Creating Vector Motifs from Procreate Illustrations | Lyndsay Hubley | Skillshare

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Creating Vector Motifs from Procreate Illustrations

teacher avatar Lyndsay Hubley, Artist, Illustrator, Calligrapher

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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

    • 1.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Drawing in Procreate


    • 3.

      Exporting your File


    • 4.

      Live Tracing in Adobe Illustrator


    • 5.

      Coloring your Vector Art


    • 6.

      Class Project


    • 7.

      Thank You!!


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About This Class

Have you ever wondered how you can make vectors from your ipad illustrations? I love to use vectors for creating repeat patterns and Adobe Illustrator has a wonderful feature called 'Live Trace' that makes it simple for you to turn your hand-drawn art into vector illustrations! In this class I'm going to take you through my process to create multi-color, vector motifs using your procreate drawings. If you're new to Illustrator, I'll be going step by step to show you the way and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it can be :) 

Meet Your Teacher

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Lyndsay Hubley

Artist, Illustrator, Calligrapher


I'm an artist + illustrator and I run a calligraphy & stationery shop, Love Struck Lettering. 

I live on the East Coast in Nova Scotia, Canada. I create in all kinds of mediums, both traditional and digital. I have a love of letters, surface pattern design and painting and hope to share some of what I've learned along the way. 


I'd love to connect with you - sign up for my newsletter here or we can hang over on IG @lovestrucklettering or


