This week, we're going to be make another fun filled cartoon version of ourselves, but from a 3/4 angle!
In the 3/4 view we see BOTH eyes (so we will need to double the effort on our blinks) and also the full mouth, which means we have an exciting opportunity to give our character more facial detail. Just in time for the upcoming lip sync tutorial! You should feel comfortable with the Adobe Illustrator techniques we use in this tutorial if you completed the profile view from last week. If you did not complete the profile view, you may want to revisit that tutorial as we will be working with the same basic body components.
Alright, lets get started!
Step 1: Open Document
Open Adobe Illustrator and go to File -> Open. Navigate to your Mini Me Profile document and click Open.
Now since we don’t want to save over the original file, the first thing we’re going to do is go to File -> Save As. Once there, we’re going to save our file with a different name, such as MiniMe3Qview.
Step 2: do we REALY need everything?
No, we are going to isolate on the layers we are going to edit/move. Go ahead and turn off the visibility on all layers except the torso, arms, legs, and feet.
Step 3: Adjusting Arms and Legs
Since our character will be at a different angle we need to adjust his arms and legs to look like they’re at the ¾ view instead of right on top of each other as they are in the profile view. Click the little circle to the right of the intended layer to grab all paths on that layer.
Different angle means different head shape, but it’s easier this time because it’s just a circle! Go ahead and reveal the Head layer. Use the Ellipse tool and draw right over the top of the profile head shape. Remember you can hold down Shift to make it a perfect circle and then Alt to draw it from the middle. Your character’s head shape should look a little something like the picture below.
When that’s done, click on the chin of the profile view and hit delete, we will not need that shape anymore.
UH OH! We need his ear, and nose! Click on the head shape you just drew with the Selection Tool (V) and go to Object -> Arrange -> Send to Back (Ctrl+Shift+[) There they are! Go ahead and select the hair with the Selection Tool (V) and delete it, because we are going to redraw the hair.
We’ll need to move the nose to line up with the ¾ view, but first we need to make sure it has an outline so we can see it once moved! Select the nose with the Selection Tool (V) and change the stroke color to # E3B78A. Now we can move it to the left to line up where the middle of the face is.
Now we need to move the ear back, close to the back of the head so he looks more turned.
Let’s go ahead and reconstruct his hairline. Draw with the Pencil Tool (N) and keep the same color from before: # 481A02
Step 5: Mouth and Goatee
Turn on the Goatee layer and delete the goatee. Use the pencil tool to draw the goatee on the face. If your character has facial hair, make sure it is centered under the nose as shown below.
Next, turn on the Mouth layer and rename it Mouth-Closed (you’ll see why in just a little bit). Delete the mouth that is there and redraw it within your facial hair. If you character does NOT have facial hair, just make sure it is centered with the nose.
Step 6: Hat
Turn on the Hat layer. Use the Pencil Tool (N) and draw the hat the way we did for the profile view. Once the hat is drawn you can always go back in and make small creases or accents on the hat.
Step 7: Eyes
Ok, now we’re ready to start working on the eyes…we can actually use the same eye we have for his right eye. What we’re going to do is turn on the visibility for not just the Eye_R layer, but also all of the eyelids and Eye-closed layers. You can’t see them because they are hidden on the face. We need to select them to move them all together so click on the little circle to the left of the layer name and then shift/click on the rest of the layers’ circles.
Now you can move them to the left to make sure they are lined up. Use your selection tool OR just tap on the left arrow on the keyboard. It helps to turn off the eyelids individually to see the eye in order to make sure it is placed in the best position possible. If it is NOT, make sure you are selecting ALL the eyelids and the eye layer as instructed above.
Just to make sure you have the correct naming system, make sure you are changing the names of the eyelids to UpperLid-R-01, etc…
Now instead of having to try to make the other eye exactly the same, what we can do is in the layers palette, click on the eye layer then shift/click on the EyeClosed layer. They should all be highlighted as shown below.
What you want to do is select all those layers, as we had before by clicking on the little circle to the right of the layer name. Using your right arrow on your keyboard, move the eye and all corresponding eyelids to the right so it is lined up where it needs to be.
Once you have it lined up you’re going to need to make sure you go through and rename all the layers. Instead of having “R” in it, we need to change it to “L” to signify that this is the left eye we’re dealing with.
There you have his eyes!
Step 8: Eyebrows
Go ahead and turn on the Eyebrow layer. Select the eyebrow using your Selection Tool (V) and move the eyebrow to the left to where it is over the right eye and rename it Eyebrow_R.
Now we need to make the other eyebrow. While the Eyebrow_R is still selected double click on the reflect tool. We’re going to do a vertical reflect. Then instead of hitting OK, click on Copy. Now you have another eyebrow, but it’s on the wrong layer.
Create a new layer and name it Eyebrow_L. As we’ve done in the past, we’re going to select the left eyebrow with the Selection Tool (V), and click and drag that little colored box (to the right of the layer name) to the correct layer.
Step 9: Mouth positions
Here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. We want our character to talk!
The best place to start would be to go ahead and make a new layer for each mouth position and label them accordingly.
In most cases, 7-8 mouth positions will work just fine. These mouth positions can be used over and over in different phonetic situations. We label them in a very specific way to help us keep track of the various sounds they represent. So, let’s begin with the Mouth-MBP layer. This is very similar to the resting mouth we have already. Add a little bottom lip if you’d like. Feel free to use either the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N).
I know what you’re thinking…this doesn’t look right! How do I fill in his mouth and tongue with reds?? Well, just press on and all will be revealed! Select all your lines that you’ve drawn by clicking on the little circle to the right of the Mouth-AH layer. Once that’s done, we’re going to go up to Object -> Path -> Outline Stroke.
Use your Rectangle Tool (M) and let’s make a rectangle with fill on, but no stroke. Select everything on the layer by using that little circle to the right of the layer name. It is IMPERATIVE that the rectangle is LARGER than the whole mouth.
Open your Pathfinder Palette (Window -> Pathfinder) and click on Divide.
Since we know that the Pathfinder tool always groups our selection we need to make sure we Ungroup it (either Object -> Ungroup, or Ctrl + Shift + G). Now that that’s done, use your selection tool (v) to select the outside rectangle and delete that.
We have some cleaning up to do with the Pathfinder and the good ol’ delete tool. Select all the “outside” pieces and delete them (they are shown selected).
We need to make the outline of the mouth one shape. Click on the outside lining of the mouth and click Unite in the Pathfinder palette.
You can continue to do this with all the parts that should be separate shapes as shown below...
Now, it’s time to color it in. Select the inside of the mouth and change its fill to # 790102, then change the tongue to #9A0000, and the teeth should be #F7F7F7 (not solid white), then the outline of the tongue to # 5B0307.
Using the same method create the remaining mouth shapes as follows
Alright, you have a 3/4 view character with eyes and mouths to animate! Next tutorial, we make him blink and talk!
'Til next time, stay focused.