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Illustrator Stroke Width Tool Tutorial
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You need Illustrator CS5 or later to use the techniques discussed here. While this guide discusses vectoring ponies, the techniques can be applied to any stroke width modification.

While not mentioned above, you can save stroke width profiles for later use.  To do this, select the path, then in the (fully expanded) Stroke pane, click the down arrow next to Profiles, then click the Add to Profiles button.  The next time you need that profile, simply select the path, then click the proper profile.

~Yanoda's fav.me/d5hbvrp has stroke width profiles that can be easily applied to common things such as legs and eyelashes.  Use my technique above for more complex items, such as the muzzle.

:new: Lop-sided strokes can be useful, especially for leg tapers. This alternative taper style as described by =Austiniousi fav.me/d6g4c48, but using the stroke width tool, has now been added.


Everything but the :iconmlp-vectorclub: icon was made by me in Illustrator CS6.
Time taken: about a day of on-and-off work.
I'm happy to announce that there are no raster components in the source!
Thanks to :iconsircxyrtyx:~SirCxyrtyx for helping me develop some of these techniques!

If you find these techniques useful...
If you know of something I'm missing...
If you need additional help...
...leave a comment!

Feel free to repost this places, but don't edit it.


Edit 20130914: Added an alternative taper style as described by =Austiniousi
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Comments (55)
King-Franchesco's avatar
What is a programm ?
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
"Programm"? The application this is written for is Adobe Illustrator, CS6 and newer.
Reply  ·  
RoboCheatsy's avatar
RoboCheatsy|Professional General Artist
This so helpful!  I'm experience with Illustrator, but it used to always make my tapers turn out funky when I used the width tool; now I know how to avoid that!  Thanks! :D
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
Glad you found it useful!
Reply  ·  
PrincessFireShinee's avatar
PrincessFireShineeEdited |Hobbyist Digital Artist
i didn't read it but i will but to make vector we have to redraw the image?
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
This tutorial is for more advanced features of Illustrator. Please check out here for general info on vectoring ponies: mlp-vectorclub.deviantart.com/…
:)
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PrincessFireShinee's avatar
PrincessFireShinee|Hobbyist Digital Artist
kk thanks
Reply  ·  
sugguk's avatar
sugguk|Hobbyist Digital Artist
This has helped me so much! 
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
Excellent!
Reply  ·  
SaharaPorter's avatar
is it at all possible to do this in photoshop cs5 or is this an illustrator only technique? 
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
I believe these techniques can only be used in AI CS5.5 and newer. Photoshop is not suggested for vector work. The basic idea can also be applied to Inkscape.
Reply  ·  
SaharaPorter's avatar
ugh bummer thanx anyway :I
Reply  ·  
LazyPixel's avatar
I never thought to trace the inside of the stroke.
Imma try this for my next vector. Thanks!
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
Excellent! Let me know what you think.
Reply  ·  
EtherialIce's avatar
EtherialIce|Student General Artist
Thank you so so much for the last part!
I could never figure out how to do that
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
Glad you found it useful :)
Reply  ·  
VitaniIsCute's avatar
VitaniIsCute|Student Digital Artist
Clapping Pony Icon - Twilight Sparkle Twilight Sparkle approves
And so do I.
Reply  ·  
twilightsparkle431's avatar
twilightsparkle431|Student Artisan Crafter
i approve !
Reply  ·  
VitaniIsCute's avatar
VitaniIsCute|Student Digital Artist
Haha x3 you do indeed! c:
Reply  ·  
twilightsparkle431's avatar
twilightsparkle431|Student Artisan Crafter
lolprincess twilight sparkle icon Clapping Pony Icon - Season Four Twilight 
Reply  ·  
ArtStude3n2's avatar
ArtStude3n2|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Currsses: still not edited to show the power and technique on how to do this sort of thing with the Adobe Illustrator CS2. :(
 I think...
Reply  ·  
mewtwo-EX's avatar
Give this a read mlp-vectorclub.deviantart.com/…
It applies pretty well up through CS4.
Reply  ·  
realdarcytrix's avatar
but i cant draw nice drawing i watch several video in youtube of drawing and i cant draw i have illustrator cs6 and paint tool sai and gimp and artrage and inkscape  and i cant draw
Reply  ·  
hunterscars's avatar
thanks for this man, this will be so helpful when i start using illustrator instead of photoshop 
Reply  ·  
anonymous's avatar
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