Today using the example of creating a handmade sackcloth heart, we will explore the Shadows and Highlights functionality of Texturino v1.2 to add realism to your vector workflow. The new Convert Raster Art to Texture feature makes it even easier to work with bitmap textures. So, let’s get down to learning and applying new technologies that extend the capabilities within Adobe Illustrator!

Step 1

For this tutorial, we will need Free Hi-Res Canvas bitmap textures, which you can download from For this work, I have chosen the fzm-canvas.texture-04-[800×789] texture from the Seamless folder. Start Adobe Illustrator and create a new document (Cmd / Ctrl + N). Here I am working in RGB color mode. Now place the selected texture into a new document (File > Place…). By default, it will be a linked file. Click on the Embed button in the Control panel.

Step 2

With the help of the latest release Texturino (v1.2 or later), we are able to automatically convert embedded images directly in Texturino’s Texture Manager. Select the texture, and then open the Texture panel. To do this, go to Window > Texturino > Texture panel or simply click on the Texture Tool icon in the Tools panel. Open the panel’s fly-out menu and select the new function Convert Raster Art to Texture…

The Texture Manager dialog box opens and we can see that a new texture has appeared in the library.

You can rename it by clicking on the Rename button. Now name it the “sackcloth”.

You can also select an existing category or create a new one.

You need to use seamless texture, so tick the Repeating option. You also have the opportunity to choose blending mode, which will be applied to the texture by default.

After selecting all the options, the texture is ready for use.

Step 3

Now create a rectangle with white fill, then apply the sackcloth texture to it by clicking the Plus icon in the Texture panel. An annotation system will now appear on the object which we can use to change the scale, opacity, blending mode and to rotate texture with control.

Step 4

Using the Pen Tool (P) create a heart shape with a red fill.

Select the heart, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Now set the appropriate negative value in the dialog box so that the outline is shifted inward by the amount similar to the one shown in the picture below.

Disable the fill of the new shape, and apply a stroke of any color and width to it. In the subsequent steps, this object will be used to create a thread seam.

Step 5

With the help of the Texture panel, apply the sackcloth texture to the red shape of the heart. Because we have the Multiply blending mode selected by default, the texture is colored with the red color of the fill from the vector object. Now, using the annotation system, rotate the texture at an arbitrary certain angle.

Next, we will create the effect of irregularities in the edges of the fabric. Keeping the object selected, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen… and set the values similar to those shown below.

Step 6

Now it’s time to add volume for our handmade sackcloth heart. We will do this with the help of the new Shadows and Highlights functionality of Texturino v1.2. For this artwork we need the Texture panel and Texture Brush panel (Window > Texturino > Texture Brush panel). We will be creating shadows and highlights using the Texture Brush Tool.

Here I will use the Wacom graphic tablet. You can work using the mouse, however this device provides more control. Select the shape of the heart, and then select the Shadows and Highlights category in the Texture panel.

Now select the Shadow texture below.

Click on the Plus icon in the Texture panel. The Heart is now colored with black color.

In the Texture Brush panel, set 0% opacity for mask, choose Shadow for Target Texture, then click on the Reset Mask button.

Step 7

Now turn the Wacom Pen to the eraser side and paint the shadow texture back in. You can draw with a regular pen side or mouse/trackpad button, but in this case, hold the Opt/Alt key.

As you can see, in the place where the brush touches, the texture was darkened. You can delete a part, or all of shadow. For this purpose, use the regular side of the pen or mouse without holding down the Opt/Alt key.

Now, having mastered the technique of creating the shadow, we need to choose the parameters of the Texture Brush Tool for convenient work. I prefer to place shadows with low values of Opacity, a large brush size and the mid-level hardness.

The correct shade density can be achieved with several strokes and it is easier to avoid errors, which are placed one on top of another. After a few minutes work on the shadow, the heart will look like this.

Step 8

To create highlights, choose Highlight texture in the Texture panel.

Further actions are similar to those used to create the shadows. Apply Highlight texture to the object.

Set to 0% opacity, Target Texture: Highlight and click on Reset Mask button.

Now we can lighten the necessary areas using a Texture Brush Tool.

Step 9

To create a drop shadow from the heart I used the above technique of creating shadows with the Texture Brush Tool. Only this time, it is necessary to select background texture.

To create a thread seam I used the Scatter Brush. The technique for this is described in detail in the How to Create Vector Denim Texture Using Adobe Illustrator tutorial.

Step 10

Now create a word with embroidered letters. Using the Type tool, write the word Texturino (T) and rotate it at certain angle. For this I used a free Lobster font.

Apply the Scribble effect to the word (Effect> Stylize> Scribble…) with the parameters shown in the picture below.

Step 11

Apply the Inner Glow effect (Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow …)

Then apply the Drop Shadow effect (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow…)

Apply the Hard Light blending mode to the text object.

Step 12

Duplicate the text object (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F) and remove all the effects from the upper text except for the Scribble effect. This must be done in the Appearance panel. Now set the Multiply blending mode for this object.

Apply the sackcloth texture with the Texture panel.

Now, adjust the levels using the Phantasm Levels effect (Effect > Phantasm > Levels…).

The handmade sackcloth heart is ready!

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