Here at Ahoodie.com we’re all about SOLVING PROBLEMS, LEARNING THINGS, and banging chicks. Today I figured we could show you guys how to create your own Ahoodie (Bape style) avatar using my favorite program Adobe Illustrator. It’s simple! (not really).
Getting started: ILLUSTRATOR:
You need to start by getting a vector illustration program by Adobe called Illustrator (ai). How you get it is up to you, although you can get a free trial here. I’m not going to start explaining why you need to use Adobe Illustrator for those kind of illustrations instead of photoshop, but basically, every icon or logo you design should be done in vectors using Illustrator, keep Photoshop for your photo editing needs.
Once you’ve properly installed the program, you’ll want to create a new document going to FILE > NEW.
1. DRAWING (The head)
Note that you can work using regular view (viewing colors, stokes, fills etc) or with basic outline. You can switch back and forth from one mode to another by going to view > outline (CTRL + Y or Apple + Y for the hipsters). See example below:
Since the Bape cartoon you want to design is symetrically the same if split in half, you’ll only need to draw half of your character. So start by going to VIEW > SHOW RULERS (CTRL + R or APPLE + R). You should see a ruler appear on the left side and top of your art board. Click on the left vertical ruler and drag it on to your drawing area to create a “vertical guide” (see image below).
1.2 Shapes / anchor points / cursors
Now what you have your vertical guide you’re going to want to start making rounded guides or “basic forms” to get your cartoon started. Start by making a circle for the face using the “Ellipse Tool”. Place that circle in the middle of your vertical guide. Now select the white cursor to select anchor points and select the right half of your circle (note that the black cursor would select the entire shape) and delete it so you only have half of your ellipse.
Select the “add anchor point tool” and click on your rounded line to add anchor points, then take the white cursor to select points to drag them or select its anchor to change its curve (see images below).
1.3 Reflect tool
When you’re satisfied with the half of a shape you just made, select it using the black cursor, once selected take the “reflect tool”, hold ALT and left click on your vertical guide. An option box will open, you’ll want to select reflect using the “vertical” axis + copy (see image below).
1.4 Average paths and joining paths
Now this may seem a bit complicated, but what you need to do is take the two shapes you have and merge them together to make only one shape (one path). To do so you need to select the 2 top end points situated where you vertical guide is and average them out by going to object > path > average. Then click on object > path > join. You’ll then need to repeat those steps with the 2 end points and the bottom of your lines. It’s important to learn how to do this to make designs always perfectly symmetrical (see image below).
1.5 Colors and strokes
You can choose the inside color of your shape as well as the stoke color and stroke width by selecting it with a cursor and changing the desired field (see image below). If the stroke tab does not show you need to click on the window tab > strokes, the strokes window will show up.
1.6 Drawing with arrangements (arrange send to back or bring to front)
Now draw half of your face using circles for the eyes and use the pen tool to make the eyebrows and the mouth. Change the eyebrows, nose and mouth thickness by tweaking the weight in the stroke window. Once you’re done, copy flip what you just drew using the reflect tool on the vertical axis. Your face should look something like this:
Now draw the hair using the ellipse tool, you can make a perfect circle holding shift on your keyboard if you want. The shape should come in front of your face and cover your whole artwork, so what you want to do is select your circle, right click on it, go to arrange > send to back. This will put the shape behind the face you already drew (see example below).
Still using the ellipse tool, make an ellipse and modify it using the white cursor to make a shape that looks like an ear. Once again, you only want to draw one and then flip that one off the vertical axis to make the other one (see image below).
Now just draw the rest of the hair the way you like using the pen tool. You might need to send elements behind or forward to get the desired look. Keep in mind that most your strokes should have the same width so that the whole avatar has a harmonious look.
You should be done with the head and hopefully it’ll look something like this:
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