Wooden Frame Tutorial Part 1

A some-what advanced tutorial that will guide you on how to make a wooden frame vector in Illustrator. The next tutorial after this will be about making the cork-board texture.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator
  • Clipping Masks
  • Effect Gallery
  • Gradients


1. A. Create a rectangle as big as you and give it a fill so you can see it.

B. Select it and go to Object>Path>Offset Path.

C. An options window should pop up. Enter a negative value so the object’s offset can go inward. Click the Up/Down Arrow Key to see what suits you. Then click OK. Change its color so you can notice it.

D. Draw some straight segments from the corners of the big rectangle to the corners of the smaller rectangle.

2. A. Have the pathfinder window open. If it’s not open go to Window>Pathfinder. Select both rectangles and the segments and click the Divide button in the Pathfinder window. The Divide button is in the bottom-left corner.

B. The pathfinder will divide all your selected shapes into smaller portions.

C. Select the inner rectangle with the White Arrow Tool and delete it.

D. Also make sure to ungroup the portions so that you can select one part without selecting the other.

3. A. Select the top and bottom portion and add the default linear gradient.

B. Enter -90° for the angle so that the gradient is vertical.

C. Inside the gradient window, double-click the white box and change the color to #B8996F or RGB: 184, 153, 11 or a light brown color. Change the black color to #806C4F or RGB: 128, 108, 79 or a dark brown color.

D. Add another linear gradient to the left portion. Adjust the color of the light-brown color to #C1A175 or RGB193, 161, 117. 

E. Add the same gradient to the right portion but reverse the gradient. The reverse button is the one to the left of the angle box.

4. A. Select the left portion again and go to Effect>Effect Gallery.

B. A window should pop up and should look like what you see below.

C. Locate the grain effect which is in the texture folder like you see below.

D. Change the grain type to Vertical.

E. Change the Intensity to 12 and the Contrast to 20. Then click OK.

5. A. To save time, select the right portion and go to Effect>Grain which will be at the top of the drop-down menu since you’ve used it previously.

B. Make sure the values are the same as last time.

C. Select the top portion and go to Effect>Grain.

D. The only thing to change this time is setting the grain type to Horizontal.

E. Select the bottom portion and go to Effect>Grain.

F. Set the grain type to horizontal again if needed.

6. A. Now you know how to make your own wooden frame. Though, as you can see, there are unappealing white edges on all the frame parts. If you would like to know how to hide them, go to the next part of the tutorial.

I hoped you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new. An optional part 2 comes after this but feel free to skip it if you want.

Gradual Change

With the events after the art show, I had ran out of things to work on. With day after day, I decided to help some students with tutorials they follow such as mine or others. Luck would have it, no one has worked on an iParent poster and that the competition for Got Plans was still open. With those two in mind, I decided to put some effort in these last days of high school.

This is the final efforts on my Got Plans? poster. I will have an exuberant amount of time for the iParent poster, which is what my current focus is as of now.

I will make a tutorial on how to create a cork-board effect in Illustrator.

District Art Show

I finished and submitted this piece to the art show. Hopefully I can win another prize like the last one from 2008.

Game Physics

Finally updated my Physics poster to the current state that I’m happy with. There might be some mistakes in there but I can fix them.

Getting right on Track

Sorry for my absence, I had quite a busy week(s) with AP tests and prom and all that jazz.

I finish the buttons and shirt but I still have to fix the Senior Awards brochure.

What I’m working currently on is my AP Physics Poster for my class. I’m still trying to fix my Force problems. Hopefully, I can finish this soon so we can print it later.

I’m also taking up doing this year’s Got Plans? poster.

I meant to re-record video tutorials but seeing how my mic makes me sound like nails on a chalkboard, I’ll try to buy a better one soon.

Also, big news, I won a $60,ooo scholarship to attend San Diego State University.

First Video Tutorial

In light of the confusion faced on my recent tutorial. I came to the decision to make a video (without audio) tutorial to quickly show the steps I used. I plan to reupload a better version with sound.

Sorry, forgot it was blocked at school. Go here to view it.

