Monday, December 17, 2012

How to make your own tattoo design (2)

Read the first part of this post here.

Now we have a copy of the symbol we want to use for our tattoo design in the Symbol panel and an instance of the symbol on the artboard. Next, we have to convert the symbol's instance to regular artwork by breaking the link between the symbol and the symbol instance - in other words, we'll expand the instance (if you don't expand the instance, every time you'll edit the instance you'll modify the symbol and, simultaneously, all the symbol's instances). Click on the Break link to symbol button in the Symbol panel in order to expand the instance (see the image below):

Changing the fill color: If you want, you can change the fill color (see the image below) or the outline color of your artwork (in this case it is not necessarily need to change the colors, because black is the main colour for the tattoo inks).

Now, we have one half of our tattoo design, it's time to duplicate it in order to complete our design (being a lower-back tattoo, the design must be symmetrical). Follow these steps: with the artwork selected go to the main menu -> Object -> Transform -> Reflect -> Axis -> Vertically or select the Reflect Tool from the Toolbar (short key: o). Check the Preview option in order to see the changes in real-time and click on the Copy button when you are satisfied with the result. (see the image below)

Now we have on the artboard two overlapping objects: the initial artwork and the mirrored copy (being the last object created on the artboard, the later one is selected). We need to move horizontally one of the two objects (the copy) until we'll get a design appropriate for a tattoo. We can move the selected object (the copy) by hitting several time the right arrow key or by dragging the object (if you choose to drag the object in a new position you should keep the Shift key down in order to constrain the movement to the horizontal or vertical axis)

After the copy has reached the desired position (see the image below) it's indicated to group the two objects together and to lock the layer => select the two objects, click on Ctrl+G and the objects are now grouped. Is preferable to group the objects instead to unite them in a single new object because if you are not satisfied with the result and you want to change minors details of your artwork (like the orientation, the angle between the two objects, etc) it's very easy to ungroup the objects and and make the necessary adjustments.

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