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Create a Golden Shield Illustration with Ivy Text Effect

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a golden shield illustration and an ivy text effect. We'll use vector shape building techniques to construct the main structure of our work and then Illustrator's 3D tools to add depth. Then learn how to add polish to the shield before we move onto constructing the ivy text effect. Let's get started.


Step 1

Hit Command + N to create a new document. Enter 1050 in the width box and 600 in the height box, then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before your click OK. Now, turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid).

Next, you'll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 5 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 set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.



Step 2

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 280 by 505px shape. Fill it with any color and remove the color from the stroke. Make sure that this fresh shape is still selected, switch to the Convert Selection Tool (Shift + C) and simply click on the bottom anchor point. Now your shape should look like in the second image.



Step 3

Return to the Ellipse Tool (L), create two, 180 by 80px shapes and place them as shown in the first image. Select these fresh shapes, along with the shape created in the previous step, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Front button. Move to the Layers panel and you will find a group with two simple shapes. Delete the top shape and then ungroup the remaining shape (Shift + Command + G).



Step 4

Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus the shape created in the previous step. Select the right anchor point (highlighted in the first image) and drag the handle as shown in the second image (about 30px). The Snap to Grid will ease your work.

Continue with the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the left anchor point (highlighted in the third image) and drag the handle like you did with the right anchor point. Have another look at these two anchor points and make sure that their handles are symmetrical.



Step 5

Disable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape created in the previous step. Remove the color from the fill and add a 30pt stroke. Align it to inside and set its color at R=147, G=149, B=152,. Now go to Object > Expand Appearance. This will turn your shape into a compound path.



Step 6

Select the compound path created in the previous step and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Click on the More Options button and enter the data shown below. Now click OK and then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and you will find a new group of shapes.



Step 7

Move to the Layers panel and focus on the group created in the previous step. Hold Alt and click on the little, white arrow so that you can see the content of your group. It should contain seven main subgroups.

Select the second subgroup (pointed by the little, white arrow) and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Delete the remaining Clipping Paths, then reselect the entire group and hit Shift + Command + G a few times until you get rid of all those groups. In the end your should have seven simple shapes.



Step 8

Select the shape highlighted in the following image. Fill it with R=252, G=205, B=10. Now go to the Appearance panel and click on the Add New Fill button. It's the little white square from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will add a second fill to your shape.

Select it from the Appearance panel and fill it with the left linear gradient shown below. Have a closer look at the gradient and you will notice a yellow zero. It stands for Opacity percentage. This means that you need to select that gradient slider and lower its Opacity to 0%. Make sure that your shape is still selected, add a third fill, and use the right linear gradient shown below.



Step 9

Next, you need to add the same properties for the similar, flipped shape. Go to the Layers and notice that every shape comes with a little square icon. Click on the square that stands for the shape created in the previous step, hold Alt and drag your cursor above the square that stands for the flipped shape.



Step 10

Move to the shape highlighted in the following image. Fill it with R=252, G=205, B=10. Now go to the Appearance panel. Add three new fills and use the linear gradients shown below.



Step 11

Again, move to the Layers panel and use the technique presented in the ninth step to add the properties shown in the previous step for the similar, flipped shape.



Step 12

Move to the thin shape highlighted in the following image. Fill it with R=252, G=205, B=10, then go to the Appearance panel. Add two new fills and use the linear gradients shown below.



Step 13

Once again, move to the Layers panel and use the technique presented in the ninth step to add the properties shown in the previous step for the similar, flipped shape.



Step 14

Select the shapes edited in the last six steps and group them (Command + G). Move to the Layers panel, Double-click on this new group, and name it "3D".



Step 15

Select the remaining, grey shape and bring it to front (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key). Fill it with R=252, G=205, B=10. Now name it "Shield" and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F).



Step 16

Enable the Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides). Pick the Pen Tool (P) and draw four simple paths, as shown in the following image. Use the Smart Guides to make sure that your paths start and end with an anchor that is part of the "Shield" shape.



Step 17

Disable the Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides). Select the paths created in the previous step, along with the copy of "Shield," and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. This should create a new group with five shapes.

Move to the Layers panel and select this group. First, ungroup it (Shift + Command + G). Next, select the last shape (the one with no color set for fill or stroke). Name it "Later" and send it to back (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key). You will need it later.



Step 18

Move to the Layers panel and focus on the other four shapes created in the previous step. Name them as shown in the first image, then select them, and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shapes with the linear gradient shown below and lower their Opacity to 40%.



