Thursday, September 5, 2013

Noob's Tut: Stock Photo Vector Tutorial

Tutorial from a newbie like moi! How to do vector.
It has been a long time since I played with photoshop. Mostly I made my digital arts in it. Now, I'm quiet familiar with the basics of Adobe Illustrator.

In this post, I'm making my very first "noob" tutorial on how to create vector. YES, you read it right, a tutorial made by a noob for fellow noobs! I am a newbie in digital art because I am more into traditional art or freehand sketching. And I can definitely say that I enjoyed doing digital art.

So, to my fellow noobs out there who are very much interested in venturing to learn digital art, here's my simple step-by-step tutorial on creating vectors.

1. Make the "PEN TOOL" your bestfriend.

In order for you to start making digital art or anything with illustrator or even photoshop, you must know how to use the pen tool. The pen tool is very much important in creating graphics. The pen tool let us create shapes, paths, curvature and even cut images.

In creating vector, creating a shape is essential because this makes the vector image/s never pixelate or lose its quality.

2. Import image in Illustrator.

Open Adobe Illustrator and import the image. What I did was to drag the stock photo into the new layer.

3. Create a new layer.

Make a second copy of the stock photo you want to vectorize. With the second copy, change it's preset to "photo high fidelity" or if it's in photoshop, posterized the second copy. The duplicate layer will be our rough guide in tracing the stock photo to be able to create a vector. It'll be good if the image you're about to vectorize has high resolution that it can be easier for you to create paths and shapes even if you zoom in and get to see the defined lines of the photo.

***Please click the image to view text clearly.

4. Create shapes and paths.

After setting the presets of the duplicate copy, make sure to lock it so you will avoid to move it or delete it. I sometimes get frustrated when I accidentally delete, move or ruin the layers without locking it SO I ADVICE that each time you make layers of shapes or whatever it is when using photoshop or illustrator, it's critically important to lock it.

Create shapes and paths by using the pen tool. Trace the face or shapes in the picture. In this project, I had a hard time doing the nose and the hair. NOTICE that each time I create layers, I rename it and locked it.

5. Refining the features.

After creating all the necessary details by making shapes and paths with the pen tool, start to refine the features of your vector. Oh well as for my part, I was pretty surprised that I invested a lot of patience in this project. Tweaking, zooming in and out to see the shapes and paths I created. Well of course the raw result was not that good but with great focus/concentration in creating details, in the end you will see that you did great (as for me, I'm quiet happy with the piece. :) )

By refining the features, we'll have to revisit the layers of shapes we want to tweak. In this case, I tend to work on the specific area first before moving on to the next. I do a lot of deleting and adjusting shades of color here. I am so sorry too if I cannot let you see the other things I did with this vector project because I accidentally deleted the original file (A MORTAL SIN I MADE!!! :P

Aside from that, we need also to adjust the opacity of the shapes. Click the layer you want to adjust the shape and hover your mouse on the top menu of the path selection. You can see the "opacity" setting and adjust the opacity according to your preferences.


Tweaking and revamping the features takes a lot of patience. Create some shading and tone your vector project. What I did was I have my projects polished in photoshop. I imported the illustrator file in the photoshop and I polished my work. I know the feeling if you already get too excited to finish it off but my advice also is that you do your own thing. This tutorials serves as my shared knowledge for people who are very much interested to incline in digital art.

When it comes to colors too, don't get put off if you don't get the exact combination from the palette. You'll just have to experiment. Since my friend, who is the subject in this tutorial loves purple, what I did was to experiment with many shades of purple...and pink. :)

BTW, here are some of the articles I read about experimenting with colors or visit the site for great tips from the renowned experts:

Polished in Photoshop


After rough tweaking and polishing, save your project and love your own masterpiece. So far... I justified my creation. HAHAHA I'm not a master expert but I felt proud that I was able to create something extraordinaire with just my PC mouse. At first, I was kinda put off that I will not able to make it that it'll be better if I can own a graphic tablet; but heck...I'm so happy!

I know that you too can make it. Just be patient and focus. SO...START AND CREATE YOUR OWN DIGITAL MASTERPIECE!

***Some of the stock photo vectors I made: 

Some of the best works are posted on my Deviant Art and Behance Account. You may check it out by clicking the links above here in my blog.

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