Vectorize your Drawings! From Procreate to Vector in Adobe Illustrator | Jesse LeDoux | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Vectorize your Drawings! From Procreate to Vector in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Jesse LeDoux, Illustrator, Artist, Designer

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

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.

      Graphic Style


    • 3.

      Procreate Setup


    • 4.



    • 5.

      File Transfer


    • 6.

      Photoshop Export


    • 7.

      Time for Illustrator


    • 8.



    • 9.



  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Clients love vector files! Yet drawing in Procreate is so effortless (and FUN!). This class documents my process from start to finish of starting with a Procreate drawing and converting it to a fully vector illustration, with the help of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Here's what we do...

  • We start by properly setting up our Procreate file
  • Next, we DRAW!!
  • Then we beam our Procreate file to our computer
  • There we'll quickly use Photoshop to export our layers 
  • Import those layers into Illustrator and image trace to turn them to vector
  • Color, tweak the layer order and you're done!
  • A process that had previously taken me a minimum of an hour can now be accomplished in 10 minutes!
  • There's even a bonus step for those who love using raster textures in your work!!

This class is for anyone with some experience using Procreate, Photoshop and Illustrator, looking for a streamlined approach to turn their Procreate illustrations into vector art. I use this approach daily and it has saved me hours! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jesse LeDoux

Illustrator, Artist, Designer


Born in Portland, Oregon, Jesse LeDoux worked for many years as an art director for Seattle-based Sub Pop Records where he created iconic album and poster artwork for such artists as the Shins ('Best album packaging' Grammy nominee for Chutes Too Narrow), Iron and Wine and Death Cab for Cutie before leaving in 2004 to focus on his client-based and personal work at LeDouxville.

