A few years back, I was working with Adobe Illustrator and trying to push the boundaries of what I could create in pure vector format versus using Adobe Photoshop to refine my illustrations to achieve textures, shadows, etc. 

Mattel Electronics handheld video Football game.

For a test subject I used the old Mattel Electronics Football handheld from my childhood. Modeled entirely in Illustrator, I used every tool and technique available within the application to render the illustration. 

Steps used in recreating the Mattel Electronics Auto Racing handheld video game

I had always planned on expanding that single illustration to a series of items; now I have worked up the second item in the series. Mattel Auto Race was another popular handheld game from my childhood and a followup in this series of vintage toys.

As the years have progressed, Illustrators tools has grown as well. This piece was modeled entirely in Illustrator and used its 3D capabilities but was rendered out in the companion Adobe application Dimensions.

Mattel Electronics Auto Racing handheld video game

Using 3D tools in a vector program still has significant challenges as there are no traditional 3D views associated with Illustrator. Setting up the Z-space is a bit of guesswork and only marginally better in Dimensions. The accuracy and tolerances in both applications leave much to be desired, but understanding the limitations of the tools is part of the discipline in the practice. 

Alternative grungy version of the Mattel Electronics Auto Racing handheld video game

There are 2 versions of the application: a clean and worn version. Ultimately, most of these illustrations were created using Adobe’s vector tools, but I did “cheat” a bit using Photoshop to add the stickers and grunge layers to the rendering. 

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