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Level: Beginner

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1. Class Introduction: Hi guys, my name is Lindsay. I am an artist and illustrator based in Nova Scotia, Canada. And today I'm going to be showing you a little bit of my process of how I use image trace in Adobe Illustrator to convert my raster which images in two vector images. So for today's class, you are going to need a few things. You will need your iPad and your Apple Pencil. And hopefully you have procreate already downloaded and installed and are familiar with the basics of using the procreate application. And also you will need Adobe Illustrator on your desktop. So just what is the difference between a roster based image and a vector image? So the main difference is that raster images are made up of a bunch of tiny little colored squares. And you may have in the past, notice that if you haven't roster image and you try to scale it up and make it bigger. It can sometimes look blurry. For pixelated vector images, on the other hand, are made up pasts, which are mathematical equations. So they are always perfectly scalable when you make those babies figure, they are crystal-clear every single time. So there's a lot of advantage to working with vectors. I love working with vectors personally because I can use them in my weepy pattern design. And when I'm working with them and Adobe Illustrator, I can use the recolor artwork feature to easily taken different color palettes. And just with a few clicks of a button, I can see how a different color palette will look in this patterns. And it can easily change the whole five and feel. I'm gonna show you how I do this in the class project at the end. Who do not have to be an artist to follow along with today's class, I am going to be doing a very basic, simple three color drawing. And it should be very easy for you to follow along. 2. Drawing in Procreate: Okay guys, so we're in procreate and I tap on the add new canvas. And I'm just gonna select the screen size here. Because we're ultimately going to be turning this illustration DA vector. So I'm not too worried about the size of it right now. And for this class I'm only going to be working with flat color. It's going to be very simple. Three color floral illustration. And of course you can get as complex and detailed and textured as you'd like. In fact, I really love working with texture in, in Illustrator. However, for the purposes of this class, we're just gonna do a simple flat drawing so you can see how it works. So the idea is you're gonna create a new layer for every color you're going to work in. So I'm gonna do a three color design. I'm going to have three layers. So my first layer and work with this blue color, I'm going to just select my monoline brush here that's under the calligraphy brush library. And I'm just gonna do some simple flower, simple loose flower patterns here. It's pretty easy. Just make these little puffy flower clouds and to color them, if you, if your object is connected, if your lines are all connected, then you should easily be able to click on your color and drop it in. And I'm going to make multiples of these flowers to, because I'm going to be using these in the end for a repeat pattern. And I want to have a lot of different, a good amount of different elements to work with. So that's pretty good. Ok, and then we're going to add our second layer is going to be the pick up this darker blue color. And just going to add some little dots inside here for the centers of the flowers. And remember, if you draw a circle and hold it, it will snap. It will snap to the shape. Or if you just wanted to be more of an organic shape, don't worry, boat snapping it, just try it colored in. So we're getting through this. And again, the beautiful thing of working with factors in the end, especially if you are into surface pattern design, is that you can take one design that you really love and you can recover it a 100 times and get a different vibe each time. So that's pretty cool. So there's my second layer. So for my third color, I'm going to add a new layer. And then pick out a green color for the stems. And I'm gonna just change my brush. I want something a little bit. Flatter. And I think if you go under inking, Yes, Jill stinky Inc. I kinda like this one is kind of a flat. So I'm just going to quickly add some stems in here. Just really quick little lines. And then I'm going to add some simple leaf shapes. And then maybe I'll leave a few that don't have leaves. Just so I have some variety. And I might just add a few little line details into these leaves to give them some interest. Okay, so now that you have your, your little illustrations and motifs here, you'd have everything on a different layer. And maybe I'll color these leaves in so I can just color that there. So what you can do is you need to change all of these layers, seed, convert them all to black, because that will be the easiest for the illustrator live trace. And there's two ways you can do that. Let's work by layer. Go back to your first layer. You can do a two-finger swipe, right? That will walk all your pixels. And then you can go in and choose black if you are in your disk palette here, just double-tap and the dark area and get pure black. And then if you can wonder your calligraphy brush library and this big monoline brush is really good for. You can adjust the size over here, is really good just for easily. Swiping over in there you can see I'm chain, I'm painting those pixels block. Or the other way you can do it is if you click on layer two and then add a new layer above that, fill that layer with black. If you'd just grab your block here, fill that layer with black, and then click on that and hit clipping mask. That converts all those little dots to block. And then you can just hit merge down. And then do the same for the next one above layer three, Add New Layer, fill that layer with black, click, clipping mask and merge down. So now all of your layers are black. You can see if I turn these layers on and off, you can see them all. 3. Exporting your File: Okay, so now you're going to want to make sure that you have all of your layers turned on. And then we are going to jump over here to the actions panel on the wrench Tool and go to Share and select PSD. You want to export as a PSD because it will keep all of your layers intact. And you can export it either to Dropbox or if you have air dropped by of air job here from my Mac. So I'm going to export that in. It will just pop up on my desktop. It's done. Export successful, and we will close up shop here and I will meet you over on your desktop. 4. Live Tracing in Adobe Illustrator: You guys, okay, so we have exported our PSD file from procreate, and we're now on our desktop and we are in Illustrator. And I'm just going to go very slowly here. So in case you're very new to illustrate or hopefully you can follow along easily. So click open and navigate to where you excoriated your PSD file from procreate. Didn't get this popup window. It says photoshop import options. And you just wanna make sure that this button, this convert layers to objects is what is selected. That's going to keep your layers intact. So here is your all black image. And if you click on the layers tab here, if this isn't showing, if, if any of these on the right-hand aren't showing, you can easily bring them up just by going up here to window and then select what you need. So I'm in layers right now. And you can see it, it's imported layer one, layer two, layer three. Let's just turn off the background layer for now. We don't need to concern ourselves with that. And the first thing you will do is just make a layer two and layer three invisible turn those off. So we're just looking at layer one right now. And what we're going to do is we're going to image trace using this wonderful tool that is a part of Adobe Illustrator that helps us to convert roster based files into vectors. So click on image trace here. And again, if this isn't showing up, just go up to Windows here and select your layers, or sorry, your image trace. And if everything is grayed out, just use your murky to draw over the image and it will turn everything on here. And if your panel doesn't look like mine, there's this under Advanced here, you can click this up and down at will open and close your options. So open that up and the first thing I do is click on ignore white, and that will just set it to that damage trace doesn't read this whitespace, it'll just be concentrating on the black image. So I also like to click Preview. And this is the when you do that and you see the trace button went gray because in a trace, just trace the objects. And this is the result that you're getting. You can use your command and plus sign on your keyboard to zoom in and command minus to zoom out so that you can see these better. So again, these were just simple flat black objects that I drew. There's no texture to them. So our drawing result should be pretty straightforward and you don't really have to concern yourself with all of these other options that are here. But these are good to play around with later on if you do have more textured and more details designs. And we'll take a look at that a little bit in what's our third layer here for the stems and stuff, because there are some line drawings. But for this one in particular, let's just see what happens if you take this threshold and you move this way up. And you see that they all just kind of got a little bit bolder. Drag that down there, less fold. So this just plays around with the result that you're getting. And I'm going to leave mine at about a 175. Once you're happy with how it looks. If this is very important after every image, Tracy, Do you need to expand your objects civil into object and hit, expand. And then just hit OK, OK. And you can see the murky, the box or the bounding box here came on around all of the objects. That's so that shows you that that layer has been expanded. So let's turn that off. Turn on layer two. Again, these are just very simple little flat black dots. So if you go into image trace and use your mark key to select the artwork. And the first thing I always do is go to ignore white. Hit preview. And it's traced these objects just as little dots. And I'm okay with that result, not much to them. So hit object, expand. Okay. And then let's turn that off. Turn on layer three. Go to image trace and select your artwork. Now, this one is a little bit more detailed. It has some line drawing in here. So let's just zoom in so you can see if I, well, the first thing I'm gonna do, I always say to ignore white and go to my preview and I hit preview, it automatically traces the image just with this and the custom, just this first default setting here, black and white default setting. And you can see like here, for instance, these lines are a little bit wonky here. And over here I see this one isn't connecting fully. That's okay. If that's the look that you want to go for. This is totally personal preference. But let's just see what happens. Zoom in here and let's look particularly at the shape of the tips on the leaves. And if you move your threshold up, you can see that these are changing as you move this back and forth. Okay? And so then a few also play around with the paths here. You've moved those way up. You can see again the shape of the leaves here changing and the shape of the whitespace in, in between the leaves, the little details. And this is the same for the corners. If you've moved those corners way up, you get like a square result here at the end. If you move them down, you're gonna get more of a rounded result. So I'm just going to leave both of those, the paths in the corners and the middle. And the noise. Again because this is black, I don't have to really concern myself with this too much, but I say that you were doing an illustration that has a lot of texture in it. You could definitely play with the noise to change the look of it. This will still, this will still change the result that you're getting. So you can just go by co-pilot you like. I'm going to just zoom out. Have a quick peek at all my images here and I think I like all of them. So I'm going to hit object expand. And actually, you know what, I'm going to hit commands at that, that will undo your last step. And before I expand this, I just should also show you that if you wanted to save the settings that you just put on to this layer so that you don't have to go through it. Again if you have a black flat line drawing in the future and you like the result that you got here. You can click on this box here and hit Save As New Preset. And then we could say procreate line drawing, we'll call this. And then it will now show up here in your presets list. So the next time that you have an illustration and you want to have the same end result. For the image trace. You can just select this and it will automatically populate all of these settings that you had here. Okay, so now we go back up to Object expand, Okay? Back to your layers. Now you have all three layers here. They've all been traced, they've all been expanded. And this is really kind of a fun part. We are going to color your images. 