Unit 4


  • Self Portrait file due. Illustrator Package folder due “Lastname_self_portrait” to Faculty Boxes/smansfield/Inbox. Postponed until next week.
  • 3A Handtrace. Submit an Illustrator file titled “YourLastName3A.ai” by end of class today to Faculty Boxes/smansfield/Inbox.
  • Textbook tutorial 6. “Creating an Illustration with the Drawing Tools”
    Submit a folder titled “Lastname Tutorial_6” containing your finished tutorial tutorial .ai files to Instructor/smansfield/Dropbox.

Shut down Illustrator. Open up system preferences. Open up Displays- second row. Choose “scaled” Change screen resolution to 1600 x 900.

4A Place/Clip Mask exercise (4 pts):

1. Adjusting an image in Photoshop for clarity and contrast 

It is often necessary to bring raster images into Illustrator as references to trace from. This can be drawn process/sketching for a project, or a reference photo. Today we will place learn how to place a drawing into an illustrator file in order to trace from it.

But first we must adjust your raster based image. Often images have low contrast and clarity. We will open up a scanned/photographed process drawing image in Photoshop to adjust it for clarity and contrast.


Download and find in Downloads Folder. In the Finder right-click or control-click on file and choose Open With to open with Photoshop. (If you do not designate Photoshop as the program to open this file, it may default open in Preview instead).

The image has a blue color cast to it- an artifact of scanned graphite. Let’s change the mode from color to greyscale. Image menu/Mode/Greyscale.

Image menu/Levels Adjustment. Histogram. White point, Grey Point, Black Point.

Save the jpg file to a location you can return to such as your keychain drive, or the Storage drive of the computer you are at. Do not save to the desktop of the computer you are at, unless it is your own laptop.

2. File<Place.

Links panel (Window/Links).
Linking versus embedding
VTC Tutorial, if you need review: Requires login. Search this page for “Embedding vs. Linking” and “Managing Links”


3. Save the Illustrator File.

Save the file locally as “Your first name.ai”

4. Clipping Masks

clipping mask demo file.     VTC Tutorial

Review from last week. This time, clip a placed raster file.

5. Packaging

File menu/Package. This saves out a folder. In that package folder will be copies of the fonts used and the images that have been placed.

Submit your 4A Package folder titled “Lastname4A” to Instructor Server (icon on desktop)/smansfield/Dropbox as directed in class for credit.

Return to 3A Handtrace

Open the 3A file from last week. (the one you did last week with the pear and the clouds, lightning, etc.) Complete the hand trace page.

Key commands with the pen tool:

space bar: move point while holding down mouse button.
Option/Alt key: “break” the point to create a corner point. Break all of the points as you draw them on the handtrace exercise.
Adding/extending to an existing path with pen tool by hovering over path. Notice the “/” symbol. If you click when that symbol is present, the path will be extended.

A key– Direct Selection Tool
P key– Pen tool

  1. Trace the hand.tiff with a 1 pt stroke with the pen tool using only 28 points. Use corner points.
  2. No slop (stay within the black line.) Visible white canvas between the vector path and the raster line=slop.

Pen Tool Resource: Vector Tuts: The Comprehensive Guide to Illustrator’s pen tool

Submit a folder called by your last name 3A, containing this file with both the Pear and the hand tracing.

(may be submitted next week if you need time outside of class). This exercise is key to your success in the remainder of the quarter:

It must be submitted to spec (no slop!) next week in order to earn a passing grade at midterm.

You can do it!


Peer Critique of Self Portrait Project (in progress)

This is an opportunity to get feedback on your project thus far. It is also a chance to get influence from your fellow students. How are others dealing with this set of challenges? This is a learning opportunity- even if it is learning what to avoid, by reviewing the work of other students. Meet with at least 5 other students.

Meet with 4 classmates you don’t sit next to who are not in your program and review their Pattern Suite project. Take notes. Name these people in your word doc. 

Provide intelligent, useful feedback and suggestions for your partners. As you enter into this process, realize that you are making your reputation right now. Foster among your peers the impression that you are thoughtful and can offer insight and you will be remembered for good reasons.

Listen carefully to the feedback you receive and take notes. This is not a deposition or a trial.
Greet commentary as another perspective, not a condemnation.

You will submit a word document explaining the feedback you received titled:

“Last Name Self Portrait Peer Critique.doc

This document should contain complete thoughts, correct grammar, correct spelling and the full name of the person with whom you met.

Submit this to Instructor/smansfield/Dropbox by the end of class today for credit. (1 pt).

Lab Time for Self Portrait Project


  1. Finish the 3A hand trace assignment to specifications.
  2. Self Portrait Project due next week.