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Create a Royal Crown Using Adobe Illustrator CS5

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In today's tutorial you'll learn how to create a crown using four stages of design: 3-D modeling, creating of elements of the crown, colors, and creating glare on the surface. Let's get started!


3D Modeling

Step 1

Create an axis of rotation. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create a vertical line, the thickness of the stroke and stroke color is not important, with no fill.

With the help of the Pen Tool (P) create the guide of rotation in an arc shape at a certain distance from the axis of rotation. The shape of your crown will depend on the shape of this line.


Step 2

Select both of the created objects and group them (Command + G), go to Effect > 3D > Revolve... and set the parameters shown in the figure below.


Step 3

Now proceed to the creation of the prongs of the crown. Take the Polygon Tool, click with the mouse on the document field and set the options in the dialog box as shown.

As a result we have a triangle. Keep the shape selected, go to Object > Transform > Rotate... and turn the triangle at 180 degrees.


Step 4

Take the Scissors Tool (C) and cut the triangle at points A and B, now remove the upper side.

Select the bottom vertex of the triangle using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and convert the anchor point from a corner into a smooth one.


Step 5

Set an integer value for the width of the object, so it will be convenient to do the further operations.

Keep the object selected, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform and set the offset value equal to the width of the object and the number of copies in the dialog box.

Now go to Object > Expand Appearance, take the Lasso Tool (Q) and select the tangent area of the neighboring objects.

Join the location Touch Object > Path > Join (Command + J).

Oops! The program did not work out because of the fact that our objects after Expand Appearance operation are in different groups. Select all the objects and ungroup them (Shift + Command + G) and repeat this operation of uniting all the tangent points.


Step 6

Take the Scissors Tool (C) and cut the object at the bottom left-most point and remove the leftmost segment. Perform the same operation with the rightmost segment.

Now take the Pen Tool (P) and unite the extreme points of the object as shown.

For illustration purposes, fill the object with a red color and move on to the Symbol palette.


Step 7

Go back to the 3D object. To edit it, open the Appearance palette and click on the effect function.

Choose the Map Art in the dialog box 3D Revolve Options, pick the desired symbol and a shape to which it will be applied.

Click on the Scale to Fit button in the Map Art dialog box.

Click OK and the model of the crown is ready.


Step 8

How do you like the result? I do not really like it, so let's edit it. Open the 3D Revolve Options dialog box through the Appearance palette and key in new parameters.

We can edit the symbol the same way by double-clicking on its icon in the Symbols palette.

After editing the symbol, re-open the 3D Revolve Options dialog box, and without making any changes click on OK.

The resulting model of the crown will be used as a template. Therefore, it is desirable to lock the underlayer containing the object in the Layers palette, in case you accidentally shift it during manual tracing.


Manual Tracing and the Creation of Crown Elements

Step 9

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse in the shape of the lower edge of the crown.

Now take the Scissors Tool (C) and cut it in the extreme left and right points.

Lock the bottom part of the ellipse in the Layers palette and using the Pen Tool (P) draw the front part of the crown, lock this object in the Layers palette.


Step 10

Unlock the bottom part of the ellipse in the Layers palette and use the Pen Tool (P) connect the places of the cuts, as shown in the figure below. Draw the back dipping prongs of the crown.

Place the elements of a crown in the right order by moving them in the Layers palette.


Step 11

Now unlock the underlayer with 3D object and shift it aside. This object can be used for the designing of light.


Step 12

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle on one of the prongs of the crown. Our crown will be decorated with the golden balls.

Duplicate the circle and place copies on the remaining prongs of the crown.


Step 13

Proceed to the creation of the wall thickness of the crown. Copy the front surface of the crown and paste it back (Command + C; Command + B), now move the copy horizontally to the left. The displacement will be equal to the thickness of the walls of the crown.

Take the Scissors Tool (C) and cut the object at points A and B.

Now remove the left side of the object. Cuts of the remaining prongs have to be connected with the Pen Tool (P).

Using this technique, create thickness of the left and back of the crown prongs.


Step 14

Create the front of the crown. Select the front of the crown and go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set -10 px in the dialog box.


Step 15

Take the Scissors Tool (C) and cut the resulting object at points A and B. Now remove the lower part of the object.

Select the remaining part of the object and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners... and set to 20 px in the dialog box.


Step 16

Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) to move its highest point up to the intersection with the lateral sides of the crown.

Select the front of the crown and the wavy line and press the Divide button from the Pathfinder palette.

For better visibility, fill the resulting upper piece with another color, I filled it with dark green.


Step 17

Copy the dark green shape and paste it back (Command + C; Command + B). Move the copy down a bit, using the arrow down key on your keyboard.

Keep the object selected, reduce its width by using the Selection Tool (V) while holding down the Alt.

The red shape cannot go behind the crown. If necessary, correct protruding points using the Direct Selection Tool (A).


Step 18

Our crown is decorated with rubies. Create the pattern of these elements. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse in the center of the crown. Turn on Smart Guides Mode (Command + U) and then you can easily find the center of the crown.

The created ellipse is the ruby to be. Copy the ellipse and paste it back, change its size in order to obtain the shape shown in the figure below.

This is the frame for the ruby. Using the same technique, create another ellipse - this will be the shadow from the rim on the crown.


Step 19

Now create rubies on the sides of the crown. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create the intersection line where the frame of the ruby and the crown meet.

Now create the line that will show the boundary between the frame and ruby.

Connect these two lines with the Pen Tool (P), thus creating the side surface of the setting of the ruby.


