Illustrator Secrets: 5 Techniques to Add Realism to Your Work | DKNG Studios | Skillshare

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Illustrator Secrets: 5 Techniques to Add Realism to Your Work

teacher avatar DKNG Studios, Design + Illustration

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 2.

      3-Dimensionality with Mesh


    • 3.

      Create Foliage with Custom Brushes


    • 4.

      Complex Layering with Clipping Masks


    • 5.

      Dimensional Type with Blends


    • 6.

      Customize Using Envelope Distort


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Learn more from DKNG


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About This Class

Learn five techniques to create your most realistic work yet with DKNG, the design and illustration duo who have taught more than 29,000 students on Skillshare!

Using real work for properties like Star Wars and Ghostbusters, Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman share how you can create 3-dimensional images that pop off the page. From simple tools like gradients and clipping masks to custom brushes and the envelope tool, you’ll discover how to use Illustrator in a whole new way.

Whether you’re new to Illustrator or a long-time user, this class will help you dive deeper, get more out of Illustrator, and take your work to the next level.

Want more tips? Take our other techniques-based class: Mastering Illustrator: 10 Tips & Tricks to Speed Up Your Workflow.

Meet Your Teacher

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DKNG Studios

Design + Illustration

Top Teacher

DKNG is a full service graphic design studio with a focus on the entertainment industry. We work directly with bands, venues, promoters and a range of independent and corporate clients.

Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman were both drawn to music and design at an early age, but didnt combine their talents until 2005 when the duo founded a design studio with the goal of fusing these two creative avenues. The pair has found a niche in linking a personal and unique aesthetic to the worlds most talented musical artists.