Step 19

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Focus on the "Top Left" shape. Select it and make two copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow and the left arrow three times.

Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its Opacity to 40%, and change the blending mode to Overlay. Repeat the same technique for the "Top Right" shape. In the end it should look like the fourth image shown.



Step 20

Move to the "Left" shape. Select it and make two copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow and the right arrow three times.

Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), and fill it with white. Next, lower its Opacity to 40% and change the blending mode to Overlay.



Step 21

Move to the "Right" shape. Select it and make two copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow six times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), and fill it with white. Next, lower its Opacity to 40% and change the blending mode to Overlay.



Step 22

Reselect the "Top Left" shape and go to the Appearance panel. Replace the flat fill color with the left liner gradient shown below. Add a second fill for this shape and use the second linear gradient shown below.

Return to the Appearance panel, select the first fill, lower its Opacity to 45%, and change the blending mode to Overlay. Select the second fill, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the blending mode to Multiply.



Step 23

Reselect "Top Right" shape and go to the Appearance panel. Replace the flat fill color with the left liner gradient shown below. Add a second fill for this shape and use the second linear gradient shown below.

Return to the Appearance panel, select the first fill, lower its Opacity to 45%, and change the blending mode to Overlay. Select the second fill, lower its Opacity to 40%, and change the blending mode to Multiply.



Step 24

Reselect the "Left" shape and go to the Appearance panel. Replace the flat fill color with the left liner gradient shown below. Add a second fill for this shape and use the second linear gradient shown below.

Return to the Appearance panel, select the first fill, lower its Opacity to 45%, and change the blending mode to Overlay. Select the second fill, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the blending mode to Multiply.



Step 25

Reselect the "Right" shape and go to the Appearance panel. Replace the flat fill color with the left liner gradient shown below. Add a second fill for this shape and use the second linear gradient shown below.

Return to the Appearance panel, select the first fill, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the blending mode to Multiply. Select the second fill, lower its Opacity to 45%, and change the blending mode to Overlay.



Step 26

Reselect the shapes created and edited in the last nine steps, then group them (Command + G). Move to the Layers panel and name this new group "Glow".



Step 27

Move to the Layers panel and find that "Later" shape (made in the seventeenth step). Fill it with a random color, bring it to front (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key), and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter an 11px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and go to the Appearance panel.

Remove the color from the fill and add a simple stroke. Make it 1.5pt wide and set its color at R=242, G=209, B=102. Now, select the stroke from the Appearance panel and set the blending mode to Overlay, then select the entire path (simply click on the "Path" text from the top of the Appearance panel), then set its blending mode to Multiply.



Step 28

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 4px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, go to the Appearance panel, and increase the stroke size to 3pt.



Step 29

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 4px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, go to the Appearance panel, and decrease the stroke size to 1.5pt.



Step 30

Reselect the original "Later" shape, delete it, select the shapes created in the last three steps, and group them (Command + G). Move to the Layers panel and name this new group "Strokes".



Step 31

Reselect "Shield", make a new copy in front (Command + C > Command + F), and bring it to front (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key).



Step 32

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy and hit the down arrow once.

Select the two shapes created in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). Fill it with white.



Step 33

Reselect the shape created in step 31 and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Again, enter a -2px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy and hit the down arrow twice.

Select the two shapes created in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). Fill it with white and lower its Opacity to Overlay.



Step 34

Reselect that copy of "Shield" (created in step 31) and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow twice and the left arrow four times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make) and fill it with white. Next, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the blending mode to Overlay.



Step 35

Again, select that copy of "Shield" (created in step 31) and make only one copy in front. Select it and hit the down arrow twice and the right arrow four times. Reselect this copy along with the copy created in step 31 and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), and fill it with white. Next, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the blending mode to Overlay.



Step 36

Select the shapes created in the last five steps and group them (Command + G). Move to the Layers panel and name this new group "Highlights".



Step 37

Select the "Shield" shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with black.



Step 38

Select the shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy and hit the up arrow seven times.

Now, select both black shapes and click on the Minus Front bottom from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make).

Lower its Opacity to 25%, change the blending mode to Multiply, and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Bur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK. Go to the Layers panel and name this fresh path "Black".



Step 39

Select the "Shield" shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Fill it with the radial gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 75%. Go to the Layers panel and name this fresh shape "Shield Gradient".



Step 40

Select the "Shield" shape, make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F), fill it with black and bring it to front (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key). Lower its Opacity to 25%, change the blending mode to Multiply, and go to Effect > Stylize > Feather. Enter a 30px radius and click OK. Go to the Layers panel and name this fresh path "Feather".



