Working with Vectors on Your iPad | Liz Kohler Brown | Skillshare

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

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

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h 7m)
    • 1. Working with Vectors on Your iPad Class Trailer

    • 2. Vector Myths

    • 3. Vector Basics

    • 4. Creating Vectors

    • 5. Vector Drawing Tools

    • 6. Converting Vectors

    • 7. From Paper to Vector

    • 8. From Painting to Vector

    • 9. Exporting and File Types

    • 10. So Do YOU Need Vectors

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About This Class


In this class, you'll learn how to create and work with vectors on your iPad.

There are a lot of myths surrounding vectors that I hear all the time like that working with vectors is too difficult, or that you can’t get beautiful detail in your work if you use vectors, and those are simply not true.  In the class I’m going to dispel the myths of working with vectors on your iPad by taking you through the process of creating vectors in three different ways.


We’ll start by creating some vectors directly in a vector app so you can learn all the basic tools and understand all the essential aspects of working in vector format.


Next we’ll create a drawing in Procreate and vectorize it so you can convert your hand drawn work into vector format.


Last we’ll create a drawing on paper and convert it into a vector so you can see how to get lots of hand drawn detail and loose linework into your vector designs.


By the end of this class you’ll know not only how to work with vectors, but be able to find a vector creation process that works with your personal style whether that be a sleek geometric style, smooth hand drawn linework, or gritty and rough sketches.

All you need to take this class is your iPad and a stylus.  I’ll be using the app Affinity Designer to work with my vectors but you could use any vector based app of your choice.  So let’s get started!

Here is a page with links to all the apps we use in the class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Liz Kohler Brown

artist | designer | teacher | author



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^^ I created this mini-course for all of my students who have never worked in Procreate, or have used it before but feel like they're "missing something".  Dive in to Procreate with me to see how easy it can be!

