Drawing an endolysosome


In this short tutorial, learn how to draw an endosome fusing with a lysosome. 


Using ‘bio-brushes’, Shiz illustrates vesicle fusion between an endosome and a lysosome (0:22). To have finer control over how your membrane brush looks, you can separate a brush into editable icons (1:47). Shiz adds a finishing touch by using a gradient fill to show fusion between the two vesicle compartments (3:39). 

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Shiz Aoki, CEO and co-founder of BioRender, shares her 10+ years of expertise as a distinguished science illustrator to help you bring your science to life - visually.

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In this tutorial, we're gonna show you how to create an endosome fusing with a lysosome. A structure that's notoriously difficult to illustrate. So to start off, I'm just gonna delete this finished structure so you can see how easy it is to make from scratch. And I'm gonna start off by just searching the term vesicle in our Icon library. And you can see that some of the search results show this little brush symbol on top of the thumbnail. And it's just telling me that these search results are actually created using our “bio-brushes”. And that's what we're gonna need for this tutorial is a shape that's made with a “bio-brush”. So I'm gonna select this icon, it looks like it's a pretty good size and shape for what we need. And I'm gonna rotate it and center it nicely. And you can see that the membrane or the vesicle wall is a little thinner than what the rest of the images are showing on my canvas. So I'm gonna select that and look at what thickness that is. It's about 14 so I'm gonna go in and adjust the width of this brush to 14. That looks pretty good. And what we're gonna need to do is actually separate out this brush so that it actually kind of explodes into a bunch of little pieces. And now this is an irreversible action. So what I'm gonna wanna do is maybe right click and add to my favorite tab just in case this goes wrong. I actually have a copy of it saved in my favorites tab there. So that's great. I saved it to the brush. And now I can do whatever I want to do and kind of play around with the colors. So I'm gonna go back up here to the brush options and click this button called separate brush into editable icons. And what that's gonna do is it's gonna give me a little warning sign to say it is indeed going to separate out the brush into little pieces. So I'm gonna click confirm. And what that did was it actually created a grouped icon. This little purple bounding box is what that means. And if I double click into this group, you'll see that it will allow me to select little pieces along the edge of this membrane. It even created a separate middle section, which will come in handy later when I want to create maybe a gradient fill. So I'm gonna leave that for now. And what I'm gonna wanna do is actually select the bottom half of this, just kind of roughly half of that structure. I'm gonna deselect that blob in the middle because it looks like it picked it up with my mouse. So it'll shift to select that. So all I have selected is the bottom half of this fusing endosome and lysosome. And I'm gonna go up to my color palette and select. I think this red color matches pretty well with the lysosome. I'm gonna double click out. And looks pretty good. I think it's a good match. Zoom out. Alright. Looking pretty good. Of course, I need some contents to fill, so I think I'll just copy and paste these 3 and place them into the top half of the structure. And I'm gonna select all the pieces here from the lights of them. I'm just gonna hit command c on my Mac and then hit command v, so I can move them over here. Just shrink in time a little bit. There we go. And then since the background of this lysosome was pink, I'm gonna try to see if I can create kind of a gradient as a background fill. So I'm gonna go up here to fill, go to gradient, and here's where the color bar is. That's going to identify the direction of my gradient.

Now we do have a few pre-made fills, so maybe 1 of these might suffice. I can start with that. It looks like it's a bit of an extreme color option. So let's go ahead and change the angle for this. It's looking pretty good. More of a white fill along the top. And this red might be too bright, so I'm gonna tone it down just a tad. There we go. Let's see if I should move it around any more than that. It looks pretty good and double-click out. It looks pretty nice. So you can see here kind of the contents are starting to mix together and it's giving me the sense that this endosome is indeed fusing with the lysosome.

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