How to Use Opacity Masks in Adobe Illustrator

Opacity masks offer a easy-to-edit, non-destructive way to change the transparency of your Illustrator artwork by creating shapes through which the underlying artwork is revealed and concealed.

So, when might you want to use an opacity mask?

Here are two practical examples that were adapted from questions asked on the graphic design question-and-answer site Graphic Design Stack Exchange. Continue reading “How to Use Opacity Masks in Adobe Illustrator”

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Low Poly Dog Illustration

How to Create a Low Poly Dog in Adobe Illustrator

If you’ve played 3D video games you’ll recognize low poly from its blocky appearance and lack of detail. In 3D computer graphics a polygon mesh, often composed of triangles, is used to model 3D objects. The more polygons used in the mesh, the more detail can be applied to the object.

I recently watched a video that demonstrated an easily understood process for using an image to create low poly artwork in Adobe Illustrator. While playing the video I wanted to look at written instructions, but there were none available. Watching parts of the video over and over again was slowing me down, so I ended up taking my own notes and have turned them into this tutorial. Continue reading “How to Create a Low Poly Dog in Adobe Illustrator”

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1:2 aspect ratio flag of Scotland

How to Create a Saltire Flag in Adobe Illustrator

It has nothing to do with salt, tires or salty language. A saltire is the diagonal cross used in many flag designs, including the flags of Scotland and Jamaica.

I first learned about saltires (and their use in flag designs) while searching for an simple way to divide a rectangle into matching pairs of triangles. This tutorial might not be as entertaining as Sheldon Cooper’s “Fun with Flags” videos (from The Big Bang Theory), but you’ll find out a a few flag facts and learn how to create an easily customizable saltire flag. Continue reading “How to Create a Saltire Flag in Adobe Illustrator”

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