In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to create a low-poly tiger head. For beginners, you will learn how to triangulate the stock photo using the Pen tool and the Align palette. As we move on, you will learn how to color the triangular mesh that you have made. So let’s begin!
Requirements: Adobe Illustrator
What will you get?
- Instant download of PDF e-book (18 pages, 19 steps)
- Comes with Ai file for easy reference
- Detailed step by step tutorial to draw an artistic Poly Tiger Head
Create a New Document
1. OLaunch Illustrator and press (Ctrl +N) to create a New document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 720 in the width box and 740 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.
Preparing the Stock Image
2. Go to File > Place and locate your reference image and place it on your artboard. Show the Rulers (View > View Rulers > Show Ruler) or (Ctrl +R) and drag a vertical guide from the Rulers to the correct position as you can see in the second image (if the guides locked, go to the View > Guides > Lock Guides) or (Ctrl +Alt + ;). Next, reduce the Opacity of the stock photo to 50%. Lock the layer where the stock photo is contained in and then Create New Layer above the photo. This is where you'll be drawing the faceted shapes of the tiger.
3. As mentioned in the introduction, we will begin by creating the whole Wireframe. We will draw different parts of the wireframe in different layers. The completed wireframe will look like the image below.
Triangulate the Stock Image
4. We need to cover the stock image with triangular mesh. Before you continue, go to the
View menu and uncheck the Smart Guides section. Now pick the Pen Tool (P), click
on the Stroke icon and choose any color that contrasts with the stock image, then make
sure that your Fill is disabled. The best way is to start with the eyes. Zoom in as close as
you can to the iris, and use the Pen Tool (P) to create some triangles as you can see in
the images below.
5. Continue to create triangles at the eye and its surrounding areas.