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Design

Create a Detailed, UFO Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:LongLanguages:

In the following steps you will learn how to create an UFO illustration in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid. Next, using basic tools, effects and vector shape building techniques along with the Mesh Tool you will learn how to create the main UFO components. Moving on you will learn how to add shading, highlights and subtle textures for your UFO Using several rectangles and circles, a linear gradient and basic blending techniques you will learn how to create the beam of light.


1. Create a New Document and Setup a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 600 in the width and height boxes then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 5px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

UFO Illustration

2. Create the First Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color at R=251 G=176 B=64. Move to your artboard and simply create an 80 x 15px rectangle, the Snap to Grid should ease your work. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this orange rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 5px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 5px to the left. In the end your rectangle should turn into a trapezoid as shown in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Select your trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 14px down using the drown arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both copies, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Intersect button. Select the resulting shape and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Replace the existing fill color with black (R=0 G=0 B=0) then lower the Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your orange trapezoid, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F), select it and move it 13px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Make sure that your moved copy is selected and make a new copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select it and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=237 G=28 B=36.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Reselect your orange trapezoid and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select it along with the thin, red shape and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white (R=255 G=255 B=255), lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

UFO Illustration

Step 5

Make sure that your orange trapezoid is selected, grab the Mesh Tool (U) and simply click on its edges to add five mesh points as shown below (use the grid as a reference). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points one by one and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. Reselect your mesh along with the other two shapes used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on this new group, name it "GroupOne" then lock it to make sure that you won't accidentally select/move it..

UFO Illustration

3. Create the Second Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 100 x 5px shape, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=64 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 5px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 5px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 4px down. Reselect both copies and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Grab the Mesh Tool (U) , turn your orange trapezoid into a mesh and add five mesh points as shown below (use the grid as a reference). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points one by one and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. Reselect this new mesh along with the shape used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on the new group, name it "GroupTwo" then lock it.

UFO Illustration

4. Create the Third Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 120 x 5px shape, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=64 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 5px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 5px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 4px down. Reselect both copies and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Grab the Mesh Tool (U) , turn your orange trapezoid into a mesh and add five mesh points as shown below (use the grid as a reference). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points one by one and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. Reselect this new mesh along with the shape used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on the new group, name it "GroupThree" then lock it.

UFO Illustration

5. Create the Fourth Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 340 x 5px shape, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=64 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 5px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 5px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2px down. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 4px down. Reselect both copies and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 5

Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 3px down. Reselect both copies and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 6

Grab the Mesh Tool (U) , turn your orange trapezoid into a mesh and add five mesh points as shown below (use the grid as a reference). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points one by one and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. Reselect this new mesh along with the shapes used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on the new group and name it "GroupFour".

UFO Illustration

6. Create the Fifth Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Make sure that your "GroupFour" is still selected and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Horizontal box then simply click the Copy button. This will create a horizontally flipped group copy.

Move to the Layers panel and rename it "GroupFive". Make sure that this new group is selected and drag it 5px up as shown in the second image. Keep focusing on your "GroupFive", select the thin shape highlighted in the third image and remove it using the Delete button from your keyboard. Select the thin shape highlighted in the final image and go to the Appearance panel. First, replace the black with white then lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), and focus on the mesh inside your "GroupFive" group. Select the two mesh points highlighted in the following image and replace the existing colors with the ones shown below.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

For this step you will need a grid every 1px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 2px square, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this tiny shape stays selected, lower the Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Move to the Layers panel, select the shape made in this step and simply drag it inside the "GroupFive" group. Finally, lock your "GroupFour" and "GroupFive" groups.

UFO Illustration

7. Create the Sixth Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Return to "gridline every 5px ", so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 330 x 20px shape, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=64 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 105px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 105px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Reselect your orange trapezoid and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 130 x 10px shape, set the fill color at black and place it as shown in the second image. Select this squeezed circle along with the copy made in the beginning of the step and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that the resulting shape is selected, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Grab the Mesh Tool (U) , turn your orange trapezoid into a mesh and add five mesh points as shown below (use the grid as a reference). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points one by one and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. Reselect this new mesh along with the shape used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on the new group, name it "GroupSix" then lock it.

