Did this as a quick sketch in Starbucks the other day then refined on the computer. Did some heavy experimenting with techniques, process, and tools and made this using methods that I did not usually use before.
I've used a great amount of many different techniques for digitizing lettering from scanning and live trace to recreating 100% with the pen tool, to simply photographing actual sketches. This is the first time I have used Illustrator CS5's stroke width tool (shift+w). I've avoided it for a long time because I found it rather clunky at times, but I think that was just my unwillingness to patiently tame the tool.
I still have a long ways to go in mastering the tool, but thought I'd share the outcome of my practice. What you see here was made with a single pen tool stroke which was then modified with the stroke width tool. (after that the stroke was expanded and then some more advanced techniques were used to achieve the overlap effect. I did a video on it before).
I'm not quite sure how I feel about the approach just yet. As of right now, I don't feel that I have quite the control I'd like over the feel of the letters using this method, however this was my very first attempt with it, so that will inevitably improve. Though it didn't save any time in this instance, once I've mastered the tool I can see it saving time in the future compared to other methods I've used.
Large View: http://seanw.es/DEtf
about 2 years ago
Love the loopdeloop going into the t's there.
Looks good, Sean! Question, how did you handle the "stenciling" where the lines overlap? I only ask because I seem to be trying a new way on every damn project I do, lol.
Ryan see above comment for video. (disclaimer: it's very tedious)
The line width tool is tough to master, and really the best results come from a combination of it and normal pen tool stuff. What I've found helped the most with the line width tool was to, before you ever even touch the tool, make sure that your line work is using as little anchor points as possible. Any anchor point should be seen as an opportunity for the line width tool to screw up.
This has helped me quite a bit, and really helps polish the letterforms, removing annoying kinks
Oooh! I like!
Heh, that's almost exactly how I typically do it.
It's fast, but you can kind of catch me doing the same thing in this video. Just feels like there's gotta be a better way, lol.
Awesome, this looks really good (those swashes at the top are beautiful). Thanks a lot for detailing your process, I've always been curious as to how that tool works in context as I don't have cs5. Good to hear your thoughts on it.
hahaha thats your video!!! awesome man, I found that on youtube about two weeks ago and have been using that technique for every shadow since then. I was trying to find out who did that video too!
ALSO: I found this video awhile back of jessica hische doing work with the width tool. http://vimeo.com/16856820
Ryan, all the kids these days want their filters, plugins and corner-cutters. =P I think some of the best outcomes are a result of care and time. Reminds me of an illustration i saw once of a furry character. Someone commented asking how did they make him look "hairy", or if there was a filter/plugin. The artist simply explained that he hand drew every hair.
That said, soon as I figure out a way to speed up this process, I'll let you know! ;)
Neil, haha awesome! So glad it helped out and that's neat you randomly found the video on your own!
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