colors. I recommend making the swatches global by checking this box because it makes changing colors cross the whole file really easy. I'm going to set up a blush color and an inky blue color as well. It's useful to keep the file organized in layers with names. There will be a Background layer at the bottom of the stack and I'll add a rectangle for the background color. Change it to cream fill but no stroke and align it to the artboard using the Align panel. I'll lock that layer. Now create another layer to work on, which can be called something like Design. Each time I make a mock-up, I'll have my document setup like this to start. I have a few ways I like to create vector shapes, which I'll introduce here and then go into in more detail during the mock-up example lessons. Often there are many ways to do something, so if you prefer different tools to achieve the result, then go for it. So let's create some shapes. Firstly, geometric tools offer a wide range of shapes. Secondly, the Pen tool allows very specific shapes to be created. This is the tool I use the most for illustrated mock-ups. To use the tool drop anchor points and drag to make curves. Points and curves can be selected individually with the direct selection tool, the white arrow, and adjusted. Thirdly, the Pencil and Brush tools provide a more freehand drawing experience. I prefer to use a drawing tablet with these, although a mouse will also work. The Eraser is helpful for removing some of the shapes in an organic manner, and the Smooth tool is also useful. Finally, image tracing is an option to convert analog drawings or photos into vector. Image trace can be accessed with this button or via the menu. I tend to use this for details and textures, as I'll show you later. Now let's look at ways to place a design into a shape. One way is to make a pattern swatch and apply it as the fill for the shape. You may already have lots of pattern swatches to use, but in case you haven't yet, here's a quick introduction. Repeating patterns can be made using the Pattern Maker tool in recent versions of Illustrator, or they can be made manually. For this class, I'll use the Pattern Maker tool, which I prefer for simpler patterns. I'll copy the shape to the side by holding Alt key while dragging the shape. I'm going to move the view to the side using the Space bar and dragging. I'll make that smaller and get a few more copies to use as pattern motifs. To use Pattern Maker select the motifs to make into a pattern, then Object, Pattern, Make. Ok. We're seeing those motifs repeated. I have the copies set as dimmed and showing tile edges. You can also change how many copies you see too. Adjust the repeat type to achieve a staggered repeat; brick by column seems to work here. It's best to set the tile size to a whole number. A larger tile will give us more space within the pattern. Move motifs as needed and see the effect in real time. Once happy clicked done and the pattern fill is saved to the Swatches panel. To apply the pattern design to a shape, simply select the shape, make sure the fill is at the front in the Tools panel, then select the pattern swatch to use. The scale of this pattern is very large for the shape. Alter that by going to Object, Transform, Scale, with preview checked and deselecting transform objects so that only the pattern is transformed. Change the horizontal and vertical amounts - I'm using the keyboard arrow keys with Shift key to change the numbers in increments of ten. That looks fine for me, so I'll click OK. I created a pattern with a transparent background. To add a background, I can duplicate the shape behind itself and add a solid fill. Alternatively, I can pull out the pattern swatch to the artboard, go into isolation mode, and duplicate the tile rectangle in front of itself and add a solid fill. Then I can drag the whole lot back to the Swatches panel to make a new pattern swatch that has a background color. So now when I fill a shape, the background color is applied with the pattern. I'll scale that pattern down. Transform tools can also be used for moving the pattern within the shape. Transforming the pattern is very useful for illustrated mock-ups, so keep this in mind. Another way to put a design into a shape is by applying a clipping mask. I use this for placement prints and implied repeats that I haven't actually made into seamless repeating swatches. The principle of a clipping mask is to put a clear shape with no stroke and no fill on top of the design to mask off the edges. I'll use a copy of the base shape and bring it right to the very front with Object, Arrange, Bring To Front. Change the fill and stroke to none. With the design and the masking shape selected, go to Object, Clipping Mask, Make. There's also a shortcut Command 7. The design can still be moved around inside the mask if needed. Double-clicked enter isolation mode and make changes, then click away to exit isolation mode. Alternatively select the object and go to Object, Clipping Mask, Edit Contents via the menu. I'll save my project to the artwork folder as an AI file. So there are a few tips on shape and pattern. 