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Trouble with received artwork from an artist (loads of sections, unable to adjust line thickness etc

New Here ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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Hi everybody, 

 

Im fairly new with illustrator but i like being creative and figuring stuff out. But for now I might need your help :). 

 

For my own project I've asked an artis to make a unique drawing with a wizard design. He has finished that design and now I want to convert that design in something that I can use for my small business. I want to add coloring, shading, adjust some line thickness etc but as soon as i opned up the file I came across some issues:
* I have two file sizes - SVG and AI. My personal preference is AI but tell me if it's better to use SVG instead. 

* The file has a lot of small sections which make it very very time consuming to color the whole thing. How can I minimize these? 

* Some parts have very thick lines which i want to adjust in order to give more openess to the drawing. How can i do that? 

* I want to fill in some parts with gradients but I can't seem to get it (online gradient at the line). 

* It seems that the lines are not editable, only with the direct selection tool (i have a lot of lines).

 

I've tried alot of different techniques and the one that gave me the best resulta was the live bucket paint tool but from there I got stuck with the linework and some of the gradients.. 

 

Long story short, i need some help 🙏

 

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Draw and design , How-to

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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I would use the AI file.

 

As for applying gradients and stuff, you will first need to draw shapes that you can then fill with gradients and color. The drawing currently is just open paths.

 

Perhaps it's a communication issue between you and the artist. You might have needed to brief them accordingly.

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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How can i make shapes of those open paths? 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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Hi @Chief_Tellie,

 

I would personally stick with the .ai file.

 

Instead of colouring in each small section, select the main area on the outside of all the little sections, and make a new layer in behind. That way all the black line work will show up on top, and your colouring will be behind. When I say "layer," you can use the layers palette if you find that easier. I tend to just place an object in behind, while still using the same layer...but the layers palette will keep things much more organized.

 

If the drawing is using brush strokes (which it appears to be), you may need to make the strokes into outlines and manually adjust the thickness where you'd like. To do this, use the expand option. Try this out and see if it's what you're looking for. Make sure you save a copy or duplicate your artboard to keep the original image just in case. Once expanded, to adjust the thickness, you'll need to use the pen tool with the white arrow/direct selection tool. The white arrow will allow you to select nodes and drag handles for curve adjustments.

 

If the gradient line isn't working for you, you can play around with the gradient mesh tool in your toolbar on the left.

 

Hopefully this helps...? 🙂

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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What i've figured out just now, i've expaned the file and then used the shape builder tool to combine spaces so it created a shape. This shape can now be filled with a gradient. 

 

So there is no smart way to minimize the effort for adjusting those eyebrows strokes into lighter ones? I'll have to do each path manually? 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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What you can do in order to adjust the line thickness of outlined path is apply Effect > Path > Offset path. Make the value positive for thickening and negative for slimming the stroke. When you are done with the artwork you can Object > Expand appearance (I would first copy the file, so that you can still adjust later if you fee like it)

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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hi Monika, 

 

Thanks! I've tried the work around with the offset path but whenever i fill in a negative - 5 pt for instance, it does nothing. Even if I exaggerrate  - 20 pt it gives no results (did both ways; expanding and without expanding before I offset the path). 

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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1 pt is already plenty.

For the thinner lines 1 pt might already be too much.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 17, 2023 Dec 17, 2023

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All of the line work in the drawing is "expanded" into raw paths. Most of them are compound paths, so if you apply a fill to one of those selected paths it's only going to change the black line into another color and not affect any of the empty space the black line is surrounding. The compounds have to be released, which turns the lines into two objects that can be filled separately. Doing that opens a can of worms because the object stacking order may be all over the place. You'll probably need to drag groups of objects onto new layers in order to make the artwork more organized.

 

It looks like the drawing was either live-traced from a scanned image (such as a hand drawing on paper) and cleaned up a bit. Or it was perhaps drawn in Adobe Illustrator using tools like the blob brush.

 

The line widths are not "live" in the manner of a line stroke with an art brush applied to it or an effect from the width tool. To alter the thickness of the lines you'll either have to edit the anchor points on the paths directly or draw a new path over the top of the existing path and replace it.

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