We recently asked Steve Reaves, the director of the Graphic Design program at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, to provide us with some inspirational articles related to design. His list included illustrations, posters, tutorials, photography, and more. Today, rather than providing us with links, Steve has created a fun, informative, and easy-to-follow tutorial that will teach you how to create a pop art inspired vector self portrait using Adobe Illustrator CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6.
Scroll down to get started creating your own vector self portrait. When you are finished, we invite you share your portrait with us by leaving a comment below. Have fun!
What You Will Be Creating
Programs Used: Adobe Illustrator CS6, Adobe Photoshop CS6
Topics Covered: Hue/Saturation Manipulation, Image Tracing
Estimated Completion Time: 30 minutes
Create a new 8.5 ” x 11” document in Adobe Photoshop CS6, and import a picture of yourself with a neutral, or white background for easy separation.
Using the Hue/Saturation palette, drag the “Saturation” slider to the left until your picture is black and white.
Quick Tip: The “Hue/Saturation” palette can be found in the top toolbar by going to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation.
Feel free to adjust the photo’s levels to make the black and whites more dominate. Save your Black and White photo as a “JPEG,” in order to place in Adobe Illustrator CS5 or Adobe Illustrator CS6.
Quick Tip: The “Levels” palette can be found in the top toolbar by going to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels.
Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. We recommend 8 1/2 ” x 11” “Letter” in portrait mode.
Open the JPEG photo of yourself in Adobe Illustrator CS6. This can be done by going to File -> Open, then dragging and dropping your photo into the document. Alternatively, you can use the File -> Place option.
Open the “Image Trace” window. To do this, click on “Window” in the top toolbar and then select “Image Trace”.
Select the photo and “image trace” using the settings found below.
Next, you’ll next need to “Expand” the selection so that you have points you can edit. To do this, click on “Object” on the top menu bar and then select “Expand”. Your photo should now have anchor points like the example below.
Once you’ve expanded the photo, you need to ungroup the shapes you have just created. To do this, click “Object” on the top menu bar and then select “Ungroup”. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + G for Mac or Control + G for Windows. Please note that you will need to complete this step twice in order to fully ungroup the shapes. You should now be able to select individual shapes like the example below.
Now comes the fun part! Use the selection tool to select a shape, and then use the color palette to apply some color. Colorizing your portrait is completely up to you so experiment with different color swatches, patterns, and gradients. Have fun with it.
Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed this Graphic Design Tutorial.
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