Important product change information

Since this article was originally published, Phantasm CS, Phantasm CS Studio and Phantasm CS Publisher have been separated into three individual plug-ins:

Phantasm: color control and vector halftones
Rasterino: the ultimate embedded image solution for Illustrator
InkQuest: control of common pre-press tasks

Existing customers of Phantasm CS / Studio / Publisher can find full details of how this affects their licenses by reading this article.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

In this tutorial we will create an abstract background using very simple techniques. Take a look at the rings; do they look like vector objects? I did not use raster effects or Photoshop in this work. Study the techniques, and you will become the Lord of the Vector Rings!

Step 1

Set the RGB color mode for your document (File > Document Color Mode > RGB color) then take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle. Fill the rectangle with black and white radial gradient, which we transform into elliptical one.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 2

Create another rectangle with the help of the Rectangle Tool (M). The height of the rectangle should be greater than the height of the first rectangle, the width does not matter.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Duplicate the rectangle and distribute the copies over the surface of the background (holding down the Opt / Alt + Shift while dragging).

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 3

Change the width of the vertical rectangles in any order, and fill them with different shades of gray.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Select and group up all the vertical rectangles (Cmd / Ctrl + G). Now, keeping this group selected, go to Object > Transform > Rotate… and set the angle of -45° in the dialog box.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 4

Set the Overlay Blending Mode and 50% Opacity for this group of rectangles in the Transparency panel.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Select a few central rectangles with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) or Lasso Tool (Q) and group them up (Cmd / Ctrl + G).

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Take out the created group from the common group of rectangles. Do this in the Layers palette. Fill the upper group with linear black and white gradient at an angle of -135°.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Set the Overlay Blending Mode for this group in the Transparency panel.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 5

Copy the lower rectangle filled with radial gradient, and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C, Cmd / Ctrl + F). Now place it above all the objects (Shift + Cmd / Ctrl +]).

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Select all the objects (Cmd / Ctrl + A) and press the keys Cmd / Ctrl + 7 creating a Clipping Mask.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 6

Now let's create luminous rings. Create a ring with the Dynamic Shapes Tool — one of the tools of the VectorScribe plugin. So, take a Dynamic Shapes Tool and open the panel with the same name (Window > VectorScribe > Dynamic Shapes). Choose a Dynamic Donut in the panel and create a ring. This shape represents a Compound Path, but it is dynamic. That means that we can control its parameters from the Dynamic Shapes panel or by dragging its corner points.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Fill in the shape with linear gradient which consists of different shades of gray, black, and white.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

The angle of the linear gradient is 90°.

Step 7

Copy the ring and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C, Cmd / Ctrl + F). Use the Dynamic Shapes Tool to change the diameter of the inner and the outer path of the object. Select one of the corner points of the external path and, without releasing the mouse button, press the key Cmd / Ctrl and move the path.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Those actions are repeated with the inner path of the upper ring, increasing its diameter.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 8

Change the angle of the linear gradient of the upper ring. Set 150° in the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient).

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Now go to Object > Blend > Blend Options…, then select the both shapes and go to Object > Blend > Make.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 9

Copy the created blend object and paste it in front two times (Cmd / Ctrl + C, Cmd / Ctrl + F two times). Select the two upper blend object — it is convenient to do this in the Layers panel — and set the Overlay Blending Mode for them in the Transparency panel.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 10

Change black and white linear gradient of the lower blend object with linear gradient consisting of the rotating orange and yellow colors.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Set 50% Opacity for this object in the Transparency panel.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Select and group up all the blend objects.

Step 11

Place the created ring (group of blend objects) over background.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Now make the edges of the ring blurred. Select the large rings in the layers panel that belong to three blend objects, and set them to 0% Opacity via the Transparency panel.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

The Layers panel is a very effective selection tool. This panel is always open when I'm working.

Step 12

Duplicate the created ring (Opt + Alt while dragging) and place copies on the surface of the background. Reduce some of the ring's size using the Direct Selection Tool (V). In other words, create a composition.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 13

Change the color of some rings. It is convenient to change the color of objects with the help of the Phantasm CS. Let's see how it can be done.

Select the blend with an orange linear gradient of one of the rings in the layers panal and go to Effect > Phantasm CS > Hue / Saturation…. Tick Colorize in the dialog box, and by controlling Hue and Saturation sliders, adjust the colors of the gradient towards green.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Apply this technique to some other rings. In order to repeat the Phantasm CS Hue / Saturation effect quickly, select the necessary objects in the Layers palette and go to Effect > Apply Hue / Saturation (Shift + Cmd / Ctrl + E).

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

It took me less than 1 minute to recolor 6 rings.

Step 14

By duplicating, create a few more rings and recolor blue them using Phantasm CS.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Set 15% Opacity for the blue rings in the Transparency panel.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Group up all the rings. I think it's a good practice to group up homogeneous objects as it allows you to organize your artwork more efficiently.

Step 15

Create glow on the rings. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle. Fill it with radial gradient, which consists of a light yellow and black.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Set the Screen Blending Mode for the circle in the Transparency panal and place the circle on one of the rings.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 16

Place these circles on the other rings. Circles that are located on top of green rings should be filled with a radial gradient, which contains light green instead of yellow.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 17

Create lots of luminous small objects. With the Ellipse Tool (L) create a circle (3 by 3 px) and fill it with black and white radial gradient. Set Screen Blending Mode and 50% Opacity for this circle in the Transparency panel.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Use symbols to create a lot of objects fast. So, open the Symbols panel (Window > Symbols) and save the circle as a new symbol.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 18

Now take the Symbol Sprayer Tool (Shift + S) and spray circles on the surface of the background.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

You can adjust the radius of spaying the objects, and other parameters of the tool by double clicking on its icon in the Toolbar, thus opening its dialog box.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 19

After spraying the symbols, you can continue working on them. For example, you can increase the size of some symbols. Take the Symbol Sizer Tool, and increase the symbols that you think need to be increased.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Step 20

Now we need to hide the objects that go beyond the background. There is no need in creating a new Clipping Mask. You can use the already existing Clipping Mask. Just drag groups with the rings and glowing circles to the group in which the Clipping Mask is.

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Vector Abstract Background with Rings

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Use the tools that are designed to speed up your work and make it easier, such as VectorScribe and Phantasm CS, so you can spend more time more creatively!

Vector Origami Background

Download the tutorial artwork

Click here for the Illustrator CS3 artwork…

Click here for the Illustrator CS4 artwork…

Click here for the Illustrator CS5 artwork…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
I didn't know Illustrator could do that!

Sign up forTips, Tricks, Updates + Discounts straight to your inbox!

High Fives! You're now successfully subscribed

0

Your Cart