With dynamically different skill sets ranging from fine art to film production, Dan and Nathan bring diverse talents and artistic perspectives to every project. DKNG strives to provide their clients with the image and recognition that they deserve. Their past client... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: I'm Dan Kuhlken. I'm Nathan Goldman. We are DKNG Studios. We're a design and illustration studio based in California. When people ask, what our style is? That's a difficult question to answer. We tend to cater our style for the client that we're working with. A lot of our earlier work was considered more on the flatter side, very vector-looking. As our career went on, we tried to add more realism to our work and that's what this whole class is all about. In today's class, we're going to be going over five tips for Adobe Illustrator, about how to add more realism and detail to your work in simple ways. Many of the tips and tricks we'll be teaching this class are things that we use on a daily basis. Time is very important to us and we value it. So, a lot of these things that we do are very complicated from the outside, but they actually don't take very long and it's all about creating efficiency with your work. We're going to be covering everything from the Blend tool to working with Gradient Meshes. Basically, tools within Illustrator that allow you to add a lot of detail to your work, but with fairly minimal effort, so you can really build up something that looks very realistic. Many of the projects that we'll be referencing in this class are from the entertainment industry. So, a poster from Star Wars Rogue One, the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters. But what comes with that, is tight deadlines. The entertainment industry likes to have things made very quickly and all these posters are very detailed. So, the tips in this class are all about making very detailed work and doing it in a very efficient style. Once you take the class and try out these five tips, we'd love to see how you use them and please share them in the project gallery. There's so many different ways they could be applied and even if you have your own methods or tips, we'd love to see how you use these and apply them to your own work. We're looking forward to sharing these five tips and tricks with you, some of our favorites from Illustrator. So, without further ado, let's get started. 2. 3-Dimensionality with Mesh: For this tip, we're going to be showing you how to create a sphere, a realistic sphere, with the light source. When I say sphere, I mean like a circle that has three dimensionality to it. So, imagine a ball with a light source. You'd have one side of it feel like there's a hot spot and there'd be specific shadows in specific areas to make it look truly round. There's lots of ways to do this, we have a couple of tips on our own that we are going to show you today. But, one quick way to do that would be using the gradient tool for example. You have a shadow on one side and you have a highlight in the other. But you really don't get the roundness that you're looking for. So, what we're going to show you is a couple of quick ways to make a very realistic looking sphere using just a couple of tools. Just to show you how creating a sphere is applicable to the real world, here's a poster we created for The Iron Giant, and you can see that we're using it in a couple of different ways. Obviously, the planet right here, this moon is using a spherical technique to make it look realistic. A lot of his joints and stuff that are going on and the mechanics here, like these circles, are being used even on his hands. So, I'm going to show you how to create this. It starts off with just a circle, and I'm just going to make a simple one that's blue. This is going to be your main shape that you're working from the entire time. One easy thing you can do is just remember your size. So, I'm just going to make this six inches, because I'm going to be repeating the shape on top of itself. In order to get this to look spherical, a very quick way to do that would be to use the mesh tool, and it's right here in your tool bar. You just want to grab that tool and decide where you want to have let's say a highlight, so I'm going to pick the top right corner, and it just creates this mesh for the shapes. So, what's happening here is that it created all these different nodes and kind of started rounding around to create this point right here in this anchor. You take your white pen tool and grab that anchor, you can change that specific area of the shapes. So, I'm going to go and click white, and almost immediately we have a spherical shape, which is pretty cool. It doesn't stop there, you could add more stuff going on like let's say, I wanted to add some more darkness to the bottom left here. You can go back to the mesh tool and add more of these nodes. So, I'm going to add a couple here and I'm going to give this a different type of highlight on this bottom area. So, let's say I want this a red shape, that's a little bit too intense. Let's go like a dark blue and we're seeing something kind of interesting happening here. Light is kind of interesting in the sense that it's not just about one light source, you could have a cool side and a warm side, let's say like this bottom left corner is warmer and we get something like that. The point of all this is just to show you how customizable this whole thing is. What I'm also going to do is bring in more shapes on top of it. So let's go ahead to make another circle, and I'm going to make it six inches again, and place it over on top of this exact same thing I just made. Go ahead and make it white and then bring in an effect on top of it. So, we're going to go to stylize and go to inner glow. With inner glow what it's going to do is create a color that surrounding the whole thing moving inwards. You have a bunch of options in terms of its opacity and also the blur in terms of how far in you want it to go. Let's say I want it to be that much so I'm just like bring it down to about a half inch and you can complete that and