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Quick Tip: How to Create a Sparkly Text Effect

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In the following quick tip you will learn how to create a sparkly text effect in fifteen simple steps. It's a another tutorial focused on the Appearance panel. Basically, almost the entire text effect is made using only one compound path. A compound path with a simple fill, eight strokes and some basic Illustrator effects.


Step 1

Create an 800 by 400px document. First, enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you'll need a grid every 10px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 10 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. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape the size of your artboard (800 by 400px). Fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32 and go to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and click on the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. This will add a second fill for your shape. You'll need a built-in pattern for this new fill.

Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Pattern > Basic_Graphics > Basic_Graphics_Lines. A new window with some nice patterns should open. Return to the Appearance panel and select that new fill. First, lower its opacity to 15% and change the blending mode to Multiply. Next, apply the 6 lpi 50% pattern and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and click OK. This will be the background for your text effect. Go to the Layers panel, double click on this shape, name it Background then lock it.


Step 3

Pick the Type Tool (T), click on the artboard and add your text. Use the Bambastika font with a size of 80pt and set the color at R=255 G=222 B=23. Make sure that your text is selected and go to Object > Expand (or Type > Create Outlines). Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. This will turn your text into a simple, yellow compound path.


Step 4

Reselect the path created in the previous step and go to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill, lower its opacity to 5% and go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 7px radius and click OK.


Step 5

Reselect the text path, go to the Appearance panel and add a first stroke. Make it 6pt wide, set its color at R=225 G=125 B=1 and go to the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). First, check the Round Cap button from the Cap section then move down and check the Dashed Line box. Enter 0 in the dash box and 12 in the gap box. Now, your text should be dotted as shown in the following image. Make sure that the orange stroke is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 6

Reselect the text path and go to the Appearance panel. Select the stroke and click on the Duplicate Selected Item from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will add a copy of the stroke. Select the bottom stroke from the Appearance panel and replace the orange tint with black. Click on the little arrow from the left of this stroke so that you can see the applied effects. Remove the existing Drop Shadow effect and go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.


Step 7

Reselect the text path, go to the Appearance panel, select the orange stroke and duplicate it. Select this third stroke. First, remove the Drop Shadow effect, replace the orange with R=247 G=200 B=52 and lower the size at 4pt. Next, go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow. Again, enter the data shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 8

Reselect the text path, go to the Appearance panel, select the yellow stroke and duplicate it. Select this fourth stroke. First, remove the Outer Glow effect then replace the yellow with R=253 G=249 B=198 and lower the size at 2pt. Next, open the existing Transform effect, enter the data shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 9

Reselect the text path, go to the Appearance panel and duplicate the stroke created in the previous step. Select this fifth stroke. First, remove the Transform effect and set the color at R=253 G=225 B=89. Next, go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Pucker&Bloat. Drag the slider at 15%, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 1px radius and click OK.


Step 10

Reselect the text path, go to the Appearance panel and duplicate the stroke created in the previous step. Select this sixth stroke. First, replace the existing color with R=253 G=225 B=89. Next, open the existing Pucker&Bloat effect and drag the slider at 30%. Click OK and open the Gaussian Blur effect. Enter a 2.5px radius and click OK.


Step 11

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 50 by 240px shape, fill it with white and place it as shown in the first image. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on this white shape. Select the bottom anchor points and move them 100px to the right. The Snap to Grid will ease your work. Now, your shape should look like in the second image. Select it, make five copies (Control + C > Control + F) and place them as shown in the third image. Three to the left and three to the right. Again, the Snap to Grid will come in handy. Select the left group of white shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make then select the right group of white shapes and do the same thing. In the end you should have two white compound paths.


Step 12

Reselect the text path and make a copy in front (Control + Control + F). Select this copy along with the left, white compound path and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.


Step 13

Select the shape created in the previous step and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for opacity percentage. Make sure that this path is still selected, lower its opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px radius and click OK.


Step 14

Reselect the text path and make a new copy in front (Control + Control + F). Select this copy along with the remaining white path and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.


Step 15

Select the shape created in the previous step and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Lower its opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px radius, click OK and you're done.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look.

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