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1. Working with Vectors on Your iPad Class Trailer: Hi everyone. I'm Liz Kohler Brown. I'm an artist, designer, and teacher. In this class I want to show you how to create and work with vectors on your iPad. There are a lot of myths out there surrounding vectors like, that they're too difficult to work with or that you can't get great detail work when you work in vector. That is simply not true. In this class, we're going to cover three different ways to create vectors. You can find a vector creation method that works for your personal styles. We'll start by creating some vectors directly in a vector apps so you can learn all the basic tools and understand all the essential aspects of working in vector format. Next, we'll create a drawing in Procreate and vectorize it so you can convert your hand-drawn work into the vector format. Last, we'll create a drawing on paper and convert it into a vector so you can see how to get lots of hand-drawn detail and loose line work into your vector designs. By the end of this class, you'll know not only how to create vectors, but you'll know several different creation methods, so that you can choose the one that works best for your personal style. Whether that's creating sleek geometric work or some loose chunky line work. All you need to take this class is your iPad and a stylus. I'll be using Affinity Designer for all of my demonstrations. But of course you could work with any vector-based app that you'd like. Let's get started. 2. Vector Myths: [MUSIC] Let's start by talking about what we're going to cover in this class so you know exactly what to expect in each section. Number 1, we're going to talk about what a vector is. We're going to go through all the vector basics and talk about why you would need to use vectors in certain situations. Then we'll go into some ways to create vectors. We're going to start with the simplest versions like just creating simple shapes. Then we're going to talk about how to convert your drawings into vectors. Whether you like to work with Procreate images or you like to draw on paper and then want to turn those into vectors, we'll be covering both of those. We'll talk about the best and easiest apps for creating vectors and working with them on your iPad and talk about some of the limitations and challenges of working with vectors. Last, we're going to go into the technical specs like file types and how to resize. We'll finish up by answering the question, do you actually need to work in vector format or not? Not every artist and designer needs to work in vector format and it really varies from person to person. But I hope this class will give you a great overview of vectors and a little bit of experimentation to try them out. By the end, you'll know whether or not it's right for you. The project for this class is to create a vector using any of the techniques we cover in the class and upload either screenshot or an exported image so everyone can see your vector. Let's start by talking about some of the myths surrounding vectors. Anytime I post something about vectors online, I get a lot of comments and questions and they usually fall into one of these categories. Number 1, are vectors hard to work with? Vectors are only hard to work with when you first get started and you don't know what you're doing. Once you learn the basics, I think they're actually easier than working in pixels because you can resize to any size. You don't have to worry about whether or not your image is getting blurry. For anyone who's getting started and wondering can I even do this, I think you definitely can. We're going to cover all the basics in this class and then it's not going to be hard for you anymore. Number 2, a lot of people think that you can't get good detail with vectors. This is simply not true. It really depends on how you create your vectors, whether or not they have a lot of detail. Here's an example of a pattern I created that is 100 percent vector-based. You can see there's a lot of detail in the leaves and the lemon shapes. I don't feel like I sacrificed on detail by converting this to vector. I also hear a lot of people say that you can't use vector with textures. That is definitely not true. You can overlay textures on any vector image and you can do it on the individual vector elements or on the overall piece. Number 3, a lot of people worry that you can't get AI files if you work on your iPad. If you have a client or an art-licensing deal that requires AI files, you definitely can create AI files on your iPad and we're going to cover that whole process in this class. Let's go ahead and jump in and talk about all the basics of vectors so you can get started with creating vectors on your iPad. 3. Vector Basics: Let's start at the very beginning and talk about what vectors are, what are they made of? Number 1, we need to start with raster images because that's what people are most familiar with. I think that's a good starting point. Raster images are made of tiny squares called pixels, which I'm sure you're [LAUGHTER] familiar with. The number of squares determines the usable size. For example, if you want to print an image at 10 by 10 inches, then you need to create that Canvas at 3,000 by 3,000 pixels, or in other words, 10 by 10 pixels at 300 dots per inch, DPI. The common file formats for raster images are JPEG, PNG, and TIFF files. Here's the big difference between vector and raster images. Vector images are made of points and angles called nodes. Regardless of the size, the shape will remain the same. This is the beauty of vector images. When we talked about raster images, we talked about how you need to size your canvas for whatever your final use is. When it comes to vector images, it really doesn't matter what size you work in because you can easily resize to whatever you need in the future. The file formats for vector are typically SVG, AI and PDF. For raster and vector images, there are a lot more file types, so I'm not going to list them all here, but those are the basic ones that most people need to know. To show you what I mean here, I have created the same image in vector and raster format. Here's the raster format. This is a pixel-based image, a JPEG or PNG, or any type of pixel-based image. As you probably know, when you zoom in close enough, you're going to see these jagged edges. This image cannot be resized beyond the original size that I created it in. Whereas this image is made of vectors. Regardless of how closely I zoom in or how much I resize this image, for example, if I just make it really big here, you're never going to see that blurry edge. That's the wonderful thing about vectors. If I tap the node tool and tap on this, which we're going to get into how this works later, you're going to see all these little nodes on the edges of this. The more I zoom out, the more visible those nodes are. Those nodes are what determine the curves, the lines of all of these shapes. Whereas on the raster version, the pixels are what determines the shape. Let's talk about the benefits of working with vectors because I think anytime you learn a new process like this, you need a little bit of motivation. You need to know why am I going through this whole process of learning this? Is it actually worth my time? Number 1, vectors can be resized to any size without losing quality. This for me is the number one reason that I use vectors. