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

About: In this tutorial,  I’ll help you create a stylish vectored orb with highlights, shadows, blurs, and masks.

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.

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Perspective Grid Part 1


Today I will show you how to make something similar as this but mostly likely this.

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

 

Info: You might have noticed the part 1 in the title, that is because I broke it apart into 2 segments where 1 will get you as far the colored grid while 2 gets you as far as textures and shadows. This tutorial will also teach you a thing or two about the perspective that you’ve probably have never had experience with.

 

Steps:

1. Make a new document. Let’s have a 1000 by 1000 art board so we don’t make things too complicated.

2. Let’s choose the perspective tool from the Toolbar. If you don’t which one it is, just click the shortcut Shift+P to easily bring it up.

3. You’ll see that a 2-point perspective grid shows up. I don’t know about you but I want a 1-point perspective. So go to View>Perspective Grid>One Point Perspective>[1-p Normal View].

 

 

4. Let’s draw a long/thin, brown rectangle on the right side of the art board. Afterwards, drag-copy the same rectangle on the opposite side of the artboard.

5. Let’s select the blend tool (W).  Click one rectangle then the other. Double click the blend-tool in the Toolbar to get the option box. SelectSpacing>Specified Steps and write 10.

6. Select this blend if it isn’t select, then choose the rotate tool. Hold Alt/Option to copy while rotating. Make this copied blend perpendicular to the original.

 

 

7. Select both blends then go to Object>Blend>Expand to make them separate, editable objects.

8. Select everything, Ctrl+A/Cmd+A.

9. Now go to Window>Pathfinder. Then click the unite button under Shape Modes. Now make the united shape, light brown.

 

 

10. Select the rectangle tool. Do you notice the little perspective bubble near the top-left corner, click the left side of the cube that’s in the bubble. Or you could just click 1 (Left Grid).

11. Start from “box 1” that is inside our “grid.” The rectangle will automatically be drawn into perspective, Draw a rectangle where one side touches the left edge of  “box 1” and make this rectangle long. Also, make the rectangle dark brown. See the pictures for reference.

12. . Click and hold the Perspective Tool from the toolbar to bring up the Perspective Selection Tool. Or just click the shortcut Shift+V.


13. Using the perspective selection tool, select the dark brown rectangle. Holding Shift and Alt/Opt, drag copies of the rectangle towards the bottom. Make sure that each copy touches the left side of the grid boxes. Try to get to all the boxes in that column. Afterwards, group these brown rectangles. See pictures for reference.

14. Now this might be tricky but hold on. Select the rectangle group then hold 5+Shift+Alt/Opt to drag copies towards the right. Make sure that each copy touches the left side of the grid boxes.

15. Select all the brown rectangle groups, then click the rotate tool. Alt/Option click the exact middle of the artboard so it will know where to rotate from. So alt/opt+shift drag the rectangles 90°. Cmd+D to do the same thing again.


16. Change the colors for rectangles that are on the sides that are on the left, right, up and down. See the picture if you’re confused.

17. Now select all the rectangles and right-click and choose Arrange>Send to Back. Or click the shortcut PC: Shift+Ctrl+[ or Mac: Shift+Cmd+[.

18. Take time and adjust the positions of each rectangle so they fit precisely on the edges of the grid.


19. Take more time to see if everything is in place and every object is grouped with their similar counterparts.

20. Optional: Draw a square with a gradient, from one corner to another.

21. Optional: Close the bubble in the corner and the perspective grid will disappear. If your happy with this grid then just leave it as is here but if you want to make it look more realistic, proceed to Part 2 of this tutorial.

 

 

Part 2 coming soon.


 

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