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Tools & Tips

Quick Tip : Create an Abstract Natural Text Effect with Adobe Illustrator

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In this quick tip you will learn how to create a 3D text effect in perspective with a multi-purpose green abstract look that you can save and use any time you like. Let's get started!


Step 1

First open a new web document. Take the Type Tool (T) and type Natural using a font called Titania that you can find here. Go to the Object menu and select Expand then Ungroup the letters.


Step 2

At this point the letters have too many anchor points and that will cause problems when you apply a 3D effect. To reduce them use the Simplify option from the Object Menu > Path.


Step 3

There's one more thing you need to fix before you go on. Zoom on the letter T and delete the indicated point. You might think that you now have one point but in fact there are two overlapping points there. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag over them to select them both then press Command +J to join them.


Step 4

Fill the letters with the green color shown and at this point you can arrange the letters and make sure they have equal distance between them. When you are done select them all and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.


Step 5

It's time to apply the 3D effect. Go to Effect menu > 3D > Extrude & Bevel and set the values like shown in the image. Choose Tall-Round as the Bevel shape to obtain the lightly rounded edges and set the Perspective angle to 130 degrees.


Step 6

Now if you zoom on the letter A you can see that the inside corners don't look too good. This is due to the two indicated anchor points that have only one handle, even more one of them is oriented in the wrong direction. To fix that select only these two points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then first click on the Convert selected anchor points to corner button to delete the existing handles.

Next click on the Convert selected anchor points to smooth option to generate two new pairs of handles and you now have perfect curves. Since the two letters A are identical you need to do the same thing for the other one.


Step 7

At this point your text should look like below and if everything looks good you can choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu.


Step 8

Here is how to create the green abstract style. First draw a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M) and fill it with the first radial gradient shown. In this case the main color is green therefore you need four shades of green and white. The trick is to add the two light colors near the green ones as the highlights. Now drag and adjust the gradient using the Gradient Tool (G) until it looks like in the image.


Step 9

Having the rectangle selected go to the Appearance Panel and from the fly-out menu choose Add New Fill. The gradient remains the same only use again the Gradient Tool (G) to adjust it. Change the Blending mode of the second fill to Color Burn and now you obtained the green abstract wavy look you need.


Step 10

Before you save the style go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Inner Glow effect. The color used is black. This way you won't have to apply this effect for each letter separately later. Now, having the rectangle selected, drag the thumbnail from the Appearance Panel into the Graphic Styles Panel to save it.


Step 11

Let's go back to the text. Select using the Direct Selection Tool (A) only the front shapes from the group and fill them with the linear gradient shown.


Step 12

Next go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a -1.5 px Offset value to obtain the lightly smaller front shapes. Fill them all with the abstract style that you saved in the Graphic Styles Panel.


Step 13

Now you need the original front shapes that were filled at the Step 11. Select one of them and from the fly-out menu choose Add New Fill. The gradient used is called Neutral 7 and you can find it in the Swatches Library under Gradients > Neutrals. Change the Blending mode for this second fill to Color Dodge. Do the same for the rest of the letters. This will create the highlight borders on the 1.5 px distance around the smaller front shapes.


Step 14

All that remains to be done is to add some dark edges on the upper-right side as shadows for the letters in far.

Here is an example using the letter R. Copy and Paste in front the shape filled with the abstract style (which is the smaller one) and delete all the existing appearances. You can fill it or stroke it as you like then Copy and Paste it in front one more time. Move this second shape by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard, once down and once to the left. My keyboard increment was set to 1 px. Now select these two shapes and click Subtract from shape area > Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. You will obtain a compound path but go to the Object menu and choose Compound Path > Release. You only need the top and right shapes therefore delete the others. Do the same thing for the letters T, A and L. I skipped the letter U because there wasn't enough space on its right side.


Conclusion

You can use this abstract green style for any other shapes, text or even backgrounds. You can also experiment and choose any other color shades instead of the green ones used in this case. Who knows what interesting abstract style you will discover.

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