Tag Archives: illustrator

Working with gradients in Adobe Illustrator

This video tutorial explains how to use the Gradient Tool in Adobe Illustrator to combine two or more colours to make a gradient effect. We will look at how to make linear gradients and radial gradients as shown below. Gradients can combine multiple colours or different shades of the same colour.

Linear gradient (left) and radial gradient (right).
Linear gradient (left) and radial gradient (right).

Watch the video below to see how you can use gradients in your own Illustrator drawings and illustrations.

Laser engraving a bitmap image using Illustrator

Do you have an image that you’d like to laser engrave on to the surface of a material such as timber or plastic? If it is an image that has a lot of detail and you would rather not just engrave the outlines of the shape (using the image tracing tool), then follow this tutorial!

Step 1

Find the image you would like to use. It should have good contrast. Once you have a suitable image, copy it to the clipboard. For this tutorial, I will use the image show below (left). It will end up looking like the image shown below (right).

it1

Step 2

Open Adobe Illustrator and click File > New to begin working on a new document. Make sure you change the Profile to Basic RGB, then change the document width and height to suit your preferences and click on OK.

it2

Step 3

Click on Edit > Paste to paste in the image that you copied earlier.

it3

The image should appear in your document. Resize the image to suit your preferences.

it3b

Step 4

Grab the Selection tool (the black arrow) and click on the image to make sure it is selected. Then click Image Trace on the top toolbar (if you don’t see this option on the toolbar, click Object > Image Trace > Make). If you see a warning message telling you that image tracing may take a while, just click OK. It may take a few seconds to process the image.

it4

Step 5

After the image has been traced, change the Preset from Default to Shades of Gray. You can do this from the toolbar. Illustrator will take a few seconds to process the image (or longer depending on the size and quality of the image).

it5

And that’s it! The image should look like the one shown below. Now when you send the document to your laser cutter, it should engrave the image using a different laser engraving intensity for the different light and dark parts of the image.

it5b

If you need to do any other editing, such as changing the shape of the image then it is best to do this in a photo-editing program like Photoshop before copying it into Illustrator. Remember, Illustrator is not a photo-editing program – it is a drawing and illustrating program.

Download the PDF file
Download a PDF copy of the instructions.

Rotating shapes to create a circular pattern in Adobe Illustrator

This tutorial explains how to use Adobe Illustrator to easily create a circular pattern with repeating elements. By applying the steps shown in this tutorial, you will be able to create patterns like these:

pattern1pattern2pattern3 pattern4 pattern5

Watch the video below or download the PDF instructions here.

Download the PDF file
Download a PDF copy of the instructions.

Laser cutting with Adobe Illustrator

This tutorial explains how to set up your documents in Illustrator to use with a laser cutter so that you can mark, engrave and cut your own designs on a range of materials such as timber and plastic.

Watch the video below or scroll down to download the PDF instructions.

You can also download printable instructions here.

Download the PDF file

 

Using Adobe Shape CC app to turn sketches into Illustrator drawings

This video tutorial explains how to use the Adobe Shape CC app (on iOS and Android) to take a photo of a hand-drawn sketch and turn it into an SVG vector graphic which can be opened and edited in Adobe Illustrator CC.

Watch the video below or on YouTube.

 

Getting started with Adobe Illustrator

This video tutorial introduces the basic tools and features of Adobe Illustrator to help you get started with your own designs, including:

  • Fill and stroke colours
  • Line tool
  • Pen and Brush tools
  • Shape tools
  • Zoom and Hand tools
  • Selection tools
  • Anchor points and curved lines
  • Eraser

Watch the video below or on YouTube.

You can download the PDF instructions here.

Typography in Adobe Illustrator CC

This video tutorial explains how to use typography in Adobe Illustrator CC to create the shape of a zebra with just words.

The aim is to be able to recognise the shape of the zebra after removing the shape or image and just leaving the words behind. Once you have completed the tutorial, your shape might look a bit like this:

More words could be added in a smaller font size to make the shape even clearer.
More words could be added in a smaller font size to make the shape even clearer.

You can also download the PDF instructions here.

Download the PDF file

How to create a 3D bottle in Adobe Illustrator CS6

This video tutorial explains how to create a 3D plastic bottle with a label, using Adobe Illustrator CS6. The activity involves downloading an image of a bottle which can be used to trace around with the pencil tool. A label is also created and the traced line of the bottle is revolved to form a 3D image. The label is then wrapped around the bottle.

In the video, I create a basic label but more time can be spent to create a packaging label that includes things such as product information, ingredients, manufacturing location, price, and a barcode. You can view the video below or alternatively view it on YouTube by clicking here.

You can also download the PDF instructions from here.