UFO Illustration

8. Create the Seventh Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 120 x 10px shape, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=64 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 5px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 5px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 3px up. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 5% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Grab the Mesh Tool (U) , turn your orange trapezoid into a mesh and add five mesh points as shown below (use the grid as a reference). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points one by one and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. Reselect this new mesh along with the shapes used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on the new group, name it "GroupSeven" then lock it.

UFO Illustration

9. Create the Eighth Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 110 x 10px shape, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=64 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 15px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 15px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 9px up. Reselect both copies and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower the Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your orange trapezoid and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower the Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Grab the Mesh Tool (U), turn your orange trapezoid into a mesh and add five mesh points as shown below (use the grid as a reference). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points one by one and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. Reselect this new mesh along with the shapes used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on the new group, name it "GroupEight" then lock it.

UFO Illustration

10. Create the Ninth Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) and switch to "gridline every 1px", so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 80 x 3px shape, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=64 and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this orange shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Reselect your orange rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2px up. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your orange rectangle, open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient) and simply click on the gradient thumbnail to add the default black to white linear gradient. Make sure that your shape stays selected and focus on the Gradient panel. First, set the Angle at 0 degrees. Next, select the left gradient slider and set the color at R=203 G=199 B=210 then select the right gradient slider and set the color at R=160 G=148 B=169. Focus on the gradient bar and simply click on it to add a new gradient slider. Make sure that this new slider is selected, set its color at R=160 G=148 B=169, focus on the Location box (from the Gradient panel) and set it at 10%. Keep in mind that the white numbers from the Gradient images stand for Location percentage. Add six new sliders for this gradient then use the color and Location attributes shown in the following image.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 1px circle, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this tiny shape stays selected, lower the Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Reselect this white circle along with the 80 x 3px rectangle and the two shapes used to highlight it then Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on your new group, name it "GroupNine" then lock it.

UFO Illustration

11. Create the Tenth Piece of the UFO

Step 1

Return to "gridline every 5px ", so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create an 80 x 60px shape, set the fill color at R=219 G=217 B=229 and place it as shown in the first image. Create a 30 x 40px shape, set the fill color at R=243 G=245 B=249 and place it as shown in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your 80 x 60 shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, set the fill color at white then make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select this copy and move it 10px to the right. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your 80 x 60 shape, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F) and bring it to front (Shift-Control-] ). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 90 x 35px shape, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the third image. Select both shapes made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect that half circle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 3px to the left. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 5

Reselect that half circle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 3px up and 15px to the left. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 6

Reselect that half circle, move it 1px to the right then make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select this copy and move it 1px to the right. Reselect the copy along with the original half circle and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 7

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 10px circle, fill it with a simple (two colors) linear gradient and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this tiny circle remains selected and focus on the Gradient image. Select the right gradient slider and set the color at white then move to the left slider. Select it, add the same color then focus on the Opacity box (from the Gradient panel) and lower its Opacity to 0%. Keep in mind that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. Make sure that the shape made in this step is still selected and change its Blending Mode to Color Dodge.

UFO Illustration

Step 8

Reselect your 80 x 60 shape and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 30 x 10px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select this squeezed circle along with the copy made in the beginning of the step and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 9

Reselect your 80 x 60 shape, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F) and bring it to front (Shift-Control-] ). Make sure that this copy is selected, set the fill color at R=133 G=114 B=139 and change the Blending Mode to Color Burn.

UFO Illustration

Step 10

Focus on your Toolbar and double-click on the Blend Tool (or go to Object > Blend > Blend Options). Select Specified Steps from the drop down menu, enter 28 in that white box then click OK. Now, reselect that 80 x 60 shape along with the 30 x 40px shape and hit Alt-Control-B (or go to Object > Blend > Make) to create a simple blend. In the end things should look like in the second image.

UFO Illustration

Step 11

Reselect that blend along with the rest of the shapes used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double-click on your new group and name it "GroupTen".

