HD Video

CartoonSmart was the first training website to offer HD video. Seriously. Before YouTube was even founded, we realized screencasts needed to be way bigger than what others were offering. Nothing will replace books in the training spectrum, but sometimes you just want to put your feet up and watch someone else work. Since 2004, our customers haven't had to squint.

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Software to use

The techniques in this lesson could apply to other vector based illustration software, but your instructor uses Adobe Flash, a multimedia and software platform used for authoring vector graphics, animation, games, and apps. Vector artwork can be exported at virtually any size without pixelation or loss of quality.

Your Instructor

The courses in this collection are all taught by Justin Dike, founder of CartoonSmart, and long-time Flash advocate for animation, illustration, interactive apps, and games. Feel free to contact Justin through email or follow him on Twitter.

Email »   Follow Justin »

The Stylish Ladies Illustration Tutorial. Ten hours.

Session 1: The Basics

Your instructor will teach you the basics of vector illustration with Flash, which is a very simple approach to drawing, even for non-artists. Justin uses a mouse (nothing fancy like a Wacom or Cintiq), and rarely views the actual vector points making up the illustration. Instead he relies on simple techniques to mold shapes. This one hour session covers step-by-step how to illustrate the drawing to the right.

Topics in this session include:

  • Various ways to taper your line to get a fine-tuned illustrated look.
  • Adding gradients.
  • Setting the end cap on lines.
  • Adding vector points.
  • Working with symbols for a "good" animation setup.
  • Changing pivot points.
  • Creating eye sockets to move around the pupils anywhere within the eye area.
  • Working with drop shadows to shade the interior space of a symbol.
  • Using symbols only for shading.
  • Using dimensional shading techniques while maintaining an overall "flat" feel.

Session 2: The Body

This two and a half hour tutorial focuses on illustrating the body. Initially we look at some simple clothing choices to avoid working with the finer points of illustrating the female form (i.e. a big dress). After that your instructor designs a more realistic body in silouhette, to use as the basis for the fully shaded illustration to the right. That piece is drawn over the course of an hour, in real time, using symbols for parts that could be animated later. And finally, as you can see, the illustration is fully shaded.

Topics in this session include:

  • Tips on drawing the female body.
  • Using the pen tool.
  • Adding glows and highlights.
  • Adding and shading clothing lines.
  • Working with dress patterns.
  • General tips on working more with Flash's drawing tools.

Session 3: Hair Styles and Head Turns

In this 90 minute session, we look at tips to illustrate hair and turn the head. The video tutorial on turning the head should be particularly useful to any Flash or vector artist, since the instructor demonstrates some easy ways to start from a front view and methodically convert all the way over to a side view.

This session also includes some animation using the head turn poses. We create shape-tweened hair to turn along with the heads, which then flips forward and eases back into place.

Session 4: Expressions, hands, and feet.

In this 97 minute session, we gather together various "components" of the body to use in our final session. To make drawing a full pose easier, we can create libraries of body parts and facial expressions to copy and paste into later projects. You are welcome to use the instructor's source files in your future projects as well.

By creating individual symbols for parts of the face (like the eyelids, cheeks, etc), we can quickly make countless expressions, and save them in a "expressions library" for later.

Session 5: Final pieces.

In this three hour session, we draw three final poses, focusing primarily on clothing techniques and shading. Each pose is a separate one hour video.

Preview Video

Watch the entire first session anytime online. As always, if you purchase a tutorial, you can download the videos to your computer and watch even if you aren't connected to the internet.

10 hours of training. Divided into bite-size video nuggets.

Only $20. Like all CartoonSmart tutorials, you can download these videos directly to your computer along with source files for the projects. If you ever need to download your purchase again, you'll have access through Payloadz, our file delivery service.

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