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How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

In today's tutorial we will take a look at a new way of creating vector wooden texture in Adobe Illustrator. The technique that is covered here has become possible thanks to the use of the WidthScribe plug-in that allows you to work efficiently with variable width paths. Have fun and enjoy our new tutorial!

Step 1

Wood texture has strongly pronounced fibers. These are annual rings, which in longitudinal section may look like ellipses. Let's create a basis for future texture. Draw two ellipses with the help of the Ellipse Tool (L), as shown in the following picture.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Select the created objects, then go to Object > Blend > Make. Now go to Object > Blend > Blend Options … and set the required amount of specified steps in the dialog box.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Using this technique, create another blend object, which also consists of two ellipses.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Step 2

Select all the created objects, then go to Object > Blend > Expand. Now we have a set of ellipses of different sizes, which are located in different groups.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Ungroup all the ellipses, to do this, hit twice Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + G shortcuts.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Step 3

Color the stroke of the ellipses in a light brown color and set 3px width for them. Open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), then add a new stroke to the ellipses by clicking on the Add New Stroke in the bottom of the panel. Color the new stroke in a brown color and set 1 px width for it.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Now all the ellipses have the two-color stroke.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Step 4

Limit the area of the wooden texture. Create a rectangle with a light brown fill.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Duplicate this rectangle (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F), then place a copy above all of the created objects (Cmd / Ctrl + Shift +])

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Select all the created objects (Cmd / Ctrl + A), then use the Cmd / Ctrl + 7 shortcuts to create a Clipping Mask.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Step 5

Lock clipping path in the Layers panel.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Take the Warp Tool (Shift + R) and deform the ellipses so that the edges are more similar to wood fibers.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Step 6

Later on we will be using WidthScribe plug-in in our work. We will also have to work with the Width Selector panel (Window > WidthScribe > Width Selector panel) and the Appearance panel.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

So, take the Width Bush Tool, then click on Return / Enter key to open the Width Bush Tool Options dialog box. In the picture below the red frame shows the required parameters that must be set.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

You can change the rest of the settings during the process of work. I also enabled the relationship between the stroke thickness and the pressure, as I used Graphic Tablet. However, you can create a similar texture by using a mouse only.

Step 7

Select one of the paths of the texture, then select the lower stroke in the Appearance panel. Now make a few strokes with the Width Bush Tool along the path.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Since we have selected the "Edit Focal Stroke Only" option in the previous step, the tool will only affect a light brown stroke.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Now select the upper stroke in the Appearance panel, and perform a few strokes with the help of the Width Bush Tool along this stroke.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

To change the sizes of the brush, use "[" and "]" keys. Of course, you can also set other parameters for the Width Bush Tool, depending on what results you want to achieve. Our only one goal is to transform uniform paths into variable width paths.

Step 8

Take the Width Selector Tool, keeping the upper stroke selected in the Appearance panel. As you can see, width markers of the variable width path have appeared.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Select them with the Width Selector Tool.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Later on you would have to work with longer paths, so to select all the width markers it will be more convenient to use the Width Selector panel. To do this, simply select one marker, then click on "Select all markers on path" button.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Step 9

Click on the Return/ Enter key, which will open the Width Selector Preferences dialog box. Tick "Shift Stroke From Side to Side" in this window.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Now, using the "[" and "]" keys, we can move selected width markers in or out of the path.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

We just need to apply the described techniques to all the paths of the texture.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Now you can use the achieved texture in your design. Let's see how I did it.

Step 10

Create a few boards using the same textures and Clipping Masks.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Step 11

Now create a bevel on the boards with the help of the rectangles of light brown color to which the Screen blending mode was applied.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Create a rectangle filled with a vertical linear gradient that includes two shades of brown color. Place the rectangle below the boards, to fill the gaps between them.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Create a new rectangle above all the objects. Fill it with a radial gradient from white to brown color, then apply the Multiply blending mode in the Transparency panel. Thus, we have created a general illumination.

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

How to Create Vector Wooden Texture with WidthScribe and Illustrator

Conclusion

In fact, I know only two ways to create vector wooden texture in Adobe Illustrator, not including auto-traced images:

Now, thanks to the WidthScribe plug-in we have another technique which, in my opinion, is as good as the above mentioned ones, don't you think?

Download the artwork

Click here for Illustrator CS5 and above…

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