make that be on multiply. What that's doing is essentially giving this even more of a rounded look. Maybe it's a little too intense and you want it to be a little bit less of an opacity. Maybe you want to play around with giving it different transparency like overlay, which could give you weird effects but it's all stuff you can experiment with and if you're trying to get a specific look it's worth just kind of trying out all these different transparencies. But, multiply is probably a good way to get a combination of everything that you're looking for. Another way to make this look more realistic is adding texture. We already have this file here. That is a gray scaled image of a moon and what you can do is bring this in as a linked file into your illustrator file and actually have it overlay on top of your actual image. You want to do that within a clipping mask. So, it's all within the same shape. So, what I'm going to do is actually get it pretty close to the size of what we were working with and bring it as close as I can to the perimeter here. I sent this image to the very back but I'm going to use the same shape that I created this inner glow and I'm going to copy and paste it in place so that it's on the very front. So, that's our command C and command F. Then I'm going to grab that shape plus the image that's in the very back simultaneously and then I just create a clipping mask by right clicking. So, in order for you to see exactly what you're doing, you can actually just quickly say multiply and all of a sudden you have a texture on top of all the work that we've done behind this. So, just with a couple tools, we're creating a pretty realistic and interesting sphere, and not only a sphere but an actual planet. So, one cool thing about actually having gray scale imagery within your vector artwork is that, if it's truly made it in to be a great scale image, it could be customized in terms of its color, right now this is a default black and white image but technically I can turn it to any color I want. If you just grab the image with your white pen tool inside the clippy mask, you can change anything that's gray and black to any tone. So, if I wanted to I can change it to red or dark blue for example. So, that's a pretty quick way to create a realistic sphere and not only a sphere but an actual planet. This whole mesh tool thing is pretty cool in the sense that you can work with any shape you really want. Like, if I wanted to create a teardrop for example, I can make a teardrop with my pen tool really quickly and get like a more organic looking shape. From there you can use the mesh tool to give this more realism. So, what I'm going to do is take this preexisting shape and get the mesh tool involved and you just have to decide where you want your highlights. So, there is an option right there for like white to come in or a lighter color and almost immediately it starts looking three dimensional. Like I said before, adding more of these meshes gives you the opportunity to have different light sources, darker spots that you wouldn't normally have. So, for instance, like I can start giving it more customization from here. Like if I want to get this whole back area a darker color I can grab it like that. It's all about using the white arrow tool and just grabbing these specific nodes to change the color that you want. So even if I have this colored predesignated as this super dark purple, I can even make a darker with my colors and start customizing from there. So, just with a couple of clicks what looks like a painting is actually just all vector and this is completely, you can zoom in all the way unlike any other vector image. It's just using a variety of different colors and a three dimensional form. So, as you can see the mesh tool is pretty versatile. We use it a lot if we want to make something look realistic, it just starts with the basic shape, you bring in the mesh tool, you decide where your light sources are, and with a couple of clicks you can make something look from a simple circle to a full on three dimensional sphere or a planet. 3. Create Foliage with Custom Brushes: For this trick, we're going to discuss custom brushes and, in particular, using two different custom brushes to create a tree like in this Dave Matthews poster. And at first glance, it might look pretty daunting to think about creating all these branches, all these leaves individually, and a lot of times we don't have the luxury of working in that meticulous of a fashion. So, we look for some solutions for making something this complex, but in a quicker way. So, this poster started with a sketch on the left here, and as you can see, it's also pretty complicated. But, we're going to use that as a base to kind of work from and show a couple of methods to create some of this vector artwork that you see on the right. So, the first thing we'll do is we're just going to start with this triangle and use that to create our brush that we're going to use for the branches. And because the branches taper, we're basically just using the fact that a triangle tapers to mimic that same kind of look. So, we'll start with kind of a long triangle. We'll round off the corners just slightly. And then under Effect, Distort and Transform, we're going to use the roughen tool to just give this a bit more texture. I think just something subtle like that is probably enough for what we'll need. So, then come over to your brushes pallet and you can create a new brush. And in this case, we're going to select Art Brush. And basically, these standard options here will work. You can see it has directionality. And, click Okay, and you'll see that that triangle brush is now added to your brush palette. Then we can head over to our sketch and let's pick out a branch that we're going to try to draw. So, using the pen tool, we can start drawing some of these curves. So there's a branch ruffed into place. Right now it just has a normal basic stroke on it. But if we select our new branch brush that we made, you can see that it starts to give it a bit more shape. And then if we go into our stroke palette, so let's