5. Coloring your Vector Art: So let's select layer one. And if you're swatches aren't showing up here in this panel again, you can just access your swatches through the windows at the top and scroll down the swatches and they may be empty here I have a preset swatch saved for this class. Here, this is just the three colors I was using in procreate, like glue, blue and green. So I am going to with, with layer one selected, I'm going to click on the blue. And that changed all of my flowers to blue. And then go back to your Layers. Click on disability for layer two. And I click over here. When you click here on the right, this just indicates which art you're going to be affecting. So I am going to choose in my swatch panel, the dark blue for the centers. And then I'm going to turn on layer three so I can see it. I'm going to change those degrees. And there are my little colored motifs. So where do you go from here? If you want to use these elements? As I do for a surface pattern design, the easiest thing to do is group each of the elements as individual flowers so that you can move them around easily. And how I do that is by first all of these petals that are on layer one. These are one group right now. So I need to click on this layer and I need to ungroup them. So you can do this by going up to object Ungroup. Or you may, let's see, Note that didn't work. So times have to do that twice. Another way you can do it is by hitting command shift g to ungroup. And we can test that. Yes, that worked because I can move this around individually and pick commands. I had to go back just to move that pedal back in place. Now I'm gonna go, I'm gonna do that to layer to. Layer two is selected. I'm gonna hit Command Shift G, plant ship G, do it twice. Now, these are all individual centers that can be moved around. Do the same for layer three. Click on layer three here. Command Shift G, command ship G. And now these are all individual. These are all individual elements that can be moved around now so that this flower almost together, in this flower almost together. What I wanna do is take my last so tool, if you're Lasso Tool isn't showing there, you can just right-click. And the direct selection tool and There's a drop-down menu there, and select your Lasso Tool. Draw a circle around here that selects all these elements and hit command G. And now hit Command. Sorry if you hit Command V to get your selection tool backup, then you can see that when I move this, these are all moving together. So this is its own little group. So that's nice and tidy for when we are, are going to be working. So now the bacteria lasso and I'm going to just do that quickly for all of them that Alaska around it hit command G less than around this one. And T and T g. And once you know that you have all of that done, you'll see over in the layers panel that layer one and layer two are now empty. All these little groups or her showing up on layer three. So I like to keep my layers over here nice and tidy. And just so it doesn't confuse me, him that futures are gonna go and delete layer one. I'm going to delete layer two and layer three. You can double-click on, on your layers to rename them. And I'm going to name these flower groups. And the first thing I will do so that I know that I have these all saved. I'm going to go and save as I'm gonna safeties as simple motifs. And you see the default at saving them as an AI file, which is what we want. These are all vectors. And I have a folder here, vector motifs where I save all my little drawings. Hit save, save that. So now we have all of these individual flowers that we can move around nice and neatly. And the beauty, as I mentioned in the intro, but working with vectors is that now we can very easily manipulate the colors of these flowers with just a few clicks. So let's give that a try. You feel, Take your murky and vote to select all of your artwork. And then go to edit, scroll down to Edit Colors. And to recolor artwork. You get this window here with some options. And let's just first try with the same three colors that we have, these three active colors. Down here you see randomly change color order or randomly changes saturation and brightness brightness. So let's first just click on this button. That's gonna use those three colors. And it's just going to move them from one to the other. So everything that is light blue, they would now take it and move it to be dark blue. Or everything that is green will now turn to be dark blue and so on. So that's a really fun way just to kind of manipulate how it looks. And then you can go to the next one. And this is going to change the saturation and the brightness. These three colours to know you're going to get different varieties here. And if you wanted to use an existing color palette, let's cancel. You can go back up to Edit, Edit Colors. And you get this auction recolor with preset. And you can select Color library. So I have a bunch of Swatch Library saved or their palettes of colors that I like that I've used in the past for different projects. And so I can just click on this user-defined and I can select any of my, any of my palettes and hit OK. And that's going to then pull colors from that pallet to use. And again, we can change those around. These have two dark colors, so it's really hard to see, but if that happens and you want to take this blue and put that back in, you can just click this button, will move this color from here over here. You can drag these colors to switch them, drag them around. And you can also click on this, because this is only a three color illustration. It's only using three colors from that palette, but I may have more colors in that pellet Q click over here. This brings up the entirety of that color palette. And then I can select different colors from here in that pallet. So I'll select the pink no popped out in here. I can go over here to where this dark is. And I can help in here and I can select this burnt orange color. So this is just another way that you can play around with different colors. Okay? So that is a really fun way that you can instantly change an easily change the look of your little motifs using color. There you have it guys. There is hopefully an easy explanation on how to create vector motifs from your procreate illustrations. And now you have all of these cute little motifs that are now vectors and ready to be used in whatever projects you need to have vector illustrations or you would find vector illustration helpful. And for me that is surface pattern design. And I hope that you will join me for a class project here where I'm going to show you how to easily line your illustrations are side-by-side on our boards. So you can manipulate the colors and see which is most pleasing to your eye. And I hope you will join me there. 