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Tools & Tips

Quick Tip: Create Colorful Glossy Rating Stars

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Follow this quick tip and learn how to create glossy rating stars. We will add highlights with the help of the Blend Tool and an Art brush and this way we will obtain a pretty simple glossy look. Also, depending on the color palette of some websites we will try different variations of colors.


Step 1

Open a new web document and let's start with the background. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 600 x 400 px rectangle then fill it with the radial gradient shown below.

Now, go to the Appearance Panel, open the fly-out menu and choose Add New Fill. We will use the Diamond pattern that you can find in the Swatch Libraries menu under Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. Next, having this second fill selected in the Appearance Panel, go to Object menu > Transform > Scale, choose 80% and check only the Patterns option. Finally, set the Blending mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 50%.


Step 2

Let's move on to the stars. Take the Star Tool, click on your artboard and enter the values shown. We have to rotate a little the resulting star therefore go to Object menu > Transform > Rotate and choose a 30 degrees angle. In order to get the rounded corners we will use the Round Any Corner Script that you can find here. After you save it, you can find it in the File menu under Scripts. Run the script and select a 2 Radius.

Tip: As an alternative you can also use the Round Corners effect (Effect menu > Stylize) but make sure you select Expand Appearance and Ungroup afterwards.


Step 3

Fill the star with dark gray then go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Inner Glow effect using the settings shown.


Step 4

Copy and Paste in back the star (the red path) then go to Object menu > Transform > Scale, choose 115% and hit Copy. You will obtain a bigger star (the green path).


Step 5

Fill the copy of the star with the linear gradient shown and change the angle to minus 40 degrees. Next, fill the bigger star with the same gradient just reduce the Opacity to 0%. Of course, these two stars must be behind the main star and having them both selected, go to Object menu > Blend > Blend Options and choose 20 Specified Steps. Now, go back to Object menu > Blend and select Make. Reduce the Opacity for the resulting Blend group to 80% and you have just obtained the first empty rating star.


Step 6

Let's continue with the colorful stars. Make a copy of the main star used so far and fill it with the linear gradient shown. Change the angle to minus 45 degrees. These colors have an important role at the next step.


Step 7

With the star selected, go to Object menu > Transform > Scale, choose 80% and hit Copy. Fill the resulting smaller star with pink. Next, having both stars selected, go to Object menu > Blend > Blend Options, choose 20 Specified Steps then go back to Object menu > Blend and select Make.


Step 8

Copy and Paste in front the smaller star from the previous step but go to the Layers Panel and drag it out of the Blend group because we don't want it there. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw an oval shape and arrange it as in the image below. Select both shapes (blue and black) and click Intersect shape areas > Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Fill the resulting shape with a linear gradient from white to black and change the angle to minus 60 degrees. Set the Blending mode to Lighten (black becomes transparent) and lower the Opacity to 20%.


Step 9

Next, take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 200x5 px flat ellipse. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the right and left points and click the Convert selected anchor points to corner option. With this shape selected, go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a minus 2.2 px Offset to obtain the smaller shape in the middle. Reduce the Opacity for the bigger shape to 0% then having both shapes selected, go to Object menu > Blend > Blend Options. Here choose 20 Specified Steps then go back to Object menu > Blend > Make. Drag the resulting Blend group into the Brushes Panel to define a new Art brush.


Step 10

Now, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw the three white paths as shown below. Stroke them with the art brush saved at the previous step then set the stroke weights as indicated for each path. Reduce the Opacity to 40% for all of them.


Step 11

Finally, select the pink Blend group without the highlights and go to Effect menu > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Use the settings shown to add the shadow and at this point the first rating star is ready.


Step 12

Here is how to create the entire set. Select the empty rating star made at the beginning and go to Object menu > Transform > Move. Under Horizontal select 70 px then hit Copy and you will get the second empty star. Press three times Control +D which is the shortcut for Transform again to obtain the rest of the stars.

Now, select the entire row then go to Object menu > Transform > Move and this time under Vertical choose minus 60 px. You will get the second row of stars and by pressing again Control +D three times you will obtain the others.

At this point all you have to do is to replace some of the empty stars with the pink stars and all of them will be perfectly arranged.


Step 13

Depending on the color palette of some websites you might want different colors therefore here are three alternatives. All you have to do is to make a copy of the pink star then replace the gradients and fill colors as shown in the images below. All the other settings remain the same, as shown at the previous steps.

Depending on the colors you choose (darker or lighter) the opacity values might vary. As you can see below they are a bit different from the ones used for the pink star therefore you have to adjust them as needed.

Here is the blue version:

And my favorite, the orange version:


Final Image

Here is the final image and I hope you like these colorful rating stars. Please create your own set and let me know how they turned out.

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