[Annelida] techniques for illustrations intended for publication

Karen J. Osborn via annelida%40net.bio.net (by kjosborn from ucsd.edu)
Fri Mar 13 16:48:06 EST 2009

Hi Scott,
The best way is with a camera lucida - this take practice and a little  
instruction.  Then you can ink your drawings by hand using vellum and  
scan them into the computer or better yet, scan your pencil sketches  
into the computer and use them to make Adobe Illustrator line drawings  
with the pen (or pencil more complicated) tool.  A drawing pad helps  
with this immensely.  Once you have an Illustrator file you can  
resize, reorient, change line weight, change color, and compile  
figures endlessly - the flexibility makes it well worth the steep  
learning curve and cost of Illustrator.  You can also do this from  
photos but the problem with photos is that you have a single, usually  
narrow focal plane which doesn't lend itself well to illustrations  
which you want to be a bit 3-D.  The one thing that Illustrator line  
drawings can't do well is stippling but there are a couple ways to do  

Good photos often suffice and lack the interpretation by the  
illustrator that is inherent in line drawings.  Be sure photos are  
well labeled and clear.  I like the combination of a photo and line  
drawing interpretation next to it of it to map out what the viewer is  
looking at.

Best of luck,

On Mar 13, 2009, at 8:15 AM, Scott Jones wrote:

> Hi!
> I would like to survey the list for the most common and/or most  
> effective way for non-illustrators to generate illustrations of  
> specimens for publication.
> Do most of you rely on the camera lucida?
> What about importing digital images into editing software such as  
> Illustrator to create line drawings?
> Thanks!
> Scott Jones
> <ATT00001.txt>

Karen Osborn, Ph.D.
UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093-0202
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kjosborn from ucsd.edu

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