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the situation where I need to upsize a pattern or a design and I'm just so happy when I have it in vector format. If a company contacts you and says send me this file tomorrow, I need it at 20 by 20 inches and you don't have it available, you could miss out on that opportunity or you're up all night recreating that image. Also, color changes are quick and easy. Don't get me wrong here, I love Procreate, I love Photoshop, I love working with raster images and I do it all the time. But often when you need to go in and change colors, it takes a lot of extra work, whereas when I work in vector format, I keep everything organized so color changes are super quick and easy. Next, many art licensors require vectors, so using them opens up your customer base. Probably about 50 percent of the art licensing deals that I've gotten over the years have been in vector format. I do think it's important here to know how to work in vector format so that you're not losing out on a lot of those opportunities. Another big downside of working in raster format that I'm sure a lot of you iPad users are familiar with, and that is the canvas limits. Most apps, including Procreate, have canvas limits so that you can't go beyond a certain dimension on your device. Here's a list of all the size maximums for each device. I'm not going to go through all these, but you can find your device and see what the maximums are. When you work in vector format and specifically the app that I like Affinity Designer, there are no size limits. You're working on your iPad and you don't have any limitations just like you would if you were using a computer. For me, this means I have the ability to put my designs on any product on my print on-demand shops. That includes products like large furniture items such as credenza and benches. Also large rectangular products like yoga mats and towels. Of course, bedding and home decor like comforters and curtains. Of course vectors aren't perfect. They aren't the be-all-end-all image type that you need to make your life perfect. There are cases where we need raster images instead of vectors. Let's talk about the downsides of vectors. Number 1, objects must be made of single color shapes. Highly detailed texture and shading is not possible. Also, vector apps may not have the brushes that you know and love like your favorite Procreate brushes. Vectorizing drawings or painting will reduce the amount of detail. I want to show you an example here with some of my watercolor paintings just so you can get an idea of what happens when you take something in a traditional medium and turn it into vector format. You can see that the amount of detail is reduced greatly. This is just one vectorizing program that I'm going to show you today. There are a lot of others, so you can get different results with different programs. But as you can see on the left in the real watercolor painting, we're getting so many different colors and shades and transitions. Whereas in the vector version we need to have solid shapes in order to go with that vector format. The important thing to remember is you cannot turn a raster image like this into a vector without losing detail. However, as you can see in this pattern, you can still create beautiful detail work in vector format but it probably isn't going to be textural detail. That being said, you can always do a texture overlay on any vector. I do cover all the steps for doing that in my class on designing a pattern collection in Affinity Designer. We're not going to dig deep into textures and overlays in this class, but if you need to dig into that, check out that other class. 4. Creating Vectors: Now we're going to dig into creating vectors so you can get some hands-on examples to see how the different methods result in different types of shapes. We're going to cover two main ways of creating vectors. Number 1 will be vector-based apps using the pen, pencil, brush, and shape tools. That's probably the simplest way to create vectors, it's just drawing them directly in the program. But of course, you're going to get simplified drawings in that case. Option 2 is drawing in any medium including digital or traditional and then converting to vector format using a converting app. Option 1 is going to be great for things like geometric shapes, logos, and lettering. What you're seeing here is a lot of bold straight lines, a lot of geometric images. That's the thing you want to think about when you're drawing directly in the vector app. However, it's also a great way to do something like tracing lettering that you create in another medium. Option 2 is great for complex shapes or line drawings with a hand-drawn feel. For those of you who are used to drawing in traditional mediums, like how I started out drawing ink on paper or perhaps you like painting or you just like drawing in Procreate, probably the converting method is going to be your favorite. But we're going to go through both methods just so you get all the vector basics before we move on to those more complex images. I just want to give you an example here. If I was going to use Option 1 drawing directly in the program, I would be thinking of creating something with some geometric elements like this, also some vector fades like you see the gradient in the background. Whereas if I wanted something with a hand-drawn feel, with some wonky line work, I would go with the 2nd option where I'm drawing on paper or in Procreate and then converting it to a vector. There are a lot of apps out there for working with vectors on your iPad. I don't think there's any perfect app for anyone, but I can tell you which one I like, of course. The 1st one that I see people using a lot is Vectornator. There's a free version available. It's a relatively simple interface. It does have an autotrace tool where you can trace a drawing that you create on paper or digitally and turn it into a vector. I found this tool to be somewhat limited and stylized, so it's not my favorite but you may want to try it out. Also, Illustrator recently came out with their iPad app and it has a lot of the capability of desktop Illustrator, but it doesn't have an autotrace feature yet. I love Adobe products and I do have an Adobe subscription, so I could use the Illustrator app if I wanted to. But at this point, it's still missing a few things that I love like what I'm going to show you. I like to use an Affinity. Affinity Designer for me is a robust program with nearly all of the capabilities of desktop Illustrator plus a live pattern preview. Just to show you what I mean here by live pattern preview, I have built my lemon pattern over here. You can see if I move one of these elements, it updates automatically on this preview. Anytime I'm building a repeat pattern, I create this preview so that I can see what the final pattern is going to look like as I build it. I really found that if all I can see is this square, I end up exporting it and recreating it in another document multiple times over and over so that I can find the right flow for the pattern. Whereas if I have this right here, I don't have to do that step. I can just look over here and see exactly how this is