3-D Billiard Ball Tutorial

This an adaption of the 3-D Peelings tutorial. It uses the same steps and methods. This can be used for both striped/solid colored balls.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator
  • 3-D Revolve
  • Map Art
  • Symbols


1. A. Create a perfect circle using the Ellipse Tool (L).

B. Select its most left/right anchor point.

C. Click delete to remove the anchor point to form a semi-circle.

2. A. With the shape selected, go to Effect>3D>Revolve.

B. An options window show pop up.

C. Since the lightning and coloring is not where we need it, me must change it on our own.

D. Click More Options if you haven’t done so already. Change the surface to Diffuse Shading, the Ambient Light to 30%, and the blend steps to 100. Also add a new light button under the 3-D Sphere widget. Drag the lights all the way diagonally across on the sphere.

3. A. Leave away the circle for now. Draw a grid of 6×12 square grid (this matches the Map Art grid).

B. Draw a rectangle and make it as large ass the grid for a solid colored ball or about 2×12 for a striped-colored ball.

C. Draw a white circle in the center of the rectangle and make it about 1.5×1.5 squares large.

D. Use the type tool to create some numbers and choose a font like Arial. Type out a number and make it start from 9 to 15 for stripes or 1 to 8 for solids.

For stripes, make sure to also draw white rectangles that are as large as the red rectangle. Make sure that combined, they don’t exceed the grid size of 6×12 squares.

4. A. When you have your symbol ready, delete the grid since you don’t need it anymore.

B. Open up your symbol window by going to Window>Symbols. Drag all of your symbol together into the symbol window space. An options window will pop up. Name it anything then click OK.

C. You will now see a new symbol inside the symbol window. Now you’re ready for the next step.

5. A. Select the sphere again and click the 3-D effect inside of the Appearance window so that we can alter it some more. Click the Map Art button when the options window opens up.

B. Click the symbol drop-down menu and select the symbol we’ve previously created. The symbol will automatically be placed dead-center.

C. Click Scale to Fit to fill up all of the grid. This is what we wanted to happen. Make sure to also check the box for shade artwork.

6. A. Take time to drag around the cube (it won’t change the lighting) but will change the position of the symbol graphic.

B. Now click OK to have your new billiard ball 3-d graphic.

I hoped you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new.

3-D Peelings Tutorial

Today I’ll show you how to create a 3-D peel effect using the built 3-D features in Adobe Illustrator. Sure, you could draw the peel yourself but this alternate method gives more of an accurate visual effect. I will supply the download via Box on the right.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator
  • 3-D Revolve
  • Map Art
  • Symbols


1. Create a shape, preferably a fruit shape.

2. A. With the shape selected, go to Effect>3D>Revolve.

B. Click preview to see the shape revolved so far. Click OK even though it doesn’t look like peelings yet.

2. A. Draw some rectangles with the color of your choice. Clone the shape (by holding and alt/option then dragging the selection and releasing) multiple times and make sure they’re connected.

B. Use the white arrow to shift one side of a rectangle up such that it connects with the side of the rectangle above it. Also shift the other side of our original rectangle down so that it also shares the side of the rectangle below it. Repeat this process for other rectangles or clone the shape to save time.

C. Don’t make too many peelings but do check to see if you something similar to the picture below.

3. A. Open up your symbol window by going to Window>Symbols. With your rectangles selected (all of them), drag them over to the inside of the symbol window. A window should pop up, enter a name then click OK.

B. Now you should see your new symbol inside the symbol window.

4. A. Select your apple again and reopen the 3-D effect by clicking on the 3-D effect in appearance window. With 3-D options window open, click on Map Art.

B. Cycle between the surfaces by click the arrows. Red lines will indicate the surface you’re choosing to place symbols on. Click the arrow in the symbol menu in the Map Art window and select the previously created symbol. It will automatically be placed in the center.

5. A. Click the Scale to Fit button to stretch the symbol across the entire surface. Make sure to also check the boxes on the bottom for both Invisible Geometry and Shade Artwork. Then click OK.