maybe bring it down to a quarter of a point. And you can see that starts to look more like a real branch. From there, we can even start adding in some of these smaller branches in the same way. So, let's say one of these smaller branches. You want to place about there. Again, we'll select our new Art Brush and now we could even go a bit smaller with our stroke. So, we were at a quarter of a point before, I'll go down to a tenth of a point now. And one other thing you can start doing once you have these in place is, if you really want to fine tune any of these intersections, we can just go in there with the normal pen tool and start to add in these little kind of nooks and crannies in the tree. And I'll just fill that with black, and you start to get some more realistic intersections there. So, now that we have a few branches in place, we'll take a look at how we're going to add in some of these leaves. And rather than adding in each leaf individually, since we're trying to make a maple tree, this was for a poster that was a concert that took place in Canada, so, we thought maple leaves would be nice. So, here's one. But, obviously on a real tree that's realistic looking, every leaf is not going to be perfectly flat frontal view like this. So, I'm just going to take this leaf and duplicate it a few times and start to make a few modifications to it and just start distorting it, rotating it. There's lots of ways that you can change these leaves just to make it appear that you're looking at it from different angles. You can start to share some of these, maybe some of them are flat. So, we're just seeing an edge of the leaf. And of course they'd also be coming off the tree at lots of different angles. So, one last thing we do before we create this brush is I'm just going to color in a few of these leaves with a few colors that I've picked out that are a little bit in the fall colors spectrum. So, we'll have a tree that looks like its leaves are changing colors. And one more thing I'm going to do before we create our new brush for these leaves, is in our transparency palette, I'm going to change these to multiply and give it about 90 percent opacity. And the reason for that will become clear once we start using this as a brush. But the idea is to lend a bit more realism when these leaves start to overlap each other. So, now we're going to go back to our brushes palette. Again, create a new brush. And this time we're going to choose Scattered Brush. Right now, I'm just going to leave all these settings fixed so we can just see how it would react normally. And we can call this our Leaf Brush. So, now that's appeared in our brushes palette and we can head back over to our sketch and start drawing a path where we want these leaves to line up with our branch. And it doesn't have to land on your branch exactly, maybe just somewhere in the vicinity just to make it look somewhat natural. And we'll select that new brush. And as you can see, it's starting to follow the path of our branch, but obviously not looking super realistic yet. I'm going to turn off the sketch layer for now just so we can focus on this. So, let's double click on that brush, and now we can start to play around with some of these settings. And as you can see, everything is at a fixed size now, but we're going to start going in and changing that to random. And with all the settings at random, we can start to play with the maximum and minimum range of how much we want the settings to be randomized. So, you can see in real time, once I start playing with things like size, how much it's going to vary spacing, how much between these chunks, and we can start to make our leaves either more or less dense. Some of these look like they're getting a little too big, some might go smaller, and start spacing them more closely together. Obviously they're all lining up in the same angle now which doesn't really look normal. So, we'll continue to play with some of these tools like scatter that changes how far they'll deviate from your original line, and then rotation will help spread them out in even more random directions. So, I think now we're starting to get to a point where this feels a lot more realistic. You can get even more dense with it. And you can see that because we earlier set everything to multiply at 90 percent opacity where the leaves start to overlap each other, that gives us even more depth of color and it's a nice way to make sure that this is going to look a lot more photorealistic. So, from there, we can play with this line even more, move these nodes around, get everything to fit nicely onto our branches. And from here, it's just a matter of continuing to add strokes and add leaves. And you can really do this with any shape or any object that you're looking for a randomized pattern. So, that's basically a way of using two custom brushes, an art brush and a scatter brush to make an organic looking tree in a pretty quick and efficient way, rather than having to draw each leaf individually. And this tool could also be used for anything where you're looking to make a randomized organic kind of look. This could be used for a night sky, other types of foliage, really anything that you want something random, but don't have to place each point individually, the scatter brush tool is a great way to accomplish things like that. 4. Complex Layering with Clipping Masks: For this lesson we're going to discuss clipping masks. It's a very robust way of getting multiple shapes within a single shape. The reason we use this is it keeps our work organized and also it's a capability of making our work look photorealistic without too much complication. With this rogue one poster that we have here, as complex and photo realistic as it looks, technically it's just a series of clipping masks, and to show you what that looks like as I move into the project, you can see that, all of this is vector for example, and as I get into these groups, what we're dealing with are a series of clipping masks. So for example like this area right here is just a bunch of shapes within a shape within a clipping mask. Right here is