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Vector hair
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5.2 Modern Long Hair: Rendering the Hair

Hey all, welcome back to Creative Vector Hair on Tuts+. My name is Sharon Milne, and in this lesson, I'm going to show you how to render our long hair with a shaven undercut outside. I'm gonna start by creating a new layer above the top hair base, but below the hair sketch. I'll be starting by drawing the guide strokes of the hair, but need the sketch to determine the direction of the hair, especially around the hairline where it meets the shaven area. With the pan tool, I draw some initial strokes which define the key areas on top of the hair. These being the cowlick areas, and where the hair and the shaven area meet. This will then allow me to see the bend in the hair on top so I can draw the curves of the hair with the less time consuming paintbrush tool. These strokes, and more, are done with the tapered brush, and I'll set to blend mode screen opacity to 50%. I then begin adding some guide strokes. Not as freely as I usually would, as I want to maintain some sort of order with the curves on the bends in the hair. I start adding guide hair to the side, technically on the back of the hair. Now here lies the challenge which we're presented with. Bishops are great, as they help us with the general look of the composition, where things need to be. They're used to put under shapes where we may have several shapes of lower opacities on top. They can also be used to help create clipping masks, when you needing to restrict the area where your shapes will be. This later point is relevant when creating hair in a speedy fashion. If you can contain the strokes in an area, you don't have to be as careful around the edges. We're using a tapered brush. The tapered brush gives the impression that the hair's gradually coming into the highlight or the shadow, depending on the placement. This is great when you're creating hair texture, and hair coming away from the hairline, when you want a gradual layering of hair. However, there are instances where the hair is overlapping each other and a more blunt end is required as a tapered end when you create a realistic appearance. For example, if we look at our current design, the hair from the bang or the fringe created by the cowlick overlaps onto the hair at the back. This would definitely require the hair underneath to have blunt edges. This is also the case where the hair meets the ear on the right hand side. So we need to split the bases up. So we have something to define the blunt edges on the fringe or the bang area and something we can use as a clipping mask for the rest of the hair. I use the rectangle tool to draw over half of the top hair base. Then with both selected, I use pathfinder divide, to split up the shape. I now have a section for the cowlick, and one for the rest of the top of the hair. I'm going to then go into the portrait base, and use a duplicate of the skin base, as well as the bald area, to then deduct from the hair from the back base shape. So, this new shape won't overlap on the areas of the skin. I bring this shape up to the top layer, because it shouldn't be overlapping on the skin. However, what it does do is overlap beyond where the hairline should be. So, I can't use Pathfinder Unite on it, right now. I need to go in with the direct selection tool to modify the shape, so it doesn't disrupt our original shape on top with the jagged hairline. I then combine the shape, the shape for the right half of the top of the hair, together using Pathfinder Unite. I then select the cowlick shape and give it a darker color so I can see where one shape ends and one starts. The theory is that any hair created for under the cowlick that doesn't creep over the cowlick shape will be created in one layer and any hair to go on top of the cowlick shape will go in the other shape. This will create a blunt edge for under the cowlick. With the bases now changed, I'm going to continue creating guide strokes at blending mode screen, opacity 50% for the hair which doesn't include the cowlick. Notice that these strands are overlapping the ear on the right. I've noticed that the cowlick base isn't part of the rest of the base. So, I'm just going to duplicate it and then Pathfinder Unite it. This is so I have a base which covers the entire hair area. And then continue adding more and more strokes to the entire base, and the base of the overlap. I place the cowlick base over the top of the strokes just created and then begin adding strokes which would cover the cowlick area. It's okay for these strokes to continue into the rest of the hair. I've changed the fill for this area to the same of the rest of the hair so I can get a better view Go back into the layer which contains the strokes for the non-cowlick at region and select the strokes and group them together. Then using the duplicate of the hair base created a clipping mask. This will create blunt edges for around the ear. I begin