Vector Textures in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Vector Textures in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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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

4 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Vector Textures in Adobe Illustrator - Introduction

      1:26
    • 2. Vector Textures - Part 1

      6:29
    • 3. Vector Textures - Part 2

      8:11
    • 4. Vector Textures - Part 3

      10:40
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn to create vector texture effects in Illustrator. You will learn how to make a texture using pieces of a brush and then how to use these in two ways. The first way is to remove the texture areas from the image so you can 'see through' the image to the objects below. The second way is to add the texture to the image so it appears over the image and so you can color it to suit. This is one example of what you will be learning:

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Vector Textures in Adobe Illustrator - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class: Using Vector Textures in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're looking at working with vector textures in Illustrator. We're going to start by creating a vector texture ourselves from a couple of brushes that we can find in Illustrator. Then we're going to apply two similar but different effects to the image. First of all, we're going to cut the texture out of the shapes in the image, so that you can see through them to the background underneath. That's one way of texturizing shapes. In the second method, we're going to create a additive texture effect, where the texture is going to be added over the top of the image paces. Now, as you're working through these videos, you might see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, give it a thumbs up. These recommendations help me get my classes in front of more people just like you, who want to learn more about Illustrator. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and I look at all of your class projects. Now, let's get started on working with vector textures in Illustrator. 2. Vector Textures - Part 1: For a look at vector textures, we're going to use this bird image and we're going to texturize it, to make it a little bit easier for you to follow along, I've made this image available. You'll see in the class project area, a link that you can go to and download this image. Open it in Illustrator and you can follow along. Before we get to the vector textures however, let's just have a quick look at what's in this image. You'll find that there are three layers, two of which are locked down. I've unlocked the middle one because that's where the three colored pieces are, and we're going to texture those. In the other areas, here is a background that we're going to use later on and the branch. Then the topmost layer up here, are all the shapes that go together to outline the bird. We're not actually going to change those, so I've just locked eyes away together with the birds beak. This is the image that you can download and follow along with, and we're going to start out by creating a vector texture and we're going to use it to poke holes in the shapes, so that we can see the background through it. For this I'm going to start with a brand new layer just so I can isolate the vector texture from everything else, just makes life a little bit easier. For now, I'm going to lock down the bird as well. So I'm going to make my vector texture using a brush. So I'm going to click on the Brush tool, going over here to the brushes palette, and I'm going to go and open some grunge brushes. Click here on the flyer menu, choose Open Brush Library, and then we're going to Vector Packs, grunge brushes, vector pack. This vector pack is shipped with illustrator so you'll have these brushes. When you click on that, you're going to open these brushes in a panel by themselves. What we want is we want to use a couple of these brushes to make our vector texture. So I want this one in particular. So I'm going to just click on it and drag it into the work area. I'm going to click on this one as well and drag it into the work area. Then I can just close the vector brushes pack because I don't need it any longer. Let's zoom in and have a look at these brushes. Borrowing bits from a brush is one way that you can create your own vector textures. So we're going to first of all select each of those brushes in turn and expand it, object, expand, and then will choose Object Ungroup. I'm going to do the same with this one, Object Expand, Object Ungroup. Just so we can get to the places that are in these brushes. Now, each of these brushes has outline around it. I'm just going to select over and I'm just dragging over just an area that doesn't actually have any texture in it, but allows me to get hold of this box that is around the edge and I'll press delete. This one over here too. Once you get hold of it and delete it, it's gone. The next thing we need to do is to get rid of any bit of this brush that we don't want. Well, this is a big slab of black and so is this. We don't want that. What we want is the tiles from these brushes. So we're going here to the Lasso Tool, and with the Lasso Tool, we're just going to select round the big blob of black that we don't want. When it's selected, I'll press delete to delete it. I'm going to do the same thing on this brush. I want a little bit of texture. I don't want big blocks of it. Now, I'll press V to get to the selection tool, I can just click away from these shapes and we'll just check to see that we've got rid of everything that we don't need. While inside this brush is a really big pace of texture. So I'm just going to get the selection tool here and just double-click on this because this is a big amount, so I'm just going to delete it. It's a bit too much. I'll press escape. That's a nice bit of texture now, and this one, I've used this in a class before for a tissue paper collage effect. There is a semicircle of shapes here. I'm just going to go in