Step 41

Re-enable the Smart Guides (Command + U). Select the "Shield" shape, make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F), fill it with black and bring it to front (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key).

Select this black copy, hold Shift, and drag it down as shown in the third image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work. Once your shape is placed, (as shown in the third image) send it to back (Shift + Command + Left Bracket key).



Step 42

Disable the Smart Guides (Command + U). Select the "Shield" shape and go to the Appearance panel. Add a 3pt stroke, align it to inside, and set its color at R=242, G=222, B=160.

Next, click on the Add new Stroke button. It's the little black square from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will add a new stroke for your shape. Make it a 2pt stroke, align it to inside, and set its color at R=225, G=130, B=9.



Step 43

Reselect the black shape created in step 41 and hit the down arrow once. Lower its Opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 1.5px radius and click OK.



Step 44

Select the shape edited in the previous step and make a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B). Select this copy, hit the down arrow five times, then go to the Appearance panel. First, delete the Gaussian Blur effect and then lower the Opacity to 5%.



Step 45

Select the shape edited in the previous step and make a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B). Select this copy, hit the down arrow six times, then go to the Appearance panel. Increase the Opacity to 20% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px radius and click OK.



Step 46

Select the shapes created and edited in the last three steps and group them (Command + G). Name this new group "Shadows".

Let's make a quick recap. Move to the Layers panel and make sure that your shapes and groups are ordered as shown in the following image.



Step 47

Select all the shapes created so far and group them. Name this main group "Golden Shield".



Step 48

Next, you need to create your own pattern brush. First, you will need a grid every 1px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Enable the Grid (Command + ") and the Snap to Grid (Shift + Command + ").

Now pick the Rectangle Tool (M). Create seven, 24 by 1px shapes, then place them one below the other, and fill them with the colors shown below. Select all these paths and go to the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes). Open the fly-out menu, click on New Brush, check the Pattern Brush button and click OK.

The Pattern Brush Options window should open up. Enter the data shown below, click OK and you will find your new pattern brush in the Brushes panel. Reselect the y, brown rectangles and delete them from the Layers panel.



Step 49

Disable the Grid (Command + ") and the Snap to Grid (Shift + Command + "). Pick the Brush Tool (B), select your pattern brush, and draw a path along your shield.



Step 50

Select the path created in the previous step, make a copy in front, and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 8%, change the blending mode to Multiply, and go to Effect > Distort > Glass. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Pixelate > Mezzotint. Select Fine Dots from the drop down menu and click OK.



Step 51

Select the shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Select it and hit the D key from your keyboard. This will add the default properties (white fill and black stroke) for your shape.

First, remove the color from the stroke. Next, select this white shape, along with the shape created in the previous step, and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. This will remove the pixelated edges caused by the Glass and Mezzotint effects.



Step 52

Select the paths created in the last three steps and group them (Command + G). Name this new group "PatternBrush".



Step 53

Move to the Layers panel and open the "Golden Shield" group. Select the "Shield" shape and the "3D" group, then duplicate them. Select both copies, drag them outside the group and hit the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel twice. Your shape might still have some small gaps.

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), draw some simple shape above these gaps, then unite them with the main shape. In the end your path should look like the second image shown. Select it, go to the Appearance panel, then remove the colors from fill and stroke. Bring it to front (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key) and name it "Frame".



Step 54

Now, have a closer look at your pattern brush and try to imagine how it wraps around the shield. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) or the Pen Tool (P) and draw some simple shapes above the portions of the pattern brush that you want to hide behind the shield. Select all these paths and turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make).



Step 55

Select the "Frame" shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy, along with the compound path created in the previous step, and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), and fill it with black. Select this black path, along with the "PatternBrush" group, and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu, click on Make Opacity Mask, and uncheck the Clip box.



Step 56

Open the "PatterBrush" group and select the path with the pattern brush. Duplicate it and drag the copy outside the group. Bring this copy to front and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black.



Step 57

Reselect the shape created in the previous step. Send it to back (Shift + Command + Left Bracket key), move it 3px down, lower its Opacity to 15%, and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2px radius and click OK.



Step 58

Return to the "PatterBrush" group and select the path with the pattern brush. Again, duplicate it and drag the copy outside the group. Bring it to front and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white.



Step 59

Select the "Frame" shape and make a copy in front. Select this copy, along with the shape created in the previous step, and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with a louder color and lower their Opacity so that you can see what hides behind.



