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3.2 Create the Enchanting Cat Eyes

In this lesson, learn how you can create cat eyes by using the Appearance panel.

3.2 Create the Enchanting Cat Eyes

Hey, all, welcome back to Vector Pet Portraits, Cats. My name is Sharon Mellon and in this lesson I'm going to show you how to create the striking cat eyes for our portrait. Let's start the process by creating a new layer and naming it Eyes. I'm going to hide all the layers so I can see the original stock image and zoom into one of the eyes. I'm going to be using the blue eye as a reference since I'd rather like blue eyes on the cat. However the same process can be used for whichever colored eyes you'd like. Using the eye dropper tool, I'm going to sample the colors from the stock image to be added to my swatches panel. So I can use them to create the eye. I'm going to sample the inner eye, which is a pale warm grey. The darker grey brown from the inner eye, the pale blue from the iris, the medium and darker blue from the iris. The saturated blue from the iris. The dark blue black from the pupil. Red, pink from the waterline. And the saturated pink-brown from the corner of the eye. I'm going to set the eye's layer to Outline mode. And use the Pen tool to create the shape of the eye socket area. I do this for both eye sockets and then select them and create a compound path of the shapes. Using the Ellipse tool, I draw an even circle for one of the eyes and then use the Free Transform tool to squash the width slightly. I then fill it with a pink brown shade. I'm going to be using the Appearance panel to create the eye. So for that reason, I'm going to create just the one eye and then duplicate it for the other. I'll be zooming in to the one eye and using the other as a reference. I'd like to create a soft ring around the eyes and I do this by lowering opacities. I first reduce the opacity for the initial fill to 50%. Then I select it and go into the drill down menu and select duplicate item. This will duplicate the whole fill, including any settings applied to it, which, in this case, includes the 50% opacity. With the new fill selected, I go into the effects menu and go to path and offset path. Now a minus figure will decrease the size. Therefore I decrease the offset by -2 points. I duplicate the new fill and change the offset value to minus three points. I then remove the opacity settings and then change the fill to the palest blue. You'll see from this the soft edge to the shape created thanks to the previous two fills. I'm going to duplicate the previous fill with the pale blue and recolor it to the pupil dark blue color. I want this to be the pupil so when I came to using Offset Path, I tick the box Preview, And modify the settings until I see circle at the correct size required. In this case, it's -25 points. Pupils for cats aren't a smooth, round shape, but I'm going to need to create a cat pupil shape for this fill. I'm going to do this by manipulating the shape with Convert Shape to Rectangle, and Transform Effect > Warp Bulge. Depending on the size of the shape you're working with will depend on the specific units you input into these settings. However, from experimenting with the shapes, I can tell you that if you work out the bulge first, so it's at the bottom effect, you can convert to rectangle shape above to create the tapered pupil shape. Let's go back to the pale blue fill and duplicate it. Within this fill I'm going to create a transparent radial gradient fill with the saturated blue. I then use the gradient tool to create a glow behind the pupil. I go back to the pupil and increase the size. And, then, go back to the gradient to make it more oval shaped. So, that it's more clear the glow is coming from around the pupil. Back to the pale, blue fill and duplicate item. I'm going to decrease the offset by another two points to make it -5 points. And, then, fill this with the next light, medium blue. I then change the opacity to 30%. This is so it creates a soft edge around the pale blue fill. Then a final tweak to increase the size of the bulge on the pupil. Now it's time to create the rest of the eye. I'm going to first duplicate the compound path which was created for the eyeballs. This is because I'm going to use a clipping mask to hide the overlapping edges of the eyes. Then I duplicate the eye and move it over to the other eye socket and group them both together. I place one of the compound paths of both the eye group and create a clipping mask. With both eyes in place I can now look at them both and modify them together to create a more detailed eye. This time I'm not using the reference image underneath as a guide. Let's create more texture around the pupil. First I select both eyes. As they have exactly the same appearance panel settings. I can modify the fills together and see the changes in real time. I'm going to duplicate the pupil fill and remove the convert rectangle effect. I then alter the settings in bulge in offset path and change the fill color, so I can create a dark blue halo around the pupils. Once I'm happy with the size, I change the Blend In mode to multiply and Opacity to 10%. I duplicate this fill again twice. And decrease each fill by a further 2 points. So now, I've got one offset path at 20 then 22 and then 24. I'm going to apply roughen effect from distort and transform to each one of these dark blue halo fills. I first apply it to one of the fills to get a preview to how detailed and intense I want their effect to be and then I knock down the numbers. Then I go back into each one of the two other dark blue fills, and apply the same roughen effect settings to create this texture halo around that pupil. And modify the opacity settings to ensure the effect isn't too dominant in the eye and it's just a subtle texture. I duplicate the topmost dark blue rough and fill and then decrease the offset, so the effect is creeping from the edge of the pupil. I then change the opacity to 50%. I'm going to create an eyeball shine and cell shadow. I do this by duplicating the shape for the eyeballs. And then fill in it with the transparent radial gradient the lightest one. I then offset path the shape by -5 points. Which will create a sort of shadow around the shape so it won't have any highlight. I then set these shapes to blend in mode screen opacity 80%. Using the gradient tool, I position the source of the gradients towards the top of the eyeballs to emphasize the subtle shadow. Using the same gradient, but set to blended mode Normal, I add two gradients within circles to the eyes to create a reflection on the eye. Once I've created two shapes on one eye, I duplicate the shapes and move them over to the other eye. So the highlights are identical. I'm going to work on the eye socket shape. First, I add a four point light gray stroke around the eyes. This is set to blend in mode screen, opacity 30%. This lines the outside of the eyes. Then using a dark gray inverted radial gradient with the 0% opacity source at the bottom of the shape, I create a curved shadow over the eye socket area. Once I've modified one eye socket, I add the Appearance Panel settings to the Graphic Styles panel, so I can apply it to the other eye socket with ease. Using the arrow keys, I note the eyeballs into place so they're more even. I duplicate the eye socket shape and apply another dark gray inverted transparent gradient. I make this one stronger than the last by changing the blend in mode to multiply ad opacity 50%. This creates a deeper shape, and it now gives the impression of a rounded eyeball. After checking on the original stock image I've noticed I've not given much attention to the waterline of the eyes. So I use the fur brush we created earlier to add a red pink curved line along the bottom of the eye. This has a two point stroke weight, and it's set to blend a mode normal, opacity 30%. I use the pen tool for maximum control while creating this line to make sure it's aligned to the bottom of the eye. I use the same settings this time to blend a mode screen opacity 50% to add detail to the third eyelid in the corner of the eyes. I then add a line set to blend in mode multiply, opacity 30%. This creates the right amount of detail. I then draw a line set to blend in mode screen, opacity 50% along the bottom of the eye to give the impression that the eyes are moist, which enhances the cute factor. Time to add some subtle fur along the tops of the eyes. I first sample the settings from one of the fur strands around the face. And then use the paintbrush tool to add short strokes around the eyes. I want to soften the line for the eyes along the top. So to be sure to add enough strokes to achieve this. To finish off the eyes, I add some dots and dashes of white along the bottom of the eyes and inside. This adds to the glossy eye effect look and helps increase the cute factor. Next time on Factor Pet Portraits Cats, we're going to finish off the portrait with some finishing touches. Thanks for listening.

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