Turn sketches and photographs into vector shapes and use them in your Adobe Illustrator Draw artwork.

Follow New York illustrator Jing Wei, as she uses Adobe Capture CC and Adobe Illustrator Draw on her Android phone to turn objects in photos into vector graphics. Using this technique, she can create an infinite assortment of assets.

First, install Draw and Capture on your mobile phone. Then, follow this tutorial with the sample images provided through Creative Cloud Libraries, or use your own creative assets.

Illustrator Draw

Copy sample assets to your Creative Cloud Library

Go to your Creative Cloud account and sign in to save the sample assets to your library. Get an Adobe ID if you don't have one.

To use sample assets, go to the Draw and Capture Library. Click Save to Creative Cloud to copy the assets to your Creative Cloud Library.

Note: The screenshots and instructions in this tutorial show Draw and Capture on an Android phone. The user interface may vary between iPad, iPad Pro, iPhone, and Android devices.  

Illustrator Draw

Name your project

Open Draw on your mobile phone.

Sign in to the app with your Adobe ID, or create an Adobe ID for free.

Tap the plus (+) button to start a new project. By default, a new project has five canvases. Tap the three vertical dots and select Rename Project. Name your project Dog In Bag.  

Tap a canvas to begin your illustration.

Illustrator Draw

Capture a shape

Tap the Shapes icon to be taken to Capture CC (1).

Tap the plus (+) button (2).

Tap the Capture From icon (3) at the bottom of the screen to browse to your images. To retrieve your saved Creative Cloud Library assets, select Creative Cloud (4), and from the down arrow next to My Assets (5) tap My Libraries > Draw and Capture (6).

Tap the sketch of the dog, IMG_0001, and tap Open.


Add an image to trace

Convert the sketch into a vector shape

Capture CC transforms Jing Wei's pencil drawing to a vector shape that you can resize without losing sharpness.

Drag the slider handle left or right, to capture more or less detail in the shape. Tap the Capture button (camera icon) to capture the image.

If necessary, refine your shape by selecting Remove from Shape or Keep in Shape. Drag your finger over the details you want to remove or keep depending on the option you choose.

Tap the arrow. Capture will take a moment to convert your shape into a vector. When complete, it will automatically import the vector shape into Draw.

Add an image from Adobe Stock

Position your shape in Draw

Use the Touch Slide tool (two orange positioning handles), to move your shape  to the center of the canvas. To enlarge the image, use two fingers to pinch “out.”  

Double-tap the basic round brush. Tap the color icon and change the color to black by moving the slider below the color wheel to the far left. Tap the checkmark to return to the canvas. 

Double-tap inside the dog shape to stamp it onto the canvas with the color you chose (black). Tap the X to dismiss the Touch Slide tool. Once you dismiss the Touch Slide tool, you can no longer adjust the shape.

Add an image from Adobe Stock

Add color to your illustration

You can press and hold on any enclosed area of your shape to fill it with the currently selected color.

With the rounded brush color still black, press and hold inside the dog's ear to fill it with black.

Repeat this process of choosing a color, and pressing and holding inside an enclosed part of your shape to fill an area with color. Change the rounded brush color to green, and then press and hold inside the tote bag to change the tote bag color to green. Repeat this step to change the dog’s head color to white. 

If you make a mistake, select the Eraser tool, and press and hold an enclosed area to remove the color fill for that area.  

Tip: Tap the Full Screen icon to see your entire illustration without menus. Use pinch gestures to zoom up to 64x and out.  

Draw freehand

Add a new layer to your illustration

Tap the Layers icon and then tap the plus (+) icon to create a new draw layer.

Tap the three vertical dots on the layer to name the layer tote texture.

Tap the rounded brush tool and select a slightly darker shade of the green tote bag color.

Draw freehand

Turn a photo of grass into a vector shape 

To use the grass as a vector shape, tap the Shapes icon to go from Draw to Capture.

Tap the plus (+) button to enter camera mode.

Select the Creative Cloud > My Assets > My libraries > Draw and Capture, and select IMG_0002. Or, take a photo of grass instead of using the sample asset.

Tap the Capture button (camera icon).

Capture will take a moment to convert your shape into a vector. When complete, it will automatically import the vector shape into Draw.



Place, color, and edit the vector shape

Place the grass vector shape on top of the tote bag.  

Use the Touch Slide tool to pinch out the grass vector shape to enlarge and drag it, placing it on top of the bag.

Double-tap the grass vector graphic to apply the darker green color selected in Step 7. Tap the X to stamp your shape onto the canvas and dismiss the Touch Slide tool for the grass shape. Exit the full screen view.

Double-tap the Eraser tool, press Size, and drag your finger up until you reach the maximum size. Erase the grass from everywhere but the tote bag.  

Refine your drawing

Export artwork to Illustrator CC

Download and install a free trial of Adobe Illustrator CC.

Tap the Export icon and select Illustrator CC from the  destination options to send your Draw artwork to Illustrator CC. A notification appears on your phone screen when Draw has sent the file.  

Your artwork will open automatically in Illustrator. Apply finishing touches, including refining the shapes and colors, and adding type. When complete, you can prepare the file for print or use online.

Work with multiple layers

Contributor: Jing Wei

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