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Taming the Vector Monster

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Vector basic training is all about taking your drawn design and helping you build it with precision in vector form using the methods and process covered in Vector Basic Training. This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through a real-world creative project that utilizes the systematic methodology and build methods covered in the book in order to create a monster illustration.

The vector build methods I covered in Vector Basic Training (VBT), published by Peachpit Press, showcase a systematic creative process anyone can use to take a drawn idea and flesh it out in vector form using a drawing program like Adobe Illustrator.

In VBT, we tried to show you as much as we possibly could regarding the creative process, but with any book you have a finite amount of space to demonstrate what you're covering, so this article will focus in on one specific piece of art I featured in the book and elaborate in more depth what it took to pull it off. The artwork we'll be taking your through from thumbnail sketch to final is the monster character shown on pages 108-111.

VBT Acronyms and Terms

Because you may not have purchased and read VBT, we'll be using the following terms in this tutorial. If you've read the VBT book, you'll thoroughly understand these. If you haven't, this index will give you a brief definition of what each acronym means. My commentary for each stage of the process below will help define the specific definition of each in context:

  • TCM: The Clockwork Method
  • PPP: Prime Point Placement
  • Point-By-Point Build Method: Build your vector art one anchor point at a time.
  • Shape-Building Method: Building your vector art by using shape tools and the pathfinder palette.
  • Fresh Eyes Effect: The ability to recognize where improvements are needed during the creative process and making these types of micro-changes to continually improve your design as you create it.
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