5. Saving Files (avoid phantom lines!): Hello again. If you've worked with vector-based patterns before, you are likely aware of what I call the dreaded phantom lines! These are hair-line width verticals and horizontals that sometimes appear within shapes that are filled with patterns. Here is an example of circle shapes filled with a floral pattern. Let's look at this one. I'll use shortcuts Command + and Command - to zoom in and out. Phantom lines occur at the location of the pattern tile edges, and typically they appear and disappear when zooming. Phantom lines and not to be confused with misalignment errors, where the background may have shifted out of place slightly and created a real line at the edge of the pattern. Those errors need fixing. Phantom lines, on the other hand, are not errors, but rather it's to do with how vector graphics are rendered into pixels. Phantom line showing in Adobe Illustrator won't print out if printed directly from Illustrator. Save working files in the illustrator AI format as usual. When exporting to other formats for sharing, editing, or printing outside of Illustrator, choosing the right format is important. Problems arise if a vector file is saved with settings that don't handle the tile edge rendering: that can make the phantom lines real. I have prepared a square filled with my pattern ready for exporting. You can see some phantom lines showing here. For social media, I use File Export, Save for Web (Legacy), and choose either JPEG or PNG. In the preview, the phantom lines have gone. These are the settings that work best for me in my version of the software. Feel free to also experiment to find your own settings. Don't just rely on the preview; also carefully check the file after export to ensure there are no lines in the pattern areas. When exporting for use in other programs such as Photoshop, try File, Save As, and choose EPS as the format. This was the advice I received from Adobe's technical team in late 2018. When opening the EPS in Photoshop, the software will rasterized vector shapes into pixels. Happily the phantom lines have gone. However, one or more edges of the document can sometimes have translucent pixels. Zoom right in to check. In Photoshop duplicating the layer several times then flattening the image can fix this problem. It's also useful to do this step before making any Photoshop pattern fills to use on photography based mockups. So there are a few tips about saving files. Just remember, after exporting vector files using pattern fills always inspect the pattern areas and edges of the document close up to check there are no phantom lines. 6. Shadow and Highlight - CERAMICS: Welcome back. In this first example, I'll be illustrating ceramic objects for use as a mock-up. I'll focus on shadows and highlights, and I'll show you how to use blending modes that work with the pattern design. To begin, find some actual ceramic objects in your own home to use as inspiration. You could alternatively use reference photos. Now sketch on paper or digitally. It's the shape that's important rather than the color or pattern. Also sketch in any highlights on the object. As I showed earlier, I have my document set up with the background layer and some swatches to use as background fills. I'll go to a file containing a pattern design. So here's my peachy floral. Again. We'll copy the fill shapes and paste them into my mock-up file. Noticed that as I paste, the pattern swatches are added to my swatches panel for use in this file. Because I set up my pattern colors as global. The colors contained in the pattern also import to the swatches at the same time. Now I can delete the pasted shapes. It's useful to keep swatches organized in color groups, so I'll do that now. Because I decided to make my sketch on paper, I scanned it in. A photo of the sketch would also be fine for this. I'll use File, Place to put the sketch on the artboard on the design layer. I'll create vector shapes from the sketch using the vector plotting pen tool. I like to use a stroke but no fill at this stage so I can see the sketch below. You can create your shapes by any method you prefer. You can make changes from the sketch as you work if you want to. So I've altered some highlights and I think I want to have the cup handle on the other side in my composition, so I'll reflect that and move it over. Once all the shapes, including the highlights, are drawn, fill them with a solid color. Now select the highlights and in the transparency panel, change the blending mode to Screen at 50% opacity. To create shadows, copy the main shape with Command C and paste in front of itself using Command F. Change the blending mode of this duplicate to Multiply at 50% opacity. Now select the Eraser tool. Change the size if needed using the square bracket keys. Decide where the shadow should go, then use the Eraser to create that shape using a smooth motion. Now deselect and select just the unwanted part. Press Delete to leave just the desired shadow area. To make this mock-up easy to use, I wanted to have structured layers and name the shapes so they can be easily identified in the Layers panel. I'll make layers for cup, lid and pot. The cup should go at the front, so I'm going to have that at the top of the stack. Within the layers name highlights and shadows, and if necessary, changed the stacking order. I could select the main shape of an object such as the body of the cup in the Layers panel and use the pattern fill method. However, for this particular mock-up, I want to apply placement designs for more control over the layout. If you only have a pattern swatch available, but wish to create a new placement layout, it is possible to pull out out work from a pattern swatch. Drag this swatch out into the workspace and ungroup it. Select the art you want from the pattern and arrange it in