Create a toothpaste effect with any sparkly colors. It only requires on path and 4 strokes on that one path and the rest is all the Appearance Panel magic. And you can use this Graphic Style on any Path you create. Add a gleamie for highlights.
Start with a line. Add a red 20pt stroke. Open the Appearance Panel from the Window Menu.
Select the line, click the add stroke button at the bottom. It will add a stroke to the top of the red. Make the newly added stroke WHITE.
Add a Transform effect under Effect>Distort & Transform> Transform. Set the Vertical Move to -3mm. This will move the white line up 3 mm.
Select the line, click the add stroke button at the bottom. It will add a stroke to the top of the white stroke. Make the newly added stroke BLUE.
Add a Transform effect under Effect>Distort & Transform> Transform. Set the Vertical Move to -6mm. This will move the white line up 6 mm.
This is what the red stroke, with the white stroke offset of -3mm, plus the blue stroke offset of -6mm. All the same line, just 3 strokes on the same line.
Add a 4th stroke to the selected line. Make it white, 10 pt stroke weight.
Add a Transform Effect with an offset of -7mm.
All 4 strokes applied. Red stroke 20 pt, with the white stroke 20 pt offset of -3mm, plus the blue stroke 20 pt offset of -6mm. Blue stroke 10 pt with a -7mm offset.
To save the Toothpaste style, open the Graphic Styles panel from the Window Menu. Drag the line into the Styles Panel and name the style.
Now you can apply this to any path you create and not have to recreate the effect.
When you apply an effect and rotate it, you will notice that the effect will always appear the same no matter which way you rotate it.
When you apply an offset, it is absolute. If you want to rotate the effect, select the line and choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu.
You can apply the effect to outlined type. Draw any path with Pencil, Pen or Brush tools and then apply the toothpaste effect to it.
Draw a gleamie by double clicking on the Star tool. Set the Radius 1 to 25mm, set Radius 2 to 2 mm. Set the number of points to 4 and click OK.
Fill the gleamie to 15% gray. Copy and rotate the gleamies onto the toothpaste for that shine and sparkle.
Creating a Bevel and Emboss look in Illustrator is easy, and since there is no Bevel and Emboss effect, this is how you create one.
Start with a rectangle and pull the Corner Widgets in slightly to round the corners.
Add some type. Using a bold, block, condensed typeface will work better. This typeface is called Refrigerator Deluxe Bold.
Outline the type under Type>Create Outlines. Make the outlined type a Compound Path under Object>Compound Path>Make. Fill the type with white. A compound path will treat all the letters as one object, this is not the same as grouping the type.
Select the outlined type, choose Effect>Blur>Gaussian Blur and apply a 15 px blur to the type. Click OK.
This is what the 15px blur looks like. Select the type and open the Appearance Panel under the Window Menu.
You will see the White Fill with the Blur effect applied. Click on Add Fill button at the bottom of the Panel to add another fill on the type. Fill the type with 50% gray.
The gray fill will be applied on top of the white fill just as the order in the Appearance Panel shows. If the 50% gray in under the white, click and drag the gray fill in the Appearance Panel ABOVE the white fill.
With the 50% gray fill selected, choose Effect> Distort & Transform> Transform. Apply a 3mm offset to the vertical and horizontal fields. This will shift the 50% gray fill to the right and down off the white fill. Click OK.
Apply a 15px Gaussian Blur blur to the gray fill just like the white fill a few steps back. Click OK.
Select the type and apply a third fill to the type in the Appearance Panel by clicking on the Add Fill button. Fill the type with a color.
This is what the Appearance Panel looks like with 3 fills applied to one Compound Object. Each fill has attributes applied which can be individually edited.
With the blue fill selected, choose Effect> Distort & Transform> Transform. Apply a 1.5 mm offset (half the amount we applied to the 50% gray fill) to the vertical and horizontal fields. This will shift the blue fill to the right and down in between the white and 50% gray fill. Click OK.
Apply a very slight Gaussian Blur to the blue type to make the edges not so sharp.
Click on the Opacity link under the Blue Fill and choose a blending mode of Multiply. This will let the blue overlay over the white and 50% gray enhancing the bevel look.
This is what the Multiply blending mode looks like applied to the blue type.
Open the Graphic Style Panel under the Window Menu and drag the type into the open window. This will save the style (all the fills, blurs and offsets) of the type so we can reuse this effect without having to recreate every aspect of it.
Select the license plate rectangle and choose Object>Path>Offset Path. Choose an offset of -8 mm to get a path inside the original shape. Click OK.
