Vector Character Design For Beginners | Jeremy Mura | Skillshare

Vector Character Design For Beginners

Jeremy Mura, Brand Identity Designer

Vector Character Design For Beginners

Jeremy Mura, Brand Identity Designer

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11 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

      0:32
    • 2. Finding Inspiration

      2:09
    • 3. Tools + Idea generation

      1:23
    • 4. Thumbnails & Sketches

      3:40
    • 5. Basic Character Princinples

      7:43
    • 6. Vectorizing Character Sketch

      12:12
    • 7. Adding Color & Detail

      10:52
    • 8. Adding Glow effects

      3:41
    • 9. Character Variety

      3:34
    • 10. Making Character Backgrounds

      6:54
    • 11. Thanks + What's Next

      0:16
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About This Class

In this class I'll be taking you through my process of illustrating a character, starting with the concept, then moving into Illustrator to create the shapes, and finally rendering it with detail and effects.

I'll show you simple techniques on how to texture your work all within illustrator. Using the right tools you will conceptualize your character and build it from scratch. In this 50 minute class, I'll explain principles, tips, and processes that you to create a fun little character to add in your portfolio.

What You'll Learn

  • Inspiration: We'll discuss sources of inspiration
  • Concepts: We'll sketch out ideas of basic characters.
  • Sketching process to Vector: Using shapes and pen tool to build a foundation.
  • Detailing and Color: You'll use effects in illustrator to render nice detail.
  • Creating Backdrop: You'll use color adjustments and gradients to create a background.

All you'll need for this class is Adobe Illustrator (Free Trial), I'm using CC but other versions is fine.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Jeremy Mura

Brand Identity Designer

Top Teacher

About Jeremy

Jeremy Mura is a brand identity designer and content creator from Sydney, Australia.

He has been in the design industry for over 7 years now working for both small and big brands worldwide. He has worked for brand names such as American Express, Telstra and Macquarie Business School. In that time he has also helped hundreds of people upgrade their design career from logo designers, illustrators, brand designers, web designers and many more.

‍I’ve become known for my transparent, helpful and positive personality as well as creating practical content and courses that help launch beginners into the creative industry.

