Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

Class Project 07 - How to create a Duotone image effect in Adobe Illustrator CC (Create your own Duotone image)

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this tutorial we're going to create this Duo Tone effect in Adobe Illustrator. Plus we'll do kind of a Half Tone option over here as well. Transforming this image into these guys. Now this is not an official Duo Tone that you're going to create separations and send them off to your commercial printer. It's more like the effect of Duo Tone. All right, let's go and learn how to do that now in Illustrator. 

First up, open up ''. You don't need to use this file but if you want to, it's in your exercise files. Why? Because it's got a pink background, and I've got some sneaky text over there. You might not have these fonts so I've got two versions. An outline version, and a one that has the fonts that you can go and modify to your own font. The one thing with this one, let's go and make sure our document's on RGB. Some of the things we're going to do requires to be RGB. If yours isn't, go to 'File', 'New', and just make sure it's RGB or over here, 'File', 'Document Color', and just make sure it's in 'RGB'. Let's bring in our image, so 'Command-Shift-P' for 'File', 'Place'. There's one in there called-- I've got two options there. We're going to bring this JPEG in, it's called The Cathedral of Holy Trinity. It's an amazing church here in Ireland, in Waterford. It just looks amazing, that's the main point, that I've used it. 

So I'm going to bring it in. And I'm going to drag it out, and we're going to start working. Now, I could carry on with this, my problem is I want the sky to be in it. You saw that in the first version, in the intro, it didn't have a sky in it. So often I want to trim all the stuff back. To do it-- Illustrator just doesn't do it. It's Photoshop's job, so I'm going to jump into Photoshop real quick and just show you how to quickly remove, say this guy. So I've got it open here, I'm going to use this tool here. He's the magic tool, the Quick Selection Tool. If you haven't used him for a long time, he's gone amazing over the years. Watch this, I'm going to click and drag this guy. Amazingly it's got most of the sky. A few little issues, but nothing that's going to hurt my job. 

All you need to do is click on this option here that says 'Make Layer Mask'. Problem is, I've got the wrong thing selected. So all I need to do is, before I click that button, go to 'Select', 'Inverse', now I've clicked on this guy. Awesome! Now I'm just going to save him. Save him as a PSD. And I'm going to add the '- No Sky' which I've already done, so I'm going to close him down, and 'Don't Save'. You might just tidy up an image a little bit in Photoshop. And because we're going to destroy this so much you don't have to be totally special about it. So, now we're going to go to 'File', 'Place'. Illustrator is pretty good in bringing in PSDs. There's no reason to save it out to a PNG, or anything. I'm going to bring him in, and make him the right size. It goes edge to edge. I got it, drag him down the bottom.

First thing I need to do is convert him into kind of a vector shape. Kind of gives us that kind of printing look. So with it selected, we're going to go over here that says 'Image Trace'. It's up there as well. I'm going to click on it. And the option I want in this case-- you might play around with a few different ones. I find it looks good just converting it to 'Shades of Gray' because Duo Tone's just two colors, right? So I'm going to use the color of the background and a color for the cathedral. 

So I just want it to be black and white. Then we're going to recolor it once it's finished its little thing. We're nearly there, right? We need to-- it's quite cool already. I need to get rid of the background, the background just appeared again. So to get rid of it, grab the 'White Arrow'. This doesn't have clouds in it, I'm going to click off in the background. 'White Arrow', click on it, this guy, and just hit 'Delete'. Going too bad, undo. Before I do any of that, I need to hit the 'Expand' button. It's along the top here. Can't forget that. Then, with the White Arrow, click off in the background. Click on this guy, hit 'Delete'. So the sky is gone, it's all kind of lovely vector. If I go to Wireframe mode, it's really complex. 

Next thing I want to do is recolor. We did recoloring in an earlier video. Same principle works here, 'Black Arrow', click on this guy. Then I go to 'Edit', 'Edit Colors', I'm going to go to 'Recolor Artwork'. Actually I'm going to jump to these presets. This is the exact same thing, except it's going to save some time. I'm going to say, I want 'Color Job', please. If I move it up, says, this, click 'OK'. What we want to do is we want to change all of these gray colors to the new color, which is-- which color? I'm going to double click on this and pick a color. What color do I want? I kind of want a purple-y color. What you might find is that it didn't quite do it. Grab the 'Saturation' down here, I find it's easier. Grab this guy, drag this up a little bit. Darken it down. I'm messing about too much now. I'm really fond of purple. 

So once you've got your colors, let's click 'OK'. Now what we need to do is get rid of the white. You could do this, we saw in Duo Tone. Using the white of the paper, and these two colors, but it kind of looks nicer if I start playing with my Blending Modes. Now because of all this detail here it's really hard to actually see. The shortcut for getting rid of all those lines is, that's right, 'Command H'. We'll turn it back on later on but for the moment, just turning it off, still there, but at least I can see what I'm doing. And over here I'll just kind of work my way through. Kind of darkened, it's kind of quite cool. Click and drags from the background here. Just work your way through now and figure out which one gives you the effect you were looking for. I'm going to jump back to 'Darken', it gives me that kind of traditional Duo Tone look. 

Last thing we will do is just bring in that text. So I'm going to zoom out, here he is over here, I'm going to grab these two guys. I laid this out already, if you hate the layout you can go and adjust it. One thing I might do though is I need to be in front. So I'm going to 'Arrange', and 'Bring to Front'. Cool! One little thing we'll do. You saw at the beginning, that Half Tone look. So I'm going to grab my 'Artboard Tool'. I'll hold down the 'Alt' key on a PC, 'Option' key on a Mac. And what I'll do is, I'll select this, and under 'Effect', under 'Pixelate' and 'Color Halftone', looks quite cool. You might have to undo, come back to this quite a bit, there's no Preview, click 'OK'. It's going to give me the kind of effect I want. You might play around with it, gives it kind of old school newspaper, really exaggerated it a bit, but yes, it's kind of cool little exercise. 

Now that's the exercise we've done together. Now it's time for your exercise. So there's homework for this one. What I'd like you to do is find a monument in your town. Doesn't have to be a cathedral, it can be anything, I'd like to see it. So find something online, quick and easy. Find something in your local town, kind of a significant building. It could be anything, could be your dog, I'm happy with your dog. But I'd like you to play around with both different colors, different fonts, and play around with this kind of Duo Tone look. And I'd like you to send me copies of it. So here's the website here to post your projects, or you can send it to me, but, actually, and send it to me. Send it to me on Twitter, I'm danlovesadobe, and on Instagram, on bringyourownlaptop. I'd love to see what you're doing. And I'd love to see a little bit about your town. All right, that's going to be it for our tutorial. See you in the next one.