# Blog Archives

## Vector Orb Tutorial Part 1

It’s time again for another tutorial but this one will be another long tutorial so I will break it up into two. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

You’ve probably seen these types of orbs around the web and now you have the chance to make your own stylish vector orb.

Prerequisites: Illustrator CS4/5          Some experience with Illustrator

Steps:

1. A. Draw a perfect circle using the ellipse tool and holding shift to constrain its proportions and give it a radial gradient where the inside is white and the outside is black/gray. B. Give this circle an opacity of 50 %.

2. A. Add an inner glow effect by going to Effect>Stylize>Inner Glow. B. A window should pop up; choose white for the fill, choose screen for the mode, make the opacity 75 %,  make the blur .007, and choose the edge option. C. Add another glow effect using the same process and you won’t need to enter the values again since the settings will be saved until you change them.

3. A. Copy a circle of the same size as our orb and make another circle slightly bigger than it, also making sure that it is behind it and that they each have different colors. B. Use the Shape Builder tool (Shift+M, hold option to subtract parts) or use pathfinder to cut out the inner circle. C. Now with this shape, give it nice linear gradient that goes from black to white upward (90°). D. Move this object back onto our orb.

4. A. Use the type tool to create some text. I wrote M in respect to the Mac Lab logo but feel free to write some short text (initials maybe). B. Apply an Outer Glow by going to Effect>Stylize>Outer Glow. C. A window will show up; set the fill to black, set the mode to  multiply, set the opacity to 75%, and the blur to .08.

5. A. Draw a white oval near the top of our orb. B. Apply a gradient where it fades to white downwards.

6. A. Draw another white oval near the bigger one  so it’s adjacent to it. B. Set the small oval’s opacity to 50%.

7. A. Draw a short arc segment with a .565 stroke or any stroke that is about the same width of the small oval and make it have a round cap. B. Use the Width Tool (Shift+W) to shorten one end to a point by dragging the endpoint’s width anchors inward. C. Move this curve onto the orb and give a white stroke. D. Give this curve a 50% stroke.

Note: If lacking the Width Tool, just draw the shape as best as you can.

This is the end of Part 1. Part 2 will finish off by giving it shadows and reflections. Click here for Part 2.

## Vector Orb Tutorial Preview

Sorry for not posting a tutorial sooner but I promise to give you one today. I been having computer problems at home but I finally managed to fix things. In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a vector bubble/orb/sphere with some shadows, highlights, and masks. Will post the complete tutorial in a few hours.

## Perspective Grid Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Perspective Grid tutorial. Part 2 consists of making our grid into a realistic library.

Materials: +Illustrator CS5 +Perspective Tool +Stock Photos +Blend Tool

Steps:

22. To leave off where we were before. We can draw some rectangles that represent the back of the shelves. Draw and group each rectangle in each row/column to fill all the “backs” of the shelves.

23. Let’s draw a black square that will be used for a clipping mask later.

24. Download some free stock textures and make sure they are wood patterns. I got these free stock textures from freestocktextures.com, go figure. I recommend download these items: http://freestocktextures.com/texture/id/698 and http://freestocktextures.com/texture/id/454.

25. In this step, we will make a clipping mask out of our front grid. To do this, send the grid to the back or front.

26. Bring the stock texture under/over our grid. Make sure that these two are both selected then right click and choose Create Clipping Mask.

27. Draw a similar black square anywhere on the screen. Stretch our second stock texture so it overlaps all of the black square. Select both of the square and texture and make a clipping mask.

28. Let’s drag our background text over our grid. Then, send this object to the back.

29. Now let’s have some fun and apply Inner Glow effects to each column/row of rectangles. Inner Glow is located in Effect>Stylize>Inner Glow. Set a shortcut for this effect or else keep clicking through the menu as we go through each rectangle. A good shortcut to set it to is PC: Shift+Ctrl+Alt+G or MAC: Shift+Ctrl+Opt+G. In the inner glow option box, choose a dark brown color, set the mode to multiply, set the opacity to 80, and blur to 15. These are recommended settings but feel free to change it.

30. Get through each rectangle and make sure they all have the inner glow effect.

31. Since we want the background texture to appear, let’s make all the squares that faces us, have an opacity of 50 or whatever you want.

32. Take some time to make sure everything is lined up and looking elegant.

33. Draw a square from one corner to another and apply a radial gradient.Make sure the color that is in the middle has an opacity of 0. See picture for reference.

34. Send this square to the back BUT in front of the texture.

And you’re down. Congratulations! This tutorial use some confusing methods but now you learned a lot more than you could’ve had.

The tutorial file will be uploaded via Box.net so you can play around with that.