He has over 2M+ Views on Youtube with over 300+ videos uploaded, has taught over
45k+ Students on Skil... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Class Introduction: It's Jeremy Huey with another class, I'm going to be showing you how to create some vector characters from scratch. I'm going to be showing you the process on how to find some inspiration, how to create some IDs from scratch. Then we're going to go through some design principles and how to create good characters. Then from that we're going to start to build up our characters using just basic strokes and shapes. From that we're going to build out a character and add effects, add some glows and make it really pop and stand out. I want to give you some files that you can use to create the character with its certain parts that's going to help you out. [inaudible] , enroll in the class and let's get started. 2. Finding Inspiration: You always want to start with finding some inspiration. It's also good to look up some sketchbooks, look at animation books even in or do some research and Disney and picks up and get some ideas that way, if you want to do some complex character designs. I love going on Pinterest because it's easy you can add boards, you can put designs up, you can search for sketches or poses, or vector, illustrated characters as well, even digital painted characters as well. But you can see there's all these different styles. Some flat 2D style and like the more 3D style and it's awesome. So it's good to find out, look at the prices of other people, how they create it. Look at some poses, faces, hands, body positions or that type of stuff is going to help me create a cool character. You can see here I've just put a board together that I just put stuff that I like, some styles that I like. I'll take elements from certain things and I'll apply that to my own design. That's the key. Just want to find some inspiration, find things that you can adapt into your own design without copying, but you can really build out some techniques in cool styles from that way. So you can see he just going through this. I love this kid style, here as well. Then even the slight Victor style, that's like game design characters, which is pretty cool. All depends on what you want to do, what you want to achieve. But we can keep it simple, you don't have to do it too complex and you can keep it flat. Another cool thing is if you've got a Facebook page for character design as well, they always post like videos and photos of care design stuff so that you'll find some inspiration here, which is pretty sweet. I like that. Getting on Facebook and stuff, seeing people's process. Another cool channel on YouTube is to draw with Jazza. I love watching him. He does a lot of tutorials and drawing and how to build characters and illustration and stuff. He's not a vector style, but he's more of a fellowship style, but that's a love getting some inspiration from there. Then if you go on Amazon, you can just type in character design and you can find some books. So you got design with Pixar and all these other cool stuff that will actually be beneficial to you. If you have money invest in that and that what's really going to help you out. 3. Tools + Idea generation: I want to show you some basic tools that I use when I'm doing my sketches. First one is a mechanical pencil. It's a Staedtler brand. And that's pretty good just to use the standard two millimeter lead. Then I use a standard 2B pencil. You can use any brand really, it doesn't really matter. I also use a Progresso sometimes if I want to do really rough sketches, or get a nice dark tones. You can really play around with that because it's just a full lead without any wood, which is pretty sweet. Then for an eraser, I just use the Tombow MONO Zero eraser. In case I have little fine details on a [inaudible].Another cool thing as well is a Copic Multiliner. You can also use Micron as well, which is nice for a felt-tip pen to go over your own lines when you're inking them. Then I just use a standard [inaudible] brand eraser, which I used to erase my sketches, which is pretty cool. So that's the basic tools I use. Then I have something, go through some sketches, some doodles that I do in my book. What I'm doing, some character designs, as you can see there. It's all about playing around, experimenting and just doing some things that are going to build your drawing skills up. So once I've done that to get some ideas out, I usually start off with one word or an idea or a theme. When I do that, I just stopped branching out with words and connecting words with that one idea. Once you do that, you can break it down into smaller words and then just select ideas that you like out of that. And that's what we're going to use to build our character up. So it's a simple process, but it's definitely recommended to do it. 4. Thumbnails & Sketches: Once you've got your idea for your main character, what you want to start doing is doing some thumbnailing. Thumbnailing is a good technique to get quick ideas out without spending too much time on your sketches. Thumbnailing allows you to get a basic silhouette for your character. It also helps you to explore some designs that you can go for. It's really just a rough process. You don't spend too much time on each character, but focus on the, not so many much of the detail, but more of the ID, more of the concept of the character. You can see here I'm just keep doing different iterations, different varieties of the character. Then what you do is just keep doing it until you feel like you've done enough. Try and aim for like 10 at least, because that will help you pick one that you like, that you can use later on. It's good to process and helps you get that nice shape. Because with the character you want to make sure it has a unique shape that it's recognizable and it's something that's different from other characters. That's why it's a good thing to do this process, which is called thumbnailing. You can do really just small portions of it. You don't have to really do in a big scale. Thumbnailing is for small-scaled designs. You just focus on that. You can see that as we go on. You can see all those designs that are done there. I'm trying to get for like and some nice wings that I want one my character. What type up a of head I'm going for, the stance or the pose that they're going to be in, like is going to be a front or side pose. You can really explore down that area and find something that's going to work, which is pretty sweet. Once I've completed my thumbnails, what I do is start focusing on scaling up the character. I picked one ID and focus on one. You can see that I selected it on the top there. Now I'm just starting to build out the details a bit more now. Still keeping it fairly rough, but just focusing on scaling it up and seeing where I can take this. You can see I'm soldering at some heads, drawing some of the IDs. I'm