the placement design. Group the design. Position the placement graphic and size it as needed. If the placement graphic is within the bounds of the object then it's finished. If the design should run over the edge and appear to go around the back of the object, a clipping mask will be needed to clip it to the shape. Delete any excess artwork to keep file size down. The original is still in the swatches panel. Duplicate the main shape and give it no fill and no stroke, then name it. Drag the placement design down to below the mask shape. With that in front of the design, select and apply a clipping mask via the Object menu or using shortcut Command 7. Different sections of the mock-up can have different placement designs applied or mixed placement and pattern fills if you wish. One of the nice things about illustrated mock-ups is the objects can be moved very easily, and having them on their own layers makes selecting much easier. Re-size the objects to make a pleasing composition. Create a table top for the ceramic objects to stand upon. I'll make a table layer for that just above the background behind my objects. The table can have a patterned cloth too, and I brought in a simple pattern based on the one created in a lesson earlier. This pattern needs scaling down a bit. To give some perspective to the table scale the pattern non-uniformly, so make the vertical scale less than the horizontal. Make the table a bit darker with multiply blending. On the object layers, I'll add shadows that the objects cast on the table using simple ellipses from the geometric shape tools. Be sure to have the shadow on the correct side of the mock-up object so it matches the other shadows. I'll send those ellipses to the back of the layer. Multiply blending with a pale cream color gives a subtle shadow effect that isn't too overpowering. Save the file. I'll just make some final adjustments to the overall composition. Also a few modifications to the placement design. I just noticed that the flower on the cup is on top of the shadows and highlights so it doesn't look fitted to the shape of the cup. I'll use the Layers panel to drag that down just above the base shape. And that's it, a ceramic mock-up. And the next lesson we'll be looking at an alternative style for applying shading using Effects for more realism. 7. Shading Effects - RAIN BOOTS: Hello again. In this second example, I'll show you how to use Effects to apply shading that can make objects seem more rounded and three-dimensional. I like to have a guide for drawing my object. In this case, I went into the garden and took some quick snapshots of rain boots. The tidiness of the boots and quality of the photo isn't important since it's only needed as a shape guide. What is important is the angle. Take the photo at the angle you'll be illustrating the object so that the view looks correct. In my case, I'm going for side-on view. I already have a file created with a background and the same swatches I used in the last lesson. Place the guide photo into the software. I'm going to place a couple of photos because I like the shape and buckle of the first boot or prefer the sole of the other because it's less worn! I'm going to give the photos their own layer, set them to multiply blending mode at 50% so I can see my drawing through, and lock that photo guide layer. Use the vector plotting pen, pencil or brush as you prefer to draw the shapes. I'll use the pen tool. If you find that you need a curve adjoining a corner, click on the anchor point to remove the curve of the onward portion of the plot. Draw the embellishments and sole separately. Arrange to make the whole object. One of the great things about vector plotting is this shapes can be modified, so here it's easy to get the sole from one shoe to fit the other by moving a few points and handles. I'll hide the photos for a moment so I can see how that's looking. Just needs to be rotated slightly so it stands up straight. Okay, great. Photos can be removed now to keep the file size down, and save. Ok, I'll name the layers and shapes to make elements easy to find. Select in the Layers panel to identify them, then name the shape. If you do decide to add extras such as buckles, I recommend to put them on their own layer to make it easy to customize the mock-up by showing or hiding that layer. With the buckle shapes, I'll make them a compound path so I can fill it in as one single shape. I think the buckle needs some highlights to give it a bit of shine. So I'll draw some and use the Screen blending at 50% as I showed in the last lesson. I'll name those and stack them above the shape that they highlight. Select the main boot shape, swap the stroke to a fill and apply a pattern swatch. Adjust the scale of the pattern by transforming uniformly with transform objects unchecked and transform patterns checks. Now fill the top, sole and buckle base with solid color. I'll now apply some shading to the main boot area to add dimension. Go to the Effects menu, choose Stylize, then choose Inner Glow. Check preview. I'll set the mode to Multiply with a mid gray and the opacity to 75%. Set the location to Edge. The amount of Blur will depend on how big you've drawn your object, so alter this until the desired rounding effect is achieved. I'll also give the sole, top and buckle base sections a little bit of shape with the inner glow effect too, but I'll use less blur on those. To modify the Inner Glow after it's been applied, select the shape and used the Appearance panel to access the settings. I'll just tidy up some of the shapes and try some different colors for the embellishments. Make a layer below the boot and draw a surface for the boot to stand on. The rectangle has inherited the inner glow from the last shape, so I'll delete the effect from this shape in the Appearance panel. Align the floor to the bottom of the artboard and give it a pretty color. The boot is a bit small. Using the Layers panel I can select the whole boot and buckle and resize them together. It might also be fun to have a patterned backdrop; I have a simple vertical stripe here that I can use on the background. I'll just zoom out to review the composition and make some final small adjustments. There we go, a patterned rain boot mock-up with optional buckle layer. 