Friday, December 25, 2015

Illustration Restoration and Conversion: Pencils to Pixels


In the old days before sophisticated computer programs were available to graphic artists, we had to use "old school" techniques for illustrations and concept drawings. In the following example, I had created the original drawing using colored pencil, air marker, air brush and frisket. Once a medium was committed to vellum, it was not possible to go back. Undo hadn't been invented yet.


Concept Car Hand Drawing, colored pencil, air pen.
I had created a number of illustrations like this one as design assignments in college. These "traditional media" drawings languished in my portfolio for years fading and gathering dust until I decided to do pens to pixels" conversion, creating a clean, updated digital copy which would be immune to the effects of the physical world.

Hand-drawing restored and converted to a scalable vector graphic
This "concept car" illustration was originally done in the media I mentioned above. For this project, I reproduced the entire illustration in Adobe Illustrator. So now the original drawing, which is fading and bleeding into the paper from age, can live on in digital immorality, existing as a scalable vector-graphics computer file which can be reproduced at any size and resolution, and will never fade.
I'm The illustration is a flat 2D image created using a 2D graphics program. I could have used a 3D graphics program to create a similar image. I would create a virtual "scene", generate a computer rendering, which could be "photo-realistic. That would have been exceedingly time-consumptive, although had I used a 3D graphics program, I could have produced an infinite number of images or animations, from different angles and with a variety of lighting and environmental effects. In this case, all I wanted was a simple reproduction of the original media-on-vellum illustration.