Step 60

Focus on the group created in the previous step. You will only need the shapes that cover the visible portion of "PatternBrush". Select the other shapes (pointed by the arrows) and delete them.



Step 61

Reselect the remaining shapes from the previous step, fill them with white, and turn them into a compound path. Move to the Layers panel. Select this fresh compound path, drag it below the "PatternBrush" group, and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK. This will add a nice extra shadow effect for the pattern brush.



Step 62

Reselect the Brush Tool (B), pick your pattern brush, and draw some extra paths (as shown in the following image). Play with it. Group all these paths and send them to back.



Step 63

Select the group created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Select this fresh group and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes, click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel, and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.

Fill the resulting path with black, lower its Opacity to 8%, change the blending mode to Multiply, and go to Effect > Distort > Glass. Enter the data shown below, click OK, and go to Effect > Pixelate > Mezzotint. Select Fine Dots from the drop down menu and click OK.



Step 64

Select the shape created in the previous step, make a copy in front, and fill it only with white. Now, select this white shape, along with the shape created in the previous step, and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. Again, this will remove the pixelated edges caused by the Glass and Mezzotint effects.



Step 65

Duplicate the shape created in the previous step. Select this copy and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and go to Release Opacity Mask. This will disable the Opacity mask effect. Move to the Layers panel and you will find the two shapes (the masked shape and the mask).

Delete the masked shape, then select the mask, and replace the white fill with a black fill. Send this path to back, move it 3px down, lower its Opacity to 15% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2px radius and click OK.



Step 66

Select all the shapes and groups created in the last four steps and group them. Make sure that this group is in the bottom of the Layers panel.



Step 67

Reselect the "Frame" shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 5px Offset and click OK. Send the resulting shape to back (Shift + Command + Left Bracket key) and fill it with R=252, G=205, B=10. Now lower its Opacity to 30% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 20px radius and click OK.



Step 68

Re-enable the Grid (Command + ") and the Snap to Grid (Shift + Command + "). For the following steps you will need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box.

Pick the Ellipse Tool (M), create an 80 by 150px shape, and fill it with R=140, G=198, B=63. Make sure that this green shape is still selected, switch to the Convert Selection Tool (Shift + C), and click on the top and bottom anchor points. Now your shape should look like the second image shown below.



Step 69

Select the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the data shown below, click OK, and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Again, enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.



Step 70

Select the shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Select this copy and go to the Appearance panel. Remove the colors from the fill and add a 3pt stroke. Align it to outside and set its color at R=84, G=161, B=63.



Step 71

Disable the Snap to Grid. Select the green shape created in step 69 and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the up arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=113, G=192, B=69.



Step 72

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and draw a simple vertical path as shown in the first image. Select it along with a large, green shape and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. This will divide your leaf shape into two symmetrical shapes.

Select the left shape and make sure that it is filled with R=113, G=192, B=69. Now select the right shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown below.



Step 73

Select the right shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below in image #2. Now lower its Opacity to 50% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.

Select the left shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Again, enter a -5px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below in image #4. Now lower its Opacity to 30% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.



Step 74

For the following step, you will need a grid every 2.5px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 2.5 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 5 by 150px shape. Now fill it with R=113, G=192, B=69, then place it as shown in the first image.

Make sure that this shape is still selected, switch to the Convert Selection Tool (Shift + C) and click on the top and bottom anchor points. Now your shape should look like the second image shown.



Step 75

For the following step you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool (L), create an 8 by 20px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, and place it as shown in the first image.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top anchor points of this new path. Select the top, left anchor point and move it 1px to the right, then select the top, right anchor point and move it 1px to the left. In the end, your shape should look like the second image shown. Select it and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown below and click OK.



Step 76

Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Now that your leaf is complete, let's turn it into a symbol. Select all the shapes that make up your leaf and group them. Select this group, go to the Symbols panel, and click on the New Symbol button.

It's the little file icon from the bottom of the Symbols panel. Pick a name for your symbol and click OK. Take a new look into your Symbols panel and you will find you leaf symbol. Move to the Layers panel and remove the existing symbol.



Step 77

Move to the Symbols panel and drag your leaf symbol onto the artboard. Select it, go to the Transform panel (Window > Transform), and enter 50px in the width and height boxes. Make four copies of this symbol and align them in a simple column, as shown in the following image.

It will be easier for you to manage them. Select these copies, one by one, and set the dimensions as shown below (35 by 35px, 25 by 25px, 20 by 20px, and 15 by 15px). Also, give then a name. Reselect all five symbols and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.