8. Patterns Inside Patterns: Welcome back. By this point in class, you may have spotted an opportunity to turn these mock-up objects into pattern motifs. For example, make a rain boot pattern. And that's a fun idea! However, at the time of writing, Adobe Illustrator doesn't allow pattern swatches to be made containing other pattern swatches. But it is possible with some extra steps. First, some setup. I'm going to save a copy of this file with a new name. Group the buckle elements and move them onto the boot layer. I'll shrink the boot down smaller. If I now select the boot to try to use Pattern Maker, it will show me the message "Patterns cannot contain anything painted with the pattern". So the pattern-making failed. Note that if using the manual method to make a pattern by dragging the artwork to the Swatches panel, there isn't usually any warning message; it just doesn't make the swatch. The way around this problem is to do another the step before making the pattern, which is to expand. Because the boot shape has an effect applied for inner glow, I need to first do Object, Expand Appearance. Notice in the layers panel that the object is now split into the shading and the patterned shape. On the patterned shape I'll now use Object, Expand and I want to expand the fill. This shape would now be accepted into a pattern swatch. However, there is a lot of extra artwork still hiding outside of the shape, which you can see when we View Outline. To remove this excess used the Crop button found in the Pathfinder panel. Be aware that cropping can give unexpected results if the pattern itself contains clipping mask or groups with transparency, but this one looks fine. Once that's done, I'll group the elements of the boot for convenience while making the pattern. I can now successfully create a rain boot pattern. Edit the size and tiling, and move elements to get the desired look. Once I click Done the pattern disappears but the swatch is in the panel for use. I'll duplicate the background layer and fill that with the new pattern swatch and put a solid color for the background using the rectangle below. Save the file. Be aware that creating motifs in this way can make files quite large, especially if your patterns are complex, So use the technique with caution. Applying a placement design to make the motifs is sometimes a better option. 9. Drop Shadow - FASHION FLATLAY: Hello again. The third example I want to show you is a swimwear mock-up. One option is to illustrate someone wearing the garments, so if you like drawing people then that could be an option for you. We swimwear the garments are quite small compared to a whole person. This particular illustration wasn't designed as a mock-up, but I've applied the floral pattern so you can see that the garments don't really shine because the people become the focus. For mock-up purposes, it might be better to zoom in for a torso illustration or alternatively use a flatlay view as I'm going to do in this lesson. I'll also be showing you how to apply drop shadows to indicate a surface below. This time, I sketched from my imagination and added embellishments to the garments such as little beads. I scanned that in and already placed the sketch onto a document set up as in the previous examples. I'm now going to draw the main shapes digitally. For the bikini ties I'll use a regular stroke line with rounded ends and make that quite a bit heavier. Once I'm totally happy with the line, I like to outline the stroke of converted to a shape. This step makes coloring easier and prevents problems with stroke weights when resizing. I'll create the beads. Now we'll use some of the techniques from previous lessons: For some shine on the little beads make highlights and shadows with blending modes. I can make a few with slightly different shapes and then duplicate them. Now I can fill the main shapes. And I'll scale the pattern down slightly in to the shape. To give a bit of dimension to the fabric, apply inner glow effects. Different areas will need different amounts. I'll group the ties with their beads. I'll organize the layers and name shapes to make using the mock-up easy. Additionally, since this is a flatlay, I'll add a second Effect for Drop Shadow to indicate the presence of the surface below the garment. Although it is possible to apply the effect to individual shapes, I prefer to copy the whole garment and combine it using the Pathfinder, Unite button. This shape should go at the back. Then I can apply Effects, Stylize, Drop Shadow to the shape. Adjust the color, opacity on distances to achieve a subtle shadow as if the object is resting on the surface. Placement designs can be used as well as pattern fills. For example, I can extract the flower from the pattern and add that to the waistband as a cute extra detail. I'll copy the waistband shape to make a mask for the flower and clip it as I showed you earlier. The shortcut is Command 7. I'll select and resize both parts of the garment. The background I think will be lovely in a really pale pink. I'm going to adjust the colors. I just noticed that the drop shadow is in the wrong direction compared to the highlights on the beads. In the Layers panel I can select the shadow shapes and then select the drop shadow details via the Appearance panel. I'll make the x offset a negative number so the shadow goes to the left. I also think the shadow is too strong. Subtle is definitely key here, so I'll make that just 25%. So that it: a swimwear flatlay mock-up with drop shadow effect. 