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Quick Tip: How to Illustrate 3D Power Cells

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In the following tutorial you will use blends, blending modes, 3D-modeling and gradients to create an illustration of power cells. This tut is useful for people who want to learn about basic 3D modeling in Adobe Illustrator. Let’s get started!


Step 1

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle. Fill it with white and set the Stroke to None. Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Set the angles of rotation around the axis and the angle of perspective in order to represent a lens distortion, and the depth of extrusion. See the image below for reference. Repeat these actions in order to create the second cylinder.


Step 2

Go to Object > Expand Appearance. Then go to Object > Ungroup three times. You should have a picture the same as below.

Select all the parts of every lateral surfaces and unite them by going to the Pathfinder palette and clicking the Unite button.

You need to receive four different paths.


Step 3

Select the lower round part of a cell, copy and paste it (Command + C then Command + V), then move it along the lateral surface of the cell and fill it any color you like.

Do the same with the second cell.


Step 4

Select both the copy of the rounded part and the corresponding lateral surface, and go to the Pathfinder palette. Click the Divide button, then go to Object > Ungroup.

Zoom in to delete any small unnecessary parts.

Select the following two paths which you can see on the picture below, and go to Pathfinder palette, and click the Unite button.

Do the same with the second cell.


Step 5

Select one of the paths and fill it with an angled linear gradient, like the one in the image below.

Select another path and fill it with a linear gradient too, position the gradient the same as the first one you made. Pay attention to the distribution of light and shadow. It must be the same too.

Do the same with the second cell.

Fill the bottom part of the second cell with the Radial gradient from light to shade.


Step 6

Select the left bottom part of the cell, copy it and paste in front (Command + C then Command + F).

Set the Stroke of it to any color, increase the Stroke weight, go to the Stroke palette, and align the Stroke to inside.

Then go to Object > Expand appearance, and then go to Object > Ungroup.

Select the Compound path made after expanding and fill it with the Linear gradient filling of the same color as the path next to it. Set the angle of the gradient to zero.


Step 7

Select the left bottom part of the cell again, copy it and paste in front (Command + C then Command + F). Decrease the dimensions of the copy by going to Object > Transform > Scale. Fill it with light gray color of filling. Let's name this copy "the main ellipse". Besides, let's name the color of its filling "the main color".

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the Spacing to Smooth Color. Select two paths which are shown on the diagram below. Then go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).


Step 8

Select the main ellipse, copy it and paste in front (Command + C then Command + F). Decrease the dimensions of the copy by going to Object > Transform > Scale. Fill it with dark gray color of filling. And move it somewhat down and left. Name this new copied ellipse "the subordinate ellipse". Go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).


Step 9

Select the subordinate ellipse, copy it and paste in front (Command + C then Command + F). Decrease the dimensions of the copy by going to Object > Transform > Scale. Fill it with light gray. Go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).


Step 10

Select the right bottom part of the cell, copy it (the original) and paste in front (Command + C then Command + F). Then select the original (which lies under the copy in the sub-layers palette), set the Stroke of it to yellow, increase the Stroke weight, go to the Stroke palette, and align the Stroke to the inside. (The copy of the path is invisible on two pictures below).

Fill the original with the same Linear gradient as the lateral surface of the cell is filled.

Now select the copy of the path. Decrease the dimensions of it by going to Object > Transform > Scale. And move it somewhat down and right.


Step 11

Take the Type Tool (T), go to the Character panel, set the Font family to Arial, and type the following three different texts: "+", "VECTORCELL", and "Best Before June 3011". Or whatever text you would like to use.


Step 12

Select "the Plus" text, place it on the cell and decrease the dimensions of it by going to Object > Transform > Scale. Then go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp (Command + Alt + Shift + W). And set there the values which you can see on the diagram below.

After that rotate the plus sign by going to Object > Transform > Rotate, and fill it with the Linear gradient filling.

Do the same with the text "Vectorcell". Fill the text with the white color.

Then go to the Transparency palette and set the Blending mode to Overlay.

Do the same with the third text.


Step 13

Take the Pen Tool (P) and create the following path.

Then create the next path which is shown on the picture below. Fill it with the red color, and set the Stroke to None.

Then create an Art brush from this red path by dragging it into the Brushes palette. In the Set the brush values from the image below.

Apply this brush to the path and decrease the Stroke weight.

Go to Object > Expand appearance. Then go to Object > Ungroup. Set the color of the fill to orange. Set the Blending mode for it to Overlay too.


Step 14

Take the Ellipse Tool (L), create an ellipse, fill it with the Radial gradient and send this ellipse to back by going to Object > Arrange > Send to Back.


Conclusion

You have just made two electrical cells. I hope you have enjoyed this tut.

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