Parallel to working on commercial illustration and collaborative projects for such clients as Starbucks, Nike, Disney, Giro, Rapha, Penguin UK and Target, he has exhibited internationally. His work was included in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial (2007), an installation at the University of Maryland (2008), and has work in the permanent collection of the Experience Music Project (Seattle, WA), R... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hello, my name is Jesse LeDoux. I've been in Illustrator for over half my life, creating work for large corporations, tiny record labels, and just about everything in-between. Throughout my career, I love exploring new ways to work, trying different mediums, different types of projects, different ways to approach those projects. You do something for long enough. You find ways to make your job easier. Working smarter, not harder. I found a simple streamlined process of starting a project and procreate and ending with print ready vector files in Illustrator. As much as I love drawing on paper. Using Procreate as an efficient way to get the job done. And while procreate has a lot of advantages, it lacks the print ready capabilities of Illustrator that my clients require. This class is a technique. I'll guide you through my process for producing print friendly vector files in Illustrator while having the benefit and ease of drawing by hand procreate. This class is best for intermediate professional illustrators who already have a good understanding of Procreate and illustrator and are now looking for ways to work more. So if you're ready to spend a little time taking these classes, to end up saving you a whole lot of time in creating hand-drawn, print ready vector illustrations. Come along and I'll show you how I do it. 2. Graphic Style: To start out with, this approach worked really well for me because my work is primarily large blocks of color and line work. If you use textured elements in your work. This approach can also work well for you. It just requires an extra step in the process of pasting your textures inside vector shapes. That one. If your work is primarily Bolden graphic, this is going to work out really well for you. You don't have to have the color work out either. That's easiest in Illustrator anyway. We'll start by building your composition as a series of grays and wait to start coloring when we get into, it helps to immediately start building with color. That works just as well. If your work is primarily detailed line work, it's best to keep your images as a tiff and use the following approach for colored elements behind your, your line. If you go to vectorize the line work, it probably won't look as good as if you kept it. However, if you block in color behind the line work, this class can be helpful for you. 3. Procreate Setup: To begin, let's go to Procreate. When I create a new Procreate file, I always tried to create a file size as large as I can. As your file size increases, your number of layers decrease. A larger your drawing is. The better than Fidelity when we go to vectorize. But remember, the more complicated your drawing is, a more layers you'll want to have. If you know how many colors you might want to use in your final art, it could help determine how many layers you may want to have. I like to have between 510 layers for each color I'll use. And because things rarely turn out as planned, I also like to have an extra couple of layers to play with. Just in case. For this one, I'll create an image size that is 3 thousand pixels by 3 thousand pixels square. So find that balance which works for you, and create that file. 4. Drawing: So I start out by just doing a rough sketch of my competition. For this. I like to use a pencil. It feels rough, just like a pencil. After I finished my sketch, I start to work on the block. If you already have a good idea of what colors everything will be, you can use those. But if it's not a problem, if you don't, you can just use the shades of gray. It's all going to be the same amount of work. Either way. When it comes time to vectorize. What is very important at this stage is that all these elements that you're creating Do not touch. You want to make sure you use different layers for each element and make sure that you have a clear space between each element. And don't forget to draw the white elements. For these, I like to use a color that is maybe a five per cent gray or very pale yellow ones as well. I can draw these two things on the same layer because they don't patch. But I'm going to want to create a new layer to draw them. The snout, because that will touch these, can also be helpful to keep light colors on the same layer. So even though the eyeball doesn't touch the snout or the ear, since I'm going to have that be a different color. If you have the layers, you might as well put it on a different layer just so that you can keep all like colors together. Here I'm drawing the, I said about 15% black just because I don't want to be a pure wipe. Since the school will also be white. I can also do that on this layer too. Now, this tooth right here is going to go behind. But I will be doing that in Illustrator anyway. So you can, you can get your layers out of order. Finding, erase the bottom. Square corners. Hi, again, that can be in front of it because I'll get it in the right layer. When I go to Illustrator. There will be times where you'll run out of layers. If this happens, you can either delete the sketch layer, heard of that, or you can merge layers. If there are things that aren't touching. I could merge the land bumps here and the teeth. I could merge if I if I really needed to. Just, you just need to make sure that nothing touches as your merchant. And if you really get stuck, you can duplicate your file and merge layers in a new file and continue building on that new file. But this is going to, juggling between the two files is going to make your job a little bit more difficult and confusing. So try to avoid that when you can. 5. File Transfer: Once you're finished drawing your elements, it's time to get your procreate file ready to transfer. I frequently duplicate my file and work from the new file just so I can preserve the first one for reference. But you do you, when preparing your elements to transfer, its most helpful for your colors to be pretty dark. This means that you'll want to make sure that you re-color your light colors to be darker. There are many different ways to do this, re-color brightness adjustment. But what works best for me is just to do an alpha lock on the layer and recolor it with a very large okay. You'll also want to delete your sketch layer. After all, your elements are relatively dark. You can export your file as a PSD and transfer the file to your computer. I prefer to AirDrop mine to my laptop, but you could use Dropbox or whatever file transfer method you prefer. 6. Photoshop Export: Okay, Now that you've beamed your PSD to your computer, open it up in Photoshop, set the image to grayscale. Make sure you don't merge, and then delete any unnecessary layers. The background, I think it's the only thing that I really don't want. Next, export your layers to separate tiff files. I prefer to create a new folder so that they're easy to find. Once part of automated. I'd like to open up. Awesome. Simple. 