Step 20

With the help of the Pen Tool (P) create the shape of the ruby, as shown below and place it so that it is located below the frame.

Group up both shapes and go to Object > Transform > Reflect and click on the Copy button.

Move the new group of objects to the right side of the crown.


Step 21

There is a rounded side at the lower edge of the crown in order not to cut the king's head. This side represents a toroid-like surface. Build this figure with the help of 3D modeling. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create a vertical center-line, with the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) create a circle (the vertical section of the torus).

Select both objects and group them up (Command + G) (grouping up the objects is a must, otherwise you will get a completely different result), now go to Effect > 3D > Revolve ... and set the parameters indicated in the figure below.


Step 22

Lock the underlayer with the model of the torus in the Layers palette and use the Pen Tool (P) and the Ellipse Tool (L) to circle the torus. Select the result and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.

Place an object in its place at the bottom of the crown.


Step 23

Before we move on to the next stage of crown creating, let us model the distribution of light from two sources, using the 3D model and the dialog box 3D revolve Options.


Color Design of the Crown

Step 24

In color design we will be moving from the upper to the lower elements, starting with the gold balls on the prongs of the crown. Select one of the circles, and fill it with an elliptical gradient with shades of yellow and brown colors.

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse at the upper part of the ball and fill it with an elliptical gradient that goes from yellow to light brown.

Create two more ellipses, which correspond to the reflection of light sources.

Apply this technique for the remaining balls. Found colors should be saved in the Swatches panel and used to color the entire crown.


Step 25

Proceed to fill the back prongs of the crown. Use linear gradient shades of yellow and brown.


Step 26

To fill the upper front part of the crown, I used a complex linear gradient, which I set that way so that the brightest places were located in the hollows between the prongs, keep in your mind that we have two light sources.

Fill the ends of the prongs with a linear gradient of two colors.


Step 27

Use the same gradient as for the upper part for the front part of the crown.

Keep the object selected, go to Object > Expand and set Expand Gradient to Gradient Mesh in the dialog box.


Step 28

For a more realistic view bend some lines of the gradient grid, working with the Direct Selection Tool (A). You can add new lines and new colors, using the Gradient Mesh Tool (U) and the Eyedropper Tool (I).


Step 29

There forms a shadow between the upper and lower pieces of the crown, fill an object corresponding to the shadow with a linear gradient of brown shades.


Step 30

Fill the shape of the ruby setting with a linear gradient made of yellow shades. The middle slider of the gradient should have a lighter color, it will create a sense of the cylindrical surface setting.


Step 31

Proceed to the central ruby of the crown. Fill the lower ellipse (shadow) with a solid brown color.

Fill the middle ellipse (setting end) with a linear gradient fill of yellow shades.

Select the upper ellipse (Ruby) and go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the value to -8 px, this value corresponds to the value of my ruby, you pick the size by eye.

Fill the larger ellipse of the ruby with solid brown, and the smaller one with a linear gradient of brown shades.

Fill the side rubies with the same linear gradient, using the same colors as for the central ruby.


Step 32

Fill the inner surface of the crown with a linear gradient fill, the colors of this gradient should not be as bright as on the front part of it. Create a gradient taking into consideration the availability of light sources.


Step 33

When coloring the hoop, use the Gradient Mesh. The grid (shown in the figure below) is obtained from the rectangle. Use the shape obtained in step 22 as a template. I have often described the techniques of creating such grids. You can learn more about it in this Quick Tip: How to Tame the Gradient Mesh.

The back surface of the hoop was obtained the same way.

Its 3D model will help you to understand how the color is distributed on the hoop, as is the case with the crown.


Creating Glare on the Crown's Surface

Step 34

Glare on the crown will be created using Art Brushes. Let's create the shapes of these brushes. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse. Convert the extreme points of the ellipse from smooth into the corner ones. The height of this shape should equal to 1,5-2 px.


Step 35

Duplicate this shape, and use the Direction Tool (A) to create two more shapes of the brush.

These brushes are easy to work with on the edges of metal objects. Move these shapes one by one to the Brushes palette and save them as an Art Brush.

The fill color of the brushes is not important at this step, choose a color that will be different from the colors of the crown, a red color will do.


Step 36

Take the Pen Tool (P) and create a curved line at the place of glare. The curve should be parallel to the adjacent edges, resembling the shape of the surface.

Apply one of the created brushes to this curve.

Now keep the curve selected and go to Object > Expand Appearance to turn it into shape. Fill the shape with a linear gradient. Select colors so as to form a light spot in the middle of the shape.

This way the beginnings and end of the shape is the color of the object, pick colors for the gradient. To do this use the Eyedropper Tool (I) while holding down the Shift key when taking the color (the original surface is filled with a gradient).


Step 37

Art Brushes can be used not just for glare, but also to create shadows on the edges of the crown. This is done in order to emphasize the point of intersection of surfaces.


Step 38

The figures below show where I've created glare and shading.


Step 39

Use the blend for glare on the hoop surface of the crown (toroidal surface). With the help of Pen Tool (P) or by using the Art Brushes, create two shapes as shown in the figure below. Both shapes are filled with white or a light color (almost white shade of yellow color). The bigger shape has 0% opacity. Select both shapes and go to Object > Blend > Make.

Create the same glare on the inner surface of the torus.

Well that's it, the crown is ready.


Conclusion

The crown can be used for various types of design, such as creating a corporate style, or other design. You can create other objects using similar techniques as well, as shown below. Without arrogance and with respect.

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