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Quick Tip: How to Create Glowing Progress Bars

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This post is part of a series called Web and Interface Design With Vector.
Quick Tip: Create a Simple Set of Web Sliders
How to Create a Retro Website Design in Adobe Illustrator

Follow this quick tip and learn how to create a glowing progress bar. We will take advantage of the Appearance Panel and use multiple attributes plus plenty of effects: Outer Glow, Inner Glow, Feather, Drop Shadow, Gaussian Blur and Radial Blur. Let's begin!.


Step 1

Open a new web document and let's start with the background first. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 600 x 400 px rectangle then fill it with the radial gradient shown. From the Appearance Panel open the fly-out menu and choose Add New Fill. Keep the same gradient then go to Effect menu > Artistic and apply the Film Grain effect. Set the Blending mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 50%.


Step 2

Now, take the Rounded Rectangle Tool, click on your artboard and enter the values shown. Fill the rounded rectangle with the color indicated then go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Inner Glow effect using the settings from below.


Step 3

Having the rectangle selected, go to Effect menu > Stylize > Drop Shadow and set the values as shown. You will obtain a thin highlight at the bottom.

For the discrete highlight at the top, go back to Effect menu > Stylize and apply again the Drop Shadow effect. You will receive a warning message but go ahead and choose Add New Effect then set the values as shown.


Step 4

Next take the Rounded Rectangle Tool, click on your artboard and enter the values indicated. Fill the new rectangle with black then select them both and choose Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center from the Align Panel (Window menu > Align).

Now, take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a tiny circle. Fill it with the radial gradient shown then place it on the right side of the smaller rectangle. This is just for decoration.


Step 5

Take again the Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw another rectangle. Align it in the left side of the smaller rectangle and fill it with the linear gradient shown. I will call this shape from now on-the loading rectangle.


Step 6

Next, with the loading rectangle's Fill attribute selected in the Appearance Panel, go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Outer Glow effect using the settings shown.


Step 7

Stroke the loading rectangle with green then set the weight to 0.5 pt and select Align Stroke to Outside in the Stroke Panel. Change the Blending mode to Soft Light but only for the Stroke attribute and drag it below the Fill attribute.


Step 8

Having the loading rectangle selected, in the Appearance Panel open the fly-out menu and choose Add New Fill. Use the gradient shown then go to Effect menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a minus 2.5 px Offset value. Set the Blending mode for this Fill attribute to Screen because in this way black becomes transparent. Next, with this Fill attribute still selected in the Appearance Panel, go to Effect menu > Stylize > Feather and apply a 3 px Radius.


Step 9

Select again Add New Fill and use the gradient from step 5. With this new Fill attribute selected in the Appearance Panel, go to Effect menu > Blur and apply the Radial Blur effect using the settings shown below. Set the Blending mode to Color Dodge and lower the Opacity to 40%. Finally, drag this last Fill attribute at the bottom of the Appearance Panel and you are done with the loading rectangle.


Step 10

Now, take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw the two oval shapes having the dimensions shown. Arrange them as in the image with the blue ellipse being on top then select them both and click Subtract from shape area > Expand from the Pathfinder Panel.

Place the resulting shape at the right end of the loading rectangle and fill it with green. Add a new fill above and change the fill color to light green then go to Effect menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a minus 1.5 px Offset value. The last thing to do at this step is to go to Effect menu > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a 2 px Radius.


Step 11

Let's continue with the loading slider. Take the Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle having the dimensions shown. Next, go to Effect menu > Warp > Inflate and apply an 8% Vertical Distortion then from the Object menu choose Expand Appearance and Ungroup. Now, go back to Object menu > Path and use the Add Anchor Points option twice to get the three points at the top. Select using the Direct Selection Tool (A) only the point from the middle and move it up as in the image.

Fill the shape obtained with the linear gradient shown and set the angle value to 90 degrees. Go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Drop Shadow effect to obtain the black shadow at the bottom. For the highlight at the top, apply again the Drop Shadow effect using the other settings shown.

Take the Type Tool (T) and type "50%" using Myriad Pro Semibold, size of 15 pt. From the Object menu choose Expand then select green as the fill color. Next, go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Drop Shadow effect using the settings shown and the same green color. Finally, place the loading slider under the tip of the loading rectangle and the progress bar is ready.


Step 12

You can create other progress bars by simply choosing other color shades plus some minor adjustments. Start with a smaller loading rectangle (25%) then follow again the previous steps because all the settings remain the same, only change the three gradients and the stroke color. Also, depending on the chosen color for the Outer Glow effect (in this case yellow and the next case pink) the Opacity value might vary. Here is set to 100%.

For the tip of the loading rectangle, you can make a copy of the one already made and simply change the colors as shown. This time type "25%" then follow again the step 11 to finish the loading slider. Use the color yellow indicated as the fill color and also for the Drop Shadow effect.


Step 13

This is the pink version. Change the gradients and the colors as shown for the loading rectangle.

For the tip of the loading rectangle then for the loading slider and the pink progress bar is ready.


Final Image

Here is the final image:

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