Alien Abduction in Adobe – Part 2

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Feeling sheepish about your 2D asset building?  You need an alien intervention!  In the last blog we built a basic flying saucer, so now lets create an environment where our flying saucer can wreak some havoc. Lets start by building a relaxed evening hilltop scene and then prepare a few sheep for the alien invasion.  Sound good?  Here we go!

Step 1.  Sky

Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new Artboard by clicking on File>New.  Then name your background file “Sheep_background”.  Under the Size drop-down click down and select the HDTV 1080 preset.  This will setup your document for a 16:9 ratio.

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Next, Click on Open.  Your new document will have helpful guides that can be turned on and off.  For instance, Safe FramesCenter Mark,  and  Crosshairs. If you select yourArtBoard icon in the left hand tool bar these toggles will appear in the top Menu and there you can turn them on and off as you like.

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Your ArtBoard will also have a Transparent background.

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If you would like to turn this off and have a solid white background you can toggle this off using View>Hide Transparent Grid.

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Once you have set up your ArtBoard, click on the Fill swatch.  The Color Picker window will appear.  Next change the color # to #04044F for a nice dark nighttime sky blue. Click OK.

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Then click on the Rectangle Tool in the left-hand Tool Bar.   Now, draw a big box that extends past the edges of your ArtBoard.

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Go to your Layer List and rename the layer to “Sky” by double clicking on the Layer name.  Then click on the Box next to the Eye Icon to lock the layer.

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 Step 2.  Hills

Now lets create a nice layering of rolling hills.  First, make a new Layer in your Layer’s List by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of your Layer’s List panel. Then rename the new layer Hills.

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Next, click on your Fill icon and change the color of your new object’s fill to #7E9637.

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Next, click on the Stroke thumbnail just below the Fill box to bring it forward.  Click on the tiny white box below it with the red line.  This will make your new object appear without a stroke.

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Next, select the Ellipse Tool from the left-hand toolbar and draw out an ellipse for your first hill.  The ellipse tool can be found by clicking and holding down you mouse button on the Rectangular Tool icon and selecting Ellipse from the fly-out menu.

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Next create a second hill and change its color to #A0B954.  The second hill has a little different shape, so after drawing a new Ellipse, click on the Direct Selection Tool icon in your left-hand tool bar. Click and drag the vector points of the ellipse until it resembles an Egg shape.

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Then copy the 2nd hill to create the 3rd hill.  Use color #7E9637. Now, using the Direct Section Tool adjust the shape of hill #3 to have a scoop on one end.  This can be done by dragging the end of one of the Bezier handles.  The handles are projecting outwards from each vector point as you select them.

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The final hill in the foreground has a nice gentle roll.  Copy hill #3 and change the color to #D5E23C.  To get the gentle rolling effect we need to add another vector point to the new hill geometry.  With hill #4 selected, click on your Pen Tool in the left-hand tool bar and hold down the icon until the fly-out menu appears.  Then select the Pen Tool with the + sign.

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Click on the curved line below the scoop to add another point, then select your Direct Selection Tool.  Click on the new vector and drag it up and off the ArtBoard.  Make sure that it covers the intersections of hills #2 and #3.

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 Step 3.  Trees

The trees can be made with simple geometry.  Lets use rectangles for the trunks and circles for the tops.  Create a new layer and name it Trees, then select your Ellipse Tool and draw out the tree top.  Hold down you Shift key and the ellipse will become a true circle.

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Next, click on your Rectangle Tool and draw thin trunks under the trees.   Make the trees the same color as the hill.  Select your trees and tree trunks (once again the Shift key) then click on the Eye Dropper Tool in your left-hand Tool Bar.  Click on the hill you want to use as the color for your trees and Voila they all change together.

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Create more trees and color them the same color as their corresponding hill.

Step 4.  Moon

The moon has risen in the sky and to create it we use circles.  Create a new layer (name it Moon) and then draw a big circle in the sky and color it an off-white like #DBDDD9.  For the craters, add smaller circles on it surface and color them slightly darker #C0C1BF.

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Next we add a little shadow on the moon.  Select the moon sphere and make a copy.  move it to be directly ontop of the first moon.  Select your Delete Anchor Point Tool and delete the left vertex.

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Using your Anchor Point Tool, drag the left most Bezier curve leaders inwards to form a crescent on the right side on the moon.  Make the color of the crescent the same as the darker craters.

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Step 5 – Fence

The small Fence is made up of rectangles.  Create a new layer and name it Fence.  Using the Rectangle Tool draw a vertical post and color it using # E47812.

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Then rotate it to a perpendicular position to the hill.  You can hover over any of the corner until you see an arced cursor, then drag until the fence post if in position.

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Next, copy the post 4 more times and spread them out.

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Draw the horizontal part of the fence using the Rectangle Tool and rotate it until it is 90 degrees to the fence posts.

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Next, we need to put the fence behind the hill.  Go to your Layers List and select the fence objects.  Now slide them down the Layers’s List until they are under the hill #4 (the one in the foreground), but above all the other hills.

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Nice work!  You are ready to add some sheep!  Hop over to the next blog for Part 3 of “Alien Abduction using Adobe.”

See ya there,

David