Vector Graphics

Photorealistic Timepiece

This project was my Vector Graphics trial by fire. Creating things in a photorealistic manner does not come naturally to me, especially when it comes to vector illustration. To imbue my watch with more personal meaning, I wanted to create a photorealistic representation of one of my own timepieces. I was torn between recreating a Westclox Baby Ben clock, or my own watch that I’ve worn for years. I wanted something that was intricate, classic, and interesting, where I could add small details.

The Sketching Process


The sketching process involved trying to take apart some of the smaller details in these timepieces. I wanted a good sketch so that I could get a feel for the overall shape, but then I wanted to analyze the most interesting parts to find out what I specifically liked about each of these timepieces. Although I’m sure I could have done something with digital, stylized watches, I wanted to do something that I liked. Since I’ve been wearing the watch I chose on my wrist for years now, I figured I had already found a style that I did like. I love the tiny facets on the watch, the structure of the band, and the detail on the watchface itself, so my next step was to try to recreate it to the best of my ability.

Taking it to Illustrator

Basic RGB

The first pass through Illustrator was simply an attempt to recreate the shapes in the watch. I was very happy with how the shapes came out, especially the facets on the watch. I also tried to add shadows on the inside of of the watch to show the structure of the watchface. Brother Kerr liked the shape of it, especially the dials on the side, but was concerned about the facets. Apparently, they looked too much like linework, which was something I desperately needed to fix. I also needed to add more detail to the glass, adding more highlights and reflection. Obviously, no gradient work had been done yet, which was something that had to happen before the final draft.


Watch Draft

The second draft was much closer to what I was envisioning. The watchface was effectively finished, and the addition of highlights and detail to the glass were making a difference. However, I needed to fix the watchband to make it more accurate, and the facets still needed gradient work to show the light reflecting off of them. I also wanted to add more reflection on the inside of the watchface. I loved how the gradients on the main part of the watch were working, as well as the added shadows on the watchface. But it was clear I still had more work to do.


And here is the finished product!

For the background, I added a glowing effect to offset the watch design. I edited the facets to make them better reflect the light and fixed the watchband. I used photo references and the actual watch at hand to make it as realistic as possible. I did make some changes based on other watch references I had, but overall I think that it fulfills the requirement to create a detailed and realistic timepiece. I used gradients, layers, and transparencies to create a gleaming, metallic watch and I am very proud of my work.




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