7. Time for Illustrator: Now you want to open up Illustrator and create a new document. I'm going to set my image size at three thousand. Three thousand because that's what I did with my procreate file, but really it doesn't matter. Next, drag all of your artwork by it. Layer files into your document. All the files should be the same size and dimensions. You can you can check this by flipping and Dickey line mode and making sure that they're all the same. If all looks good, you can start converting the linked files into vector elements. To do this, to select the top image. Go to image trace. There are all these presets. I have one set how I like it. And I will show you settings. Basically, I just like to have most most everything maxed out so I can get just all the bumps and wiggles and it doesn't smooth things out too much. But if you'd like to have things smoother than you can, tweak these. One thing that is very helpful is to click Ignore White. So that way if there's a white elements in your file, it's not going to show up as a vector element. It will only be the, the dark, the dark elements that will show up as an element. Span. And click the X. Going through. You have vectorized everything. And you'll know you've gotten everything by either if you click somewhere on the image and it doesn't select an image anymore. It means that everything's vectorized. Or you go into your links palette and see if there are anymore. So at this point, everything is vectorized and also everything is black. So at this point, I want to blow this up so that its size. One time. For the most part. Having your layers palette open is helpful at this point because it can help you go in and see. Just navigate your file a little easier. So at this point, all of your elements are black. And now you just need to go in and start selecting things and turning them the color that you want it to be. And things that it's helpful to start with the big things first and also the order in which, you know, things are like this. The background horizon line, I know is in the back. So that's an easy one to start out with. Just a little bit better. I want to ask things are out of order. You can either navigate that through the layers palette. What's easiest for me is just cutting it and then paste in front or paste in back. It can also be helpful to flip back-and-forth and key line and make sure that you're grabbing all of the things that you want to grab and nothing gets lost behind a layer. So from here I'm just organizing all the elements. Some things I want to keep group, like these front teeth, but I wanted to remove the active from that group so it can go behind the school. And just starting to organize your file. This process is really no different than if you were to draw all the elements in Illustrator. Sometimes if you have something with a lot of pieces like this, it can be helpful to move those into their own layer and lock the other layers so that you can just easily grab them. And then group those. And then once you have them, grouped them back into normal layer that you're building. And all of this is really just personal tastes, however, works best. You don't always have to draw things exactly how you want them. In procreate. You can just, I knew that I wanted these clouds, but I just drew them where I had room in Procreate. Because I knew that I could reposition them exactly how I want them. In Illustrator. It's always helpful to always go back to the key line to make sure that there isn't any little detail that you missed. So now that you've colored all the elements and reorganize them within your layers palette. In the correct order. You're done. Your procreate drawing is now a fully vector image ready to send to your client. Now, a lot of you could stop here and be completely done. However, some of you may want to add texture to your piece. This is really easy to do once you have your primary illustration as vectors. Let's quickly go through how to incorporate texture into your piece. 8. Extras: Now let's go back to our procreate file. You can duplicate the file if you want to preserve your native copy. If you're short on layers, feel free to flatten your layers since we won't need them anymore. Now, create new layers and add your textures over the areas that you want. I always like to go a little beyond the area that I want the texture to be in. Just to make sure there's enough room when placing the texture is back in my Illustrator file. After I've drawn my textures on different layers, I'll essentially go the same route, export as a PSD, save my file two layers, import them into Illustrator. But then instead of live tracing, you'll want to just paste your textures inside the vector shapes that you've made. You can also use this method if there are additional vector elements you want to add to your initial illustration, just draw them where you want them and then follow the same steps. Export as a PSD, save the layers important to Illustrator, and then live trace it. So what I have are, I'm going to be exporting these three layers of texture and bringing those into my file. Now I open it back up in Photoshop. Delete all the layers that I don't want, which is most of them export files. So you may want to import all color images. You may want to import grayscale images. What I'm going to want to do is use bitmap tests. So I'm going to take these files. I like to blow up the resolution much larger. Then once I've made a bitmap tiff out of it, I save and I close. Do the same here. With this one. I had to two different pieces on the same layer. So I'm going to want to isolate those just so it won't be as bigger the file size and make it easier to use. So I'll just copy, create a new image, then paste it in, and then place your image files in. Then once you have your textures and resize things really small, which is coffee. And then I like to paste it inside a separate shape just so that fits its own unique element, but copy that element. He stood in front of the texture. Select all. Then make a clipping mask. Then once you have that, I like to organize them right on top of each other. You can go in and change the texture or change the color of the texture. Mask. Just paste same image into two elements. And there I am. I'm done. What started out as a procreate drawing is now a fully vector illustration. Well, not totally fully vector because I have those linked tiffs, the texture tests, but it's a print ready file that I can send off to my client. But it still has that hand-drawn feel like with using Procreate. If I were to do this in Illustrator, the entire drawing would be very clean. And unlike just having a little bit of roughness there, it gives it a little, it gives the illustration a little warm, and it feels a little more natural. 9. Conclusion: You've done it. You've successfully turn your Procreate illustration into an Illustrator file that is sure to make your client or any preprocessed people much happier. I hope you've found this process is helpful as I have. As always, processes can always be improved upon. This is the best way that I've found that everyone has their own ways of working. If you have suggestions that you have found helpful, I'm sure other people will find them helpful as well. Please share them in the class forum, and also please share your projects in the project gallery. I love seeing what you create. And occasionally I'll, I'll try to offer tips or suggestions when there's something that I see that may be helpful for you. Lastly, if you haven't taken my other classes, follow me on Skillshare and go and check those out. Thank you.