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Created: 11/26/2022
Updated: 03/16/2023

Card Illustrator Tool

by Chris Wasshuber

Let us imagine you are writing a book about conjuring and are in need of illustrations of cards. For example, you want to show a setup or stack in the form of a card ribbon. Perhaps some cards are face-up, some are face-down. Or perhaps you want to show a fan of cards with some cards protruding from the fan. You could take photos but nicely done illustrations do look better. What do you do if you are not an illustrator and can't afford to hire one? I have the solution for you, and it is free of charge.

All of these illustrations and much more can now be created very easily and professionally looking right here at Login to your Lybrary account, scroll down to the Tools section. There you will find a link called 'Card Illustrator'. (You will also need to be a subscriber to our free weekly newsletter.)

The Card Illustrator allows you to specify a list of card names, backs, and even ESP cards in five different colors, together with some dimensional information, such as the spacing between them and which cards if any should protrude and by how much. The tool will create a PNG image of what you specified. Copy the image into your editor, make any further changes if you need to, and then include them in your publication.

Particularly interesting is the ability to specify a fan radius that allows you to either make tight fans like the ones you would hold in your hand or wide arches like you would spread on a close-up mat. You can do several overlapping rows and even add a little drop shadow and perspective distortion to it. (More detailed instructions and examples can be found on the Card Illustrator webpage.)

This is an extremely powerful tool. I wrote it for a publication project I was working on and found it so useful that I decided to make this available for everybody. If you make particularly cool or interesting illustrations with this tool let me know. I am interested in how the tool is being used.

If you do use illustrations created with this tool, please include a credit or mention of it.

Here are some examples of what you can do with this tool:

alphabet fan perspective

tight fan

face-up and face-down

card ribbon

up-jogged cards

a full deck