Disney has numerous famous characters. And one of cutest disney character in my opinion is Marie Cat, from the “Aristocats” movie. In this tutorial, I'll try to show you how to do manual trace to the Marie Cat's low resolution picture source with powerful inkscape's live path effect feature. For those who are cartoonist wannabe, check this tutorial out!
The idea behind this tutorial is to trace Marie Cat's low resolution picture with bezier path in every single line we've found. Then give all the bezier paths the powerful inkscape's live path effect until match what we need. Read the rest of this post if you so curious :)
Get this marie cat's low resolution picture below first.
Then import (ctrl+i) to your inkscape working area.
Then make an ellipse, color it green, then do butterfly technique to make our “brush” in future step. Do not know what is butterfly technique yet? Check this post.
Then begin manual trace. Give every single line we've found in marie cat's head with bezier tool (b) and polish it with edit path tool (F2). Considering in the picture below, we give the right side of marie cat's face four lines. The suggestion for you: don't make a continuous line one, but make short lines. Because continuous line will affect different result than short lines in the end.
You see, in the picture below I have finished nearly all line I've found in the marie cat's head. And I give every single line with different color to make sure that none of them continuous one.
This is the main part in this tutorial. Copy the “brush” shape, then open the live path effect dialog (ctrl+shift+7). Pick one of the short lines, give it “pattern along path” effect then apply. Then click the paste path icon to make the “brush” go along the short line. If you think that the shape too much thick, then set the “width” lower to make the shape thinner.
Then repeat the step in every single line like this..
And the picture below shows us when the “pattern along path” effect already applied to all lines
Then, we must do union command (ctrl++) to make them a single complicated shape. I give it red fill because red color always easy to grab our sight. After that, drag it to the right direction.
Coloring step. Duplicate (ctrl+d) our complicated shape first, then color it yellow. Then break apart that yellow shape (ctrl+shift+k). After the yellow shape has broken into pieces, then we can start coloring. And don't forget to remove every unnecessary shapes.
(hint: set the opacity of duplicated yellow shape to 50% before break it apart. With this way we can identify where unnecessary shapes more easy).
Make two circles, one of them bigger than rest. Center it properly. Place it to the eyes area. Select the outer circle with the blue shape and do division command (ctrl+/) to make the blue area of marie's eyes. Then select the inner circle with the blue shape and do division command again to make the black area of marie's eyes.
Give the eyes their colors. And make one pink colored ellipse then place it above the mouth to give marie cat's a nose. Finish.
This tutorial want to proves you that inkscape -despite the version number hesitate major new user- have powerful live path effect feature and very useful for those who are cartoonist wannabe.