Vector Art Tutorial
on Transparency

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In this vector art tutorial, I will show you how to use a simple tool like the one to create transparency on a single character. This effect is simple and very effective when used properly!

You can create simple illusions like a sense of depth, fog or just seeing a character that simply disappears! When combined with other tools, transparency really adds a nice touch to any cartoon drawing!

However, like any other tools, there are some tricks that you need to avoid if you don't want to create a drawing that doesn't seem relevant or realistic!

Note: This tutorial was made using Xara vector software. Some effects might not be available in your software.

Examples #1

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Here, these four characters are simply done using a different value of transparency. Nothing complicated, just the basics!

Examples #2

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Of course, you can always play with the transparency tool and add various effects to it! The first two images are created with a tool similar to the gradient one. However, instead of using two colors, you simply go from a solid object to an invisible one.

The last two characters are made with this same tool, but this time, instead of using a straight line to create the effect, a circle and an oval shape are used. Once again, these are nice effects, but they are not relevant with our picture so far!

Examples #3

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In this image, a simple step-by-step fog effect is created using the transparency tool. Like you can see, you can create transparency using almost any shape and coming from any directions!

Examples #4

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So far, the effects were fun and great! However, when a background is placed behind the character, the transparency tool becomes suddenly harder to handle!

A transparent goat in the middle of nowhere doesn't create a very realistic cartoon image! You need to be smarter to create something original and credible!

Examples #5

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Here, both images are already more interesting! The first one is suggesting that the goat is standing in a field filled with high grass. The second one is a simple perspective effect done with transparency.

The goat on the back does seem to be further since it is less visible for the human eye! Using transparency can be quite fun! I hope that this vector art tutorial was fun and informative! Good luck with your drawings!


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