10. Vector Texture - TEXTILES: Welcome back. In this fourth example, I'll be applying texture to an illustrated object to make a kitchen textile mock-up of oven mitts. To create a vector texture, I'll first need a photo of a piece of fabric. One option is to use an image from a free source, such as website. Always check the license. These images can be used for just about anything without needing to give credit. I'll search using keywords such as cloth, fabric or texture. I'm looking for a flatlay top view of the fabric with even lighting across the surface and visible texture. Here's a possible candidate, so I'll download. An alternative option would be to place a piece of ironed textured fabric on a flatbed scanner and create your own image that way. I really prefer to create my own textures, so I'll scan in a couple of pieces of fabric to try in this project. Now I'll place a fabric texture into a document for tracing. Image Trace can be accessed with this button or via the Window menu. I only want black in the image, so I'll begin with the sketch preset even though this isn't actually a sketch. This preset is a great all-rounder for creating black traces. It has ignore white checked in the advanced settings so that background is also removed. With Preview checked, I see how the trace will look. For pale fabrics with delicate texture, the threshold slider will need to be increased to see any texture. The threshold slider is critical for texture, so take time to get this just right. In this case, I like some areas and it could be used, but the texture isn't even enough for me. I'll try my second fabric. This one is very detailed and takes ages to preview, but I rather like the texture. The number of points in the trace is shown here. And I think this file will be massive. I don't need all of this texture for an oven mitt, so I'll cancel that and first crop the image a bit smaller before tracing. The crop and apply buttons may be found in the top bar or access crop options from the Object menu. Once happy, be sure to click Expand. One of the advantages of vector mock-ups over photo mock-ups is that usually the files are smaller and the process of applying designs much quicker. However, having very detailed textures in vector files can slow things down. So I like to reduce the number of anchor points. Select the texture, then press Command H to hide edges of the selection to make it easier to see the changes. I'll go to Object, Path, Simplify, check the preview box and then change the percentage. At 50% of the texture isn't looking good. I usually started around 97%. The aim is to bring the file size down without noticeable loss of detail. Observe the quality of the texture and the change in the number of anchor points and choose a percentage that works, click OK. I'll show the edges again with Command H. Move the texture off to the side for now. Now I'll draw my object shape, which will be an oven mitt. This is a very simple shape, so I've just sketched it quickly and placed it onto a sketch layer as a guide. You could take a photo of an actual over mitt to use as a guide if you prefer. I'll draw the main shape with vector plotting. I'll also add a roll at the opening. On the smaller shape I'll add stitching detail using a simple dashed line, which I'll outline. I'll make sure to name the shapes as I go to describe their purpose in the Layers panel. Now I'll need a copy of the main shape to clip the textile texture, and that needs to have no fill and no stroke. In the Layers panel, I'll drag the texture in front of the base shape but behind the mask shape. And then I can move the texture into position on the artboard. Select texture and mask then clip with Command 7. Although clipped, there is access texture hidden outside of the area. And with so many points in this texture it could really slow the file down. With View Outline we can see the excess points. Select the clipping group and expand, then use the Crop button in the Pathfinder panel to remove the excess. With this detail texture, it may take a few minutes. Now View Outline shows that the excess is gone. Note that cropping may create extra shapes with no fill and no stroke. If so, use Select Same Fill And Stroke color from the Select menu to find them and delete those extras. Changed the black trace to a pale cream and set the blending mode to Multiply to get a natural fabric look that is subtle. I'll add an inner glow effect to the main shapes for a three-dimensional look. I also want a drop shadows so I'll make a combined base shape. Use the Effects menu Stylize, Drop Shadow, and adjust the color, opacity and distances. Now I'll add the design. For the main shape I'll fill with a pattern swatch. I want a pair of mitts so I'll duplicate the oven mitt layer. I'll move the mitt to make a composition. I'm going to reflect the left one. It's also an idea to try different scales of the pattern within the mock-up for variety. My pattern is multi-directional, but if you have a directional pattern you can rotate it to suit the angle of the mitt like so. For this mock-up I think I'd like to have a patterned surface below, and I'll use this simple pattern to fill the rectangle. Save the file. There we are: an oven mitt mock-up with subtle fabric texture. 