Why You Should Use Illustrator (or at least start learning)
If I could have gone back in time to visit myself 10 years ago (when I was still 15) to give myself some good advice, it would be to start learning Illustrator.
Ok, so maybe the Adobe Illustrator today wasn't what it was 10 years ago (it's so much better now)... but still, I could only imagine the advantage I would have had back then.
Do you work too much on "perfecting" your lineart? Do you constantly go back and forth between the eraser tool and the paint brush tool, carefully "shaping" a single line into perfection? If your answer is "friggin yeah", then you need Illustrator. Otherwise... you still need Illustrator. Uh. yeah.
Anyways, here's a short-and-easy explanation WHY you need Illustrator. I'll update this thread later with some tutorials, if needed. For now I'll just explain the advantages/disadvantages of using Illustrator for anime and manga.
Before I go into details, I'll give you some visuals that should sum up a lot of things. Note that on the left is a photoshop screen, and on the right, an illustrator example:
The examples above are not from a finished CG. As you can see the illustrator art is lacking (im on the lineart stage still) Ok. So now can you see the differences? Illustrator is good for clean crisp lines. However, the differences don't stop there.
Photoshop is BITMAP based... that's why when you zoom in too much, or resize your art to a larger scale, it gets bad. Illustrator, on the otherhand, is VECTOR based, and that means it'll look perfect zoomed in at any size or resized to any size, large or small.
With Photoshop, you need to worry about printing. Will you be using your artwork later, for a poster? If so... then you're screwed if you've started with a 1024x768 workspace in the beginning.
With Illustrator, you don't worry about that. At all. If you need to go big, you can do so at any time and you won't lose any detail.
With Photoshop you edit and erase with the eraser and brush tools. With Illustrator, you don't need to delete a line if it's not perfect -- you simply reshape it's curve. Illustrator makes perfect lines.
Illustrator does have it's downsides though:
First - you need to learn it. Starting with the PEN TOOL, as this is the most frequent tool you'll use.
Illustrator also has a different way of colouring. You colour in SHAPES. Thanks to Illustrator CS2 however, we have smart-fills that make it as simple to fill an area as it is in PS.
Certain effects don't work well. Like Blurring. Illustrator isn't meant for some filter effects Photoshop lovers use. But because they're made by the same company (Adobe) they integrate well with each other, so you can send finished Illustrator work to Photoshop for colouring/editing.
Lines are flat. Or at least generally they are. You can create your own brushes to add line variety and thickness to a stroke in Illustrator, but this requires some fine-tuning and dedication. Otherwise, if you have a pressure-sensitive tablet, you can use the brush tool in illustrator to achieve the same effect in PS. But Generally, lines can be flat if you're too lazy to bother... but that's your choice, not the app's.
Illustrator can also eat up your time. If you're a perfectionist, you'll be so engrossed in your work that you'll wonder where all the hours went. Yes, you have more of a tendency to create perfect lines and curves - because you KNOW you can!
Well.. that's about it. Hope this little tute sheds some light on things. If you have any questions regarding vector/bitmap art (illus/ps), then ask away here.
Valid points. I will get Mr_T, another member of this forum to post up a picture he is working on to show you how good Illustrator can be.
Personally for a starter, your use of Illustrators Pen tool is fair. You need to use thinner lines in some areas and the end of some lines are cut off abruptly. You also have double lining on the crotch area. But practice make perfect.
Well, this lineart not quite finished (I can go on about how horrible the hair is looking... needs more points... literally :P). The one shown above was 'specially cut up' to make it look sensible... otherwise you'd see all my other lines running through everywhere.
Yes, I know about the line ends as well. I usually check that last though. Then again, I often forget as well.
Oh, Illustrator can do a heck lot more than just this. So much than it makes you just shake your head in disbelief. A few super-artists have used illustrator to create photo-quality paintings of real-life nature (imagine a photograph). It's photos like these that negate my point of illustrator "not being good for blurs". I didn't want to mention it because it'd just confuse people just learning Illustrator (and I don't recommend you try it unless you know the basics coz then it'd seem so futile). :P
Here's a completed piece. This is one of my first works where I try to practice varied line width. It's not quite there yet, because I was too lazy to create a large-enough library for different lines. The key is to try to understand the angles you use in your work and create a brush for each angle. That I didn't do here (I only created a few over-used brushes).
If anyone can figure out how to create an outline of your brush stroke... that would help a lot. Coz currently, even IllusCS 2 doesn't outline a brush stroke - it converts it into a generic, flat stroke and then outlines it.
Here's a link to some extremely mad artists' (all using illustrator) art:
Keep in mind that Illustrator was only originally intended for "mere shapes"... do not attempt to try these images.. else you'll lose your sanity (been there... went crazy... failed).
Last edited by theanimaster; 12-13-2006 at 02:29 AM.
Reason: Added artwork
Points to make, Illustrator owns if you need vectors for anything, photoshop owns for everything else, if you can use both you'll be happy. It's impossible to get a good soft brush look on illustrator and it's impossible to make your lineart A1 size from A4 in Photoshop. Also, if you're making a poster in PS that's meant to be big but you started at 1024/798 or whatever then you fail at graphic work in general -.-
Illustrator owns if you every need a program to work with typography in your image, you can take a font and create points to modify it completely. It's a powerful tool for graphical work, but for artwork it's not so great. It'll be good for cell shaded work though...
True. That's why I use Illustrator for mainly just lineart and sometimes flat colouring. Afterwards I export it to Photoshop and do the main effects/colouring there.
The main reason I choose Illustrator for line work is because I can control the lines very well -- with a mouse. I can say I'm fairly adept with the Wacom, but in some cases, and especially when working with large-scale canvas, brush strokes are just way too large to go "smoothly". In the past I would frantically work my lines over and over again just to get the 'perfect' width or curve. Until I realised I can use Illustrator, this had always been a little bugger for me.
With pencil, paper and ink, I have this paranoid notion of making the little mistake that would ruin my work.
I was actually planning on getting Illustrator for x-mas ^___^
wee all the hours I'm going to waste fooling around.
Ohh i love illustrator, because its challenging and can have a well sexy finish. I've been usinig it for around a year now. I'm currently experementing with the gradient mesh tool. I think i've got the hang of it. ^-^
anyway heres some of my work.
I cant post links beause i have under 10 posts. please copy + past the url.
some hot girl
outline. note one or two layers
one sexy car. using gradient mesh tool.
Aww man! You're mastering gradient meshes! :P Way to go. That's the one thing I need to figure out, because that's the key to photo-realism right there.
Illustrator has a lot of perks, most being vector related. But I have doubts about using illustrator to create lineart from scratch, mostly because it is time consuming, but also, as I've learned from talking with other people and my own experiences, a good lineart with old fashion ink embodies a lot more meaning than perfect vector lines.
Illustrator rocks when it comes to designs and images you plan to put on both small bussiness card prints and huge posters.
But for CG and web images, Photoshop and Painter do fine. A lot just has to do with your original scan, whether you ink correctly, and resolution-wise, you should be fine with PS.
Btw, those are very nice. Must have taken a hell long time.
Yatta! i finished my car in illustrator. Its all gradient mesh tool and all illustrator!
and thanks for the comments.
i still cant post links . [TETS EDIT: WHAT?!! WWWHHHHAAATTT?! XD]