Monthly Archives: February 2011

Spiral Shell Shape Tutorial


Not much projects to work on but I may try to enter some contests we’ll see. This weekend I did receive info from the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards scholarship that I entered to find that I got an honorable mention. I’m not too upset but it does encourage me to try harder. Today, let’s create a spiral shell shape. What You’ll Be Making:

Tools:

  • Illustrator
  • Blend Tool
  • Spiral Tool

Steps: 1. A. Start out with a new document and select the Spiral Tool by clicking/holding the little arrow under the Line Segment Tool. See picture for help.   B. Click anywhere in your workspace to bring up the options for it. C. Enter 481 for the radius, 80 for the radius, 50 for the segments, and choose the Clockwise style (first one). C. Press OK and you see your spiral on the screen. D. Rotate the spiral 180° from the origin using the Rotate Tool (R).

2. A. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw one big circle and one small circle. Note: Hold shift to constrain the ellipse’s proportions to a circle. B. Use the Blend Tool (W) and click the big circle and then the small circle. Adjust the blend so there are 1000 steps. C. Select both the circle blend and spiral then choose Object>Blend>Replace SpineD. Now you should see

3. A. Use the Selection Tool (V) and double-click on one end of the blend (big circle) and adjust its size by holding shift+option/alt then dragging up/down/left/right to make it smaller or bigger. B. Also adjust the size of the other small circle. C. Fine tune the sizes of each circle so that there is a little space between girth of the spiral. See picture for help. D. Copy-drag by holding option/alt then release to get a replica of the spiral.

4. A. Select the spiral clone and choose Object>Expand. B. A window show pop up. Make sure the boxes for fill and object are checked then click OK. C. Now you have your own spiral shell shape to play around.

I went to play with my spiral shape by finding a texture, using a clipping mask on it, and finally adding an inner glow effect to it.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new.

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Texture with Masks Tutorial


Welcome back to the second part of  the 3-D text tutorial. In this part, we will add a faded shadow to our 3-D text.

What You’ll Be Making:


Tools:

  • Illustrator CS4/5
  • Text Tool
  • Brushes
  • Opacity Masks
  • Slight experience w/ Illustrator

Steps:

1. A. Use the type tool to type anything you want.   B. For practice, let’s use brushes. Open up the brush window. If you don’t have it open, go to Window>Brushes or press F5.


2. A. Drag a brush/texture onto your workspace. B. Scale the brush/texture so it fits across the object you want to have textured. D. Delete the larger text since it wouldn’t make sense for a casted shadow.

3. A. Copy-drag (by clicking the object then holding option/alt then releasing) a clone of your object (text). B. If your working with text, it’s best to work with outlines so right-click your text and choose Create Outlines. C. Click Cmd+C or Ctrl+C to copy  your cloned object. This is an important step. D. Delete your selection, you’ll see why later. E. It would be wise to change the colors of your texture so that the fill will be the same as the color of your background. Usually brushes have some box around them so be sure to delete that.


4. A. Select your texture and open up the Transparency window by going to Window>Transparency. In the transparency window, double-click an empty gray area next your object. This will create an opacity mask which is already set to clip. B. Click Cmd+V or Ctrl+V to paste your copied object from the last step. C. Move the pasted object onto your original object (text) so they snap into place.

5. A. Click the little gray chain icon between the mask and object in the transparency window. This will prevent the pasted object from moving. B. Switch out from masking editing mode to your normal mode, switch to first box inside the transparency window. Then move your brush/texture over to your original object. C. You will now see your texture/brush going through each letter without crossing the edges of each letter.


6 A. Improve this blend by lower its opacity to around 50%.  B. Use the white arrow tool to move the text with 0% opacity closer to the solid-filled text. You will have achieved a 3-D effect as you see below.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned a new skill.

“3-D Text” Part 2


Welcome back to the second part of  the 3-D text tutorial. In this part, we will add a faded shadow to our 3-D text.

What You’ll Be Making:


Tools:

  • Illustrator CS4/5
  • Blend-Tool
  • Gradients/Fills
  • Slight experience w/ Illustrator

Steps:

1. A. Start out by locking our original text and not the blend.  B. Now you’ll be able to select the blended text.


2. A. Copy-drag a clone of the blend to anywhere else on the screen. B. Make sure that the blend is selected and go to Object>Blend>Release. C. You should see the blend being separated into different objects as you see below. D. Delete the larger text since it wouldn’t make sense for a casted shadow.