going to end up and it saves me a ton of time. For all of those reasons, I choose Affinity Designer for all of my vector work, but of course go with whatever app works for you. Before we dive into creating some vectors, I just want to talk about the vector basics that everyone needs to know. Number 1, what is a vector made of? We already talked about it being made of points, but it's also made of two different parts and that is the fill and the stroke. As you can see, the fill is the inner part and the stroke is the outline. That's what makes up a vector. But let's look at a slightly more complex example because this is probably more like what you're going to be working with. The fill of this flower is this inner part, all the leaves and inner parts of the flowers. Then the stroke is the outer part. You can see on the left that this image would actually work without a stroke and it would work with just a stroke and it would also work as a vector. You can use your vector in any of those three ways: just a fill, just a stroke, or a fill and a stroke. But it's always really important to be aware of which one you're using and double-check that you have them in the correct colors and the correct thickness. We're going to talk about how to do that when we dive into the app. 5. Vector Drawing Tools: Let's dive in and create some vectors. We're just going to go through all the basic tools in Affinity Designer for drawing vectors, editing your vectors, playing around with the Layers menu and adjusting the stroke and fill. Of course, I'm using Affinity, but go with whatever app you like here. If you have a different app that you'd rather try out, go for it. In Affinity, I'm going to press the plus symbol, new Document, change the document type to Pixels, and let's just go with 2,000 by 2,000 pixels to keep it simple here. Again, with vectors, it really doesn't matter what canvas size you use because you can resize at anytime. So I would just go for a medium range canvas like 2,000 by 2,000, or 3,000 by 3,000, for example. The first thing I want to do is just play around with these tools over on the left. These are all of the tools that you'll use to create and move your vectors around the canvas. One nice thing about Affinity is if you press this question mark, all of the tool names appear, so if you need to find something, that can be really helpful. For example, if I go over here and see the pencil tool, that's going to be, for me, my number one favorite vector drawing tool. There are also things like the Brush tool, the Pen tool, and the Rectangle tool that we're going to play around with. But for me, the pencil tool is really my favorite and I'll show you why. If you tap the Pencil tool, down here you're going to get some options. It's asking you about the stroke and fill. As we talked about, the stroke is the outer outline and the fill is the center. I like to start by setting those colors. I'm going to go with some colors that I've already chosen. The easiest way I think to do that is to tap the Documents menu, tap Place Image, and then locate an image that contains your color palette. To get that image in there, after I selected, I just tapped on the screen and it pops it right there on the canvas. Back to my Pencil tool, making sure everything's de-selected by tapping the X, pencil tool is on for stroke, I'm going to select just a dark color. We can also adjust the width of the stroke so that'll make more sense when we have a shape down here, but it's obviously just how thick it is. The fill, I'm just going to again, I'm tapping on this little dropper tool and dragging it over to the color that selects my fill. Now I've got a stroke and a fill, and now I can just start drawing a shape. You can see as I draw, both the stroke and the fill are just dropping down on there, and then when I release, it snaps to a more smooth shape. You can turn on this sculpt option, which makes for an even smoother shape. I don't see a huge difference, so I don't tend to use that, and I like the hand-drawn feeling of this. If I was going to do dots in a pattern, that's how I would create them. One important thing we're going to talk about as we create these vectors is it's really important to complete your vector shapes. For example, if I zoom in here to the place where I started and ended with my brush, you can see that these two dots in this line are crossed. I'm going to tap the Node tool. I'm going to grab this beginning and end of my vector and I'm just going to meet those. Now they're connected and this is a whole vector at this point. One really important part of keeping your vectors clean is completing your vector shapes. What you don't want to do obviously, is draw a vector like this, and then you've got this open shape, then you're left with this weird flat line that is obviously not ideal. It's like something's missing in your shape. You just want to grab that node tool, pull that node over, and now your shape is complete. You're also going to see these angled bars, known as Bezier bars, they just allow you to adjust which way this curve bends. I do recommend playing around with that a little, even if you're going to make your vectors in one of the other ways that we covered today. This is essential to knowing how to work with vectors because it determines how your vector is formed. You can see like this, I'm moving both bars. If I put down one finger, I can move just one bar. I'm just going to go to my Layers menu here and delete that so we're keeping a clean canvas here. I can also tap the Move tool and you can see how my proportions are being distorted. If I put a finger down, I am retaining those proportions. I always try to do that when I'm resizing things. Another important rule for making clean vectors is not crossing your paths. Here's what I mean by crossing paths. This line that I'm drawing is a path, and if I cross like this, you can see we're getting these weird overlapping shapes here. Ideally, we would have a solid shape, not some crossing random line coming out. We need to get rid of these extra nodes or drag them into place. I think the easiest thing here is to just drag across some nodes and press "Delete". We removed those nodes, now we can just connect, and adjust using these Bezier handles. I think I called them bars earlier. They're not bars, they're handles, and then we can fix our shape. The last rule of keeping your vectors clean is to remember to check your stroke. By check your stroke, I mean go to the color menu and look over here and make sure the stroke is not only the color that you want, but also the size. Right below the color menu is the stroke menu, and you can adjust the width. There are also so many other things that you can adjust about the stroke. You can do dotted lines. In this advanced section, you can change all kinds of things. I do cover that in my class on creating geometrics, and I go in depth with all of these vector tools, so we're just doing a vector overview today, so I'm not going to go too deep into that, but check out that geometrics class if you want to dig deeper into all of these tools. Let's say you had your stroke down to 0.3 points, for example, if you zoom out, you actually can't really see that it's there, and you can imagine how that could be a problem. Let's say you make a beautiful pattern and you've got all these pink flowers and then you accidentally have this weird dark line on the edge of your vector, so that's why it's so important to check that your stroke is whatever you want it to be. On this shape, if this was a flower and I just wanted it to be a pink flower, I would just go to the color menu and press the white circle with a line through it to turn off the stroke. De-selecting that shape here so you can see what I mean. Now there is no stroke on the shape and it's fine to have a shape with no stroke. It isn't really necessary to turn on just the same color stroke. You could do that if you wanted to retain the ability to make your shape bigger at anytime. Sometimes I'll do that if I know I'm going to want to widen my shape, I'll just have a stroke in the same color as the fill. But typically, if you don't need to have any outline, you can just turn your stroke off. Let's play around with some of these other vector creation tools. I'm going to delete that layer. We played around with the Pencil tool, the vector Brush tool here is nice because you can go into the brush studio here and choose any of these brushes made by Affinity and create some cool vector effects. So you might want to play around with that. The only downside I've seen with these is if you export this as an SVG in Illustrator, these brushes don't exist in other apps other than Affinity. So if you've got affinity on your desktop, fine, use these brushes, they're going to translate into your vector files. But if you use, for example, Illustrator and you transfer this into Illustrator, this brush isn't going to be the same. I would caution you with using these brushes if you think you're going to be transferring this vector into other programs. The next vector creation tool that's commonly used is the Pen tool, and for that you tap, rather than drawing like you do with the Pencil tool. You tap and then you tap and pull. You're pulling the Bezier handles into the place you want them to be. Again, you can hold down one to determine where that next angle's going to be. This takes a little bit of practice, but there are a lot of cases where this tool makes sense. For example, if you're tracing some lettering that you made or you created a logo and you're working on tracing that, this tool is going to be really helpful for you. Let's get the Move tool, resize that and get that out of our way. The next tool that I use a lot is the Shape tool. Actually, I think they call that the Rectangle tool. Let's see what they call it. They call it the Rectangle tool, but when you tap on it, there's a whole these other shapes, so I'm going to call it the Shape tool. In this Shape tool, you're going to see all kinds of different shapes that you can pull from. I'm going to grab the cloud, and it's just a pre-made vector that's a certain shape. So I use this, for example, when I'm doing digital planners, I use the rectangle circle a lot, a lot of these different shapes. You may find if you're doing more graphic design type work or geometric work, that this tool is going to be really helpful for you. You can also press here "To Curves" to turn this shape into an editable vector. So making sure the Shape tool or the Rectangle tool is selected, and then you press "To Curves", and then if you press the Nodes tool, you can go in here and play around with these. If you wanted to just start with the flower shape and then make it your own by playing around with some of these or you just want to go totally crazy. Whatever you want to do here, sometimes just starting with a certain shape is helpful because then you don't have to use the Pen tool to build a specific shape to start out with. Again, I go into a lot more detail about creating geometric shapes and using the math of vectors to create detailed shapes in my vectors class. But let's go ahead and move on to the section where we turn our drawings into vectors. 6. Converting Vectors: Next let's dive into converting vectors. This is probably going to be a preferred method for anyone who likes drawing on paper for example or drawing in Procreate, so let's jump into a few different ways to convert your pre-existing drawings. I'm starting out here in Procreate where I've already created some line drawings. You can work in solid shapes or you can work in line drawings, but they do need to be in pure black and white. For me I do line drawings like this because I can already know that I'm going to create solid shapes under these that fill in all these open areas. The line drawing is just starting the shape out for me, and then I can fill those with color when I get those into affinity. I just wanted to show you a few simple drawings here that would be great for vectorizing. Basic line work, hand-drawn; you can use any brush you'd like, but obviously just keep in mind the detail is not going to be really strong so you want to start with something somewhat simple. You probably already have something on your iPad that you can use, or if you want to just start experimenting and try out some different brushes you could just create a page that's different scribbles with different brushes just so you can see what happens when I use this brush, what happens when I use this type of line work on this page? That's one one if you don't have something or don't feel like drawing. I've got my black and white image ready, I'm going to tap the Actions menu Share. Just save this as a JPG to my camera roll, so I have a black and white image on my camera roll. I'm going to open the app Adobe Capture. You do not need an Adobe membership to use this app. This is a free app and it's just a really basic vector converting app. It's just going to take exactly what it sees and turn it into a vector. We're going to look at a stylized version app later if you want to stylize your vectors a little bit, but this is literally just going to transfer your drawing from black and white into vector. I'm going to tap the plus symbol in the main library of Adobe Capture. Import Image, Camera Roll, tap on my bird black and white image, and then we're going to get this option here where we can thin or thicken the lines. It doesn't make a big change on this drawing, it just fills in the bird eyes. I usually just put that all the way up to the top to get a nice thick line, then I'm going to press the Check symbol. Everything looks good to me, so I'm going to press "Save", "Save" again and it shows up here in my library. I'm going to tap the three dot menu Export As and this is really important. This has to be an SVG. You can't do image. Well, PDF might work but I always do SVG, so I'm going to tap "SVG". I'm going to tap the three dot menu, choose Designer as my app. Of course, if you're using a different vector app like Vectornator you would choose that one, but I'm going to go with Affinity Designer and it just opens my vector in this app. Here we are. If I tap the node tool; tap on that, this is now a vector. It's no longer a raster image. It's a little bit simplified from my original drawing, but honestly it's pretty similar and I like the smoothing effect that it has. I'll tap the X symbol to de-select, and next I just need to clean this vector up a little bit. What I mean by that if you open this layers panel, we've just got a ton of different layers with little parts on them. The little parts are like this shape. If I wanted to recolor this shape at this point, it's made of so many different parts that it's going to be a real pain to recolor everything especially if I get this into a pattern and have 10 of these I'm just going to have 1,000 layers. That's just too complicated, we're going to simplify this a lot. Make sure everything is de-selected by tapping the X. Drag over this, so we're selecting everything. If you've got your node tool selected, you'll see the nodes. If you've got your move tool selected, you won't see the node. If you're seeing something different than me, that's okay. As long as everything is selected and your whole situation here in the layers panel should be selected. I'm going to tap the three dot menu and tap "Add". What that does, is it adds all of the shapes to each other. In the layers panel you can see, I've got one big vector shape. Obviously if I wanted to recolor that now, it's super simple because it's all one shape. Let me tap the move tool. Tap on that layer, and then I'll just play around with some of my colors. If I zoom in, you'll see this a little bit better. Now I can color this whole shape at once. Again, I'm going to input my color palette, so I'll press "Documents menu", "Place Image", import from photos, grab that palate. If I open up my layers panel now I should just have curves which is my line work, and then this palette. You don't have to have the palette. You can use any colors you want from the color menu of course. I'm going to go to the Curves layer which is my birds, and just get a dark color so it's easy for you-all to see. Now I want to create another aspect of this vector, which is the solid area behind all of these shapes. Opening my layers panel so you can see here, I'm going to press the three dots menu and tap "Duplicate". I've just got two of the exact same vector. Now, if I tap the three dot menu and tap "Divide", that divides all of these shapes up so that we've got all these different parts to this vector. Before I de-select that I'm just going to press "Group", so this whole solid area is all one thing. If I go to the Color menu and tap a color, or again I can drag over to my palette, tap on that color and get a color that way. I just color as I go because it's a lot easier to see everything if you keep coloring as you work. As you can see this isn't perfect because I left this little open area here, but I wanted to show you this vector because I know you're going to come across this similar problem. We're going to have to fix that and redraw that area using the pencil tool. I'm going to tap the move tool. I'm going to tap on this solid shape here that isn't supposed to be here, and press "Delete". There's that solid shape, but there's also one solid shape that is the entire bird and everything, so I'm going to delete that too If you get a little confused about it, you can look in the Layers menu here and you'll see exactly what you're deleting. There's that piece, you delete that. In between my bird's legs, I need to delete that. I've got all those extra solid areas taken care of but now look at this one little area that doesn't have any fill, so I need to make that a filled area. As you know, we can use the pencil tool. I'm not going to try to be perfect here, I'm just going to loosely draw in here and I can go adjust it later. As you know we can just play with the nodes and get this into place. For now I'm just laying down this basic shape and getting as close as I can and completing my shape all the way to the beginning. Now I can zoom in. As you know we need to complete our vector, so that's step 1 and then we need to just start scaling this around so that there's no whitespace. I'll take just a minute to make sure there's no whitespace in between my outline and this leaf that I redrew. Now I've got one big solid color underneath my outline of my birds. But I actually want to be able to color my birds different colors and then have my leaves be a separate color. The first thing I need to do is select my bird. Tap one time and that opens the group. Double-tap, and then that will open that bird layer. I'm on that bird, but of course there are a lot of other parts to that bird. What I like to do is grab the color menu and then choose a color, tap on that color. I'm just going to go through, got my Move Tool selected, tap on the shape, tap on the color. Tap on the shape, tap on the color. I'm just filling every part of that bird making sure I get even these tiny little toes. I even could do the legs a different color. This is going to depend a lot on your style, on the shape that you've created. Maybe you just have a leave and it's all one color. For me, I like to at least separate some of these same color objects, so that when I go to build my pattern or whatever else I'm doing with this vector, it's all separated. Now I want to put this pink bird on its own layer, so it's really easy to recolor. I'm just going to select all the parts of my bird by swiping on the layer, making sure I get every single part and then I press Group. Now I'm just going to slide this group up to the top. I'm putting it on the layer just below my line work and just above my leaves. Now I've got three different layers. The linework, the pink bird and the solid parts of everything else. Obviously, though my other bird needs to be a different color as well, it's not going to be green like the leaves. Same process. Tapping, tapping and color. Going through and selecting every part of that bird, pressing Group, and then sliding that group up above my leaves. Now we've got four layers; leaves, bird 1, bird 2. I just noticed I missed one little solid part of this leaf. Let's double tap on that and press Delete. I just like to clean everything up like tat before I move on. One last thing I like to do, which you don't have to do, of course, if you're not sharing this with clients, it doesn't really matter how it's laid out. But if you aren't sharing it with clients, you probably want to clean this up or if you're just like me and you like to be really organized. What I would do is obviously delete that photo layer, go to this line work layer, tap the three dots menu and call that curves or linework. That's my line work layer. Another thing I like to do is make everything invisible except for something that you want to turn into one solid vector. Let me show you this pink bird for example. I'm going to select one part of that layer and then I can drag across all of those layers, tap the three dot menu and tap Add. Then I can drag that up to where my linework is. Now it's not a group of single shapes, it's one big vector shape. Let me do that again in case that was a little bit fast. This is everything relating to my leaves. I'm going to tap to open that group. I'm going to tap on one, any aspect of that layer to select it. I'm going to drag across all of these parts. Tap the three dot menu and tap Add. I'm just turning what was many different shapes into one big chunky layer. I like doing that and then I like going through and sometimes there's some weird little lines that you may or may not need. I would just turn on all my layers and see is that something that I actually need, and I think in this case, this is just some weird little part on the bird. I'm going to just drag and press Delete. You may