21 Comments1K Views
Getting into Vector
So you've heard all this business about "vectoring" and "vector art" and it's peaked your interest. You've been browsing the vector galleries and thought "hey I wanna get into it" but you don't know where or what to do. Well help is at hand.
What is Vector Art?
Knowing what vector is, is the first step. Without knowing what the medium is you wont be able to appreciate it's unique qualities and strengths.
In digital art there are two layer formats: raster and vector. Raster formats are based in pixels and vector is based in paths and points.
When you resize a raster image, you are expanding the pixels. Your program has to try to estimate what the colours would be for the additional pixels created. Due to this, the image loses it's clarity and creates a pixel effect.
When you resize a vector image, you are increasing the distance between the points. Due to this, the image doesn't lose it's clarity and doesn't pixellate.
The key element of vector is that it's infinitely scalable without any quality loss and it's why we love it!
So What Do I Need?
Glad to still have your attention. Now some people would think that you need expensive software to create amazing vector art... they're wrong. Infact you can create vector art using two well known pieces of free software: Gimp and Inkscape.
Ok, I'm going to hear the mouths thinking... you can't create fabulous work using free software... but if you check the galleries of DiSmeCha who used Inkscape in his work, you're far from the truth!
Alternatively, if you're a digital artist, you may also have Adobe Photoshop in your arsenal which is more than acceptable for creating vector art.
If you're wanting to knock it up a notch, then Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw are the programs for you.
Learning Your Craft
There are many ways you can start getting into vector art. The first could be jumping in blind and learning by doing. Alternatively there are a variety of websites out there which can help you learn the basics all the way to more complex project tutorials.
From my personal experience, my favourite sites are:
V for Vectors
Adobe Layers Magazine
You can also check out the many tutorials here on deviantART in the Resources & Stock Images > Tutorials > Digital Art > Vector - where there are categories which are application specific.
Want Some Inspiration?
You've got the tools, you've got your ideas and concepts and you're learning your craft... but how about some inspiration? If you appreciate vector art, then I highly recommend you check out the following groups:
Alternatively, you can check out VecTips who have a weekly article for vector inspiration!
All Change Over on Tuts+!
Hey All, I'm not very active on dA these days as my day job has taken hold. Although I do keep up to date with the recent goings on in the vector community here, because it's like a second home for me. I recently had my remit extended over on Tuts+ and it could be of interest to my watchers. Previously I looked over content for vector, drawing and InDesign as the Vector & Drawing Editor. These days I now look after content in vector, drawing, InDesign and Photoshop as the Design & Illustration Editor. I'll be looking for some new authors in the coming weeks, especially in Photoshop. So if you're skilled and passionate about Photos
Want to get paid for writing tutorials?
Hey All! I'm the Editor of the mega awesome, Vectortuts+, which is part of the Tuts+ network of educational sites. As of August 2013, I've increased my hours working for them (best. job. ever!) and due to this we're expanding into other areas. I'm looking for some high quality, regular authors to provide content on vector, drawing, InDesign/print design. If you'd like to learn $8,400 USD per year (seriously, I know of at least 3 authors who earn this on the site!), find out here. If you know someone who would be a perfect fit, please pass this onto them. Whether you want to contribute once or become a regular author - there is work there!
Married and then... whoa, Deviousness?!
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. What a month I'm having! Oh Hai, I'm Mrs Pringle On the 23rd of May, I married my best friend, Paul. We've known each other for near 7 years, been together as a couple for over 4 years, lived together for about 3.5 years, engaged for 1.5 years... and now we're Pathfinder > United! It was an absolutely awesome day, with loads of magenta pink, black and white... no I didn't wear a magenta pink dress, but I did have bright pink curly hair! I'm sure I'll get a wedding photo up at some point :love: I Gots a Little More Devious Than Usual We went off on honeymoon to Zakynthos, Greece from the 26th of May and I
Much Love to Our New Vector Overlord!
Much love to our new Vector Community Volunteer... VAngelLJ (https://www.deviantart.com/vangellj) :woohoo: If you don't have him on devwatch, I suggest you take a wander over and give him a good hard devwatch and some love - he's a friendly and fabulous guy and didn't even have to pay me to say that :O :love:
Great article Shar!! It's helpful to know where to start for someone who's interested in vectors...just going blindly can be a bit daunting and overwhelming There are so many Groups and resources, not to mention the fantastic network of dA Vector artists who are so willing to help. dA is a virtual gold-mine for support!