Add a 10pt stroke to the inner offset path. Choose Object> Expand and click OK. This will turn the path into a shape. Fill the path with white.
With the offset path selected, click on the new saves Graphic Style in the Graphic Styles panel to add the same bevel effect that you created for the type.
Create 4 rounded rectangles for the holes, fill them with white. Select all 4 holes and choose Object>Compound Path>Make.
Duplicate the oval holes, apply a black stroke and no fill to the holes.
Apply a Gaussian Blur effect to the stroke to blur the edges. Copy the set of blurred holes.
Click on the set of white holes and click on the Draw Inside Mode at the bottom of the tool bar.
Paste the set of blurred outlined holes into the existing holes. Use the arrow keys on your key board to move the blurred set to the right and down to create a slip shadow effect. Click on the Draw Normal Mode at the bottom of the tool bar when done.
Creating a paper cut out look in illustrator can produce great effects. This simple method of creating a gradient with a drop shadow and inner glow will give you this look.
Create a rectangle and fill it with 10% gray.
Create a small rectangle for the ground. Fill it with white.
Use the Corner Widgets to round the ends of the rectangle.
Apply an Inner Glow Effect with the Mode set to Multiply, color set to 75% gray, Opacity at 65%, Blur of 3mm.
COPY the shape and add a gradient that goes from 20% gray to white.
On the gradient filled shape, add a Drop Show Effect. Set the Mode to Multiply, Opacity of 45%, X offset at 7mm, Y offset at 6mm, Blur at 4mm and color is black.
To save these fill and glow/ drop shadow attributes, drag the shape with the Inner Glow applied to it, into the Graphic Styles panel and name it. Do the same with the shape that has the gradient and drop shadow.
Create a rain drop by starting with a circle. Click on the Graphic Style to apply the gradient with the drop shadow.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to move the top point up.
In the Properties Panel click on the Convert Point to convert it from a smooth to a corner point.
Copy the rain drop and apply the graphic style with the Inner Glow to one rain drop and the gradient and drop shadow to the other.
Place the inner glow behind the and the gradient with the drop shadow in front. Rotate the rain drops and create smaller and larger groups.
Place the rain drops in the setting.
Create clouds by putting several circles together. Select all the circles.
Use the Pathfinder Unite mode to make them one complete shape.
Draw a rectangle over the bottom of the clouds, select the cloud and the rectangle and use the Pathfinder Minus Front Mode.
Apply the inner glow style to the clouds. Duplicate the clouds and apply the gradient/drop shadow and place it in front of the other clouds.
Create a butterfly by starting with an oval, rotate it at 45°.
Copy the oval, reduce the size and rotate it to -45°.
Flip the set of wings to create the butterfly. Select all the shapes in the butterfly.
Use the Pathfinder Unite mode to create a complete shape.
For the antenna, start with a circle, no fill, 8 pt stroke.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to select and remove one corner section. Hot Dog the ends in the Stroke Panel.
With the Pencil Tool, draw a straight line from the open circle.
Duplicate and flip the antenna.
Select both antenna and choose Object>Path>Outline Path. Make these a compound path, choose Object> Compound Path>Make.
Apply the inner glow graphic style to the butterfly, duplicate the butterfly and apply the gradient/drop shadow style.
Draw a line with the Pencil Tool to create the path of the butterfly. Apply a 7pt stroke in 20% gray to the line. Click on the dashed line, set dash to 12, gap to 24 and hot dog the end caps.
Select the path and choose Object>Path>Outline Stroke. Apply the gradient/drop shadow effect to the line.
The drop shadow/inner glow may be too big on the small line. To edit the effect, open the Appearance Panel and click on the Effect to reduce the amount of drop shadow or inner glow
Duplicate the line and apply the inner glow to the line and place it behind the gradient/drop shadow line. Now anything you create can have the paper cut out look!
Creating a comic book type creation is all about the Appearance panel. This is one set of type with fills and strokes all applied to the same artwork. It is amazing!
Set some type, a bolder face will work better.
Turn the type into outlines under Type>Create Outlines.
Open the Appearance Panel from the Window Menu. Select the type and turn it into a Compound Path under Object>Compound Path>Make.
Apply a white 6pt stroke to the text. Apply and orange fill.
This is what it looks like. Keep the type selected.
Add a stroke to the text by clicking on the add stroke icon in the lower left corner of the Appearance Panel. If necessary, drag the new stroke ABOVE the white stroke. Make it a green stroke and 6 pt weight.
