Traditional to Digital: Easily Convert your Ink Illustrations into Digital Vector Format | Tamara Hall | Skillshare

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Traditional to Digital: Easily Convert your Ink Illustrations into Digital Vector Format

teacher avatar Tamara Hall, Designer

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

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

8 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Hello & Welcome to the Class!

    • 2. Sketching your Ilustrations

    • 3. Preparing for Digitizing

    • 4. Coverting to Digital

    • 5. Refining Illustration

    • 6. Exporting for Print

    • 7. Exporting for Logos & Social

    • 8. Here's your homework!

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About This Class

In this class I'll cover how to cover your ink illustrations into vector files that you can use in a diverse amount of projects. I've used my illustrations in everything from logos, to patterns for clothes and art prints. It might be easier than you think! 

If you love to draw and are wondering how you can make some extra cash from your skill, this is how. Some ideas are starting a clothing brand, selling your prints on Society Six or ETSY, making patterns and putting them on items using Printful, creating digital products for Creative Market - the options are endless! The world is ready to see your creative designs, let's gooooooo!

Required Tools:

1. White paper

2. A selection of black markers/pens/brushes

3. Adobe Illustrator (a free trial can be downloaded here)

4. A cell phone or scanner to take photos of your art with

Meet Your Teacher

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Tamara Hall



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1. Hello & Welcome to the Class!: Welcome to this skill share class. So in this class I'm gonna teach you how you can turn your illustrations into digital files. So I've been a graphic designer for over ten years and I've done everything from ran my own design agency to running a clothing brand. I've worked for various agents whose as well. And so I'm happy to share my knowledge and teach you some skills that may be useful to you. I know there's a lot of illustrators or who are wondering, how do I do this? You know, maybe you want to use your illustrations and a logo on some clothing or you want to make art prints out of it, but you're not really sure where to start. So basically in this class I'm going to walk you through exactly step-by-step how I do it will start with me and drawing the illustrations, exactly the tips and tricks that I would suggest when drawing them out. And because there are things that you do need to know. And then how I get them from a piece of paper into the computer, how I turn them into a vector file and then the proper way to export those files and see the melt depending on where you want to use them. So this class is perfect for you if you're an illustrator and you're used to drawing on paper are, but you have no idea how to turn those into digital files. And if you've never used Adobe Illustrator before, that's totally fine. I'm going to make it really easy to learn how to do this process if you're familiar with Illustrator, the not-so-great tool, this is going to be even easier for you. You don't have Adobe Illustrator, you will need to download it. So there is a free trial available that you can download. Basically, you're going to need Adobe Illustrator. It's, it's definitely worth the investment. If you want to say turn us into like a little side hustle. If you want to sell your art prints online, if you want to make patterns for clothing. If you want to start up a little clothing store, if you want to start making logos, you want to make patterns, basically, yeah, if you want to turn this into more of like a way to make assigning income than I would definitely recommend investing in Adobe Illustrator. But for now, I mean, I love the tile and see if it's something that interests, you know, see if this is a direction you want to take. So I didn't, that's pretty much it. Let's jump into the class. 2. Sketching your Ilustrations: All right, so basically, when I'm starting the illustration process, I will use black inks only. And I have a few different pens here that I'll use. And they're all different widths. So some are like really sick black pens and some that are quite thin. I even have super tiny one and BLUF Garnaut things work fine. And so even if you're using super thin black pens and attack like a very small amount of detail if cylinder work. So just draw it in the style that usually draw. So I'm gonna draw a few different examples. And the only thing to remember here is just to use lacking. That's the key thing to remember, black ink on white paper. And that's going to work the best for turning your illustrations into digital signs. I'm going to show a few different styles and examples. So you'll see how exactly illustrator converts num. Okay, so I have a couple different designs. One where the lines are a little bit thinner and a little bit messier and somewhere the lines and the shapes are quite thick and blobby. So I'm going to add a few more different styles onto there. K sub tropical palm leaf going on. You can add some detail within your designs as well. So this one I'm not going to fill out, I'm just gonna so for this one I'm going to leave it as an outline, but I'm going to add a little bit of finer detail inside. I'm going to stick with the Leif motif just because I feel like we've got a bit of a theme going on. So different instruments, different pens will give you different styles. So play around with a variety penn sizes and you'll get different effects. Phyla effect that works best for you. Don't worry if you mess up because once we bring these into Illustrator, we can make some adjustments and fix any mistakes. 