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Vector Basic Training: A Systematic Creative Process for Building Precision Vector Artwork

Book Description

Attention, designers, it’s time to get serious about your creative process. For too long you’ve allowed yourself to go soft, relying on your software to do all of your creative work at the expense of your craftsmanship. This book will NOT show you how to use every tool and feature in Adobe Illustrator. This book WILL, however, teach you the importance of drawing out your ideas, analyzing the shapes, and then methodically building them precisely in vector form using the techniques explained in this book.

In Vector Basic Training, Second Edition acclaimed illustrative designer Von Glitschka takes you through his systematic process for creating the kind of precise vector graphics that separate the pros from the mere toolers. Along the way, he’ll whip your drawing skills into shape and show you how to create elegant curves and precise anchor points for your designs. In addition to new illustrative examples throughout the book, this edition includes an all-new chapter on how to apply color and detail to your illustrations using tried-and-true methods that you’ll use over and over again. You’ll also get access to over seven hours of all-new HD video tutorials and source files so you can follow along with Von as he walks you through his entire process.

Whether you’re creating illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer, CorelDRAW, or even Inkscape, you’ll be able to use Von’s techniques to establish a successful creative process for crafting consistently precise illustrations every single time you pick you up your pen, stylus, or mouse.

In Vector Basic Training, Second Edition, you’ll learn:

  • The tools and shortcuts that make up a design pro’s creative arsenal

  • How to use “The Clockwork Method” to create accurate curves every time

  • When and where to set just the right number of anchor points for any design

  • How to build shapes quickly using basic Illustrator tools and plug-ins

  • Techniques for art directing yourself to get the results you desire

  • Fundamental methods for applying color and detail to your illustrations

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Praise for Vector Basic Training, Second Edition
    4. Where Are the Videos and Files?
    5. Dedication Page
    6. Where Are the Videos and Files?
      1. Downloading the Video and Resource Files
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. About the Author
    9. Contents
    10. Introduction
      1. Vector Basic Training
        1. Why Designers Should Draw
        2. Digital and Analog
        3. Process Makes Perfect
        4. Video Screencasts and Files
        5. Don’t be a Design-O-Saur
    11. Chapter 1. Bézier Curves: A Brief History
      1. Fear of Math
        1. Math Is Cool
      2. Who Created Bézier Curves?
        1. The Vector Family Tree
      3. What Is a Bézier Curve?
        1. When to Use a Bézier Curve
        2. A Beautiful Irony
      4. Design Drills: Behind the Vector Curtain
    12. Chapter 2. Your Creative Armament
      1. A Love-Hate Relationship
      2. Core Tools for Vector Building
        1. The Twelve Disciples of Design
        2. VectorScribe Plug-in
      3. Customize Your Environment
        1. My Preference for Preferences
        2. Keyboard Shortcuts and Actions
      4. Stop Re-creating the Wheel
        1. Create a New Document Profile
        2. Set Graphic Styles for Building
        3. Enable Smart Guides for Building
        4. Establish a Layer Structure for Building
      5. Design Drills: Deconstructing Design
        1. Señor Skully
        2. Creative Monster
    13. Chapter 3. Analog Methods in a Digital Age
      1. Don’t Be a Tooler
      2. I Get Paid to Draw
      3. Concepts and Ideas
      4. Analog Tools
      5. The Lost Art of Thumbnailing
        1. More Is Better
        2. An Exception to the Rule
      6. Refine Your Drawing
        1. Create a Better Road Map
        2. Back and Forth
      7. Systematic and Creative
      8. Design Drills: Essential Nonsense
    14. Chapter 4. Getting to the Points
      1. On Prime Point Placement
      2. The Good Anchor Point and Path
      3. The Bad Anchor Point and Path
      4. The Ugly Anchor Point and Path
      5. A Scrutinizing Eye
        1. The Vector No-Fly List
      6. A Good Example
        1. Thank Goodness for Command-Z/Control-Z
      7. Design Drills: Vector Skeletons
    15. Chapter 5. Shape Surveillance
      1. The Clockwork Method
        1. Train Your Brain
        2. Applying TCM
        3. More on Rotating Your Clock
        4. Building Complex Shapes
      2. Prime Point Placement
        1. Making a Point!
        2. Combining PPP and TCM
        3. The Yin and Yang of Anchor Points
      3. Deconstructing a Vector Monster
      4. Progressive Improvements
      5. Design Drills: Spotting Clocks
    16. Chapter 6. Vector Build Methods
      1. Point-by-Point Method
        1. One Point at a Time
        2. Span the Distance Wisely
      2. Shape-Building Method
        1. When to Use Which Method
        2. Throwaway Shapes
      3. VectorScribe Plug-in
        1. Remove Redundant Points
        2. Smart Remove
      4. E Pluribus Buildum
        1. Dissecting Your Design
      5. Symmetry Is Your Friend
      6. A Healthy Creative Process
      7. Design Drills: Fast and Easy
    17. Chapter 7. Style Appropriate
      1. Design Chameleons
        1. Linear Line Style
        2. Segmented Style
        3. Tribal Tattoo Style
        4. Graphic Style
      2. Design Drills: Use It or Lose It
    18. Chapter 8. Art Directing Yourself
      1. Fresh Eyes Effect
      2. Your Inner Art Director
      3. Avoid Visual Tension
        1. Recognize Visual Tension
      4. Full-Tilt Creative Boogie
      5. Design Drills: Hop to It
    19. Chapter 9. Basic Coloring and Detailing
      1. How Light Affects Color
        1. A Pure White Light Source
        2. A Warm or Cool Light Source
        3. Using Tonal Families
      2. Hierarchy of Color and Detail
        1. Simplifying the Coloring Process
      3. Building Highlights and Shadows
        1. Using Black for Shading
        2. Using Tonal Families for Shading
        3. Using White for Highlights
        4. Using Tonal Families for Highlights
        5. Comparing Other Color Usages
      4. Using Gradient Blends and Blend Modes
        1. Getting Compelling Results
      5. Deep Shadows and Hot Spots
        1. Deep Shadows
        2. Hot Spots
      6. Spot Detailing with Radial Gradients and Layering
        1. Organized Chaos
      7. Inner and Outer Glow and Gaussian Blur Effects
        1. Applying Inner Glows
        2. Applying Outer Glows
        3. Applying Gaussian Blur
        4. Endless Creative Possibilities
      8. Design Drills: Using Effects in Illustrative Detailing
    20. Chapter 10. Good Creative Habits
      1. Doodle Binders
      2. Layers Are Your Friend
        1. How to Avoid the Basement
        2. Combining Build Methods with Layering
      3. Colors and File Naming
        1. A Typical Project Folder
      4. Last but Not Least
      5. Design Drills: Top-Ten List
    21. Index