find, depending on how you draw, or how you create your vector, that you might have to do a little bit of clean up here and there. But I have found over many years of creating patterns that the cleaner your vectors are, the more work you're saving yourself from doing. I do think it's worth the work to go through and just clean, as I'm doing here. Add all these parts together, make sure everything is named, make sure all your layers make sense to you, and that way when you come back to work on this document, everything is clean and ready to go. I'm just going to rename all these different parts. Let's just call this bird 1. Now I've got a really nice clean vector linework, bird 1, bird 2, leaves. I'm going to select all of those and group them. Then, if I wanted to save those, I could save those in my affinity program for using for later. For example, here, I'll tap the asset's Menu, tap the three dot menu and tap Add Asset From Selection. The nice thing about that is, let's say I'm going to build a pattern, and I've done three or four of these bird drawings. I can tap Insert, pop-in a bird drawing. Let's pretend this is a different bird drawing. Pop that in. I'm already building this detailed pattern out of all of these different parts that I have. You really only need two or three assets like this to create a beautiful pattern. I might encourage you to start thinking about just a few little assets that you could draw and then turn into a pattern. They do show my whole process for building patterns in my class on affinity surface design for beginners. 7. From Paper to Vector: If you're like me, you love drawing on paper sometimes, even though working digitally is awesome, sometimes it's nice to just take a notebook and sit outside and do some drawing. Sometimes you can get some really interesting lines and shapes that you couldn't get digitally. I want to show you my process for going from paper to vector in just a few easy steps. I'm not going to go through this whole process again because I really just follow the exact same process that I just showed you. I start out with these really simple drawings that I made on paper. They're pretty rough. They're not super clean because I'm trying to get that handmade rough feel. I also want to show you what I do if I make a mistake because as you know when you're drawing on paper, sometimes you make a little mistake. I drew this mango in a way that I just really didn't like and then I redrew it. To remind myself of that, I just drew these little x marks all around there to remind myself to clean that up in the vector program. Once I've drawn all of those images, the next thing I do is just take pictures of all of those. I'll show you these pictures. They're not fancy pictures. I just took a picture with my cell phone in a sunny area. It doesn't have to be a professional scan, but if you want to do a professional scan, you can do that as well. Once you've created your drawings, just like we did in the last section, we can go into Adobe Capture and vectorize those. I just wanted to show you the process for cleaning up this vector, just like I did for the last one. I like to sometimes turn that up. But you can see I'm getting some paper speckling so I might turn that down until most of that paper speckling is gone. I can always delete those little parts later, so I'm not too worried about it. I'm mostly looking to make sure my line work looks good. I'll tap the check symbol. Now on this page I'm going to tap refine, making sure that my eraser is selected and I've got a pretty small size with my eraser. I'm going to zoom in. Well, let's get a bigger size and just erase all of this area where I reminded myself that I need to clean. You may go through and do a lot of cleaning. You may do no cleaning because you'd like to keep it rough. It is whatever works for your style here. Play around with this cleaning. Then if you want to add something, it may not have this nice hand-drawn feel, but if you just need to add something in a pinch, you can tap the brush tool and then just change the size. I just need a few more dots here because it erase that area. Now it's like wow. I'm happy with how this looks. I'm going to tap ''Done.'' Then just like we did before, saving export as SVG and bring that into affinity. There's my vector, tap the node tool so you can see. This is definitely a more complex vector than the last one, it's got more wiggles. It's got a little bit more line work, all those little dots. But it's still a beautiful vector and I can use that to create a pattern. I would follow that exact same process that we just did in the last section to co-ordinate these places where there's mango or leaves or whatever is in your drawing. Then you can use these assets to create a pattern. Here's the pattern I created. Starting with the simple, loose, rough line drawing that I did listening to a podcast, had my audio book playing in the background and I just sketched out some mangoes. Then you can create this beautiful pattern that has some nice rough edges, hand-drawn feel, but it's still a vector. If your client wants this in a huge size or let's say for example, you want to put this in your Society6 shop and have this beautiful line work. You can put this on any product because you created it in vector format. You can see that this final pattern has a lot of beautiful chunkiness and sketchy lines. Whereas the version I did in Procreate has more smooth and consistent lines. This is the place where you just have to decide what style you like better. Also of course, do some test. Before I create a pattern collection, I do a few test vectors just to see which style is going to work better for me. 8. From Painting to Vector: I want to show you one last way to vectorize drawings or painted elements. I have a few just basic watercolor paintings that I did here and as you can see, there's a lot of detail here. There's a lot of that watercolor flowing shape, whatever you call that. What I like to use for this is, it used to be called Imaengine, but now it's called Vector Q by Imaengine. Look out for that in the App Store. You can tap, Import a Photo, you can tap on your painting or drawing. I'm just going to zoom out here. Then you get the option to play around with various ways of vectorizing. This is a little different from Adobe Capture because it does give it a little bit of a stylized look, which you may love, you may hate, but it's something to know that it's there if you need it. You can choose the type of vectorization. Then you can play around with the level of detail. You can play around at the level of the edges detail. There's a lot to play around with here. I did the same thing with that florals watercolor I showed you and you can get different levels of detail with that. You may love the look of this, you may hate the look of this, but play around with it, see if it works for your style and if you work in traditional media like this, this may be a good option for you. You can tap the Share button, tap SVG, and then choose whatever your vector app is. For me that's going to be Affinity Designer and there's my vector. If you go to the Layers panel, you can see how they lay this out. It's just all these different parts on various layers. You would have to go through and group these. You might group them by flower by just dragging onto a flower, grouping it and then making it invisible. There's a lot of different ways you could do this depending on what you're drawing looks like and what you want your final result to be. But I just wanted to show you that nice stylized version of vectorizing. 