Apply a Transform Effect from the Effect menu or from the fx icon at the bottom of the Appearance Panel on the green stroke. Set the Move to be .1mm both horizontal and vertical. Set the number of copies to 25 to create a slip shadow look. Click OK.
If the Transform Effect is not in the right location, drag it to the Green Stroke.
This is what the Transform Move / Copy effect looks like.
Click on the new fill at the lower left of the Appearance Panel. Add a new fill in brown to the text.
Add a Transform effect to the new brown fill. .5mm Move both horizontal and vertical and 20 copies. Click OK.
If the Transform Effect is not in the right location, drag it to the brown Fill.
Apply a Blur Effect to the brown Fill. 10 pixels of blur.
This is what the brown blur looks like.
If the Blur Effect is not in the right location, drag it under Transform under the brown Fill.
Replace the orange fill with a gradient fill.
This is what the gradient fill looks like.
Select the white stroke in the Appearance Panel and add a Drop Shadow Effect. Set the mode to Multiply, opacity at 75%, 2mm offset and 1 mm blur.
If the Drop Shadow Effect is not in the right location, drag it under White stroke.
This is what the Drop shadow on the white stroke looks like.
Select the Gradient fill in the Appearance Panel, add a Color Halftone Effect.
If the Color Halftone Effect is not in the right location, drag it under Gradient Fill.
This is what the Color Halftone on the fill looks like.
Add a Warp effect to the overall appearance.
This is what the Warp Squeeze Effect looks like.
If the Warp is not in the right location, drag it to the top of the list of items.
To create a Graphic Style out of the effects applied to the text, open the Graphic Styles Panel from the window menu. Drag the text into the Graphic Styles Panel, an arrow with a + will appear. Name the style and click OK. You can apply this style to anything you create.
Ready for your space travel? Create this space ship with a radar beam as it flies through space.
Start with 2 circles, place them half over each other and select both.
Use the Pathfinder Intersect mode to create the space ship body.
Draw a large oval over of the body, having the oval touch the tips pf the body.
Use the Pathfinder Divide mode to create two shapes. Ungroup the shapes. Add a lighter color to the bottom, darker color on the top.
Add lines with round ends using the Stroke panel and choosing the arrow heads & tails sections to choose a rounded end. Scale the end to fit the look of the line. Put the lines under the body for legs.
Create the glass pod on top of the shape ship by stating with a rectangle filled with light blue.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to select the upper two corners and pull the Corner Widgets into the center of the rectangle.
Place the pod on the space ship. Use the Curvature tool to select the center of the bottom edge and pull down to create a curve.
Duplicate the pod two more times and overlap the shapes with a slight offset. Select both shapes and use the Pathfinder minus front mode.
This will leave a sliver to use as a highlight.
Set the pod to an opacity of 40% and the highlight to an opacity of 60%.
To create the clouds, create several circles randomly overlapping.
Select all the circles and use the Pathfinder Unite mode or use the Shape Builder Tool and join them all together as one shape.
Place the clouds behind the space ship. Object> Arrange> Send to Back.
Add stars using the star tool.
To create the radar beam, create an oval and duplicate it, set is further away and make it a different size from the first oval.
Select both ovals and set the Blend Options under Object>Blend. Set it to Specified steps and insert eh number of rings you want between the first and last ring.
Select Object> Blend> Make to create the rings in between the original two rings.
Place the rings. Add a moon by create two offset circles and the Pathfinder Minus front Mode.
Add some circles to the space.
Add a few shooting starts by using the Arc tool to create arc, round the ends (hot dog them) in the stroke panel. Use the Width Shape tool to pull one end wider to create the look of a shooting star.
Scan, photograph or create some rough texture. I create this in Photoshop using one of the random brushes to create texture.
Place the image into Illustrator (File> Place) and open the Image Trace Panel under Window. Set the Mode to B&W. Click the preview in the lower left. Open the Advanced settings section at bottom of the panel and click on the ignore white (very important). Adjust the sliders to get the right look of the texture. Click on the EXPAND button in the control bar or in the Properties Panel to get the image to render as a vector.
Select the clouds, Click on the Draw Inside Mode at the bottom of the Tool Bar. Paste the texture into the shape, Adjust the size, fill the texture with a color close to the could color, Adjust the opacity of the texture to make it blend into the clouds a bit. Click on the Draw Normal mode when done.
Using the Pencil Tool, draw a few free form lines around the objects. Set the line color to white. Used the Dashed line feature in the Stroke Panel and set the DASH length to ZERO and GAP to 12. Set the end caps of the line to rounded (hot dog the ends). This method will create dots.
I added a small alien eye in the pod for fun. Now you are ready for your space journey.