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Messages - Alphabetguy

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Digital Design / Re: How to Vectorize - Illustrator Question
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:34:58 AM »
A stroked path will  have more points than the original path. This happens every time a open path is offset or outlined. The way to deal with unwanted points is to place the pen tool over the point. The pen tool cursor will change to an "x-" symbol. Clicking  the point will delete it from the path. A point can be added to a path by placing the pen tool cursor on the path. The pen cursor will change to a "x+" symbol. Click the path to add a point.

I added another update to the blog post.  Four additional images to show an alternate method to add thick strokes to a letter.

As with  any lettering technique, many hours of practice are the norm. You are doing fine with the latest image you posted. This is an excellent achievement to learn Illustrator.


Digital Design / Re: How to Vectorize - Illustrator Question
« on: March 08, 2014, 03:52:59 PM »
if you were vectorizing a completed calligraphy word, would your process be the same?

Also, which tool do you use to draw the lines?


Everything can be drawn from scratch with the pen tool based on an imported template image. Another method is to auto trace  a high resolution image in Photoshop and import the paths to illustrator for editing. It all depends on the style of lettering you want to  produce including the amount of lettering in the composition.

Digital Design / Re: How to Vectorize - Illustrator Question
« on: March 08, 2014, 03:41:07 PM »
I usually save drawing template images as bitmap tiff files to reduce the Illustrator file size. At times I use JPG images for templates but the larger the imported file size the longer it takes for the  "save file" command to cycle. Sometimes  it is necessary to use  a JPG template image to capture all the small details of the preliminary scanned art. I usually delete the template layer after the lettering is setup with all the paths in place.

As the saying goes "whatever works". Eventually by trial and error you will know which file format works best for your lettering needs with lllustrator.

BTW, I use a Wacom tablet all the time. Much easier on my wrist to draw paths, adjust points and control bezier handles with a stylus pen than a mouse or trackball.

Digital Design / Re: How to Vectorize - Illustrator Question
« on: March 07, 2014, 04:24:37 PM »
I posted a series of images explaining one of the methods I use for vector lettering.

I used your lettering sketch as the image to illustrate steps of the vector drawing process. Hope this will take some of the mystery out of vector lettering.

I do want to mention that vector lettering is not meant to be a fast process. As with traditional tools it all takes time to fine tune everything for the intended use. Vector software is just another tool in the process of lettering.


I modified the blog post to include details on a compound path filter and cleanup of a line segment.

Digital Design / Re: Question?
« on: March 05, 2014, 08:53:15 PM »
Can you post an image or link of a sketch you want to produce as vector art?


Letter Pixels / Re: Learning Illustrator
« on: March 04, 2014, 10:20:57 PM »
Thanks for the kind words Erica.

Lettering I create in vector format starts with  many preliminary pencil, marker or fountain pen sketches on translucent Bienfang Graphics 360 paper. I will select sketches to scan. posterize and import to Illustrator as bitmap template images. When I start drawing vector lines in Illustrator I begin with templates as a visual reference but as the drawing progresses I tend to follow the overall contrast of the letters in preview mode. Eventually I turn the template layer off and continue adjusting and reworking all the vector lines and letterform shapes till I have something appropriate for final art.

At some time in the future I'd luv to teach what I know about lettering in vector format but not quite sure how to go about setting up a CCC workshop due to digital requirements. If you or any forum members have suggestions with a digital lettering workshop please share your thoughts.


Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: What's your workstation like?
« on: March 02, 2014, 03:08:18 PM »
My workspace at present can be viewed at the bottom It's my digital painting setup. This workspace will eventually evolve as I continue to search for methods to combine both digital and traditional lettering techniques. Sometime soon I need to install some shelves to clear desktop space surrounding the slantboard.

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