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Icon Design

How to Create a Hyper-realistic Flashlight

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In this tutorial you will learn how to create a hyper-realistic illustration of a flashlight. This style of illustration is particularly popular for icons and technical illustrations. Although this tutorial is more advanced than others, don't let that dissuade you from giving it a go, you will find it's written in an easy to understand format and the results will be worth the perseverance.


Step 1

Open a new 1280px by 1024px document. Load this photo from Stock.xchng inside your document. Resize it so it fits your Artboard. You can select the photo than click on the Transform button from the top bar and insert the numbers shown in the image below. Use this only if you want to use the exact size and position that I've used. In most of the pictures below, I lowered the opacity of the flashlight image to 30% so that you can distinguish the shapes. When I normally work I leave the opacity at 100%. Experiment and see which is best for you. Create a new layer and name it "IMAGE" and place it in the bottom of the Layers palette. Move the flashlight image inside the "IMAGE" layer and lock the layer. That way you won't select or move accidentally the image.


Step 2

Select the Pen Tool (P) and create the shape of the entire flashlight. Try to pay extra attention at the areas zoomed in the picture below. Name this shape "FLASHLIGHT".


Step 3

Duplicate "FLASHLIGHT" then select the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape like the one shown in picture #1. Select this shape and the duplication of "FLASHLIGHT" then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Name the resulting shape "Section1".


Step 4

Duplicate "FLASHLIGHT" and "Section1". Select the Pen tool (P) and create a shape like the one from picture #1. Select this shape and the duplication of "FLASHLIGHT" then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Move the resulting shape below the duplication of "Section1" then select both shapes and click on Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. Name the resulting shape "Section2".


Step 5

Duplicate "FLASHLIGHT" then select the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape like the one shown in picture #1. Select this shape and the duplication of "FLASHLIGHT" then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder pallete.Name this shape "vvv" and duplicate it. Reselect the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape like the one shown in picture #4. Select it along with the duplicate of "vvv" and click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder pallete. Name the resulting shape "Section6". Duplicate "Section6" and move iv above the original "vvv" shape. Now, select these two shapes and click on Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. Name this new shape "Section5".


Step 6

Duplicate "FLASHLIGHT" and "Section5". Select the Pen tool (P) and create a shape like the one from picture #1. Select this shape and the duplication of "FLASHLIGHT" then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Move the resulting shape below the duplication of "Section5" then select both shapes and click on Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. Name this new shape "Section4".


Step 7

Duplicate "Section5" and "Section2". Select the Pen tool (P) and create a shape like the one from picture #1.Select this shape along with "FLASHLIGHT" then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Move the resulting shape below the duplications of "Section5" and "Section2" then select these three shapes and click on Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. Name the resulting shape "Section3".


Step 8

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create a squeezed circle like the one shown in picture #1. Rotate it, play a little with the anchors point and the handles, until you get a shape like the one from picture #4. Finally name this shape"Section7".


Step 9

Now you should have 7 shapes in your Layers palette.


Step 10

Create a new layer and name it "SECTION1". Move the "Section1" shape inside this layer then fill it with R=40 G=40 B=40.Now you need to add the gradient shown in image #2. You can go to the Appearance palette. and from the flyout menu choose the Add New Fill option. This will add a new fill for your shape. I don't use to do it that way. Whenever I want to add multiple fills to a shape I use to make as many copies as I need. You can try it both ways and decide which one is the best for you.


Step 11

Create a new layer and name it "SECTION2". Move the "Section2" shape inside this layer then fill it with the color and the gradients shown in the image below.


Step 12

Create a new layer and name it "SECTION3". Move the "Section3" shape inside this layer then fill it with the color and the gradient shown in the image below.


Step 13

Duplicate "Section3" and name this new shape "Section3.RedStroke". Fill it with none then add a 1pt stroke (Align Stroke to Centre), color R=236 G=28 B=36. Turn off the visibility for all the other shapes left in "SECTION3" layer. Duplicate "Section3.RedStroke" and for the moment turn off the visibility of this duplicate. Select the Direct Selection tool (A) and click on the top line of "Section3.RedStroke" then hit the delete key from you keyboard. Repeat this step only this time click on the bottom line. Now you should have only two lines, one to the left and the other to the right. Select them and go to Object > Blend > Make. Go to Object >Blend > Blend Options (or double click on the Blend Tool) and set the blending steps to 70. Select this Blend then go to Object > Expand. Next, turn on the visibility for the "Section3.RedStroke" duplication and delete the left and right lines. Increase the length of the remaining lines, then select them and go to Object > Blend > Make. Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options (or double click on the Blend Tool) and set the blending steps to 50. Select this Blend then go to Object > Expand.

Now you should have two groups of strokes. One group of vertical strokes and another of horizontal strokes. Select both groups then go to Object > Expand. Select the resulting shapes and click on Unite button from the Pathfinder palette. Again, select the resulting shape, add a discrete 0.3px Rounded Corners (Effect >Stylize > Rounded Corners) effect then once again go to Object > Expand. Turn on the visibility for "Section3" then duplicate it. Select this duplication along with the shape you've just created and click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Name the resulting shape Grid, fill it with R=26 G=26 B=26 and with the gradients shown in pictures below.


Step 14

Create a new layer and name it "SECTION4". Move the "Section4" shape inside this layer then fill it with the color and the gradient shown in the image below.


Step 15

Create a new layer and name it "SECTION5". Move the "Section5" shape inside this layer then fill it with the color and the gradient shown in the image below. Select the Pen tool (P) and create a shape like the one shown in image #4. Fill it with R=32 G=32 B=32 add a 35px Gaussain Blur lower it's opacity to 30% and change the blending mode to Multiply. Also with the Pen tool (P) create a shape like the one shown in image #5, fill it with R=6 G=4 B=2 add a 35px Gaussain Blur lower it's opacity to 80% and change the blending mode to Multiply. Select these two shapes and go to Object > Blend > Make. Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options (or double click on the Blend Tool) and set the blending steps to 2. Finally duplicate "Section5", move this new shape in the top of the layer and fill it with the gradient shown in image #7.