3. Preparing for Digitizing: Okay, so how do I bring this into Illustrator is I will either take a picture with my phone, which is probably the easiest way, or you can scan it in. And if you have a scanner, with a scanner, you're gonna get the most accurate angle because it's going to be obviously flat. But if you take a pitcher, you're going to have to make sure that you're completely perpendicular to your piece of paper so you don't get any distortion from taking it on an angle. I usually use my phone and honestly it's worked perfectly fine. So don't feel like you need a scanner, anything. Honestly are funneled. Probably. Your phone will probably be. So this is basically what I do. J sometimes if the lighting isn't that great. And I'll move by, our works are where there's better lighting because you really want the best possible lighting when taking this photo. You wanna make sure that the white is bright, vibrant white and blacks are dark blacks. And that'll make the process of turning it into a digital file a lot easier. Alright, so I have some pretty good lighting going on by the door. Natural light is typically your best bet. Okay. So take a few different photos just to make sure that you have one that's going to work. You don't want anything blurry. You wanna ask Chris as possible pace. So basically, Yes. So you've got a few different pitchers? Yeah. I think one of these is going to work on are pretty good. Yeah. So I'm ready to move into the next step which would be getting this photo on my computer. 4. Coverting to Digital: Now you should have your photo and illustrator. I just simply email that to myself and opened up the image and illustrator if you scanned it and it'll already be on our computer. So then you're pretty much good to go. So here, image should look something like this once you've imported it. Just gonna go ahead and rotate it. If you can see the outline of your art barn, you can hide it by just going to do high dart boards. And there you go. Make sure that image is selected and go to Window image trace, and you'll see it pop up. Okay, and if everything is grayed out and you're not able to do anything, just click off your picture and then click back on it and it should all pop up. These are the default settings. So usually the default settings are actually pretty decent. The only thing that I would change is if you click on the arrow, both sided bands, just make sure you click ignore white, and that makes it a little bit easier to edit later. And then click preview at the bottom, and it'll do its thing. So if these look pretty well how you want them to look, you're basically done. But if they're not quite right, you can adjust the threshold slightly so you can turn it up a little bit. And then it will recalculate the image trace. You can see it like slightly adds a little bit more that commits to the strokes. So yeah, basically depending on your artwork, you well, yeah, I know. So basically depending on your artwork here, you can play around a bit with a threshold to make sure that everything looks how you want it to look. I don't usually play around with the corners, pass or noise too much. I find they don't really do a whole lot. Like just to give you an example, corners have been turned down by 35%. Okay, didn't really notice anything there. So yeah, you can leave those sustain and just make sure all this is the same. So black and white tracing results. Yeah. So once everything looks how you wanted to look, you can just close the tracing window and make sure everything is highlighted again. So just select your image and go object, expand. Sure, object and Phil are selected and click OK. And then you should see everything kind of gets this blue outline around it, and then go to object Ungroup. Alright, and then take the white Direct Selection Tool and highlight around just your objects here. So then you can cut your objects by pressing command acts or edit cut. Now that that's on the clipboard, just delete everything that's left here. So just take the regular selection tool, click and drag highlighted all. Hit the delete key, and then paste what's on your clipboard. So Command V or edit, paste. And you should see your items on here. So I'm just going to resize those by highlighting and just using these while holding shift option. If you're not familiar with Illustrator, that's kinda why I am just going over everything in detail. But if you've used Illustrator before, this part should be pretty simple for you, but yeah, you can just resize everything. And now I can basically separate these all out. If you're clicking on one and you're noticing that they're all moving, just highlight them all and go to object O1 grew. And then they'll all be their own little elements. If you're finding that when you move it, parts go with it and parts don't. Before you move it, just highlight the whole thing and go to object group. And that's going to make sure that all the elements of your object are grouped together. Alright, so you should have all the different elements that you've created. And from here you can take the different elements and you can make a logo with them. You can use them in your other designs, their vector now, so they're basically good to go. 5. Refining Illustration: Once you've imaged, traced your elements, sometimes you'll notice that there might be a few things that you want to fix up that didn't quite look right. So I'll show you how to do that here. Just zoom right in on your elements. And what we're noticing here that there's this little bump that I'm not a huge fan of. So just go into your pen tool and you can delete the anchor points. And then you can use the direct selection tool to kind of addressed. And this is sort of how you can go in and make any adjustments to your image