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Quick Tip: Create a Simple Audio Player Bar in Adobe Illustrator

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In this quick tip you will learn how to create a simple audio player bar. This is mostly about the basics of pixel perfect vector shape building techniques. We'll start with a simple rectangles and the Rounded Corners effect. Next, we'll use some Offset and Pathfinder techniques to create the highlights. Finally, some masking/blending techniques and the Drop Shadow effect will help us add the final touches.


Step 1

Create a 600 by 300px, RGB document. First, enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you'll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 525 by 30px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, make sure that there's no color set for the stroke and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 3

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 1px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the left window, click OK then go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the right window and click OK.


Step 4

For the following steps you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 47 by 30px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, remove the color from the stroke and place it as shown in the following image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work.

Select this new rectangle and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Thanks to the Snap to Grid your shape will move 1px down. Reselect both copies, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Front button. Fill the resulting shape with white.


Step 5

Reselect the two shapes created in the previous step and group them. Make a copy (Control + C > Control + F) of this group and drag it to the right as shown in the following image.


Step 6

Pick the Type Tool (T), add some simple text and place it as shown in the following image. Use the Tahoma font then set the size at 10pt and the color set at R= 75 G=75 B=75. Make sure that this text is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 7

Reselect the rounded rectangle created in the second step and make two copies. Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and bring it to front (Shift + Control + Right Square Bracket).


Step 8

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create two, 1 by 30px rectangles. Place them one next to the other then fill the left shape with R=150 G=150 B=150 and the right shape with white. Group these two rectangles then make a copy of the group. Select this second group and hit the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency).

The white numbers from the gradient image stand for location percentage. Select this new shape along with the group created in the beginning of the step, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your masked group should look like in the fourth image.


Step 9

Reselect the masked group from the previous step and duplicate it (Control + F). Move this new group a few pixels to the right and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click OK. Reselect both groups and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Drag these groups one by one and place them as shown in the final image.


Step 10

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 5px square, fill it with R=95 G=95 B=95 and remove the color from the stroke. Continue with the Rectangle Tool, create a 5 by 11px shape, fill it with R=95 G=95 B=95 and place it as shown in the second image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on this new shape. Select the top, left anchor point and move it 4px down then select the bottom, left anchor point and move it 4px up.

In the end your shape should look like in the third image. Return to the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 by 3px , a 1 by 7px and a 1 px 11px shapes, fill them with R=95 G=95 B=95 and place them as shown in the fourth image. Select all the shapes created in this step, click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.


Step 11

Reselect the compound path created in the previous step and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on it 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 on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make) and fill it with R=45 G=45 B=45. Reselect the compound path created in the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the final image and click OK.


Step 12

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create two, 3 by 11px shape, fill them with R=95 G=95 B=95 and place them as shown in the first image. Turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make) then 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 on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make) and fill it with R=45 G=45 B=45. Reselect the compound path created in the beginning of this step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the final image and click OK.


Step 13

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 250 by 6px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the first image. Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 150 by 6px shape, fill it with R=175 G=175 B=175 and place it as shown in the second image.


Step 14

Select the first rectangle created in the previous step 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 on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=62 G=62 B=62, change its blending mode to Screen and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Reselect the first rectangle created in the previous step and add a 1pt stroke. Set, its color at R=45 G=45 B=45, align it to inside. Make sure that your shape is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the final image and click OK.


Step 15

Pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 60 by 6px shape and a 30 by 6px shape place them as shown in the first image then add the properties used for the shapes created in the previous two steps.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tut.

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