Design amazing mosaic effects in Illustrator and Photoshop

This tutorial shows how to create a cool look using Illustrator’s Symbols and Global Colors.

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11. Continue building up the facial shapes. Squint a little and step back from your screen occasionally to check your progress. This does take trial and error, but the finished result will be worth the effort.

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12. Unlock all layers except the placed image, and then scrutinize the image carefully to see if there are any areas that need improvement. You can also adjust your global swatches by double-clicking their thumbnails to make any necessary modifications — after accepting the changes, you’ll notice all the swatch-coloured objects in your illustration update automatically.

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13. The great thing about using symbol instances, apart from greatly reducing Illustrator’s file sizes, is they can be globally modified too. To do this, drag a symbol onto the artboard, then click the Break Link icon in the Symbols palette and modify it (I used the Bloat tool), then use the pop-out menu in the symbols palette to select Redefine Symbol. Now every occurrence of that symbol is updated.

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14. Now target your ‘Background’ layer and check the button next to the layer thumbnail to select all the layer content. Now set the blending mode to Hard Light. Repeat this on the ‘Hair’ and ‘Skin Layer’ and you’re done. If you want to make your illustration fully vector-based, you could always perform a Live Trace on the placed image.

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Mark Mayers

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