11. Custom Gradient Fills - PAPER: Hello again. In this fifth example, I'll be creating a mock-up for gift wrap. We'll look at how to capture a custom gradient from a photo to give a realistic rolled paper look. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me show patterns on this gift wrap wall display mock-up. I created that using the custom gradient technique. One way to capture a gradient for your gift wrap mock-up is by going to a greeting shop, and photographing actual paper on display. It's also an option to simulate the display. The key is to have a strip in the photo that picks up the whole gradient with a good range of tones. Today, I'll be making a new mock-up for roles of gift wrap, so I photograph this role of white paper just with my phone. Note that different papers have different reflected colors and sheens that will be picked up in the gradient. So if possible, use paper with the right kind of glossy surface to add realism. I'll begin by creating a tall rectangle for a roll of paper. I will add an anchor point in the center of the top and change it to a curve. And then make a couple of copies. A quick way to do this is dragging the layer down to the new icon, and then I can name them. Make a rough composition as if the roll is standing in a box just outside of the picture. I'll illustrate the inside of this middle tube using ellipses. That makes it look as if the roll is angled forward. I'll group the end section, but leave the inner fill separate, and name them accordingly. Now think about some shadows. Roll three will be at the front and cast a shadow on roll two. Roll two will cast a shadow onto roll one. I'll draw some triangles roughly where the front rolls meet the ones underneath. I can crop off the excess below the artboard in one go by drawing a rectangle and dividing the objects below. Now I'm ready to think about gradients, which will be multiplied on top of each design shape. I'll duplicate those shapes and rename the top shape to 'gradient'. That includes the shape inside the tube too. On a separate layer, place the photo. In this case, I cropped the image so I don't have to place a huge file. A move that to the side of the artboard. Identify the strip in the photo that has the best lighting. Optionally draw a box around it to keep track of the working area. Open the Gradient panel. Use the Eyedropper tool to pick out the color on the photo from the leftmost edge of the strip of paper where the shadow is darkest. The color will appear in the small fill indicator in the Gradient panel here. Drag that color onto the leftmost point of the gradient slider. Now use the Eyedropper again a bit further along the photo strip and drag that color onto the gradient a bit further along. Continue adding colors picked from the photo until the whole paper strip has been created as a gradient. Around ten color points would be about right, but it depends on the photo. If you wish, you can divide the identifying box into portions to help pick at regular intervals. Use Object, Path, Split Into Grid and set at the number of columns you think will work. Be sure to select the last color from the very edge of the strip to capture the full depth of the shadow. After completing the custom gradient ensure the gradient type is set to Linear, then drag it to the Swatches panel to save it. Using the Layers panel, select one of the shapes earmarked for the gradient and fill it. If the object is at an angle the gradient will need to be rotated. Input a rotation angle here. Alternatively, use the gradient application tool to drag out the direction and also the size of the gradient. Apply the gradient to the other rolls and also the inner tube shape. For the inner gradient a bit more shadow areas would be good, So I'll drag out a shorter gradient to give more shadow within the shape. In the Transparency panel set the blending mode to Multiply. With the inner shape we see the gold color below. The main roll shapes don't yet have any design applied, so we won't see anything below just yet. I'll select the lower shapes earmarked for the designs and apply the patterns. Note that I can turn the gradient layer off and on, and you can see that it really gives a lot of dimension to the rolls. I'll scale the pattern slightly. Apply patterns to the other rolls too. I need to make the shadow between the roles more subtle. So multiply and reduce opacity. A different color for the background might also look good. If you ever want to edit the gradient, select it in the swatches and then select all the objects with the same fill color. Make alterations you using the Gradient panel. You can even double click on individual colors in the gradient and edit them. For example, I can make the lightest color in this gradient pure white. So there we go, a roll wrap mock-up using custom gradient captured from a photo. 