another clipping mask. It's just a way to keep things in a organized fashion without being overwhelmed, but you're ending up with a very complicated look in the end. So to show you how clipping masks can be utilized to their maximum capability, I'm just going to show you a quick way of using them to recreate the shape right here for example in the cheek area. So, this can be created pretty quickly. We've got that kind of shape, I'm going to go ahead and make it blue. This is your basic shape that's going to end up being pretty much the clipping mask for all other shapes. I'm going to go ahead and throw in a highlight for example, and if I want this to look something like that, that's what we'll probably end up with. This could just be white for example. Go ahead and take this shape and just copy and paste it in the very front, and that is how you clipping with the masks you just grab both those shapes, right click and it's done. Obviously, this looks pretty vectory still and can always push this further in terms of making it look more realistic. A couple of techniques would be turning this into a gradient for example. You can have one side be white and the other side be like a zero percent version of that white. So that's what this would look like. Let's change the angle. So, that's already starting to look a little more shiny and metallic. You can also give things blurs by going to blur, Gaussian blur, 10 pixels is probably enough. Again, it starts to keep this airbrush appealed to it. You can use gradients within this, so you can literally draw a shape that is a little bit bigger than the shape of your clipping mask, you can cut it. Once we cut that shape, all you have to do to get it within your clipping mask is select the shape that you have already created within it with the white arrow tool and you can choose to copy it in place either in front or behind it. For this particular example, I'm going to throw it right behind it, so that's command B. You can already see like it just gets thrown in there. You can adjust it from there if you wanted to. I'm going to go ahead and change this gradient so that it's dark on one end and light on the other. So, we're already getting this cool like metallic look, you can change your angles obviously with this clipping mask. If you wanted to get like a highlight really quickly it's the same process. Just keep drawing more shapes and throwing them in. For instance, if I want a white highlight on the edge here, it's the same thing. So, grab that copy it or cut it rather and then paste it in place within the clipping mask and you get something like that and go back to Gaussian blurs. You might be asking like how do we make it look even more realistic because we're seeing all these different dots and stuff like this with this image. The reason that looks that way is because we're using rastered imagery. When I say rastered imagery I mean anything like a jpeg, anything that's created with pixels within Photoshop can actually be placed within your illustration. So what I'm going to do is bring in a rastered image of metal, it's a texture that we have, it's a said JPEG and it's actually made to be completely grayscale. What we do is we make it grey scale so we can change it's color if we wanted to if you haven't selected, but for this particular circumstance, I just want to have a texture that will basically multiply over this whole thing. You can take it and multiply right away if you wanted to just to see what it would look like, but obviously, you want to have that go inside the clipping mask so you would grab this shape with the white arrow tool, you cut it and then you just grab another shape within the clipping mask and paste in front. So what we have here is a clipping mask that's holding a bunch of different types of elements, a rastered image, plenty of different vector shapes using all these different filters like gradients, Gaussian blurs, it's really limitless, Adobe Illustrator will allow you to put pretty much anything inside a clipping mask, and once you have it inside that clipping mask, it's technically like a grouping and those groupings can be compiled like puzzle pieces together to make a final illustration that looks very realistic in the end. 5. Dimensional Type with Blends: For this tip, we're going to talk about working with type and how you can use the blend tool to add some three dimensionality and realism to type that, might otherwise feel kind of standard and flat, and really a way to make your type look more illustrative and more custom based on what you'd like to create. So, here's kind of an example of a poster that we did, where we have some typography that's floating, you can see it has kind of shadow and depth to it. So, it really feels like it's set into its environment. So we're going to take a look at just a single letter and see if we can do some similar effects. So I'm starting with this letter E. I just have it at a 50 percent grey, and I'm going to copy and paste it in place, so control C, control B to paste it directly behind itself, and I'm going to use command 2 to lock the top layer. I'm also going to copy this again, and kind of drag it next to itself. So, we're dealing with two. This is where we're going to start to use the blend tool. So, first we're going to look at our settings. So, in Blend Options we're going to select Specified Steps and 256 is the number we typically use to make sure we get a nice smooth blend, and it doesn't look jagged or stair stepping at all. So now that our settings are in place, we come back to the Object menu, Blend and then Make, and you'll see that it basically just filled in the gap between those two letters and made it into a nice smooth shape. So, we can see that a little better. I'm going to make that a little bit lighter gray. At this point we're going to start thinking about light source a little bit, and the fact that we now have the right side of this letter with a lighter color, we're going to consider our highlight, our light source kind of coming from the upper right corner here, and that'll come into play with our next step. So, now