Important product change information
Since this article was originally published, DrawScribe has been separated into two individual plug-ins:
DynamicSketch: sketch naturally in vector
InkScribe: draw precisely and accurately in vector
Existing customers of DrawScribe can find full details of how this affects their licenses by reading this article.
In this tutorial we will learn how to create a "24 Hours a Day" Icon with the help of the 3D modeling within Illustrator. Objects created by 3D modeling require additional and often time-consuming subsequent re-work. Throughout all the stages of creating the icon, we will be using tools within VectorScribe and DrawScribe plugins that greatly simplify and speed up drawing tasks. If you are a professional or going to become one, then I think the simplicity of creation and time savings are very important to you…
Create a rectangle with rounded corners. Usually I use the Dynamic Shapes Tool (VectorScribe Studio plugin) for these purposes. The advantage of this tool over the native Rounded Rectangle Tool is obvious to me, since we have an opportunity to control the parameters of the object after its creation. This allows for the refinement of the result, without making several attempts from scratch.
With the help of the Dynamic Shapes Tool, create a triangle and place it as shown in the following picture.
Select the created shapes and combine them by clicking on Unite in the Pathfinder panel.
This results in the ubiquitous speech bubble shape. Take the Type Tool (T) and create the text "24 h". I think a sans serif font fits best here.
Take the InkScribe Tool (part of DrawScribe) or Pen Tool (P) and create a path that consists of straight-line segments.
Set the desired width for the path and choose Arrowhead in the Stroke panel.
To round the corners of an arrow, I use the Dynamic Corners Tool (VectorScribe Studio plugin), which allows me to control the radius of rounding via the Dynamic Corners panel or by click-dragging the annotation points.
To be fair, I would like to mention that you can round off the corners of the arrow with the help of the Round Corners effect:
…but this effect only gives the correct result if rounding is applied to right angles and straight line segments (a huge restriction!). Also, using this effect, you will not be able to apply different radii to the different corners on the same path .
Select the arrow and text, and then save them as a new symbol in the Symbols panel.
Now you can delete these objects. Select the shape of the speech bubble and go to, then set the parameters of the effect shown in the picture below.
Click on the Map Art… in the dialog box, then select the first surface in the Map Art window and apply to it the symbol created in the previous step, click on OK.
Select the type of surface "No Shading", it will allow you to work with a smaller number of subjects in the future.
Select the 3D object and go to. As a result of these actions 3D object became a group of vector objects. Besides the necessary objects, this group may also contain unnecessary objects with no fill and stroke and Clipping Masks. We can delete all the unnecessary objects, without investigating the Layers panel. To do this, go to , then go to .
Unfortunately, vector objects resulting from 3D modeling usually have a lot of extra points.
This fact makes it difficult to edit, and increases the size of the resource file, since each point is a bit of information. If you are using the products of Astute Graphics, you can easily remove extra points. Smart Remove Point in PathScribe Tool (VectorScribe plugin) and InkScribe Tool (DrawScribe plugin) features are designed for that.
Objects resulted from 3D modeling can contain open paths.
To close them, use the Close Paths feature that is present in the PathScribe Tool and InkScribe Tool.
With the help of the Unite in the Pathfinder panel, combine all the objects that correspond to the same surface.
Now we can start coloring our icon.
To create a gloss of the metal surfaces I'm using linear gradients that should contain very dark (almost black) and very light (almost white) shades of gray.
To create reflections on the metal surfaces, create objects filled with black and white linear gradients and apply the Multiply blending mode to them and lower the opacity in the Transparency panel.
Select the upper surface of the icon, then go toand set the offset value.
Fill the new object with an arbitrary color.
Copy and paste the gray shape in front two times. Move the upper shape a few pixels down (for clarity, I filled the middle shape with red)
Now select the upper gray shape and middle red shape, then click on the Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel.
Select the red shape obtained by the actions of the previous step, and the gray shape. Take the Knife Tool and cut the selected shapes as shown in the following picture.
In order to ensure the Knife Tool cuts along a straight line hold thewhile using it (this tool can only be applied to closed paths, not open ones). Fill the resulting objects with radial gradients that contain shades of red and blue colors.
Fill the Objects at the edges with linear gradients which contain darker shades of the corresponding surfaces.
Fill the text and arrow with barely visible linear gradient from white to gray.
I prefer to apply gradient fills to all the objects. This allows you to give the impression of extra volume.
Create a circle with the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) and fill it with a radial gradient from gray to white. Apply the Multiply blending mode to this object and place below all the created objects. Transform the circle into an ellipse with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (V). Thus, we have created a general shadow of our icon.
Now let's create a more contrasting shadow under the icon. For these purposes, I have created two objects. The lower, bigger one has a light gray fill and 0% opacity. The upper object has dark gray fill and 100% opacity. Select both objects and go to.
Do not expect that you will immediately get the desired result. Most likely, you will need to edit the shapes inside the blend object. You can move points of the objects and even redraw their shapes using the Pencil Tool (N) or Dynamic Sketch Tool (DrawScribe plugin). I prefer using the Dynamic Sketch Tool, because this tool allows me to adjust the accuracy and smoothness dynamically after adjusting the path. The amount of points of the shape included into the blend-object has a significant impact on the quality and smoothness of the result.
Well, that is going to be all now. Follow Astute Graphics on Facebook and Twitter if you want to be the first to find out about the news related to our products, read the best Illustrator tutorials, interviews with famous designers and articles about design.