here, double-click on this pace and remove it because it is a little bit on the dark side, and I'm thinking also that I'm going to get rid of this too. So Control or Command zero to just zoom back out and press Escape to get out of that isolation mode. Now we've got a few bits of texture that we can start to work with. So I'm going to take this one and I'm going to duplicate it, edit copy, edit paste in place. I'm going to move the duplicate away and just rotate it. Start building up a nice piece of text you using these brush elements. You can also grab this pace and start bringing it in, so I'm going to place it over here and let's do edit copy, edit paste in place on this. Let's drag the duplicate away and just rotate it. Zooming into this texture just to say how everything looks. I think that this is a bit of excessive duplication in here. It's going to look a bit repetitive, so I'm just deleting that pace. Let's go and grab these pieces now and just move them in a little bit. Controls zero to move back out. So far this is my texture pace, I can duplicate the whole thing, select over it, edit copy, edit paste in place. Let's take a duplicate away and let's rotate it. So this is a nice size pace of vector takes two to use. Before I use it, I'm just going to go in and remove some of these little repetitive paces just to make it look a little bit more organic and a little bit less like it's been made from repeated shapes. To do this, I'm just identifying the paces I want to remove and then just clicking on them repeatedly until they are isolated. So I only want them to be blue. Just double checking the texture that looks pretty good. I think we're ready to go ahead and start texturizing the bird. 3. Vector Textures - Part 2: Now let's go ahead and let's texturize the wing of the bird. The first thing we're going to do is to select over the texture. We're going to make a compound path of it. Because if you open up the last palette, you'll say that right now it's just a whole heap of small shapes. We need it to be a compound path. We'll choose "Object", "Compound path", "Make". The reason for it being a compound path is that in a minute we want to place it over the bird's wing and then we want to choose minus front in the Pathfinder. Now, if we choose minus front without making this a compound path, we're only going to remove one small piece of this texture from the bird's wing. In fact, what we want to do is remove at all, but by making this a compound path and it's treated as a single object and when we select to delete it from the bird's wing, we're going to delete all these little pieces from the wing. With that compound path now made, we can make a duplicate of it. Now, either I can hold the "Alt" or "Option" key and drag a duplicate away. I could select it and choose edit, copy and paste in place. Or I can just go through the last pallet here and I can drag and drop it on the new layer icon and that just makes a duplicate. Now, we want to unlock the bird body and we want to open that panel out. I want to take one of the copies of my texture and I am going to place it on top of just above this particular shape so that we can now start texturising the shape with it. I'm going to select it, I'm going to move it into position and I'm going to rotate it. You can see that we've left a copy of the texture behind. We need to leave one behind because we're going to need that to texturize the bird's body and the tail. I'm just going to size this so that it's big enough to cover the bird's wing. Then, I'm going to place that saw that I can make sure that I'm going to get a good texture all the way across the bird's wing. If I click away from it, you can see that these black areas are the areas that are going to be removed from the wing. If it's not in the right place then I can continue to move it and check visually to see if this is going to give me enough texturing, well, I'm pretty happy with this. Let's now go to this layer here, select it, and then shift click on the icon here for this last so we've got both the bird's wing and the texture selected. Now, we're going to the pathfinder. If you don't see the pathfinder in the panel here, go to "Window" and select "Pathfinder". The option that we want is this one, it's called minus front. You're just going to click it once. What that does is, it removes anywhere where that texture overlaps the bird's wing. It also removes any excess texture that was around the bird's wing that we don't want to use. You can see now that we've got these sort white areas that we can see through the bird's wing. In a few minutes when we put the background into this image, we're actually going to see the background through this, because this is actually see-through. Now let's go ahead and do the bird's body. I'm going back to the last palette. I'm going back to our texture, and I'm going to drag and drop it onto the new layer icon so that we create a duplicate of it. I'm going to select the topmost version and drag and drop it down here, just over the top of the bird's body. Now, it's going to be a little bit easier to work with this texture if we lock down the bird's body so it can't move. Let's select our texture pace and let's move it into position. We're going to re-size it, it's going to A's like cover the bird's body. Now let's rotate it. I'm just going to test it to see if it's big enough, which isn't quite yet. I'll make sure that it's texturesing the bird's body the way I want it to, I think I need to move it a little bit. If I'm happy with that, I can go ahead and unlock the bird's body. I'm going to click here to select the texture layer and then shift click to select the bird's body and we're going back to the pathfinder and we're going to choose minus front. We'll finish up by doing the same to the birds tail. If you want to be able to use this texture over again now, don't use it up, go and make a duplicate of it so let's go and do that now. Just locking down the bird's tail while I'm working. Once I have the texture in position, if I'm happy with it, I'm going to unlock the birds tail here. I'm going to select the texture and the tail, and again