adding more structured strokes to the hair to show shine and highlights. The first series of strokes are with the same settings as before, but just in the cowlick area. It's okay for the strokes from this area to overlap into the other hair base area, because these strokes won't be contained within a clipping mask. Therefore, you won't get a blunt edge where the cowlick area meets the rest of the hair. As I've kept on adding strokes I felt the opacity setting was a bit too bright. So I select one hair and then go to Select, Same Appearance. This selects all the hair strokes in the document. Then I can change the opacity to 30% while still keeping the blender mode at screen Then it's back to adding more strokes with this new setting of the hair. So you can keep on adding strokes to the cowlick area on the right side of the portrait. However, it's not until you need to add strokes to the area where the hair meets the blunt edge of the cowlick or the ear that you need to add hairs to the other area. Remember when you work in this area to group together the strokes, and then add it to the clipping mask. Then I'm back to adding more of the blending mode screen, opacity 30% strokes. It's a lot of hair to render and add highlights to. As the strokes overlap, they create organic looking peaks in the hair. When you're done, group strokes together. I purposely chose this color hair for this project as it's in the middle. It's near the dark no light hair. Perhaps a mousy brown. So it's not treated the same way as blonde where you'd mainly add shadows rather than the hair lights. Or, dark brown black hair weighed mainly at highlights rather than shadows. You're more middle of the road with this one and you have to balance out the amount of highlights and shadows. After I finished with the initial strokes of the hair, which I'll usually either in shadow or highlight, I like to add highlight and gradients to the hair to emphasize the shine. So I'm going to create a transparent radial gradient and add it to the peaks of the hair. I use the gradient tool to modify the ratios of the gradient. Then I set it to blender mode screen, remember any gradients at the back of the hair to add to the clipping mask file. Let's add some shadow to the hair now with the transparent radial gradients. I'm going to duplicate the base for the overall hair, and I'll be using the appearance panel here to add multiple fills. Now keep in mind that these gradients will be for the hair underneath the cowlick. I'm adding gradients set to blend and mode multiply, opacity 50% to underneath the cowlick, underneath the ear, behind the shoulders and along the hairline and parting. Then using the same gradient, I add shadow underneath the bend, above the cowlick area within the new shape. Now I'm going to add more shine to the hair. I'll be using two point strokes set to blend mode color dodge and opacity 15%. Remember to group them once done. Color burn strokes set to 10% opacity are then added to the parting, the hair line, and bend in the cowlick to create a softer hair line and to play with the shadows at the root. These are then grouped. Then I go back into the layer below the cowlick to add the same setting strokes behind the cowlick to create that blunt edge. I continue with the same settings to add shadow strokes around the ear, the shoulders, and outside of the overall area. These are then grouped and then added to the clipping mask. Time to add some movement and fly away hairs to the style. I do this with a tapered brush set to blender mode normal, opacity 70%. Create these hairs all over the hair but remember to follow the direction the rest of the hair is flowing to create a more natural look. It's time to render the shaven hair. Make the sketch visible so you can see the region you need to draw the strokes within the create a new layer on top of the bald layer. Using the paintbrush tool and the tapered brush with the stroke weight of 0.25 points, I begin adding the strokes around the hairline first. These are set to blend in mode multiply. As I've set the boundary now with the initial strokes with the bald patch to the hairline, it's time to start filling in these short strokes. I change the opacity to 70%, and keep on filling in the hair where I can. Don't worry if you've not got complete coverage, as the skin should be showing underneath. When you're done group them up. Using a highlighting gradient I added blending mode screen opacity 30% to transparent radial gradient to the side of the head. This will help to show shine in the hair and on the skin. I then use a shadow gradient set to blending mode multiply, opacity 30% to the roots and the hairline. And with this, I'm done. It's a bit of a complex task, but well worth it when it's done. You've learned several different techniques in this lesson to take away to apply to future projects. Next time on Creative Vector Hair, I'll be showing you some variations of this style. So thanks for listening.

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