6. Class Project: You're joining me for this class project. If you went through the class, you should have a file with your vector illustrations saved. So I'm just going to bring mine up here in Illustrator. And there they are. So what I'm going to do is I'm gonna go to File New. And I'm going to make a square board or have this default one here. I usually like to work in 2 thousand by 2 thousand pixels and hit Create. And that gives me a nice square. And I'm just going to go over to my motifs here. I'm going to select them all by dragging my murkier and it slips them all. And I can take them and move them over to my untitled document and I can drop them in here. Now because these are vectors, again, they are wonderful to work with. You can increase and decrease their size without losing the quality. And I can just drag up the corners by holding my Shift button and dragging its corners to increase and decrease the size and have some without losing, like distorting the image. So I'm just going to fill up the board as much as I can. And I have some space down here. So again, because these are individual motifs is really simple to just click on one. You can hit command c to copy, command V to paste. And then you can move that around and do this one. And just create sort of a scattered, the scattered pattern here. Move these around. So there are kind of evenly space to the eye. Alright. Now, in this class project, what we're going to do is we are going to make four replicas of this art boards so that we can easily line them up side-by-side. So when we recolor them, we can see what they look like side-by-side here. So to do that, the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to select my rectangle tool over here and so on, this rectangle tool. And because I know that this airport is 2 thousand by 2 thousand, if I just click, I'm going to change the width here in 2 thousand and change the height to 2 thousand and hit OK. That gives me a square that's blocking everything here. So go to a line over in the side panel. And again, if that's not showing up, but you can find it under your window here and click on a line. And d's will align center horizontally and vertically. So I'm going to click here, click fair. Now that square is directly over my airport, but I can't see any of my motifs because that square is in front of them. So you can send that square root of the back by going to object, arrange, send to back. And now that square is behind them. Now, if you want to change the background color of that square with the square selected, you can select the fill over here. And you can just change that to any color that you wish. And I'm just going to change it to a pink color so that you can see it hit OK. And now, grab your selection tool. He said you're not on your rectangle tool any longer. Now I'm gonna take my mark key. Oh, actually again. And take my murky, I'm going to just drive over all of these. And I'm going to open up my swatches panel if you don't have that open again up in your windows so you can find it under here and select your swatches with all of your artwork, selected the motifs Andrew square. You're going to just drag the whole thing over here to your swatches panel. And you can see that created this little since new pattern swatch one. So now what we can do, zoom out on your screen by hitting command and the minus sign. Go back to here, your rectangle tool over here. And now let's make another square, 2 thousand by 2 thousand and hit OK. We can just copy this square here. By C can move this around. You can copy this square by again, just clicking on it and hitting command C to copy command V to paste, and just move that around. Or another way, you can do that as you can. Click on it. And if you hit the option button, you see your, your mouse has a shadow mouse underneath it. You can, while you're holding that option button down, you can drag it and that will drag out another one. So do that twice. And now you have these four squares here. So just as you did you, you were exploring how to recolor your original motif artworks with the edit color over here. You can do that with these, these new rectangles that have this little pattern inside. So just click on the first one. Object, or sorry, Edit, Edit Colors and recolor at work. And let's just start by moving some things around even what that first one that just recolored my leaves with the dark blue and made dissenters yellow. And I really actually like that. I'm just going to leave that as is. And I'm gonna hit OK. Good onto your next one. You can do the same, Edit Colors, recolor artwork. And I'm going to just start by randomly changing the color ordered here and see it because it has a square in the background, what we even affect the background color. Now I kinda like this blue background, but I think I want to change the pink. The pedals, the pink at the center with the gold here. So I'm just going to switch that. Now. Let me add my leaves white. Kinda like that. So many ahead. Okay, I'm gonna go over to the next one. And we just repeat this process. And by doing this, you can see you are getting or these tiles of artwork that have different coloring options. So you can play around with that and easily manipulate them. These two, I like the color of the flowers here and I like the color of flowers here, but I'm going to maybe change just the square, the color of the background on this one. I can do that by going into my edit close again to color artwork. And so you see right here on the bottom, this is the background color, this light pink color. I can just double-click on that and I can use my color picker too, in a different color. I'm gonna maybe try and like a light. That's a little bit to still know, dispatcher pool the pit. So there you have it. There is a simple way that you can change your colors and be able to just easily a few them all at the same time so you can see which is your preference. And if you are watching this class project, I would love it. If you would just take a screenshot, a quick screenshot, just tick Command Shift four, and just drag out along your four tiles here. And take a quick screenshot for me of your colored tiles here so that I can see or our work, I would really enjoy that and I hope that you've enjoyed this passed and thanks for joining me, everybody. 7. Thank You!!: Okay guys, that's it for today's class. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you have discovered just how easy it is to convert roster based images into vector images. And I hope that this will serve you for your future projects.