9. Exporting and File Types: Next we're going to talk about exporting and file types. Of course, this is [LAUGHTER] the most important part of the process because you need to deliver the vector to someone or some place at some time. We're going to talk about how to resize. You can get any size you need and then how to export with all the various exporting file types that you could possibly need. This is helpful if you want to sell your vectors, if you want to save them in your Dropbox, if you want to give them to a client for review, whatever it is, you're probably going to need to export your vectors or resize them at some point. That's really easy in Affinity. I've already got this vector all laid out the way I want it to, the layers panel's all set with the layers named. I'm going to tap the "Documents Menu" and tap "Resize". Then down here, I'm going to see the option to change the size. Let's start with document resizing. Right now it's 999 pixels so let's say I want to double it, 2,000 by 2,000 pixels. If you've got that lock on, it's going to constrain the proportion and then I'll just press "Apply". Now I just made this vector bigger. If my client wanted a 2,000 by 2,000 canvas, there it is, we're done. I can also do the same thing, Documents Menu, Resize. Instead of Document, I can change that to Canvas. Let's change that to 4,000 by 4,000, tap "Apply". Now I've got that vector on a 4,000 by 4,000 canvas. Maybe you want to do that because you just want to give it to like this, for example. You can either resize the whole thing or just the canvas. Next, we want to export this file. I've got my 4,000 by 4,000 vector. Go to the Documents Menu and tap "Export". This is going to depend on what your needs are for this project, but if you're looking for a vector file, we want either a SVG, EPS, PDF or PSD. People may ask you for any number of files, but that's one of them and we're going to look at AI in just a few minutes, how you can convert to an AI. I'm going to go with SVG because that's the most common request I get. I'm going to tap "Share". Then we need somewhere to save this. For me I like to use Dropbox because that's just the easiest thing for me to save everything for my Dropbox. I'll just go with my miscellaneous folder and tap "Save". Now I have that SVG ready to go, ready to share with someone. Let's say my client says, "Well, we have to have this as an Illustrator file. It's the only way we can work with this." I'm going to open the Illustrator app. I'm going to tap "Import and open", I'm going to go to my Dropbox where I just saved that file, I'm going to open that up. Here is my SVG. If you want to look at the layers panel, you can do that. If you had properly saved your names and everything for your layers, those would be in there. I didn't actually do that. But if you like to work in Illustrator and you want to do something here, you can do that. But if you just need that Illustrator file, you can tap the "Share and export" so Publish and export. I just do quick export as AI and then again I would just go to my Dropbox and press "Save". Now I have an AI file that I could share with a client or I could put for sale on a site like Creative Market, or one of the sites where you can sell your vectors. 10. So Do YOU Need Vectors: Now that you've gone through all of these steps and you've learned all about vectors, it's time to decide of course whether or not you ever need to work in vectors. I really think it depends on several factors. Number 1, do you want to open yourself up to client work with vectors? A lot of clients and art licensors over the years have requested vector files from me and in the beginning, I didn't know [LAUGHTER] how to use them and it was embarrassing and it took me a long time to figure it out. If you can get ahead of that and learn them now before you have that problem, you'll be saving yourself a lot of time and frustration. Number 2, do you want to be able to work at any size for print-on-demand or some other use? Of course if you sell on print-on-demand shops, you're probably going to want to use all of the different products so you can make the most of your patterns and designs. For me, this is an obvious reason why I need to work with vectors. I want to note here that I have a class on repeat patterns for print-on-demand so if you want to dig deeper into how I do that, check out that class. Last, I think the most important thing is, do you like working with vectors? Do you enjoy the process? Personally, I love taking something like this rough chunky drawing and turning it into a smooth vector with a handmade feel, but it's still got that beautiful line work to it. For me, it's a beautiful blend of traditional and digital work. But you may hate vectors. You may be a person who's like, "I just want to design children's books and I only need images that are 10 by 10 inches and I want to use a lot of textures." So for you, you may not need vectors in that case. I know a lot of artists and designers who don't work with them, so I don't think anyone should feel pressured to necessarily always work in vector or try to convert all their work to vector. I think the important thing here is to think about what use are you going to need for each project and do you enjoy this process? If you want to keep learning about vectors, I have a lot of classes where I go deeper into using vectors to create designs and illustrations. First is my class on geometric vectors where you can learn how to create complex vector illustrations in Affinity Designer. Next is my class on vector surface design, where you'll learn how to create vector-based repeat patterns in Affinity Designer. I hope you enjoyed this class and that you feel inspired to start creating vectors on your iPad. If you liked this class, you may like some of my other classes like how to design a pattern collection in Affinity Designer, repeat patterns for print on-demand and how to create flat lay illustrations in Procreate. Check those out on My Profile if you want to see more. Remember, if you click "Follow" on My Profile, you can get a notification every time I come out with a new class. Check out My Profile to get more iPad Art and Design classes like this one in your Inbox. Also, I share a lot of free downloads for iPad artists and designers on my website so if you'd like to get some freebies for your iPad art and design projects, check out my site. I would love to see the vectors that you create after you watch this class so remember to share your project with me and that can be either a screenshot or an exported image of any of the vectors that you create using any of the processes in this class. You can upload those to the Project Section on Skillshare, or you could share them on social media and tag me @lizkohlerbrown. If you have any questions as you work through this process, please feel free to reach out to me. You could Create a New Discussion on Skillshare, or you could reach out to me on my website. Thanks so much for watching and I'll see you again next time. Bye bye.