go back to our pathfinder and choose minus front. Again, we've poked holes in this shape to allow a sort rough texture. When we look at the background behind the bird, we're going to see the background through the bird's body. For now, let's just go to the last palette. I'm going to hide the visibility of this pace. I could use it later on, but I'm just taking it away for now. I'm also going to lock it so it just can't move. Let's go and unlock this bottom most layer because in here is the background, so I'm going to unlock it and display it. Now, you might see that we've encountered a slight problem here, where the bird's body is over the top of the branch. Because were seeing through the bird's body to the layers underneath part of which is this branch. If we want to remove the branch where it is below the bird's body, let's see how we do that. Let's go and click on the branch and see what it is. Well, what it is, is a brushstroke. Before we can actually erase parts of this, we're going to need to expand it. We'll choose "Object", "Expand Appearance", that turns a brushstroke into an object. When you have an object, you can erase it. I'm going to select this object here, but I'm also going to lock down everything else. I'm going to lock down the bird's body, I'm going to lock down the background. So in erasing that I'm doing is only going to be on this shape here because it's the only thing that's left available to erase. We'll go to the "Eraser", really handy tool in illustrated when you just want to get rid of things that you don't want. With the eraser, I'm just going to erase over that branch so that it is now not visible through the bird's body. If I hadn't locked down the background and the bird's body that eraser would have taken out the bird's body as well as the background. Just want to be a bit careful with it, but, if you erase the wrong thing, just undo it and start over. Let's have a look now at finish bird "Controls zero" to zoom back out. It's going to click away from the eraser tool. There we have our textured bird, the wing, the tail and the body are all textured. We can see through those to the background underneath. Now, we're not seeing it really clearly through the wing, only because of the color of the shape there. Let's go and find something a little bit darker and see if that works a little bit better. You can see the texture throw at here. That's one way of texturising a series of shapes in illustrator in this case. We're doing a subtractive texturing what we're doing is we're poking holes in a shapes for the texture so that we can see through them to whatever is underneath. Now, in the next video, we're going to look at a different way of texturing, where we're actually adding texture to the shapes. We're not poking holes were just re-coloring the shapes with our texture. 4. Vector Textures - Part 3: Now, before you go ahead and do the next texture technique, we just need to sort out this bird. What we'll need to do is to save this, so you'll choose "File", "Save As", and give it a new name because you still want to be able to get access to the original bird image that you downloaded so that you can apply a different texture effect to it. Then once you've saved this, you can go ahead and open the bird again so that we can use it a second time. But also before we get rid of this bird image, we want to go and get that texture that we saved. I'm just going to choose "Window Layers" because my layers palette disappeared there for some reason. I'm going to unlock this. I'm going to make it visible. I'm going to select it. I'll choose "Edit" and then "Cut". I'm going to take it out of this image and go and put it in the spare copy of the bird that I have here. Now, I can't paste it into a locked layer, so I'm going to have to add a new layer to the image just to hold it for now, and I'll choose "Edit", "Paste". We have our texture here in place now and this time, we're going to use an additive texture technique. We're going to put this texture on top of the bird's wing. But in this instance, it's going to add to it. It's not going to poke holes in it. We still need copies of this texture, so we're going to go ahead and make a couple of copies of it while we're here. I'm going to select the topmost one here and just move it out of the way and I'm going to place it over the bird's wings. Again, I'm going to drag this path down into this layer so it's over the top of the bird's wing. Let's go and do that now. I'm going to lock down the bird's wing just because it'll be easier to do that while I'm working, and I'm going to take my compound path and just drag it into position, and again, re-size it over the bird's wing. I'll position it in place. This time, I'm going to create a clipping mask with it. I'm going to unlock the bird's wing. I'm going to make a duplicate of the bird's wing because we need a sandwich for this effect. I'm going to take the object that is the bird's wing and I'm going to drag it onto the new layer icon. Then I'm going to sandwich my texture between two copies of the bird's wing. Everything is in the same place, but what we need to do is we need to crop the texture here to the shape of the wing. When we do that with a clipping group, the upshot of the clipping group is that this is going to lose all its color. It's just going to become a shape with no stroke, no fill. We need a spare copy of the wing because we still need the color underneath. Otherwise, we're just going to have texture and nothing underneath. Let's select the bird's wing here and the texture. You can see, this time, these are in the opposite order to what we were working with before when we were minusing front. Here, we need the path on top and the texture underneath it. We'll right-click and choose "Make Clipping Mask". Now, we have our texture clipped to the shape of the wing and we have the wing underneath to catch it. We've actually got some color there, so we've textured the wing. Now, this clipping group can be opened. You can open it up. See, this is the wing shape and this is the texture. If you don't like the color of the texture, you can see that it's