Starter file

The image file needed to follow along with this chapter and create the featured illustration is available on the accompanying CD. This file can be found in the folder entitled: chapter_05.

Chapter Starter Jpg

1 I Open up the starter.jpg file. This is the image we're going to use as the template for our illustration. Generally, it is easier to see what you're doing when tracing, if the image is less intense. Create a new solid color layer by choosing the solid color option from the create new fill or adjustment layer pop-up menu at the bottom of the layers palette. When the picker opens, select white as your color from the picker and reduce opacity of the layer to 50% in the Layers palette.

2 I Using a white layer as a translucent overlay is very similar to tracing in the real world by placing onionskin or tracing paper over top of your picture. It is a nice way to work without the background image becoming visually distracting. Select the pen tool and ensure that it is set to create paths, not shape layers, in the tool options bar. Enable the add to path area function and then draw a closed path component around the island masses in the background.

Tracing Photographs


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3 I Do not trace every bump that is indicated by the image on the background layer. Create a smooth path that is indicative of the landmasses but simpler. With the path visible, create another solid color layer. Choose black from the picker. Here you can see that by having the path active as we create the solid color layer that the path is converted to a vector mask, which is automatically applied to the solid color layer. After this operation, you'll notice that the pen tool is now set to create shape layers in the tool options bar.

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