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Vector Tutorials

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Andrei Marius On December - 8 - 2010

Hi there. In this week’s tutorial I will show you how to create a chubby kid covered with some snow. It’s a pretty large tutorial so I decided to divide it in two separate parts. In the first one you will use basic tools and effects to create the head, the body, the arms and some smaller components.

Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Number of Steps: 26


This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 700 by 700px document. First, enable the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you’ll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter “5” in the “Gridline every” box and “1” in the “Subdivisions” box. You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.

Step 02

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 400 by 305px shape and duplicate it (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F). Reselect the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 250 by 120px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select this shape along with the copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 03

Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Pick the Pen Tool(P), create a curved path (like the one shown in the following image), fill it with none then duplicate it. Select one of these path along with the top shape and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the other path along with the larger shape and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. Now, you should have four shapes in your Layers panel.

Step 04

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter “1” in the Keyboard Increment box. Make two copies of the right, large shape. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow five times (to move it 5px to the right). Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape along with the top, right shape and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=250 G=178 B=28 then open the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel and click on Add New Fill. This should add a second fill for your shape. Select it and use the linear gradient shown in the fourth image. Add two more fills and use the linear gradients shown in the final images.

Step 05

Select the top, left shape and fill it with R=250 G=178 B=28. Add two new fills for this shape and use the linear gradients shown in the following images.

Step 06

Select the right, large shape and fill it with R=15 G=115 B=60. Add three new fills for this shape and use the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Step 07

Select the left, large shape and fill it with R=15 G=115 B=60. Add three new fills for this shape and use the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Step 08

Duplicate the left, green shape then Reenable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 160 by 310px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Select this new shape along with the green copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 09

Pick the Pen Tool(P) and create a shape like the one shown in the first image. Select it along with the shape made in the previous step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. This new shape will be the arm. Fill it with R=15 G=115 B=60 then add a second fill and use the linear gradient shown in the final image.

Step 10

Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid then make two copies of the arm shape. Select the top copy and move it 5px up and 5px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape, remove the second fill (from the Appearance panel) then fill it with R=24 G=90 B=46. Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur, enter a 7px Radius then click OK. Now, you need to mask a part of this blurred shape. Make a new copy of the arm shape, fill it with white and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Open the Transparency panel. Select the white shape and the blurred shape, open the flyout menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. Now, your blurred shape should look like in the final image.

Step 11

Make a new copy of the arm shape then pick the Pen Tool(P) and create a shape like the one shown in the first image. Select both shapes and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=250 G=178 B=28 then add a new fill and use the gradient shown in the third image.

Step 12

Create another two copies of the arm shape. Select the top one and move it 3px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its opacity to 10%. Don’t forget to remove the extra fill from the Appearance panel.

Step 13

Duplicate the left, body shape. Enable the Smart Guides (Ctrl + U) then select the Pen Tool(P) and create a shape like the one shown in the first image. Select it along with the copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=0 G=104 B=56 then add a second fill and use the linear gradient shown in the final image. This will be the hand. Disable the Smart Guides.

Step 14

Make two copies of the hand shape. Select the top copy and move it 3px up and 3px ro the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You’ll get a group of two shapes, delete the small one. Select the remaining shape, fill it with R=24 G=90 B=46 (delete the extra fill) then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 7px Radius then click OK. Again, you need to mask a part of this blurred shape. Make a new copy of the hand shape, fill it with white and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Select the white shape and the blurred shape, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. Finally, select the Pen Tool(P), create a thin&sharp shape, fill it with R=19 G=91 B=47 and place it as shown in the final image.

Step 15

Select the shapes made in the previous seven steps and group them (Ctrl + G). Duplicate this group (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F). Select this copy and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with a black to white gradient (as shown in the second image). Select it along with the original group, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. Now, your group should look like in the final image.

Step 16

Select the masked group (made in the previous step) and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button then click on the Copy button. You will get a horizontally flipped group copy. Enable the Grid and the Snap to Grid then select the flipped group and place it as shown in the final image.

Step 17

Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid then duplicate the group made in step #15. Select this copy and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Move the resulting shape 7px to the right and send it below the original group (in the Layers panel). Fill it with the linear gradient shown below then add a 15px gaussian blur effect.

Step 18

Duplicate the left, body shape. Fill this copy with white and move it above the shape made in the previous step (in the Layers panel). Select these two shapes, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask.

Step 19

Repeat the same steps for the right group to achieve the same shadow effect.

Step 20

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 10 by 10px shape, fill it with R=250 G=178 B=28 then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below then click OK. Crete a second shape (4 by 4px), fill it with white, lower its opacity to 30% then place it as shown in the second image. Group these circles, place them as shown in the third image then go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below, click OK the go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes, go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the data shown in the final image.

Step 21

Reenable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 290 by 240px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with R=241 G=209 B=179 then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below then click OK. This will be the head shape.

Step 22

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 25 by 25px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Move it behind the head shape and fill it with the first linear gradient. Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid then create a second shape (11 by 12px). Place it as shown in the second image and fill it with the other linear gradient. Group these two circles. Use the reflect effect to create a horizontally, flipped copy of this group. Reenable the Grid and the Snap to Grid then select this group copy and move it to the right, as shown in the final image.

Step 23

Duplicate the head shape then pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 370 by 170px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Select this new ellipse along with the copy of the head shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You’ll get a group of two shapes. Fill the top shape with R=15 G=115 B=60 and the bottom shape with R=214 G=180 B=149.

Step 24

Now, focus on the green shape made in the previous step. Select it, add two new fills and use the linear gradients shown below.

Step 25

Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Make two copies of the green shape. Select the top copy and move it 15px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape, fill it with R=250 G=178 B=28 then use the linear gradients shown in the final images.

Step 26

Duplicate the shape made in the previous step then select the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a shape like the grey one shown in the following image. Select it along with the copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=255 G=222 B=23 then lower its opacity to 20%.

End of Part 1

Here is how you work should look like so far. Get back this friday for the rest of the tutorial.

Categories: Characters

7 Responses

  1. Nana Yaw says:

    Good Stuff,but please most beginners like myself find a lot challenges using the Pen tool,can we have a tutorial on it from your perspective.
    Thanks 4 your tutorials,it definitely great insight on using Illustrator.

    • Marius says:

      Hi, I’m glad you like my tutorials.
      I remember that as a beginner I abandoned Photoshop for Illustrator because of the Pen Tool, only to find out that Illustrator is all about anchor points and Pen Tool.
      This article helped me a lot at that time. Read it and then try to practice.
      I took an image and started tracing it. This is what came out after a month and half. Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend that much time to get used with the Pen Tool.

  2. DTpl says:

    Thanks for the tut and the link to the pen tool article. I really like the details that make the image even more realistic.

  3. GTA 5 says:

    Great work and tuto! It is very well explained :)

  4. Adriana says:

    This kid is so funny! :)) He actually looks a bit like a character from South Park, don’t you agree? :)

  5. TWEN STUDIO says:

    the final Result look Pretty Good , i like when you add Snow on the Arm !

    Enjoyed

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