seeing what path I want to take, what things I want to exaggerate in the character. With characters I knew I wasn't exaggerate one piece, maybe it's the wings, maybe it's the cap, the weapon, the clothes, the eyes, the face, whatever it is, you want to exaggerate one part. I'm just exploring him drawing out different heads and seeing what I can do, and seeing how my character to look like during the first iterations of it. It's just very being free hand and just playing around with that. After that, I start drawing out some eyes, I start drawing out some noses and even some wings, and start focusing on what type of styles you can go for because there's heaps a different styles. The best thing to do is just practice, just draw on heaps of them. Even fill up a whole sketch page if you really want to practice your drawing skills because drawing is a key skill that you can use, especially even in Graphic Design as well. But it's important when you're doing characters to pick something that is going to have an effect and actually relate to the style you're going for. You can see I'm just experimenting, having fun with it. It's really cool. Its all the shapes and lines and your brain forms these images using your imagination to actually process an image and a picture of something. You can see here just going through some noses, fat noses, skinny noses, thin noses, button noses, whatever it is. Just exploring that and offer that and do some wings. I'm doing an angel character for now and just exploring that. Always think of the lines, what it would look like if it's most sharp, more rounded lines, more curvy lines, more abstract. What if it was just like half of a wing? What happens if it was in movement? Maybe I should put on an angle. What it would look on the upside down, like ask these questions and just do that and experiment. Come up with really cool designs that you can add on a nice character. 5. Basic Character Princinples: I'm just going to take you through some styles of casual design. This is just a basic list, there's plenty more, but these are some ones that I find pretty cool. The first doll is 2D, which I like working in which is mainly vector-based, and that's my style. Then you've got 3D characters which people make in Maya or 3D Max, and they do for that games and animations, and films, and stuff like that, which is pretty cool. Then we got a Chibi style which is based in the Asian style in Japan. You can see it's got cute, the big eyes and big hair, small bodies, and it's like a small character which is pretty cool. Then we got a comic book style really like inked lines and using sketched pencils that have a fill to it. Then you got the digital painted style, which is mainly done in Photoshop or for digital artists and other cool stuff to check out that somethings like art station, which is pretty awesome. Once you've done that, we're going to go and figure out a story of a character. So you always want to ask questions. Questions is the best thing to do. If you don't ask questions your character is going to be bland and boring. So you need to have a backstory, and what I like to consider when I'm thinking of a character is the Who, the What, the When, the Why, and the How. It doesn't have to be extensive, it can be really basic. But you have to put some simple questions here like, what's the Name of the character, the Gender, the Age, what's their background? Where did they come from? Where did they live? What's the character's goal? Who is the parents? What is their job or what is the mission, or what is their role? Who are their friends, who they hang out with? What things do they like? What colors do they like? What's their Strengths and Weaknesses? What are their beliefs? By starting to ask these questions, you can start to get a feel of where your character is going, what path or direction you're going to take in your character, and then it will help you shape the character's personality, what they wear, how they look, how they feel in the atmosphere, and it's really going to overall improve your character design. So always ask your questions and try and stick with who, what, when, why, how, and just get a few questions for each section, and then you're going to really build your character to make it more unique and make him stand out. Once you've had a bit of a background story, we can start to move on to shape language. So this is just some basic shape language that we use when you're doing character design. So there's the Circle, the Square, and the Triangle. So circles are really Soft and Expressive. They really have a more of an emotional connection. The more fluffy, more cute, more warmth and beautiful, empathetic. People really connect with a circle more, and sometimes they also convey femininity as well, which is pretty cool. With the square, they're more like masculine and hot. Usually like the boss or like the hero or a strong character in the story, and usually like the big ogre looking dudes are usually square, which is pretty cool. Then once you've gone to the triangle, a triangle is more versatile. Its dynamic, sharp, swift. When you think of like a thief or a ninja, that's up a thing. They are really the outcast or the awkward one out of the group. It's the unusual one, and usually there are cunning agile character. But if you actually flip the triangle, that can be an overweight character. So it depends how you design a character up. So these are the three basic shape languages that I use. I'm going to show you an example. Here from Kung Fu Panda, which is an awesome movie. I love that animation. Jack Black is a funny guy and you can see the panda, how it's a rounded shape, very curvy. He's very loving, he's funny. He's very intimate in the movie if you've watched it. So you can see how that circle shape represents that language. Then he got the strong, arrogant, the Tigress. She's like a square. You can see the grasshopper guy, I forgot his name. He's like a triangle, which is pretty cool. Then you got Crane as well, more of a triangle thin shape as you can see there. Then you've got the main guy, which is a square as well, which is the master of Kung Fu Panda. So this is just a basic example of how the designers use that shape language to really convey their points in the character as well. The cool thing is just using simple shapes and forms, especially with vector illustration of that character design in a vector style, it's just all about shapes. So you can see I've just done Kirby and all you can see, is all these shapes: Ovals, circles, just a path, and then as you can see there. I'm breaking it down, you can see I've just used the shapes here, circles and ovals, path, and it's order to starts with a circle pretty much, and you can create any character. It doesn't need to be complex, it can be really flat and really simple. So that's just Kirby. Just remember, focus on simple shapes, simple forms. Don't worry too much about their detail. So we've got emotions: Shocked, Happy, Sad, Bored, Evil, Joyful, Curious, Sick, and Dead. You can see by just changing the eyes, adding eyebrows, changing the shape of the mouth, or even the shape of the nose can really convey different emotions. So you want to keep that clear when you're designing your characters. You can see here just by having open mouth, it looks more shocked or like a wow factor, and then by making the mouth like a squiggly line, it makes him look like they're ill. Always remember emotions convey the character, the personality, or a situation they're going through. So you want to make sure that you're always working on whatever emotion you want the character to convey and sure, that's really going to help out. Another important factor when you doing characters is the silouettes. You can see this character is The Iron Giant is an old-school movie, animated movie. Just check on Google if you don't know what it is. I was born in the '90s so I probably know what it is, and you can see if you zoom into the silouette, it's just a simple shape, but you can tell that it's a robot. Which is pretty cool. Silouettes convey their main shape. It allows you to see the uniqueness, and you always want to ask yourself, will your character be recognizable or is your character too blunt, to not have a significant item or shape to be noticed. That's why it's always good to have a nice silouette, and even so and just block it out, make it black and then see if your character stands out. It's good to check this way by doing a silouette, and it's going to show you what you're going to convey to your audience, how your shape looks is an aggressive shape, is the shape going to show something inappropriate? Is it going to help the viewers focus on the character, and so forth. It Helps you to focus on the concepts and really get a nice shape and idea of where your character stands in your piece and your work. Does a character sheet here, this work is not mine. Most [inaudible] showed today's not mine obviously, but I just using it for example and just to show you some principles, and you can see here a character sheet shows if you want to get into really detail with your characters, you can see it shows different the front, the side, the rear, shows different motivations of their head and even the weapons or whatever it is. It shows more detail for the character. It also adds depth as well and allows you to place them in different scenarios. So with poses, you can see sometimes you don't want to be a front on. Maybe they're like climbing or they coming down or they're in a room or their faces coming from the side. That's why it's good to have poses so you can share them in different areas and in different light. Then it also allows you to do different lighting as well. Always remember, poses are important. 6. Vectorizing Character Sketch: So I'm just going to show you the process of how I created my angel character, and then I create a little squad just using the basic shapes that we started off with. So you can see here, what you do, just take a photo from your phone of your sketch and then just upload it, just go on Facebook or your e-mail, and then what you want to do is just drag into Illustrator. So you can see how it does have the raw sketch there, nothing fancy. You can see it's just simple lines, nothing too crazy, and then you can see, I went around the pen too l and the shape tool and build all these strokes and these parts, one-by-one obviously. You can see, I'm just pulling them apart there, so you can see that. Then once I've done that, I started had build up the character. As you can see there, I've added some color, made it look unique and different. Added some little bit of more details, and then from that, I went on booted a whole squad adding even shadows there to give it some dimension, make it look realistic, and let's have fun and play around with it. So just by using simple techniques I want to show you, you can just build awesome characters that a vector base that you can scale, that you can play around and just create, well some things with it. So that's what we did, and now what I'm going to do, we're just going to start a new artboard. You can start a new document, you can work in RGB or CMYK, it doesn't really matter. I'm just going to work in RGB for now, and I'm just going to hold space and just drag down. I'm going to create a new artboard, and then that's going to be fine. I'm just going to grab my sketch, just make a copy of it, and I'm just going to start off with this. So once you get a sketch, you want to scale it up and put it in the middle of the artboard. That's how I like to work. What I'm going to do is go to my layers panel, and I'm just going to create some new layers, and lock all these other layers, and we're going to make sure that this is on the top. So what we can do is you see these little blue part on your layers panel? You can just drag this up like that, and now it's in the top layer. Lock those all three layers which had that other designs on it, and we're going to use this. So what I usually do when I'm starting with my character, I'll have the sketch put in the middle, and then I'm going to press P for the pen tool and just click and click and make a line. So I've just made a stroke, and what I love to do is center it. This makes it easier so then some elements that are going to be the same, I can just duplicate it on the other side so you save time, and that's what you want to do. So I'm just going to that seems like the middle [inaudible]. It doesn't matter if the sketches line up, it doesn't have to be perfect, and I'm going to just select that and press Control or Command 5, and that should make a guide. If you cant see your guides, you can go view, and then guides are there, so you can check that out. So I'm just going to lock that, and I'm going to start building my character. So you always start by each section, so you want to start with the head, and then work on the body, then the legs, and then we'll focus on the other stuff later on. So what I'll usually do is get the basic shape. So I'm going to go to the left hand. You can see you got all these shape here, and then you can use rectangles, oval circles, and then customize it the way you want. So what I'll do is I'll usually use a rectangle for the head, and then I'm going to select these bottom parts, and just round that off, just like that. So now we just got that basic shape, and I'll do the same for the nose. Just get it a rectangle. I like working with rounded tips. So now you got the nose, and then you can see the center mark. You want to make sure that if you've got a smart guide, always keep those on, that really helps you out. So now I can see that with the centuries and I can just hold shift and drag that, so I know its centered. So that's going to be completely even, because you don't want your character to look wonky unless you purposely make the current character look like weird and stuff. So then I'm just going to circle by pressing L for the ellipse tool, and just start dragging out these pieces. I'll select these two together, and then we go to the Pathfinder tool, and it can go minus front, and I'll create mine like that. So you can see, as I'm going through just making, resizing and just using shapes and the paths. I wanted to select these, delete that until we get the eyebrow, and then well use the eyedropper tool. You can actually select the strokes of the other one to make it even, and then what you do to copy it across, you just select it, press O for the Reflect tool, and then what you do, locate the center of the guide. You'll see that it says guide holding Option or Alt. You can actually get this reflect box, and then what you want to do is click preview and then make sure it's on vertical, not horizontal, and it's going to create the same exacting shapes and paths on the other side. Then what you want to do, you want to press copy there. So once you've done that now you've got the same stuff on the other side, which is pretty sweet, and then I'm going to go ahead and just create that. So you can see for the mouth and the nose we can just use one shape instead of copying it because we've just already located in the middle. So you can see that's in the middle too. So, cool we've got a smiley face. You can make it an angry face or whatever. As we've talked through the emotions I'm just going to make him a happy guy, and I might round this off a bit up here. You can always just go through and tweak it. So this is how you'd build up the whole character, and once you finish with the head, then we'll work on the other stuff. Same with the halo. You can just create a circle. The cool thing about all these shapes that when you hold Option or Alt, it actually creates proportions. So you can see how I'm doing that. If you hold shift that's going to create a circle like this and draw it out. But if it's just holding Alt or Option, you can actually control the sides better like that. It's more flexible. So we can get that halo. Then we're going to work on the hair. You can always change the color as well of the strokes so you can see what you're doing. So I'm going to position the pen tool, and I'm just going to go through. If you're not, use the Pen tool, then you can look at vector illustration for beginners, I go through that tool there, you can see that it doesn't have to be too detailed with the lines. You just want to make it sort of organic. So I'm just going through this spiky hair, you can give him curly hair. Whatever your character you want to look like. You create the personality, you can make him look like yourself or you can make it look like an alien or whatever you want. I always go through here and tweak these points, and you can Control Z if it doesn't work out. You see I'm going to read you that. Okay, make it just longer. I'll go into that later. So you can see that we're starting to get the hair the face, and the head. So you're just there like five minutes and you know, it doesn't take too long, and that's how you build out the whole body. Though it would do good practice, I'll create another layer, and my sketches locked. But what we want to do, we don't want to have this on the sketch layer. So you can select all these, grab the color in the layer that we have selected, and just left click and drag that up. So now we've just put on this new layer. I'll call it build, or it can even call it head, and you can put on all separate layers if you want. If you want to keep really neat, so you can do head, body and stuff, but we'll just leave that for now. So I've got my sketch locked there, and we'll use the build layer. So I'll just continue to work through this, and get back with you in a second. So you can see we finally just built our character. We've got all the necessary shapes we need. So what I can do now is I'm going to just turn off that sketch layer. So you can see there, we went through, we created the wings, the Cape, these straps to hold the weapon, and the bell, and then the legs and shoes, and then all we used was the shapes. Now you can see how it looks very rough and we have to clean it up. So you can see how I built the sword as well, separately from the character. That makes it easier so that then can actually put on angles. The way we wanted. As well it also keeps it symmetrical. That's why we want to always do things straight and vertical first, or even horizontal if you want to work like that way and build up the shape that way, and then later on you can manipulate it and edit it. So what we want to do now, you can see I just created some different colors just so you guys can see on what's happening, and what we're going to do is just going to clean this up. So what I like to do is I like to select my main shape. So I'm going to select my body. To lock objects, you can just select and press Control 2 or go to object and then go to lock, and that's going to lock that. So what we're going to do, I'm going to select the body, and select these two leather straps, and you can see how the shape hangs out, that's okay. We can always work and clean that up. So a short way to do that is select all the shapes you want to work with, and then what you can do is press Shift M for the Shape Builder tool, or you can use the Pathfinder tool whichever way you prefer. I'll just show you the Shape Builder tool because it's just quicker. So you press Shift M and you can see your mouse has a little plus on it, and what that does now if I move my mouse over the selected shapes, it can recognize each part as a different section or a shape. So if I left-click or create a new shape based on that area, we select or If I hold Option, then it's going to actually monish that off. If you're on a Windows it's just Alt and you can see the monisher is there. So what I'm going to do now is just left-click or left-click and drag, and it's going to cut those pieces off just like that. So now I'm slightly just cleaning that up because I don't want shapes to be hanging out and looking messy and weird. Same thing with this, select the body shape make sure it's the right one, select the square, select the belt, the circle for the belt area then I'm going to cut these piece off, and then I can monish plus these two pieces together just like that. So now we have this belt, and we have these two straps. So I'm just using Shift X to switch them around. So now you can see the shape or the path is within the main body shape, which is what we want. So that's how we do that, and I'm just going to get that back out. Just like that. We can also do the same thing, for the wings and the cape as well, but because those objects are behind the body. So you can see, if I just select the body there you won't be able to see that excess shape that you have. So you can actually leave that, but if you want to be really clean, you can work on it, but it's just going to take more time, which you don't have to worry about. 7. Adding Color & Detail: So you can see I've blew up some color palettes already. Got some different theme colors. Some gold and some browns, blues, bits of reds and orange's. You can always mix it up. So that's why it's good to ask questions in the beginning, so you want to ask where is your character coming from? What is he wearing? Is he wearing leather? Because my character is an Angel he has a halo. I usually think of angels as having blonde hair, and they are holy, and they shine bright, and they help people, and that type of stuff. That's why I went for that yellowish bright color. So that's you always should ask these question to think about that. So what I can do now is just go through and select the shapes I want. As I go through that, I'm going to press Shift X and I'm going to just switch them around to create this shift the strike from the fill. What I'm going to do is just go around and just select different colors. I'm just holding Shift to select multiple objects. You can see there. This one is a stroke, so I'm going to switch it by pressing X to make sure I'm going to do the stroke. So just doing that. You can see the shape. We are going to have to edit this, so just bring this down. You can also create ears If you want. It depends on how you want it to look. I'll just start adding these colors slowly and slowly. You can use the eye dropper tool to select colors that are already there, just saves you time. The one thing you want to keep in mind as well is always, when you're doing the shape-go-to-tool method, you can actually stuff up the shape. So you can see that because we have plus, we have this shape now and we've got this severed shape. But if you wanted to keep the body, then what we will do is create a copy of the body shape. As if we go back here, we will create a copy of the whole body shape and then work with that and then minus it off, but that's fun. Just a quick tip. So I'm going to round this off. You can see this little dot behind there. So that's why you always want to make sure everything is set up correctly. I'm just going to find a center point. Forget that. Yes, I always modifying it as I go because sometime it's not always perfect the first time around. His body looks tiny for some reason. Here we go. Then I will just create this just like that. Let's make sure these are grouped together. Then I can just make a copy and then I'll just create an angled one. You can see the key to putting it behind, you can go to Object, Arrange, Send Backward, Send to Back, Bring Forward. So if you send it all the way to the back, it can go all the way behind the character. If you go to Send Backward, it's going to keep going back. The shortcut key is Control left square bracket. That's left square bracket. So you can see I'm just pressing that and it's going behind like that. So it's all about dimension and you want to put it on the right layer. We have our main character and now we can start adding details to it. Don't worry if the colors don't match the way you want it to look straight away, it's okay. Just focus on getting the fill color and make sure everything is working fine. Then we can always edit it later. So what I'll do is I'm going to select it all and make a copy. So what we're going do now is to start adding some details and start fixing him up and adding some shadows and highlights and stuff like that. So I'll go through, I'll work here. Always try new, similar colors. You can also use the transparency panel blend modes, which I love doing. I always try and go for multiply. So you can see it adds a nice punchier color and it flows in with that back color. Then I'll drop the opacity to say about 50 percent to get that look. I like the mouth as more of a shape. So I'll drag that out and I'll just even copy that same, like that. I'm going to put the opacity more up. Just so it's a bit more reddish. We've got the eyebrows that's fine. Always edit as I go. So what I'll do for shadows. What I do is I like to create copies of the shape. So we've got these face. Because the light is going to come from this way coming down. Sometimes if the light is going to come from the left then shadows will be on the right-hand side of the body. If you don't know how to work with lighting, I have another class that you can look at. It shows you a bit how to do that. But it's pretty simple. You just going to learn about rim light, back light, and directional shadows. So it takes a bit of time and practice, but you can get used to it. What I'll do, I'll create a copy by holding all option. So now I have a copy of this face. I'll just change the color so you can see what I'm doing. I'll bring this to the front. So now we've got this copy and we've got the shape here. So what I'll do, select the neck and the head. Use the shape build up tool again and just minus that off just because it's quicker. Then what I'll do, I'll make sure his neck is towards the back. I'll select these, get the Eye Dropper tool and select the skin color and then go to transparency, the blending modes, and go to multiply. Once again, you can drop the opacity down depending on how you want it. So you can already see now we've created this shadow, this illusion that the head is above. You can see how it's really flat, but now with that shadow, it adds that dimension. Same thing we can do with the hair and everything else. That's how you create some simple shadows. Just make sure you're always creating a copy of the shape because if you mess it up, it's going to minus the shape and the you not going to have anything there. So you can see I'm always creating copies. Then I use Eye Dropper tool to select the same color. That's the best practice to get a nice punchy tone. Let's get the right tones. You can see that color under the body there. The same thing will go for the shoes. I'm going to actually make it a darker color. Let's add a little black to it. Just a little bit bigger. You always want to add some darker tones, so you can see these arms are behind. Maybe you want to add a bit of black. You can see I just change the color mode. You can change it to HSB, which is hue, saturation, and black or brightness. Or you can go to CMYK and edit the colors like that or the general RGB. But you can see there's some other percent of dark tones so I will just go to HSB and add some more black there. Just to create some contrast. If you want to go into just a single object, you can see that it has blacked out everything else. You just double-click on the object and it will go through and just press Escape to exit. So maybe I just want to see this sword, I don't want to touch anything else. I'm going to double-click in there. Its going to take here. Then what I'll do, use the Pen tool. Select the shape, and I'm just going to make a cutaway shape outside there. Select the sword or select everything. Choose the shape that the tone is cut out like that. Then once again, I'll eye drop one of the colors and just go multiply. So you can see if you just want a simple shape like that, it will look like that. But you can see because it's gray doesn't look as good on the gold. But if I change that to a goldish color, you can see it looks more orangey there. So you can do one simple shadow or you can cut the shadow out. Which I will just do. Notice you select all these three objects here, cut that out. Then I'll make it that gold. Just get that nice shadow there. Then we can actually select two shadows and just make that one shadow like that. As you can see there. So there we have it. We added some shading. We can go ahead and add some more details and highlights in the future if you want to or you can leave it like this. Then add it on a bit of a background and see how it's looking. So I'll use like a dark tone and even a lighter tone. So you can see that. There we have our character, looking pretty cool. 8. Adding Glow effects: From here what I'll do is just copy the character again. So we have those prices that we can see where we come from and we can always go back and edit those if you want. I want to add a bit more detail. So what I can do is start to add up a few shapes and some gloves and stuff like that. So I'm just going to start with the foot here. You see, I just want to add a bit more detail. So what I'll do is just create a normal rectangle. I'm going to round that off. Then maybe just change it like a lot of brown. Then what I'll do is just create and then just copy those. I'll make a copy, sorry, and just square that and then just duplicate those. Then I'm going to select all these and then shape the little tool again minus it off. So you can see you get some laces. Then what I'm going to do is just group these by pressing Command or Control G. I'm going to bring it over here, just like that so cool, we've got some laces add a bit of detail. You can add socks, you can add sandals, whatever you want. I'm going to start to add some glows for extra detail. So because it's an Angel, you know they glow, they have a lot of light. I'm going to select my shape or my stroke. So this effect works on paths as well as any object you select. What we want to do is go to Appearance panel. You can open that by going to window and go to appearance if you want, which is at the top there. What we're going to do is select the FX drop-down menu. Make sure your autumn is selected. We're going to go to Stylize and Outer Glow. So you can see now we can't see anything. We're going to take the preview box, someone preview that. You can see you can't really notice that I'm going to change it and you can see there's a glow now. We wanted to have a similar color from that yellow color. So I'm going to click the swatch yellow. I don't want to use any of these colors, so I'm going to go to my color swatches and use the ones we already have. So what I'm going to do is just select one of the lighter colors. You can see now, now we have this glow. You can increase the glow or decrease it as you can see there. You can also increase the capacity if you want really bright or if you wanted to subtle. So we'll leave it on six, and then jump that. That'll be cool. So now we have this slightly glow, which looks kind of nice. The cool thing about using the appearance panel is actually you can select this and actually turn it off and on. So you can see if you click the eyeball and the appearance panel on the right there, you can turn it off and on. You can also click the word and that's going to open the box again and they can just go ahead and edit it as you want, which is really handy. So you can see that we just make live edits. The good thing about this is it's fun, it's easier to use, it can cause your computer to lag. So make sure you turn it off sometimes when you're building out your shapes and some of them. So you want to lead us to the last minute. So what I'm going to do now is add a whole glow on the whole angel. So what I'll do is select everything. What we're going to do is Control C, Control left to make a copy and paste it in front. So what I'm going to do now is go and just make it one shape. So click unite and the Pathfinder tool. What we can actually do now is go to our Appearance panel and do the same effect again. It's going to add that glow. You can play around with the transparency. mode. You could leave on the overlay or whatever. Press Okay. We want to send this to the back. So I'll go Object, Send to Back. You just want to make sure that it's just above the background because the background was in the back. So you can see that now we have that nice glow and it looks like a glowing cool angel, which is pretty sweet. Then you can always go back and edit that shape. If you only want the glow for certain parts, you'd only do on the head of the wings or whatever you want. 9. Character Variety: The cool thing about doing vector characters is that you can actually reuse your same assets. You can see here we've got all the basic shapes and the body and the legs, and the thing is, we're just going to reuse these and reiterate the things we've already created. That's why it's cool to use basic shapes so that you can just keep going and edit as you go. I've just made a copy, I've gotten rid of the wings, the hair and the weapon just to get rid of all that and just start from the basic minimum, and you can see I've already done the shadows because we've already had the shadows from our character there and that we can just edit it as we go. What I'll do from here is go through, start changing some of the details, making the nose smaller, even change the color of the eyes if you want. You can make these darker, whatever you want. Maybe you want another ear on both sides instead of one. I'll just select that and make a copy, maybe he's going to have darker skin, maybe want this a bit darker. Then we'll have to go through and edit all the other skin colors. Just there we've already made him a darker color. I'll go through, change the colors of this, maybe you want him to have like an orange suit, and you can see what's going to have darker shades of the one color so you can edit that really easily. Maybe you want some bright orange shoes, and the good thing is that all these things are on multiply, and the shadows are there that we can just already be used. You can see how some of shadows don't look as good as before. What I'll do is select the color that we just changed it to it, and then go back to multiply and edit those, and you can see that there. We have that and then I'll go ahead and just create some fresh hair, maybe this guy is a bit spiky. We've got the hair there, maybe you want to go for a lighter orange there, and that's it. We've got a main character and then we can just go build out the weapons. Once again, we can just reuse the same color, the same weapons, and play around with it. Let's create something unique, and then we can add that in, and just duplicated it across, and you can just work on it again. That's the cool thing about these characters, they're flexible and it's easy to use and you can just create multiple designs. 