In 1962 a French engineer Pierre Bézier make this kind of drawing widely publicized when used them to design automobile bodies but initially “path” based drawing were first developed in 1959 by Paul de Casteljau when this use a numerically stable method to evaluate smooth curves (de Casteljau’s algorithm).
Because in this way the results of your work can be scaled indefinitely. Curves shapes are not bound by the size limits of classic images (rasterized) and are intuitive to modify.
A “path” is a collection of points used to create primitive shapes such as lines, arcs, and curves. From these primitives, you can create complex shapes such as circles, rectangles, polygons. Because paths are composed of points (as opposed to a rasterized bitmap image which is composed of pixels), results are lightweight, fast, and they can scale to any resolutions without losing accuracy or quality.
FINAL IMAGE RESULT
How it works?
When you draw a line/curve the two endpoints of the curve are called anchor points. The other points, which define the shape of the curve, are called handles, tangent points, or nodes. Attached to each handle are two control points. By moving the handles themselves, or the control points, you can modify the shape of the curve.
As the curve is completely contained in the convex hull (analogy for elastic bound) of its control points, the points can be graphically displayed and used to manipulate the curve intuitively.
Vector or vectorize?
Tracing is the process of creating drawings from images. By using the pixels of an image as a guide we can trace over the image and create points, lines and areas in a drawing. The tracing process is like laying a sheet of tracing paper onto a photograph and then drawing lines with a pen to outline what is seen in the photo. The photo image is thus converted into a line drawing. This process is very clean and lightweight.
If you wonder why you can just use an automate tracing command you must have in mind that is not so simple anyway. In some condition automate tracing may be the best solution you can consider but if you have a smaller, older or just bad low image you have to accept manual tracing which is the best method for an accurate design.
To trace an image you have to use a image source or a sketch where the drawing layer in which objects are created appears about the image layer. You can then see both the drawing as well as the image being traced.
To start we need a raster image as a base for what we want to draw. In this example I choose a very original and exciting photo made by LIFE Magazine – “Light-beam contour map” which are used by Air Force to design flight helmets in 1954
To start drawing you have to create a new document. File>New… You can set this new document at any size but for starting preferably is the same size as you original image. Import this image in your vector based software. For this you have to go to File>Place… and select you drawing from your hard drive or other source (C, DVD , mass storage etc.). If you use Illustrator to make your first draw you have to now that image imported are automatically centered in page. After you imported lock the layer to prevent accidental moving. Create a new layer for you illustration.
Drawing with pen tool is not complicated. In the first faze of drawing you have to determine the base points of shape you want to define.
The first tool in your pen palette is your default pen tool. When you select the pen tool (either by clicking it or pressing “P”), and hover over your document area, you’ll notice that the pen tip cursor shows a small “x” next to it. If you click somewhere on your document, you’ll see a new anchor point. Click again somewhere else on your document, and Illustrator draws a line segment.
Using the same default pen tool, click and hold somewhere else on your document. While holding the left click, drag your cursor in the direction of your intended curve. For example, if you want your line to come down and curve to the right, you’ll click below your selected point and drag to the right. This click and drag action creates a handle that defines the shape of your curve.
If it does not correct what you want to draw, you’ll have to adjust your line to get it just right. For this, you’ll need the “Direct Select” tool (shortcut: “A”). With the direct select tool, you can select individual anchor points on your line and move them around. An anchor point will have a solid fill when it’s selected, when you select a curve anchor point, you’ll see the handles. Using this tool you can adjust the direction of the curve by clicking and dragging the small dot at the end of the handle. You can also shorten or lengthen each side of the handle as you desired.
Title: Light-beam contour map used by the Air Force to design flight helmets, 1954
Artist: LIFE Magazine Photographers
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Name: Draghia Cornel
Location: Bucharest, Romania, Europe
Contact: http://www.dccanim.deviantart.com, http://www.colourlovers.com/lover/dccanim
Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Corel Draw, 3D Studio Max, QuarkXPress
Age: 43 years old
School: Mid level
Working now with: Publishing House ART, Romania, layout designer,TIMES TEN CREATIVE, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, vector artist,BrightPink Studio, Inc.,
Works done: over 1200 book – layout design, over 700 cover books – layout design and prepress, over 1000 posters, flyers, trifold, CD/DVD covers etc., collaboration with television stations in media design, commercial animation, over 30 websites design, and more
Years in the industry: around 20 years
Experience:Advanced in Corel Draw, Photoshop, QuarkXPress