12. Selling Illustrated Mock-Up Resources: Welcome back. As well as using illustrated mock-ups on social media and in presentations, I've also been selling them as designed resources on Creative Market. You might like to sell some of your own illustrated mock-up files on such platforms, so I thought it might be helpful to cover some of the considerations. I'm not going to demonstrate the whole process of uploading the files here because it's quite intuitive, but rather I'll run you through the things to think about beforehand so you can prepare. Firstly, research which platforms you'd like to sell on and read their terms. Sign up for a seller account. Upload your bio with info, including your social media links where possible. Fill in any necessary paperwork which might include things like how you'll be paid for sales plus tax info. Now create mock-ups to offer on the platform. Only offer well-organized quality mock-up files that you're happy to have other designers using in their own work. Normally you'll be offering a usage license that allows them to use the mock-up for as long as they wish, so bear that in mind. Be sure to read the license documents yourself to understand exactly what you're offering. Remember that designers maybe using a different version of the software to you. If possible, offer the mockup file in different versions. To do this in Adobe Illustrator, go to File, Save As and type a name. I usually indicate the version within the file name. After clicking Save there are more options, including a versions drop-down menu. I usually save CC and CS6 versions as a minimum when sharing files. If you have the capability to test other versions you can offer more. Be aware that files using newly introduced tools may not work correctly in earlier versions, so testing is needed. As well as the main mock-up file it is also very helpful to write a short how-to document to go with it and saved as a pdf file. Here's an example. Created a good how-to file means that customers are more likely to enjoy using the mock-up, so therefore leave good reviews and come back in future for more of your products. Once you have all the files made, collect them in a zip. Most computers have software to zip files up, but I believe downloadable software is also available. Upload the zip to your platform shop. Add images of the mock-up, preferably showing how it looks before applying the design then an example of what can be achieved using the file (i.e. a before and after). Make it clear in the description what is included and what is not. Also in the description explain the software version needed to run the file and any other important info the user needs before purchasing. Include details that will help to sell the file, such as that a pdf is provided with instructions and so on. If the platform allows you to tag the product with keywords used them: it helps your product get found in searches. Some platforms may recommend pricing while others may leave it open to you entirely. Do some research and also consider what you feel is a fair price for the mock-up. Remember that the platform will take a cut. But with digital products that have no manufacturing or shipping costs, the percentage to the artist can be good. As a guide, I sell the basic usage license for my wrapping paper rack mock-up for $5 on Creative Market, and I get 70% of that after the platform takes its cut. Different platforms offer different percentages. In summary, I would say that you'd have to work very hard indeed, or have a large audience for this already to make any serious money from it. But offering design resources on these platforms can be a little extra in the pocket and can also help connect you with other designers too. 13. Including Photos - WRAPPED GIFTS: Hello again. While not strictly in the illustrated category, I still want to cover combining filled vector shapes with photography to make a mock-up. This technique may improve mock-up workflow or allow designers with only vector software to create photo mock-ups. And it's useful for when you'd like to include elements that are not so easy to illustrate. There are a couple of caveats though. First, note that when introducing photos the scalability benefits of pure vector are lost. Be aware that the size and resolution of the photo will limit how large the mock-up can be reproduced. Secondly, with very limited photo editing capabilities in vector software, the starting photo needs to be ready to go. So objects to be mocked need to be white and the lighting needs to be good. Sites like on mentioned earlier can be a source for photos, but you may not find exactly what you want. Instead, consider taking your own photos of white objects. You can style a photo to your needs and create something new. I made some of my own photos. On the left is a before and after showing how I changed the lighting. Many phone cameras have exposure options, filters and edit options for brightening images, but I used Photoshop. The whites do need to be very white, otherwise the mockup can look extremely dull. On the right is the photo I'll use for this lesson. First, create a layer for the photos. I place the photo and size it. Set the blending mode to Multiply. During the drawing phase, I often find it best to reduce the opacity a little. Lock or photo layer. On a layer below, draw the main gift shapes using the objects in the photo as a guide. I draw the rough shapes first. I'll just imagine where the gift would be at the back and draw the whole shape. To get a