UFO Illustration

12. Add Highlights and Shading for your UFO

Step 1

Focus on the Layers panel and unlock all your locked groups. Select all the shapes created so far and Group them (Control-G). double-click on this new group and simply name it "UFO". Move to your artboard, make sure that your "UFO" is selected and place it roughly as shown in the following image.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Make sure that the fill color is set at R=251 G=176 B=64, grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a simple path along the edges of your UFO as shown in the first image. Switch to the Ellipse Tool (L), create an 80 x 60px shape, place it as shown in the second image and use the same fill color. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Make sure that your orange shape is still selected, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F) and send it to back (Shift-Control-[ ). Select this copy and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with R=27 G=26 B=51 and go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Make sure that your orange shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill, replace the existing color with black, lower its Opacity to 75% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second fill for your shape using the Add New Fill button (pointer by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new fill, make sure that the color is set at black, lower its Opacity to 15%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px offset, click OK and go to Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

UFO Illustration

13. Create the Background

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and simply click on your artboard to open the Rectangle window. Enter 610 in the width and height boxes then click OK. This will create a 610px square. Select it and set the fill color at R=27 G=26 B=51. Next, you need to center this new shape, so open the Align panel (Window > Align). Set the aligning to Artboard (open the fly out menu and go to Show Options if you can't see the Align To section as shown in the following image) then simply click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons. In the end your square should cover the entire artboard as shown in the following image. Move to the Layers panel and name the shape made in this step "bg".

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Make sure that your "bg" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, add the radial gradient shown in the following image, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay. Use the Gradient Tool (G) to stretch that radial gradient as shown below and remember that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Make sure that your "bg" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill. Select this new fill, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Make sure that your "bg" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill. Select this new fill, set the color at white, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Texture > Stained Glass. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Sketch > Torn Edges. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Sketch > Chrome. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and click OK. Move to the Layers panel and simply lock your "bg" shape.

UFO Illustration

14. Create the Beam of Light

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 70 x 100px shape shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image. Don't forget that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. You'll need this gradient again, so it would be a good idea to save it. Focus on your Gradient panel (Window > Gradient), click on that gradient thumbnail and simply drag it inside your Swatches panel (Window > Swathes). Make sure that the rectangle made in this step is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill, lower its Opacity to 20% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 5px offset, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px radius and click OK.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Make sure that the rectangle made in the previous step is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select it, lower the Opacity to 5% and simply add that saved linear gradient from your Swatches panel.

UFO Illustration

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 50 x 60px shape, fill it with that saved gradient, place it as shown in the first image and lower the Opacity to 10%. Use the same tool to create a 30 x 150px shape, fill it with the same linear gradient, place it as shown in the second image and lower the Opacity to 5%.

UFO Illustration

Step 4

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create two, 5 x 100px shapes, fill both shapes with that saved gradient, place them as shown in the first image and lower the Opacity to 5%. Use the same tool to create two, 10 x 100px shapes, fill both shapes with your saved gradient, place them as shown in the second image and lower the Opacity to 5%.

UFO Illustration

Step 5

Switch to "gridline every 1px", so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create four, 1 x 40px shapes, set the fill color at white and place them (roughly) as shown in the first image. Select all four rectangles and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this new group is selected, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

UFO Illustration

Step 6

Using the Ellipse Tool (M), create several 1px circles, set the fill color at white and spread them as shown in the first image. Select all these tiny shapes and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this new group is selected, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Color Dodge.

UFO Illustration

Step 7

Select all the shapes that make up the beam of light and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel, name this new group "beam" and simply drag it below your "UFO" group.

UFO Illustration

15. Add the Vector Silhouette and the Stars

Step 1

Checkout the eighth pack of vector silhouettes from this little article: Best of, Free Vector Business People Silhouette Packs . Copy the silhouette shown in the following image and paste it inside your UFO document. Resize it, place it as shown below and make sure that the fill color is set at black. Move to the Layers panel and simply drag this dark shape below your "beam" group.

UFO Illustration

Step 2

Finally, checkout this simple tutorial by Ian Yates and you will learn how to create the stars in less than 10 steps. Or simply copy the stars from the source file if you happen to be a premium user.

UFO Illustration

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

UFO Illustration
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