and refine anything that looks a little bit weird. So there I just use the anchor point tool to adjust it. You can delete anchor points of something doesn't look quite right. So once you're happy with your illustration and you can save it as an AI file and then you'll be able to use it in your projects down the road. 6. Exporting for Print: Okay, so the way you want to set this up, if your file is going to be printed. If you're if you know where you're getting it printed from, sometimes they'll have templates on their website that you can download. So check that first, see if there's an Adobe Illustrator template that you can download and then that's going to have the exact specifications for that printer. But if you're not sure where you're getting it printed, a rule of thumb is to set it up properly in here. So inches, let's just say you're gonna do your regular 8.5 by 11. So you can just put that in here. Art board, we're just going to have one. And so since this is for print, are going to add a bleed into it. So the default that bleed is 0.1 to five inch. So it'll automatically update the blade on all sides. So CMYK, you want it at 300. And yeah, so then just click Create. Ok. So this document is set up then for print. And you can just cut one of your elements out, paste it in here. Resizing. Let's say you want to add a background color. Okay, and let's just say this is what I wanna do for my art parameter. Make sure that if you have a bleed, that little thin red line is your bleed lines. So make sure the background extends past it. It doesn't it's not like it has to be even or anything even if it's like that it won't matter because it's only going to save what's inside that red line. So once you're happy with your art, go File, Save As, and save this on my desktop. And then under format, click, PDF, click, and then save it as whatever you like. So under these settings you can click off preserve illustrator editing capabilities because that's just going to make the file huge. Compression, average down sampling. We want to change this to 300 because it's preprint compression JPEG. Make sure you have that set to maximum because we want the highest quality marks and bleeds. So some printers are gonna want a trim marks on there, some won't. So if you know you're getting it printed, you can click that or not. As a rule of thumb includes a trim marks and then under bleeds, make sure that's clicks. So use document bleed settings and you'll see it's kind of grayed out, but it's 0.125 and she's on there and everything else is okay. So once you have that, just click save PDF. And this'll be roughly what your file will look like. You'll see the trim marks on here. So those are great. Those just tell the printer where to trim it. So they're going to use these lines as guides. And then you'll see it's got the bleed on there. And that's the little bit of space outside of the term lines. So if you have a background that extends to the, fills up the entire background, this'll ensure that there'll be no white border or any other things going on in the background. It's going to look like a solid color. 7. Exporting for Logos & Social: So File New, and I'll usually set it up so I can use it for a logo, but also save it out for social media. So I'll do typically a square ratio of eighteen hundred and eighteen hundred. This doesn't, this is kind of an arbitrary number because as a vector file, you can format it to what, you can save it out. It was whatever size we want. So this is just kind of a rule that I use, but don't worry too much about this number as long as it's a square ratio. We don't need a bleed since it's going to be for web. You can change that back to RGB color, some knee to screen, and screen shots. Here we go. And I'm going to use this one and the logo. And it's wanna resize it. And then you can basically just either a tux that this client, tropical love. Sure. Sounds good. Okay. And yeah. Going to play around fonts and around the typeface says, see you now, do something that looks kinda Q. Yeah, whatever I have fun with it. So depending on where I want to save it, so say if I want to use this on social media, I can go File Export, safer Web. This is what I like using still. And then I can see it. So from here you can change the dimension. So this is why I said like the 1800, right? 200 doesn't really matter when he set it out because you can change this to whatever you want. So for web you can, you know, cabinet 1500100 by 1500 JPEG. It's when you hit Save. You'll save up your file and you can upload it directly to Instagram. And then also, you'll want to save it as an Adobe Illustrator file, File. Save As format, Adobe Illustrator, same, that's logo dot i. That's going to be your working file. So when you have the Adobe Illustrator working Paul, the AI file, you'll be able to use that file to save it out in whatever format that you need moving forward. So why would that be a JPEG, a PDF, a transparent PNG. You'll be able to save those out. So you can save l, all those different formats now, or as long as you have that AI, you can save the mountain the future depending on what format. 8. Here's your homework!: Alright, well, thank you so much for enjoying this class and I really hope that you had a lot of fun. So your final project is to turn your illustrations. It's in digital designs. Let's see what you've done. Export your files and post them in the project area. And yeah, I want to check them out if you enjoy this class and you would like to see more of my classes in the future. Feel free to follow me and you'll be notified them when I launched new stuff. Most of my classes are going to be based around illustration, graphic design, logo design, clothing design. So if any of these topics in trust you, then yeah, I look forward to teaching you more cool stuff.