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How to Create an Electronic Piano in Illustrator

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In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make your own realistic, electronic piano in Illustrator. We'll create quite a few shapes and apply various gradients and blends to make this vector instrument. Even though it's a bit of work to put all this together, the techniques used in this tutorial are fairly simple. Set aside a couple hours for this one!

Final Image Preview

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Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2 Hour

Below is the final image we will be working towards.

Final

Step 1

Open a new document with sizes 1654px by 600px. Create a wide rectangle using the Rectangle tool (M). Go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and set the Radius at 10px.

Now go to Object > Expand Appearance, then create another rectangle a little bit wider than the first one and position it as shown below. Open the Pathfinder panel and click Minus Front. Fill it with a Linear Gradient.

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Step 2

Correct the curves of the upper two points of the rectangle using the Convert Anchor Point Tool as shown.

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Step 3

Create a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M) and position it as shown. Fill it with a gray color, copy it using Command + C, and paste it by using Command + F. Move it a few pixels up, using the arrow keys on your keyboard and change he fill color to black.

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Step 4

Create a rectangle filled with a white color using the Rectangle Tool (M). Position it at the beginning of the black rectangle and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. In the open window apply the following settings: for Move set Horizontal to 25px, set the number of copies to 51, leave everything else at the default, and then click OK. Now go to Object > Expand Appearance and fill the keys with a Linear Gradient as shown.

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Step 5

Copy the group of electronic pianos keys using Command + C, followed by Command + B to paste in back. Move the duplicate shapes a few pixels down and change the color to gray.

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Step 6

Create a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M), position it as shown below. Fill it with a linear gradient with colors from white to gray, Stroke color - black and Weight 1pt. Reduce the Opacity to 50%.

With the rectangle still selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the Offset to -2px, click OK. Change the fill color of the newly created shape to black and set the stroke to none.

Set the Opacity back to 100%, move the shape a little bit up. Now select the rectangle you filled with black and the rectangle you filled with a linear gradient and reduce the Opacity.

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and in the new opening window set the Spacing to Specified and Steps to 10. Click OK and straight after that go to Object > Blend > Make.

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Step 7

With the blend shape still selected, go to Effect & Distort > Transform & Transform and in the new window inert the following settings: set Horizontal to 48px, Copies to 1, and click OK. Go to Object > Expand Appearance.

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Step 8

Now select the second black key from the group and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform, and in the window enter the following settings: Horizontal of 30px, Copies at 1, and click OK. Then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Now select the third key and go to Effect > Transform > Transform and in the new opening window do the following settings: Horizontal: 45px, Copies: 1, click Ok.

Go to Object > Expand Appearance. Now select the fourth key and again go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform and in the window enter the following settings: Horizontal of 28px, Copies at 1, and click OK. Then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Now select the fifth key and again go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform and in the new window enter the following settings: Horizontal of 28px, Copies at 1, and click OK, then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

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Step 9

Now select the last five keys of the electronic piano and go to Object > Transform > Move and in the enter the following settings: Horizontal of 175px and click the Copy button, repeat this until you get the required result. To do this you can use the keys combination Command + D, take a look at the picture below to get a better idea.

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Step 10

Create a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M) like the one shown below. Then fill it with a gray to dark gray linear gradient.

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Step 11

Copy the last created rectangle using Command + C, followed by Command + F to place. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), delete the bottom two points and apply set the stroke color to light gray.

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Step 12

Now copy the first rectangle you created in Step 1 using Command + C and position it over all other rectangles by hitting Command + F. Create another rectangle a little bit taller than the previous one, position it as shown below.

Open Pathfinder and click on Minus Front. Fill it with a gray to dark gray linear gradient. Then reduce the bottom side of the shape, to do this use the Direct Selection Tool, click on the bottom-middle point, and slide it a little bit up. Repeat the same procedure for the right side of the electronic piano.

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Step 13

Create a line using the Pen Tool (P) in position near the first key, and set the with stroke color to white. With the line is still selected, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke and fill with a linear gradient as shown below. Repeat the same process on the other sides of the electronic piano.

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Step 14

Create a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). With the rectangle selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners, set the Radius to 10px and straight after that go to Object > Expand Appearance. Create another rectangle on the left side of the previous rectangle as shown below. Select both rectangles, open the Pathfinder panel and click on Minus Front. Fill it with a Linear Gradient.

Now select the rectangle from Step 1 and copy it using Command + C and position it over all other rectangles by pasting it in front with Command + F. Now select the rectangle's copy and the rectangle you created earlier and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command + F7).

This way you'll hide the unnecessary parts of the rectangle. Now select the rectangle that you filled with a linear gradient, copy it using Command + C, followed by Command + F to place in front. Then change the Fill color to black. Now as the black rectangle from the group that we have a mask on is still selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path, set the Offset to -2px, and fill the newly created shape with a gray color.

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Step 15

Copy the last shape from the speaker using Command + C, followed by Command + F and now let's fill the shape with a pattern. To do this, go to Windows > Swatch Libraries > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic_Graphics Dots, repeat the same actions for the right side of the electronic piano.

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Step 16

Now let's start adding buttons. To do so, create a rectangle and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and set the Radius to 5px, and fill it with a black color. With the newly created shape is still selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the Offset to 0,5px.

Change the fill color to a light gray and move the copy a little bit up. With the last created shape that we applied the Offset to is still selected, again go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the Offset to 0,5px. Move it a little bit up and change the Fill color to black. Again go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set Offset the 0,5px, and then fill it with Radial Gradient.

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Step 17

Keep adding the remaining buttons and shapes the same way for the electronic piano.

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Step 18

Create a rectangle with a gray color like the one shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners. Set the Radius to 10px and click OK. Copy it once using Command + C, followed by Command + F to paste in front. Decrease the copy's size a little bit on the bottom side using the Selection Tool by clicking on the bottom middle point and slide it a bit up.

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Step 19

Create a line using the Pen Tool (P) as shown. Set the stroke color to white and give it a 1pt weight.

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Step 20

Create a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M) with a black color in the position shown below. Round the corners by applying Effect > Stylize > Round Corners, then set the Radius to 6px.

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Step 21

With the rectangle you just created still selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the Offset to -1px, click OK. Now change the Fill color to gray. Move the copy a bit up and again go to Object > Path > Offset Path, then set the Offset to -1px. Now fill the new shape with a linear gradient.

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Step 22

Create another rectangle in the center of the last created rectangle and fill it with color R=248, G=187, and B=80. Then copy all the keys of the electronic piano using Command + C, followed by Command + F to paste in front. Move them over all the other shapes by applying Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Decrease their size and position as shown below. Open the Transparency panel and change the blend mode from Normal to Multiply.

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Step 23

Create a rectangle on the left side of the electronic piano using the Rectangle Tool (M) and fill it with a Linear Gradient as shown below.

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Step 24

Create another rectangle a little bit smaller sized in the center of the previous rectangle and fill it with a linear gradient as shown below.

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Step 25

Create lines over the last created shape as shown below.

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Step 26

Copy the shape from Step 1, position it over all other shapes, then create an ellipse over the copy using the Ellipse Tool (L), have a look below. Select the copy from Step 1 and the ellipse you just created, the open the Pathfinder panel, click on Minus Front.

Fill the shape with a linear gradient, as for the both stop color sliders you select a white color, then on the second stop color slider reduce the Opacity to 0%. With the shape is still selected, open the Transparency panel, change the Blend Mode to Lighten and reduce the Opacity to 25%.

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Conclusion

Here is the final result.

Final

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