Mini Dallas Trace

One day, I was heading home from Vancouver during my 2023 vacation, and I needed to pass my time. I had my laptop, Ipad, and 2ds XL to entertain me, but I wanted something bigger. I downloaded a garbage resolution image of Dallas from Payday 2 and made this along the way. There is more to my story on what happened during this creative venture. Dallas is owned by Overkill Software.

A picture of an illustrated Mini Dallas
Mini Dallas in the flesh.

Background – Working in a car

To start off, I have to say that all the work I did on this was in a car. This illustrated trace of a scrunched character from Payday 2 was done on a laptop. A laptop place on my lap, with only mouse and keyboard, and a small space to move said mouse. The conditions were not favourable by any means. Topping it off with the sun constantly blaring against the screen, all signs should have led to disaster.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t a pile of trash. In fact, it is one of my personal favourite pieces of work I’ve done outside of college. Dallas has been a re-occurring profile picture I’ve used on both Discord and Steam. On the Adobe Cloud, I have a photoshop file that’s just variants of Dallas I’ve made. Ever since I illustrated this, my profile picture on both Steam and discord haven’t changed in half of a year.

Process – Layers and file size

Illustrator, like many other Adobe Products I use, uses layers to both organize and give importance to work. A big element of how I work is that I have multiple layers for one part. Example let’s say that I’m working on Dallas’s mask. First, I start with the base with only shape and color, then any additional items are added as separate layers. Shading and highlighting are added on top of everything as separate layers.
In total, the original illustrator document has 67 layers, 64 visible with graphics on them. Both shading and highlighting were elements I experimented with. For the second day of work, I was adding in colored sections of shading. Later, I experimented with using whites and blacks with opacities to act as shading. All I must do now is change the base color and most of the rest will change with it.

Example, here’s a dumb recolor.

A recolored version of mini dallas
Best thing about it is the file size. The file is only 1.4 megabytes for. I have exports of images in the same folder that are larger in size than my work. Illustrator files are light since it’s just code to make vectors and not pixel usage of alpha channels like Photoshop. The only way to bloat the size is to use the 3d tools.

Process – 5 days of Improvements

A rough of Mini-Dallas, basic solid colors
Day one
A rough of Dallas, day 2
Day 2
A rough of Dallas, day 3
Day 3
A rough of Dallas, day 4
Day 4
Rough of Dallas, Day 5, last day of work
Day 5