Instructables

Incredibly Easy Cigarette Smoke in Adobe Illustrator

Picture of Incredibly Easy Cigarette Smoke in Adobe Illustrator
I love Adobe Illustrator, being that I create vector art as a hobby. Recently, while vectoring a piece created by a friend of mine I found that the cigarette smoke I had started with needed at least 80% more awesome then I had originally thought. So, while figuring out how to make it, I figured I would share it with my 'ible pals as well.

This 'ible will show you how to easily make a vector object of cigarette or other light, whispy smoke.

You will need some minor experience with Adode software. (dublicating, selecting, tools, etc).

Tools:
-Adobe Illustrator CS2 or higher.
-A computer to run IA
 
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Step 1: Create your workspace

Picture of Create your workspace
Open IA and create a new, blank document. This can be any size/shape as you can copy and paste your smoke as needed to any size later (one of the HUGE advantages of vector images).
If you plan on printing this or submitting a shirt design, or really any real world media, make sure to create a CMYK document, as the colors will come out better when printed.

Step 2: Make your first "Feather".

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When making the smoke, I call the pieces "feathers" because of their rough shape. Feel free to call them what you want.
Select the Pen Tool and make a point near the top of the workspace. Hold Shift and create another point about half way or farther down the workspace.
While still holding the mouse button, let go of Shift and move your mouse to adjust the curve of your newly created line. You will see the "handle" of the curve follow your mouse with a twin handle mimicking the length and angle on the opposite side. Watch this twin handle and adjust the curve until this handle is roughly half the length of your line and slightly to one side of the line itself.

You should now have half of a feather. Congrats!

Finish the feather by clicking your original point and following the same process for the new curve.
Remove the Stroke from the object and set the fill color to something easy to see, say... gray!