Monthly Archives: January 2011

“New” Galleries

I have been meaning to update my galleries and today I have managed to finally do that. In the Galleries page, click the different pictures to get to the designated page. The pages can also be accessed through the page widget on the right side. I (re)uploaded pictures in each page and took out some old pictures that weren’t as good as now. I hope you take time to look through it.


Finals Finale

I finally got done with my finals and I can’t wait for next semester. I have so much things to work on.

As for the picture, I would like to credit Michael Weekly for his original sketch. I thought about how cool it would have looked in Illustrator which led me to ask for permission to use his design. He willingly obliged. I worked many hours on this and it is “finished” as of now.

I plan to update my galleries and other pages soon.  Look forward to that.

Engraving Tutorial

First of all, I’m finally glad people are asking me to make a specific tutorial so they can put to use/know for their work.

In this tutorial, I’ll guide you into making highlights and shadows for any types of objects simple (square) and otherwise ( irregular). This will achieve an engrave effect.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator
  • Pathfinder/ShapeBuilder
  • Gaussian Blur
  • Slight experience w/ Illustrator


1. A. Make a background with a vibrant color. Then draw any object that you want to make highlights/shadows for. B. Alt+Drag or Opt-Drag the objects(s) to make a copy of them.

2. A. Change the color of the “bottom” copy into a light color than the background (I chose a nice light blue color). B. Then add a Gaussian Blur of 20 to the copy.

3. A. Move the copy over the original. B. Right click the object and select Arrange>Send Backward ( Ctrl+[ or Cmd+[ ). C. Now you have the highlight portion of your object.

4. A. Copy-drag your original object (not the highlight). B. Copy-drag that new copy as well and give it a different color (I made mine orange). Make sure the space between these copies is similar to the space between the highlight and your original object.

5. Make lines through “gaps” if your object is irregular (like my 2). You’ll see why we add the lines.

6. A. Select your 2 copies with the lines. Now click the shortcut Shift+M (or use pathfinder but this will save time) to bring the ShapeBuilder tool. You will now see a plus shape for the cursor, holding option or alt will give you a negative shape cursor. Use the ShapeBuilder tool to add the “shadow” pieces together and then hold option/alt to cut away pieces you don’t need or that won’t be the shadow portion. That’s why we had the lines so we cut the shapes we needed. B. Keep cutting/adding till you have the shapes that will form the shadow. See pictures for reference and help.

7. Make sure to group your shadow pieces if there is a lot of pieces.

8. Give our original shapes a color darker than the highlight or background but lighter than the shadow. I chose a simple dark-blue color. But you could also use a gradient if you want.

9. Let’s give our shadow(s) a Gaussian Blur of 20.

10. Copy-drag our original object so that the top portion of the shadow(s) meets with the top portion of the original object. Also make sure the copy is in front of the shadow. See picture for help.

11. A. Select the copy and the shadow and right-click and choose Create Clipping Mask. B. The clipping mask helped to crop away the blurred pixels that would ruin the shadow effect as you will see.

12. The final step is to moved our clipped shadow over to the original shape. This gave us the shadow portion that we needed. With the shadow, original, and highlights shape, you have achieved the engrave effect.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it will beneficial to you in some way.



Sorry for the long while but I had many things to be done. Homework, projects, community service, yada yada…

I still have many things to be done including the Self-Portraits and the collaboration projects.

But today, during the Mac Lab Saturday School, I managed to finish the January Desktop Wallpaper Calendar I have worked for some time.

Note: I will plan to upload my logos/calendars onto my DeviantArt page and might try to submit a calendar for Smashing Magazine.

As you can see, I made all icons myself and I plan to make tips on making some specific ones (next semester).

I will likely spend the next days snapping some pictures to finish up all the projects I have.

Still, I have finals and all so I’ll be quite busy again.

Gradient Tip 1

Gradients…love them or hate them, they are still an important tool of a digital artist. They bring out more depth and realism when used. Sometimes they’re not used so effectively.

In this tip, I’ll give you several instances of how to use gradients more effectively.

1. Angle Position

The problem with image is that the gradient is all wrong and it should go at an angle instead of just going from top to bottom (0°). If you have slanted/sloped/steep object, you should be wary of the way you add a gradient to it. If your object is slanted, then when you add a linear gradient from that side, go at a 90º angle from its own angle to get a clean look. See pictures.

2. More Than One Gradient

Sometimes you want to use more than one gradient but you decide it make to easy and use a radial gradient. This is not a good substitute. To fix this problem, we’ll use one solid gradient and one fade-to-(insert color here). The fade-to-color gradient should be on top of the other fills/gradients as seen in the Appearance tab.

3. Ease of Use and Gradient Length

Surely, it’ll be a hassle to keep moving your mouse over to the gradient tab just to simply change a thing or two. But this problem can all go away if your press Opt+Cmd+G/Alt+Ctrl+G to bring up the Gradient Annotator. This shortcut can save you time by not having to move your mouse around so much. I don’t see many students use the Gradient Annotator probably since they don’t know about it.

The top image shows what happens when your gradient can be tool short. Unless you never know that you could drag the gradient tool around on object, you’ll be missing an important shortcut. With the Gradient Annotator on, you can easily adjust the length and angle of your applied gradient so colors can fade more softly.

4. Common Gradient

Surely there would be an easy way to combine gradients of multiple objects and just as you know it, there is. Simple select multiple objects and use the Gradient Tool (g) to draw a gradient through the multiple objects.

Will have more later.

New Years Revolution

Sorry for not posting much information/tutorial during Christmas Break but I was terribly sick and had to bear with Pneumonia. I’m feeling better now and I can’t wait to produce more spectacular art this year.

Current projects i am working as of now include: Desktop Wallpaper Calendar, logos, self-portraits, secret project (with Phillip), etc.

I plan to also develop a simple game in Unity later in the year.

Since I didn’t make any tutorials during the break, I’ll post some new ones starting tomorrow (gradient tip *cough*).

It also fun meeting my old friend Ben Dulay today in the Mac Lab. If you have time, check his blog later (he made it today).

P.S. Sorry for accidentally deleting someone’s comment on my logos (it was marked as spam).

%d bloggers like this: