advanced photoshop
Jan
30

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Advanced Photoshop Team

Create a low-poly illustration by combining Photoshop and Illustrator for pixel-perfect results

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Thanks go out to Mordi Levi for this Photoshop and Illustrator tutorial.

See more of his work at www.mordilevi.com

See Part 1 of this tutorial here.


 

Step 10: Split hairs

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

For most portraits, the hair is the challenging part. You should try to split the hair into locks, or big strands of hair. This doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to capture the direction of each strand and where it intersects with another.
 

Step 11: Making progress

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

This is a very long process so you should take a break once you get the whole image lined up into pieces. The next part is harder and this is normally the part where people give up. Take a break!
 

Step 12: Connect the lines

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Later on we will transform this grid into a Live Paint object, and any loose ends will be a problem. So, you should go over the grid you have created and connect the lines. There is no need to join them together, just put a dot on the other end so there is no gap in between them. This should not take too long.
 

Step 13: Start polying!

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Now this is the fun part. Again, start with the smaller objects like the eyes, zoom in and start creating triangles. The triangles should be created from the corners or intersections of two lines. Remember this is a really tiny part of the illustration so if the polygon gets too small just skip it. It will not show at 100%. One of the most important parts in the illustration is the light inside the iris; this will give a lot of heart to the image. Keep polying!
 

Step 14: Balance the polygons

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Start with the small parts, finish them and than move on to the big parts. This way you can connect the parts together and keep a variety of sizes. There should be a contrast in sizes, from extra-small polygons like in the eyes to big polygons in the cheeks, forehead and clothing. This makes the artwork far more interesting and diverse.
 

Step 15: Convert to Live Paint

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Congratulations! You finished the grid! The hard part is behind you. Now select the entire grid (watch that you are not selecting the background too), go to Object>Live Paint>Make. Now you can colour the grid with the Live Paint Bucket. This is where the piece comes to life.
 

Step 16: Start the colouring process

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Zoom into the eye, sample the colour from the photo with the Eyedropper tool (I) and then colour the polygon with the Live Paint Bucket tool (K). You should be jumping back and forth between the (I) key and the (K) key, sampling and colouring, one polygon at a time. DO NOT click the bucket when the cursor is on the stroke, it will colour the whole illustration. This happens sometimes and if it does, just Ctrl/Cmd+Z and move on. Use the spacebar to move around, once you let go, it will go back to the previous tool. You can toggle the background layer to see the progress made without the image in the way.
 

Step 17: Remove the outline

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

Once you are finished with the colouring process, select the artwork, go to the stroke colour on the toolbox, and select “None” to remove the stroke from the illustration. Go back to the illustration and try to find polygons that you didn’t colour. It helps to put a white background behind the illustration; if you have a lot of white polygons in it, use a black background. The contrast will make it easier for you to spot uncoloured polygons.
 

Step 18: Make it your own!

Master Low-Poly Portraits, Part 2

This is it! You have done it! Now you have an amazing low-poly Illustration. The next step is customising it! Maybe break some polygons off the edges, make parts of the grid visible, alter some colours here and there. Drop the final artwork into Photoshop and play around with it. Make it your own!