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Best of the Vector Web - June 2011

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Each month, we search the web for the best vector-related content and showcase it here for you all to enjoy. This month, we showcase high quality tutorials on creating dramatic lighting effects in Illustrator, making super-sweet chocolaty styled lettering, designing neon vector effects, and more. We have loads of tutorials, in addition to inspiring articles, resources, and useful freebies inside. Dig into June's illustration and design material for vector professionals and enthusiasts.

Vector Tutorials

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    Create Light with the Transparency Palette

    Carolina Torres shows how to use Illustrator's Transparency tools to add atmospheric effects to a children's style illustration. Various blending modes and opacity settings are used to create dramatic lighting effects, which is combined with basic shape creation, to put together this illustration.

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    Create Animated Layouts

    InDesign expert David Cooke teaches the basics of Adobe Indesign CS5's new interactive tools. Learn how to create and trigger buttons, get your layouts moving, and export the results to Flash and PDF.

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    Photoshop & Illustrator Tutorial: Type That's Fit to Eat

    This tutorial by Radim Malinic shows how to create a melted chocolate illustrated lettering look. The results are stunning and the process is easy to follow. Illustrator CS5 and Photoshop CS5 are both used. You'll start with Illustrator where you'll customize an existing font with embellishments, and give it a more hand drawn look. Then it's off to Photoshop to add realism.

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    How to Create a Neon Text Effect Using Adobe Illustrator

    In this beginner targeted tutorial, Iaroslav Lazunov shows how to use Illustrator's Gradient Mesh tool, 3D Modeling, Art Brushes, and the Transparency palette. As usual, Iaroslav shows a clear workflow, and breaks down how to create this stunning effect.

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    How To Create a Cool Abstract Radial Pattern Design

    Chris Spooner shows us another take on creating a cool abstract pattern poster. This design utilizes a radial pattern, with a clear focal point that grabs the viewer's attention. After cleverly using Illustrator tools like Blends and Rotations, the vectors are brought into Photoshop to give it a worn, vintage feel.

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    Illustrator Tutorial: How to Create a Vector Fan

    Over at Vector Diary Bao Nguyen shows how to create a vector fan. This shape creation tutorial uses Illustrator's basic tools, and simple techniques, to create a complicated object. Some of the tools used are Pathfinder, Align, Arrange, Gradient, and other basic tools. You'll construct each part, such as the propeller, and then combine them into the finished illustration.

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    How to Create a Realistic Soccer Ball in Adobe Illustrator

    Over on Noupe, Jasmina Stanojevic shows how to create a realistic soccer ball from a reference photo. The Pen tool and simple gradients are used to great effect in this tutorial - its all in the details.

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    Create a Poster Theme Illustration in Illustrator

    Follow Andrei Marius as he details the creation of a funky, music themed poster in Illustrator. This tutorial is aimed at the intermediate skilled designer and will take about an hour and a half to complete. There are quite a few techniques and effects used to bring this design together.

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    Create a Semi-Realistic Light Bulb in Adobe Illustrator

    Need to improve your ability with the Pen Tool? This tutorial follows a classic process of tracing a reference image in Illustrator. The build process for this complex object is covered in detail, and would be especially useful for the beginning illustrator.

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Vector Inspiration, Articles, and Resources

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    Nine Indispensable Illustrator Plug-ins

    Many good plug-in ideas are incorporated into core Illustrator, each time a new version of Illustrator comes out. There are still some wonderfully featured plug-ins though that will enhance the usefulness of Illustrator, even the newest versions of Illustrator. Some of these plug-ins are free and the really powerful ones can be costly. If you need to expand your ability to create shapes, patterns, or mix colors in Illustrator then jump over to this article.

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    Weekly Vector Inspiration #125

    Ryan Putnam of Vectips delivers another assortment of vector awesomeness. He has a great eye for exciting vector work. If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out this roundup, with retro style illustrations, simplified cityscapes, and more. Jason Munger's illustration stands out as noteworthy.

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    The Best Illustrator Tutorials for Creating Detailed Portrait Illustrations

    Looking to refine your vector portrait work, then check out this collection of high quality Illustrator tutorials that will boost your vector drawing skill set. Learn to create detailed portraits of people.

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    The Wonderful Illustrations of Angie Wang

    Angie Wang's is an illustrator and cartoonist based in Portland, Oregon. Her illustrations have a funky style to them. I love how the colors clash in this wonderful way. Her characters have an usual fashion focus and light up the scenes she draws. Very inspiring work.

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    Understanding Copyright And Licenses

    When making use of the vast free resources on the web, such as photos, fonts, and our beloved vector graphics, it's important to understand the basics of copyright and licenses. You should read the licenses of artwork you use, be sure to credit when required, and use them within the parameters outlined in the license. There are some common formats many of these licenses take, this article explains them.

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    Organize Your Design Files – Or ELSE!

    William Beachy reviews how a major design agency (GoMedia) organizes their project files. They have a system in place that ensures they can find iterations of all client files, assets, and versions of a project as it progresses. It's important to have a good structure in place, especially as you add more clients and larger projects to your workload.

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(FREE!) Vector Downloads

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    Free Vector - Stationery

    Grab this new vector freebie pack from Iaroslav Lazunov. It's composed of six illustrations: pen, pencil, notebook, ruler, calculator, and phone. They are all available as one free download in EPS format.

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    Let's Party! Showcase of Free Vector Cocktails to Download

    Vectorious has produced a roundup fit for summer. There are numerous colorful cocktail glass illustrations, available for download for free, all in vector format. Grab these delicious vectors today.

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    Freebie Casual Bloggers Vector Illustration

    Wizmaya has a couple of gorgeous, vector mascots available for free download over on their site. Each of these blogger mascots is available in EPS, JPG, and PNG format. Since there are transparency effects used, it requires Adobe Illustrator CS or higher for opening the EPS files.

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    Mixed Elements Free Vector Pack-1

    This pack is filled with an assortment of hand drawn vectors, which shows the range of quality that stockgraphicdesigns.com offers. These free graphics are available in AI, EPS, and PNG formats.

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    Free Fonts On Creattica

    Creattica has a selection of free fonts you can grab. Check out the latest this site has to offer. And if you’re looking to promote your skills then of course contribute a set of your own. Some of the latest contributions are a versatile Open Type font, a linear decorative font, and a bulky stylish font available for free download.

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