Step 78

Multiply the symbols created in the previous step. Make sure that you keep the original, five symbols (created in the previous step) in their place. Rotate the copies and spread them as shown in the following image. Use one of the Warp effects shown below to add a bit of dynamism to your leafs. Experiment and see which effect suits the best.



Step 79

Reselect the leaf symbols edited in the previous step and group them (Command + G). Select this group and send it to back (Shift + Command + Left Bracket key).



Step 80

Again, multiply the leaf symbols created in step 77 and spread them as shown in the following image. Group them and keep the group in front.



Step 81

Now that the shield is complete let's continue with the text effect. First, pick a calligraphic font. If you like it you can use the League Script Thin font. Grab the Type Tool (T), click on your artboard, and add your text, Make it black, set its size at 100pt, and place it as shown in the first image.

Now for the more challenging part. First, go to the Appearance panel, set the fill color to none, then select the stroke and click on your pattern brush from the Brushes panel. Enable the Smart Guides (Command + U), then pick the Pen Tool (P), and draw the paths along your text.

In this case I used three separate paths: one for the "V", one for "ectors" and the other for "Tuts". You don't need to make an exact trace of your text. Just use it as a reference.

Pay some extra attention to the ending of your paths. Always bend them and bring the ending point above the existing path. The Smart Guide will come in handy for this thing. Play with this, but make sure that you always have a smooth, rounded path. Once you're satisfied with your text paths, select them, and group them (Command + G).



Step 82

Disable the Smart Guides. Select the group of paths created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Select this copy and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Select the resulting group of shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting shapes into a compound path and fill it with black. Now lower its Opacity to 8%, change the blending mode to Multiply, and go to Effect > Distort > Glass. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Pixelate > Mezzotint. Select Fine Dots from the drop down menu and click OK.



Step 83

Select the shape created in the previous step, make a copy in front, and fill it only with white. Now, select this white shape along with the shape created in the previous step and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask.



Step 84

Reselect the group of paths created in step 81 and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.



Step 85

Add some leaf symbols along your text paths. Use the same Drop Shadow and Warp effects. Group these symbols and send the group to back (Shift + Command + Left Bracket key).



Step 86

Let's continue with the background. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your artboard, fill it with R=241, G=242, B=242, and send it to back. Make sure that this rectangle is still selected, go to the Appearance panel, and add a second fill. You will 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 > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. This will open a new window with a nice set of built-in pattern.

Now Return to the Appearance panel and select that new fill. Lower its Opacity to 3%, use the Dashed Lines pattern, and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below, click OK, and go to Effect > Blur > Radial Blur. Again, enter the data shown below and click OK.



Step 87

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 400 by 440px shape, and place it as shown in the following image. Drag it to the bottom of the Layers panel, right above the rectangle created in the previous step. Fill this ellipse with the radial gradient shown below, lower its Opacity to 30%, change the blending mode to Color Burn, and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15 radius and click OK.



Step 88

Move to the Layers panel and find the original "Frame" shape. First, fill it with white and bring it to front. Next, pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top anchor point (highlighted in the first image), and hit the Delete key twice. The resulting shape should look like the second image shown.



Step 89

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and replace the white from the fill with R=140, G=198, B=63. Lower its Opacity to 35%, change the blending mode to Multiply, and go to Effect > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Enter the data shown below and go to Effect > Blur > Radial Blur. Again, enter the data shown below and click OK.



Step 91

Reselect the shape edited in the previous step and make a copy in front. Select this copy and hit the D key to get rid of all those properties and effects. Move to the Appearance panel, remove the black from the stoke, and replace the white fill with the radial gradient shown below. Change the blending mode of this shape to Overlay and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px radius and click OK.



Step 92

Re-enable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. For the following step you will need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 by 200px shape, fill it with white, and place it as shown in the first image.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top anchor points, and go to Effect > Path > Average. Check the Both button and click OK. This should transform your rectangle into a sharp triangle. Select it and go to Object > Transform > Reflect.

Check the Horizontal button and click on the Copy button. This will create a horizontally, flipped copy of the triangle. Select this flipped triangle and drag it up as shown in the fourth image. Reselect both triangles and group them.



Step 93

Select the group of triangles created in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 15 degree angle and click OK. Continue and hit Command + D until you get a nice ray effect as shown in the second image.

Select all the shapes that make up the ray effect and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the radial gradient shown in the fourth image.



Step 94

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px radius, click OK, and you're done.



Conclusion

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


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