Step 16

Select the Pen tool (P) and create a path like the one shown in image #1. Fill it with none but add a 2pt stroke, color R=0 G=0 B=0. Select this path then go to Object > Expand. Make a copy of "Section5", select it along with the expanded stroke then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Squeeze a little the shape as shown in the zoomed images below. Add the gradients shown in last images. Create a thin line like the one shown in the last image and fill it with R=148 G=146 B=151.


Step 17

Duplicate "Section7". Select this duplication along with "Section6" then click on Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. Create a new layer, name it "SECTION6" and move the resulting shape inside this layer then fill it with the color and the gradients shown in the images below.


Step 18

Inside the "SECTION6" layer, create two thin shapes like those shown in the images below. Follow the colors and the effects shown below.


Step 19

Create a new layer and name it "SECTION7". Move the "Section7" shape inside this layer then fill it with the color and the gradient shown in the images below. Pay attention at the gradients from image #2 and #5, you'll have to lower the opacity.


Step 20

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create a squeezed circle like the one shown in picture #1. Rotate it and place it as shown in image #2. Duplicate "Section7" , select it along with the circle then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Fill the resulting shape with R=166 G=168 B=171. Create a smaller circle then repeat the steps above. Duplicate the bigger circle, you'll need this duplicate later. Now, select the original big circle and the small one and click on Object > Blend > Make. Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options (or double click on the Blend Tool) and set the blending steps to 90. Finally move the duplication of the bigger circle above the blend and fill it with the gradients below.


Step 21

Duplicate "Section7". Select the Pen tool (P) and create a shape like the one shown in image #1. Select it along with the the duplication of "Section7" then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Fill the resulting shape with R=35 G=31 B=32. Create some other shape and fill them with the colours shown in the image below.


Step 22

Duplicate "Section7". Make sure that this new shape is placed in the top of "SECTION7" layer than fill it with the gradients shown in the images below. Don't forget to lower the opacity of these fills as the pictures show.


Step 23

Return to the "SECTION4" layer. Inside this layer, with the Pen tool (P), create a new shape like the one shown in image #1. Duplicate "Section4". Select this duplication along with the newly created shape then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Name the resulting shape "Bar" and fill it with the color and the gradients shown in the images below.


Step 24

Duplicate "Bar". Select the Pen tool (P) an create a new shape like the one shown in image #1(this shape should have a thin area where it intersect with "Bar"). Select this new shape along with the duplication o "Bar" then click on Intersect button from the Pathfinder palette. Fill the resulting shape with R=40 G=40 B=40 and with the gradients shown in the image below.


Step 25

Use the same technique to create a right and a middle thin line. Fill them with the colors and the gradients shown in the images below. Also, with the Pen Tool create two thin lines like those shown in the last image and fill them with R=227 G=229 B=223.


Step 26

Select the "SECTION4" layer and click on Create New Sublayer button from the Layers palette. Name this new layer "BUTTON". Select the Pen tool (P) and inside this layer create two shapes like those shown in image #1 and #2. Name the shape from image #2 "Button" and duplicate it. Select this duplication place it above the shape created in picture #1 then select both shapes and click on Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. Fill the resulting shape with R=88 G=89 B=91 and add the Inner Glow shown in image #1. Next,fill it with the gradients shown in the image below.


Step 27

Create two copies of the "Button" shape. Move the second copy a few pixels down as shown in image #2.Select these two shapes and click on Minus Front button from the pathfinder palette. Fill the resulting shape with the color and the gradients shown in the image below.


Step 28

Fill the original "Button" shape with the color and the gradient shown in the image below. Make sure this shape is placed in the bottom of "BUTTON" layer.


Step 29

Create a new layer, name it "FLASHLIGHT" and move all the layers except "IMAGE" layer inside this layer. Now,the flashlight is done. You can continue with the shadows and the background.


Step 30

Select the Pen tool (P) and create a shape like the one in image #1 fill it with R=187 G=189 B=191 apply a 55px Gaussian Blur and lower the opacity to 45%. Also with the Pen tool (P) create a new shape like the one in image #2 fill it with R=109 G=1110 B=112 apply a 45px Gaussian Blur and lower the opacity to 60%. Create a new shape like the one in image #3 fill it with the gradient apply a 15px Gaussian Blur and lower the opacity to 80%. Create one last shape like the one shown in image #4 fill it with the gradient then apply a 30px Gaussian Blur. Create a new layer and name it "SHADOWS" and move below "FLASHLIGHT" layer. Finally move all the shadow shapes inside this layer.


Step 31

Select the Rectangle tool (M), create a rectangle like the one shown in image #1 and fill it with R=208 G=210 B=211. Make a copy of this shape and for the moment turn off it's visibility. Again, with the Rectangle tool (M) create a shapelike the one shown in image #2. Fill it with R=241 G=241 B=242. Select this small rectangle and the large rectangle and go to Object > Blend > Make. Set the steps of this blending to 33. Turn on the visibility of the copy of the large rectangle move it above the blending fill it with the gradient shown in image #4 and don't forget to lower it's opacity to 50%. Reselect the Rectangle tool (M) and create a new rectangle in the top area of your artboard(image #5). Fill this shape with R=208 G=210 B=211 and with the gradients shown in images #6 and #7.


Conclusion

To take your illustration even further you can try and changing the background colour and altering the reflections and luminosity to match. Now your illustration is done.

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