3. A. Copy-drag (holding option/alt) a clone of the new unblended text in any downward direction. B. Use the blend-tool again to make a blend with these two texts. C. Double-click the blend-tool from the tool bar to bring up the settings for the blend-tool. Give it a specified-steps spacing with 50 steps to make a smooth blend (go higher for more smoothness) so the computer doesn’t do too much work in making blends.


4. Give the most bottom text an opacity of 0% by first selecting it with the white arrow tool then adjusting it’s opacity. This will give faded shadow look. B. If the blend looks off, select one of the text and right-click and choose Arrange>Send to Back/Bring to Front. C. You should see something change. D. It is best to lock our original object before proceeding any further.

5. A. Move the shadow blend back onto our original object. B. If it’s not already behind the original text/object, then right-click and choose Arrange>Send to Back. C. You should see the “shadow” move to the very back.


6 A. Improve this blend by lower its opacity to around 50%.  B. Use the white arrow tool to move the text with 0% opacity closer to the solid-filled text. You will have achieved a 3-D effect as you see below.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned a new skill.

“3-D” Text Part 1


I wanted to post this earlier, but due to internet problems (finally resolved) I will finally post this today.

Today we will be making 3-D text as a request from a student I was helping earlier. Some applications of this tutorial can be seen here in my poster where you can see the 3-D text is combined with a faded shadow.

This tutorial will guide you in the first part of making the 3-D text. The second part is optional and only adds more interesting effects.

What You’ll Be Making:


Tools:

  • Illustrator CS4/5
  • Blend-Tool
  • Gradients/Fills
  • Slight experience w/ Illustrator

Steps:

1. A. Use the Text Tool to type out a text.  B. Give the text any color.


2. A. Copy-drag (by holding option/alt and then releasing it) the text twice to anywhere else on the screen. B. Give different colors to each of the copies but try to make them darker shades of the original text’s color.


3. A. Press W to bring up the Blend-Tool. Click one of the cloned text then click the other cloned text to make a blend. B. Double-click the Blend-Tool icon in the toolbar to bring up the settings. When the window pop ups, change the spacing to specified steps. Enter 50 for the steps to ensure a smooth blend but this will vary on how far your two blended objects are. C. You should get something like you see below.


4. A. In case your blend is facing the wrong way, adjust the arrangement of one part of blend by selecting (double-clicking the object) that part then right-clicking and choosing either Arrange>Send Backward/Bring ForwardB. You should see the blend change to your correct arrangement.


5. A. Scale one of the parts of the blend while holding option/alt+shift to maintain its proportions. This adds a sense of depth/perceptive.  B. Move the blended-objects closer together if you haven’t done so already (this insures a smoother blend).


6 A. Move the blend back onto our original text. B. Make sure the blend is selected and right-click and choose Arrange>Send to Back. C. Check to see if you’ve gotten something similar to what you see below.

We will continue off with Part 2 tomorrow.

Abstract Track


After looking back to my old bird creation, I took time sketching out new similar ideas in my notebook. Here are the birds I created using one type of shape (triangle, semi-circle, etc.). Some of these shapes do resemble some real-life birds like the Toucan, Ostrich, etc.

Making a Simple Baseball Icon Tutorial


This tutorial will show you how to make a Baseball icon which will resemble the one I used for my January calendar.

What You’ll Be Making:

Tools:

  • Illustrator
  • Strokes
  • Brushes
  • Slight experience w/ Illustrator


Steps:

1. A. Draw a circle with a white/gray fill. B. Draw curved secants on both sides of this circle.


2. A. Draw a shape such as an askew triangle (see picture below) and give a red fill (this will become our thread). B. Select this object, then go to Brush tab (click F5 to bring up the Brush Window) and click on the “New ___” symbol to create a new brush (see picture below). A window will pop up, choose the scatter brush option. C. A new window will pop up. For right now, just click OK.


3. A. Now select both of your curved paths. B. Then click on your new brush and you will get something as you would see below.


4. A. Go to the Brush window/tab and double-click your brush or click the Brush Settings button next to the new brush button. B. Now a window will pop up (that you’ve already seen). Click preview to see what you’re doing and adjust the spacing, size, and rotation to your choosing but be sure to make the rotation relative to path. Then click OK.


5. A. Select the two paths and group them together. B. Draw a circle of the same size as our original and move it to the front. Then select that circle and the paths, then right-click and choose Create Clipping Mask.


6 A. Select both the circle and the clipped paths and add a Drop Shadow by going to Effect>Stylize>Drop Shadow. B. Adjust numbers to your choosing. C. If you’ve followed the steps right, you should’ve got something close to this.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial.

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