that we have one blended shape at work, we're going to again, copy and paste it, so commands C command F and this new blend. I'm just going to make it magenta for now so we can see it more clearly. I'll also bring it to the front. You can see that it's comprised of two letters. One's kind of in the upper left ones in the lower right. I'm just going to use the white arrow tool to grab the one in the upper left, and just kind of drag it down to an arbitrary point. On the lower left side here. Now lets take this whole magenta group push that to the back, and I'm going to make this an even lighter gray and you can already see that that's giving it more three dimensionality it kind of feels like it's grounded to the page a bit more, but another nice feature of the Blend tool is that we don't need this entire letter grouping to be the same color. We can start to play with it. So again I'll use just the white arrow selection tool to select this E in the lower left, and I'm going to make that white, and what's that going to do is give us a gradient within that blend, and it's not literally using the gradient tool,it's just using a blend from kind of a light gray E down to our 256 steps to our white E, and that kind of gives you an even more realistic look about the further away we get from our light source. The shadow starts to dissipate the bit. So, that's a kind of quick easy way to make a three dimensional letter. If you want to further customized letters, we can also even just look within our main shape, and if we want to do something within that to make it even more unique. So, what I'm going to do is go up to Object Path, Add Anchor Points, and that's just going to start adding some additional nodes throughout this letter. So, I can start to see the structure of it a bit more, and this is a good time to use your smart guides. You can actually snap to those points so I can find the halfway point of these various parts of the E. So, in adding some of these additional shapes, what I'm going to do is to continue to add some three dimensionality to this letter. In this case, with kind of a bevelled look. So, I'm going to start to add in additional shapes kind of using those midpoints of each part of this E. Again thinking about lightsource anything towards the top is going to be brighter. Anything kind of facing below is going to be considered more in shadow, and you can see already how that kind of top arm of this E is starting to project out a little bit more and have more three dimensionality. We can even push that a bit further and start to add gradients for something like that, and even change the light even more. Feels even more directional that it's bright but it's also coming from that upper right corner. Then before I show you what a finished product might look like, one last thing we can do is add a shadow to the bottom side of this E. So, again with our smart guides on, we can just use the pen tool to trace the shape of this bottom panel of our E. Maybe make that a darker color since it's going to be getting the least amount of light. Based on our light source. So, you see there's a lot of three dimensionality at play here using the blend and the gradient, and I'll show you what that would look like if you went all out and added gradients, and blends to each side of it and maybe color it kind of a gold. You get almost a metallic look. So, of course there's other ways to do this. You can use the 3D tools in Illustrator, but sometimes you don't really want to rotate your letter forms, you want to keep them flat and straight like an example is this poster, but you do want to add some depth. So, the blend tool and the gradient tool are both pretty quick ways to be able to add that three dimensionality to type in Illustrator. 6. Customize Using Envelope Distort: For this tip, we're going to be using the Envelope Distort tool. Most of you might know that as the tool that takes a basic shape and can warp it into other shapes. So, let's say you start with this illustration that you want to warp into an arc, or you want to make it look like a fish or something like that. All those settings are great, but you're stuck with the presets. The nice thing about the Envelope Distort tool is that you can also create a mesh, not unlike the mesh tool. It's actually a mesh within the Envelope Distort tool. Using the mesh version of the Envelope Distort tool is useful when you want to have more customization. Let's say you want to have an illustration wrapped around a shape and feel like it's truly molding on top of it, that's where you would use this tool. So, right now I have a project open that we created for the original Ghostbusters movie. And you can see that there's a lot of realism going on here. And more importantly, there's this reflection of this entire scene happening on the windshield. This scene originally started off as just a vector illustration, pretty straightforward, but, we got it to look like it's actually reflected onto this windshield. In order to do that, we bring in this Envelope Distort tool. So, that is located under Object, right here. What we're going to do is actually take this image. This is fully vectorized within a Clipping Mask scene that we created. And we're actually going to just take that and select it. Go to Envelope Distort Tool and Make with Mesh, rather than going Make to Warp, which this is what I was talking about with arc. Obviously, there's lots of options here, but not a lot them are customizable. We're actually going to do something a little bit different. We're going to bring it in to Envelope Distort and go to Make with Mesh. A good way to start is a four by four. This is completely customizable, too. You can change the amount of columns you have, the amount of rows you have. You can see what happens if you turn on preview. So, it's basically creating this grid system, this mesh of a four by four platform. So, I think that that's going to be pretty useful for us. So, I'm going to stick to four. So, now what we have is the same illustration, but everything is in this grid system that can be moved around by grabbing these