10. Making Character Backgrounds: Right now we're going to make a backdrop for our character. It's film making backgrounds because you placing them in an atmosphere, you placing them in a scenario, in an area that's going to really uplift they character and really show their true light. That's why it's good to put a background. You don't have to know too much but if you know the basics, then it's going to be cool. What we're going to do now, we just going to make a rectangle. I'd like to put a ground just to show you that there's gravity at work and know that the character is actually tangible and it doesn't look as floating. But if you want it to be floating , then you change the posture a bit. But we're going to add a bit of a dark tone for the ground. We'll just leave that on that dark brown there. [inaudible] Medicinally utilize these colors that we have. So I made one rectangle there. I'm just going make sure my character is locked there several slip that locked in. Then I'm just going make another rectangle or pressing him something to do that. Then I'm going bring that to the back. So we have our character and we've got these two rectangles here. So what I'm going to do is go to the gradient tool. What I'm going to do is in the slick my bottom shape and I'm going to drag these brown tone in there. I'm going to select this y and drag that down. What I'm going to do is change the angle now to 90 degrees, just selecting it here. I'm going to hold out and just duplicate this brown again. I made it out of the slater and give that black that I don't want. I'm going to double-click on this brown. I'm going to change this drop-down menu just, here just going to change to speak. I want to make it dark. You can see I'm using this and I'm just going to drag that so you can see you get that nice dark tone i want to make it too dark. I'm just going to play on this slide and see what looks got good. So you can see you can make it, it's subtle look like a grounds, or you can make it really like that. You can even reverse if you want to as well and do it that way. But I like this and then have a little girl at the bottom, which is a border, which are kind of like curving. So cool, we've just added that gradient there. What we're going to actually do, is going to actually change this color. So we're going to just swap these colors now. You can do this by just dragging the dark blue into that doc and then we can drag this other blue like that. So already once because we've got the same, similar tones of another color, you can just drag them on top of the slide is, and it's going to change that, which is so cool. What we're going do, we're going to do similar thing. But to this background. What I can do is get the eyedropper tool and select the bottom banner we just made. You can see that what I'm going to do is go to the angle make it 90 degrees. But this, we want the light coming up from the bottom going up. So you can see that. Now you can see there's a contrast here you got the floor and in the background. So if you wanted to make more of a sunset, then you'll do this way. If you want more of it, the sun up at the top, like lunchtime that you could do at the top. But you can see it's going to be a weak transition here. But you can fix that later. I'm just going to do it this way. I've got that color now. Now that's looking really nice. It's looking cool. We can even change it to make it a lot of blue like that, and we can even make this actually a darker blue as well. Do what I did before, make it a bit darker just like that. Just playing around with the gradient and you get some really cool tones. You can already see that it's already making the character pop out and come to life. What else we can do is add some more glows as well especially when you're working with games, you can actually do a lot in Illustrator, which is pretty sweet. So with this, I'm going to use the same gradient. But this time I'm going to get rid of the dark one and I'm going to change the capacity to 0 percent. You can see that I've got the slotted into gradient panel to 0 percent. Now you can see just fades out. It's a smooth transition. We have this color here. We have it in the center, roughly in the center of our character. What I can do now is if I go to the "Transparency" panel, I can actually play through the blending modes and look at what's going to work well. "Screen" is good, usually "Color dodge" which is good as well, and "Overlay". You can see that you can play around with the little ones, but it doesn't look as good. Looks cool as it smooths it in I like using "Color dodge" and "Screen". You can see colors dodge looks cool there but what I'm going to do is I'm going to bring it because right now it's in front of the character. I want to bring it behind the character. I'm going to bring it to the back and then just bring it one-up. It's in the background now. It's not going to afflict the character because it, what it does, it actually messes up the colors a bit. So that's how we want in the background. So I've got that and now I'm going to just adjust these how I want. I can bring it up too harsh, can just drop that down and maybe put the opacity of the color dodge mode to 70 percent. So we've got that and sweet, and now we've got that cool light in the background, so highlights the character, which is awesome. We can then add some clouds if you want. I'll just use the pen tool for this. I'll just make that a white. Then play the blending mode again. I'll just say that my ballet. Just by simply using this basic gradients and shapes for some clouds, you can actually create a nice little scene there. Then we can even add a sun, there a moon. Then we have just created a simple background for our character. You can change the colors. You can duplicate it and make sure everything is unlocked and you can just experiment. You can create so many crazy things. What I can do now is if I put another color, the background, I'll just make another box. I'll make it orange. Then if I bring it up to just behind that, it should make a difference.. You can see that you can turn it to orange. If I bring this down as well, I just like that, and you can see that we've already created a nice background. 11. Thanks + What's Next: Thanks so much for enrolling in the class. Go to the top left corner and press the "Follow me" button. That will keep you up-to-date with new classes and discussions I've posted. Don't forget to leave a review as well and any feedback is welcome. I really appreciate if you can do that, make a thumbs up. I look forward to creating more classes for you.