B. Click on the More Options button. Change the surface to Diffuse Shading. Make the blend steps 100 or so for smoother color blends. Then click OK.

6. A. You be getting something similar to this. Continue to edit this if you want.

I hoped you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new.

Stylish Rope Tutorial

Today I’ll show you how to make a stylized rope using Illustrator.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator
  • Ellipse Tool
  • Pathfinder/Shape-Builder
  • Rotate Tool


1. A. Use the Ellipse Tool to draw a circle (by holding shift).

B. Draw a three circles vertically so they fit in the original circle. Thus each small circle has 33.333% the size of original circle.

C. Use the Shape-Builder Tool/Pathfinder to cut out a C-shape from all the combined shapes.

D. Copy and reflect the shape towards the other shape. Move the shapes as shown below.

2. A. Move several copies (of how many you want) down if such a way the C-Shapes will form an S shape. Lower the opacities of the shapes could help precisely move the C-shapes. Make a copy of some of the shapes for later.

B. Use the Shape-Builder tool to combine shapes into a rope-like structure as pictured below.

3. A. Move over two C-shapes to form an S-shape. Draw some black-filled circles inside the shapes’ “hollow” centers as shown below.

B. Copy a circle over the left circle as show.

C. Select the circle’s left anchor-point and delete it.

D. Select the semi-circle and click Shift+X to quickly switch the stroke and fills of the object so that the black fill will turn into a black stroke.

4. A. Click R to bring up the Rotate Tool. Hold option/alt and select the Rotation Point to be at the center of the left black-filled circle. Make the angle 10° or somewhat close.

B. Click OK then press Cmd/Ctrl+D to transform again. Rotate the black-stroke object several times but stop till one copy is between the two black circles such that it touches both of them. Then rotate about the center of the other circle and make the angle -10° or so.

C. Rotate several times again and stop when the black-stroke object stops intersecting  the S-shape object.

D. Delete the unnecessary parts (circles and s-shape) and group all the black-stroke objects together.

5. A. Copy over all the different parts that comprise the rope structure as pictured below.

B. Copy over and line up the black-stroke group under one other shape and select them both then right click and choose Make Clipping Mask.

C. Continue this clipping mask process for the other rope parts.

D. You should four separate clipped rope parts as seen below.

6. A. Add a black stroke to the rope structure.

B. Move over the clipped objects over to the rope structure. If their behind it (make sure it’s still selected), right-click and choose Arrange>Bring to Front.

C. Continue to move over the clipped objects and rotate/reflect if necessary.

D. When your pieces are all in the right places, make a final color change if needed.

3D Red Pin Tutorial

Today I’ll show you how to make a 3-D pin with a realistic shadow.

Forgive me for having the casted shadow on the wrong side.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator
  • Pen-Tool
  • 3D Revolve
  • Gradient
  • Blur


1. A. Use the Pen-Tool to draw half of what a front-view of a pin looks like. It looks like a curvy I shape cut in half.

B. Add to the bottom of our object, a half-draw needle. Also, make sure to group these two objects together or “bad things will happen”.

2. A. WIth our object selected, go to Effect>3D>Revolve … .

B. Make sure to turn preview on. Adjust the perspective by dragging on the cube. Leave the angle on 360° since we want a full revolution.

C. Click OK to look at your revolve pin shape. If you would still like to edit the 3D effect, go to the Appearance tab and click on the 3D effect.

D. Use the White-arrow Tool to select different portions of the shape. Color the top shape red. Color the bottom shape white. The 3-D effect will update automatically after you change the colors.

3. A. Drag another copy of our pin. With the copied pin selected go to Object>Expand Appearance .

B. You will see now that the copied pin will be editable.

C. Use the Pathfinder (or Shape Builder) Tool to Unite all the portions of the cloned 3-d pin.

D. Use the Shear Tool and adjust the angle to 30° or so. Then use the black arrow tool to resize the object by dragging its corner handles.

4. A. Check to see if you’re at this checkpoint now by seeing how close you are to this image.

B. Finally add a gradient (make it fade from solid black to 0% black). Also add a Gaussian Blur to it.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new.

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