How to Combine Pixel and Vector to Produce Striking Artwork – Part Two
This post was originally published in 2008
The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
Back in Part One of the walkthrough we setup the basics of the design by clipping out and placing in the base photographs and began adding the vector elements.
Now in the second and final part we will continue adding elements and resources to finish off the artwork into a stunning composition.
So far the design will look a little something like this:
The added vector elements are really starting to add to the composition, let’s continue creating a few more…
Vector Shape Five – Curly Lines
Switch back to Illustrator again to draw a Spiral on the artboard, use the cursor keys to adjust the amount of spiraling.
Use the Direct Selection Point to drag the end point of the spiral to give more of a sweeping motion. Apply the brush we made earlier to this shape.
Duplicate the spiral and rotate each one using the same technique as the Radial Lines to create a repeating pattern as shown above.
Paste the spiral pattern into the Photoshop document a few times rotating each one slightly. Merge the layers together and change to Overlay with 50% Opacity.
Duplicate the layer and flip horizontally to place the same pattern onto the opposite side of the boarder creating a symmetrical pattern.
Vector Shape Six – More Whispy Lines
Using the same techniques and used in the creation of the vector elements in Part One, create a set of wavy lines complete with blending effect, copy and paste then reflect along the vertical axis.
Paste these into the Photoshop document making them large enough to creep in from the edges of the canvas. Move this layer to the bottom of the stack and set to Overlay.
Open up the Punk Vector Pack again and take a copy of the retro star, ungroup the object and change the white area to a blue hue colour picked from the main document.
Paste in three versions each at a different angle and size flaring out from the front of the snowboard.
Using one of the freebie packs from the kind fellows over at Go Media, copy a vector spine and paste into the Photoshop document. Duplicate the layer multiple times and rotate each spine image to produce a radial pattern stemming from the Snowboard's hand.
Merge the spine layers and adjust the Hue/Saturation to blend them into the document, drop the opacity down to tone down their impact.
Vector Shape Seven – Diagonal Lines
Swap over to Illustrator for the last time to produce a range of diagonal lines.
Start with a single straight line rotated to 45degrees, copy and paste then move horizontally across the artboard. Use the blend technique used previously to create multiple instances.
Paste these into the Photoshop document over the mountains at Overlay; 50%. Load the Mountains Path selection and delete any overlap beyond the edges of the mountain tops.
The mountains could do with a little more contrast and impact, duplicate the layer and set the layer style to Multiply at 40%.
Paste in one more set of vector splatters and position above the circular blobs. Delete out the selection from both the circular blobs and the mountains.
Adjust the Hue/Saturation to blend the splatters into the document's colour scheme.
Now it's time to rough up the design to contrast against the crisp vector elements, open up an image of a spray paint splatter, adjust the levels and colours of the image to isolate the splatter onto black. Then, set the layer mode to Screen to render the black areas transparent.
Unfortunately the splatters I use aren't licensed to give away, but similar splatters can be found on Stock Websites or can be easily created with a spare tin of spray paint.
Go ahead and paste in varying splatters onto the document giving a really distressed look.
Use the Levels to adjust the impact of the spatters.
Using the huge Spray Paint Photoshop Brushes from Go Media paint in some drips and sprays, along with adding to the urban/distressed/super-cool style they also give the impression of icicles from the snowboard.
Using another set of Photoshop Brushes, this time in the way of the Watercolour brushes from Bittbox roughly paint in a border around the image. Check out the Rotating a Photoshop Brush tip for this stage.
Using the same brushes delete out some of the border with the eraser set to a 50% opacity .
Scale the layer up to adjust the size of the border and how much of the image it will overlap.
Change the layer style to Overlay at 50% to add an icy blue frame surrounding the image.
Take a close look across the image and make any necessary finishing touches. Here I removed some of the spray paint from around the boarder's head and duplicated the splatters to give them more impact.
Save and export the completed artwork.
Remember the steps here have outlined the basics of my personal techniques, there may be many other ways to achieve similar results, use and develop them to your own taste.
One of the key features is to create and collect a range of resources for your designer's toolbox ready for quick insertion into your next project.