nodes. So, if you take your white arrow tool and you just pull some of these nodes you can see that I'm already starting to warp it. And it can just really go in any direction. It's like basically a funhouse mirror. So, if I want this to look good with the windshield that we have, I've actually pulled the main shape of our windshield on the vehicle and have the shape right here. I'm going to use this shape as kind of like a guideline for myself. So, go ahead and drop it in, essentially, and you can actually turn the shape into a customized guide system. So, much like how you grab from the rulers, you can create these kind of guides, but you can also create a custom guide by just grabbing the shape and doing command five. And what that's doing is creating this guide system that is no longer a shape and actually just guides. So, what I'm going to do is actually start playing around with warping this by hand. And it's just as simple as grabbing nodes one at a time and just moving them to the direction that I want them to. So, for instance, I'm just going to to grab these nodes and start rounding to the very outside edges of what we're seeing here. So, we can see I can bring in these corners to actually wrap around this custom shape and start moving in the sides. It does not have to be pretty at first. It's something you can completely play with and customize as much as you want. But, you can get the idea that all these nodes can be played around with. So, for instance, go to the other side, do a quick version of the same thing. And it takes some finessing. It's like working with the Pen tool and having these Bezier lines just kind of like wrapping around the actual shape. I'm basically going around the perimeter for now. The only thing that's not changing is really the center of the illustration. We want that to look like it's wrapping around the windshield. So, the way you would do that is grab the center nodes, and this is why you have this grid system as you can bring these things up and make them warp around it, and what we're trying to do is have this arc that's happening here. So, what I'm going to do is start changing angles. I'm going to start bringing these things up slightly, but the nodes can take on their own warp. Obviously, this can look like Jell-O if you're rushing through it, but I think it's a matter of deciding what your plan is, what the shape would look like three dimensionally, and kind of wrapping based off of that feeling that you're trying to get. Maybe the outside of this windshield is a bit more beveled. You can bring in your nodes so that it really does something like this. It's something that might look a little odd at first, but it's worth trying. And the trick is to make sure that you get all the nodes to do the same thing, otherwise, you're going to get like weird pulling in certain areas. But, you can see it starting to work there. Maybe this one's a little bit too long. I can start to straighten it out. And you can customize within this even further, if you wanted to wrap some of these vertical lines. These things can be moved slightly to accommodate the three dimensionality of this windshield, for example. But obviously, this can go on forever and it takes a lot of finessing just to take your time and make this look as good as possible for the shape that you're trying to wrap it around. But just to move along, the way we got this to work with our poster is we took the same shape that was used as our guideline, this windshield, and threw this into a clipping mask. So, I'm basically just going to line this to the guides that I created on top of that image, grab both, and right click to make a clipping mask. And basically, we have our windshield ready to go. We can just drop that into our poster. So, you can see here that it's already been applied to the final poster. And you can also see how we dealt with finessing this guide system, this mesh system, to be as accurate as possible. You can see we took our time to make it as clean and accurate to the windshield as much as we can. Obviously, I powered through that original Envelope Distort, but I think the trick with this is to have a game plan based off of the shape that you're trying to wrap it around, understand what it would look like three dimensionally, and using this tool to literally paint an image over it in a three-dimensional fashion. So, just to recap, we have a fully-rendered vector illustration here within its own clipping mask, an entire scene that needed to be wrapped around a custom shape, and that shape ended up being this windshield for this example. And to show you a before and after, this is what we end up getting. So, I'm going to go and move this aside and show you the flat illustration versus the one that's been wrapped to go around this windshield. So, a big difference but not too much work. It's just a matter of a couple of clicks, really only one tool, and taking your time. 7. Conclusion: Thank you so much for taking our class and checking out the five tips. We really look forward to seeing how you use these. You can start using these tips right away. Apply them to all different types of projects, whether you're trying to make something metallic and realistic or something more organic. We look forward to seeing it. How that you apply these to your own work and also perhaps share your own ideas about different ways to use these tips. Out of these five tips, feel free to use any of them. Whatever you create, we'd love to see it. So please, upload it to the project gallery. Also, just let you know if you enjoyed this class, we have 10 other tips in a previous class that you can take right away. We look forward to seeing your work in the project gallery and we've found that the gallery is a great place to share your own tips as well. Especially these tip- related classes. It's definitely fostered a lot of collaboration and we continue to learn from you guys all different ways of doing similar effects in Illustrator or brand new ways of being efficient and adding realism to your work. So, we look forward to seeing what you share. 8. Learn more from DKNG: