Product Illustration

Project Goals

The goal was to re-create a mechanical man-made object in Illustrator as realistically as possible.
This was to test our skills that we learned in Illustration MDIA 2166 during term 2.

Step 1: image selection

My first step was to do my research and brainstorm about what object I wanted to create the illustration of. This step was crucial as the mechanical object needed to be complex enough to challenge my skills yet simple enough to be re-created within realistic expectations.

So I ended up settling down for one of my home theatre speakers and its controller. These objects had complex enough shapes, shadows, textures, gradients that my teacher approved.

step 2: tracing the objects

My next step was to trace these objects using the photos that I had gathered. This was the most challenging part of the project because while the objects may have contained shapes simple enough to be traced using shapes or the pen tool in Illustrator, their detailing such as shadows or textures or reflections were certainly not.

While tracing the objects, I also had to keep in mind how I’d be applying my colors, gradients, and shadows. Textures could be easily added on later and masked but reflections and shadows had their own shapes and tracings which would be layered on top of the shapes or tracings that make the base structure of the objects.

traced image of a speaker and remote

step 3: adding color & gradients

After successfully tracing the objects it was time to start adding colors and gradients. The challenge here was to re-create their colors in the most accurate way possible.
With that, I started to color the base of the objects, applied gradients to re-create reflections or depth, contour, and shadows that give these objects the realistic look and feel.

This wasn’t as challenging as creating these objects was but rather time-consuming because there was a lot of trial and error involved.

speaker and remote illustration in Illustrator

final step : object detailing

This process involved the creation of smaller shapes that make up the reflections, the shadows, textures, the logo, etc. These subtle add-ons certainly gave the objects their realistic look and
by the time I was finished, I must have had at least a couple of hundred shapes and tracings that made up the whole objects.

After settling down on the detailing, I was ready to finalize the project, and to further improve the image, I created a simple background for these objects to sit on and introduced general shadows and light and completed the composition, and finalized the project per the teacher’s requirements.

speaker and remote