Even Giant Space Dogs Need Toys

Dog Toys from EGCOSH.com

Or: Creating a grainy shadow in Adobe Illustrator.

I’ve been playing around with a new (to me) shading technique in Illustrator, using a transparent bitmap of contrasting colour to add depth. It’s explained pretty well by Don Clarke of Invisible Creature here.

Took me a few goes to get exactly right, as I’m less familiar with Photoshop, and he doesn’t go into much detail about that bit. I ended up creating a black > white gradient on a blank canvas, with a pretty sharp gradient (16% transition). Then going to Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone.

Getting the output format right is critical. Go to Image > Mode > Greyscale to remove all the colour. And then go to Image > Mode > Bitmap, before saving it out as a TIFF file (not saving it as a copy).

The shading brought the dog to life so much, that i then couldn’t resist giffing it. It’s now its own little piece of flash fiction. Strange, lonely games while lost in space, and only the people in your head for company.