just a series of filled shapes, so we can go and select a different color for our texture. I'm actually going to select a darkish-blue here. I'll click away and you can see now that we've got a really nice texture here that is a blue color, but it can be white, it can be pink, it can be whatever color you like because it is an editable shape. It's just here, the compound path and you can color it whatever you like. There, there is an orange. It's nice and editable. The beauty of this effect, because we're applying texture over the top of the shapes, is that we could have different texture colors on each piece of the bird. When we were poking holes in the bird, we were reliant on the background color to be what we saw through the bird's body. Here, because we're applying texture on top, we can make it whatever we like. I'm not a 100 percent happy with orange, so let's just go back to a gray-blue color. I'm going to use that. Now, if you want to be really neat here, what you'll do is you'll take the clipping group and the path that is the bird's wings, so you'll select both of those, and you'll put them in a group, Object, Group. In that way, they're all nicely packaged together. If you ever need to see what's in there or do something with it, you can just open up the package which has a clipping group and the path at the back. Ideally, we'll label that with wing. Let's go ahead now and I'm going to do exactly the same thing to the bird's body and the tail. I'm going to lock the tail down. I'm going to position the texture over the top and just check to make sure it looks okay. I need to drag it down so it is above the tail. I'm going to unlock the tail. I need a duplicate of the tail because I need to make this sandwich where I have the texture between two identical tail paces. I'll drag and drop it onto the new layer icon and I'm going to move this one up. Here's my sandwich; one version of the tail texture, another version of the tail. We're going to take the two topmost ones because this is going to become a clipping mask shape. I'm going to select that. Shift-click on this one to select it. Now, we're going to make our clipping mask. We'll choose "Object", "Clipping Mask", "Make". Again, we can go into the clipping mask and play with the color of the clipping mask. I'm going to make it a dark blue color, the same color as I was using for the texture that I had here on the bird's wing. I'm just going to click away from here. Well, unfortunately, that's the same color as the bird's wing itself, so let's go and make it a lighter color. Here, you can see that we're actually able to use different color textures on the bird because we're applying them on top. We'll close down our clipping group. We're going to select the clipping group and this compound path that is the tail. Just to neaten things up, we're going to put them in a group together. Now that we've got our tail pace, everything here is in the tail pace. I'm going to double-click on that and call that tail. You'll find that when you're working with complex shapes like this, that it's a really good idea to try and group things together just neatly and label them. But you want to make sure that you're not grouping whole wards of paths together if you can possibly help it. Here, we've got really nice groups. We have got a clipping group and a compound path in here. Very simple shapes, very simple groups in our last palette. It's very easy to work with the shapes that we've created. Now we're on to the bird's body. We've got our compound path up here. Let's go and select it. Let's go and size it, rotate it, place it in position. Make sure that it's looking good in our eyes. Let's go and put it above the bird's body here in this layer. Let's go and duplicate the bird's body because we need to make this sandwich for our clipping group. Here is the shape that's going to be the clipping group shape and the texture underneath it. Click on one, shift-click on the second one. We'll make the clipping mask. Now, if I try and right-click this and choose "Create Clipping Mask," it's not in there,. It's not an option, so just go to the menu here and do "Object", "Clipping Mask", "Make". Illustrator is a little bit annoying there because there's nothing stopping us from making a clipping mask except this is not on the Shortcut menu, but it is always on this Object menu. It's always here. Again, let's go to our clipping group. Let's go to the color of our texture and let's make it a darker color. Probably, you want it to be a little bit darker still here. I'm going to close up the clipping group. I'm going to take the clipping group and the body shape underneath, and I'm going to group those just for neatness. I'm going to call this body. Now, we can go and get our background fill. I'm going to open up this bottom-most layer, unlock the background, and just place it in place. Now, you can see that we haven't had to do anything with the branch in this particular image because we haven't made holes in the bird's wings. This texturizing effect, these vector shapes are added to the illustration. They're not poking holes in this filled shape, so we don't have to deal with removing the branch underneath the bird. Your project for this class is going to be to reproduce one or both of these vector texture effects. Now, you can use the bird image that I've given you. That's just fine. If you want to, you can use an image that you've drawn yourself or you can use something that you've downloaded from online. A vector image, for example, that you might have downloaded from a site like Vecteezy. When you've done your vector texturing effect, post the results in the class projects section. I hope that you've enjoyed this course and that you've learned something about working with vector textures in Illustrator. If you did enjoy the course and if you see a prompt to recommend this class to others, please give it a thumbs up. This helps others to identify this as a class that they may want to take. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments, and I look at all of your class projects. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.