realistic surface application it is important to zoom right in and adjust the points so that they follow the exact edges in the photo. Now for the pom-pom trim. For very complex edges, I like to use the digital pencil rather than vector plotting. I find, I get more control by using my graphics tablet for digital pencil work, but using a mouse is also fine. I'll first double-click on the pencil tool so I can set the fidelity of the pencil. I'll want maximum accuracy so I can follow the edge very precisely without any digital smoothing occurring. I find that it's easier to zoom in and do a section, then move the artboard by dragging with the spacebar pressed, then pick up the drawing again. You definitely don't need to do the whole shape in one sweep. And sometimes there can be stray extra points, especially when picking up a line again. So just zoom in and check the path for strays and remove them with the remove anchor point tool. So at the moment these shapes are all just stacked on top of one another with overlaps. I need to build them into distinct shape areas. Select all the shapes and remove the stroke. Then click on the Shape Builder tool. Drag across multiple shapes to combine them. Some areas may have tiny shapes so zoom in to make sure you unite all the parts needed for the shape. To check, I'll apply a fill color. On this top gift shape I can see a part missing between the pom-poms. I'll zoom in. So there's a piece of the wrapping paper that's inside the pom-pom shape. It will be very inconvenient to fill the shapes separately each time. So I'll select them a make a compound shape so that they behave as one. I'll do the same for the lower gift. For photo mock-ups, I also need to do something extra to my background layer if I want the option to add different fills to the backdrop. I'll copy everything on the design layer, hide the top layers, and paste in front of the background layer. I'll give those a color so you can see that I have the wrap and the pom-pom areas. I want to remove all of these from the background square. I could use Shape Builder with the alt key to remove shapes. Alternatively, use Pathfinder, which has very similar features. For example, Pathfinder has a Unite button. If I select everything, I can also divide the shapes up. Once I have ungrouped the shapes I can delete the unwanted parts. Great, I'll turn the other layers back on and unlock them. First, I'll set my photo opacity back to a 100%. Then I'll try out some different background colors. Now I want to think about naming the shapes in my Layers panel. There's a big long list of stuff from the design layer, and a lot of it will be extra bits left over by the Shape Builder tool. I'll first name the parts that I can be easily identified, like the gifts and the pom-poms. Now when I select the other parts, I see that they are tiny shapes with no stroke or fill, so I can delete those. Some do have a fill, but when I zoom in I can see they can also be removed. Regarding the pom-pom shapes, yes I could keep those and apply color, but because they aren't white in the photo, I'm going to get some odd color effects and I've decided that I'd like to remove them. Before I apply patterns to my mock-up, I'll just make some final adjustments to the paths so they fit perfectly to the photo. Just for convenience, I think I'll make separate layers for each wrap. I'll apply pattern fills to the wraps. I have a multi-directional pattern here, but in case you have a directional design remember you can rotate the pattern to suit the object for more realistic positioning. Go to Object, Transform, Rotate with Preview checked, transform objects unchecked, then change the rotation until it works on the objects. Save the file again. And there we go, a mock-up using a mixture of vectors and photography. For simple photo mock-ups for your own use, this technique can work fine. But for more complex photo mock-ups, I recommend to use a raster program such as Photoshop. Raster programs are specifically designed for photography and have more tools for warping, applying lighting effects and changing image levels. 14. Your Project: Hi folks. Now that I've shown you some examples it's time for your project. I want you to create your own mock-up and apply a surface design to it. You can choose any object, then mix and match with any of the styles. Also, I encourage you to infuse your own style into the process. You can apply either repeat pattern or a placement print. It's up to you. Just have fun with it and please do share your work in the project tab. If you decide to offer the mock-up file for other designers to use, you're also welcome to post the link at the bottom of your project for others in class to see and possibly purchase. Remember I've added some useful resources in the project area for you. So happy designing. 15. Thank you: Thank you very much for taking this class. I do hope you've enjoyed it and picked up some new techniques. If you have any questions, you're welcome to email me directly via [email protected] If posting your class project on social media, remember to tag me @rocketandindigo so I can see your fabulous illustrated mock-ups, and feel free to use the hashtag #rocketskillshare. I already have some exciting new classes in the pipeline as well. To be notified of future classes as they launch, be sure to follow me here on Skillshare. And if you found this class beneficial, it would be lovely to receive your review. Many thanks and see you next time.