Too much manipulation makes an image unrealistic. Hence many editors use the pen tool to make then look authentic. But how do they use it effectively?
Vector images can look seemingly real or fake depending on how the pen tool is used
by the editor. Practice makes one perfect. So is the case with the use of this tool. It is easy to make sharp logos and illustrations for architectural drawings and even humanoids. But when it comes to real people, the right use makes all the difference. It can be considered a tad complicated even amongst the artist community. It takes talent and dexterity to get it right. Mastering simple strokes and curves make a big difference in the final rendering of the output. A good graphics artist should know how to use the pen tool commendably for realistic results.
There are many considerations that must be while using pen tool to edit images and remove the imperfections. Aspects like smooth flowing outlines and consistency of these strokes contribute in differentiating an amateur from a professional. When done by someone with a great skill set then the image will look more life-like. What truly matters in making the image real is looking into the small thing. One must look into the evenness of the lines, the identification and use of the appropriate colors and their percentage, adjusting perspective or angles, highlights of edges, correct reflections and shadows for the elements in the frame with relation to the light source…well, there are truly many fine things to get a grip of.
Any sort of lack of consideration will tarnish the authenticity of an image. The pen tool gives smooth lines, which are actually essential for realistic pictures. But there is a catch in this - if the lines are too smooth, some images may appear unreal! For this good referencing must be done so that the strokes can match the same and not always appear rigid and even. If there is some motion to be depicted then obviously the style of strokes will change.
Another cool facet of the pen tool applications is Live Tracing. This is helpful as part of exercises of a pen tool as it enables quick vectorization by creating lines, points, shapes along the outlines. With the inclusion of anchor points these images are scalable. In other words one can increase the height or width as the images are not made of pixels like rasters but are of vector form. They can be adjusted due to these flexible anchor points. They can be saved as EPS or AI formats which are of great use across platforms – from motion graphics, to animation to different types of artwork. Thus, the pen tool has tremendous impact on graphic design. Adobe Illustrator is one of the best software programs for the same. There are others too like Corel Draw, InDesign that have decent pen tools. It can be creative and flexible, if in the right hands. Photo editing companies’ have specialized editors who know how to use the pen tool to make images more realistic. A lot has changed since the good old days when the pen was something that you wrote with in school!