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Design

Create a Video Poker Game Interface in Adobe Illustrator - Part One

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In the following steps you will learn how to create a detailed five cards poker game interface in Adobe Illustrator. In this first part you will learn how to create the screen of a poker machine. We'll start by creating several pixel perfect shapes using the grid and the Snap to Grid option along with basic vector shape building techniques.

Next, you will learn how to create, save and re-use complex gradients and graphic styles. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel and using a bunch of raster effects along with basic blending techniques you will learn how to add shading, highlights and subtle textures for your work.


1. Create a New Document & Setup a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a New document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 2048 in the width box and 1496 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 you click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 10px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You should 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 > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

Poker Game Interface

2. Create the Screen

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color at R=20 G=20 B=20. Move to your Artboard, simply create a 1570 x 750px rectangle and place it as shown in the following image. Hit Shift-Control-H (or go to View > Show Artboards) if you can't see the edges of your Artboard.

Poker Game Interface

Step 2

Make sure that your dark rectangle stays selected and open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Add a second fill for your shape using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new fill, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 20%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel.

Select the existing stroke and set the color at black (R=0 G=0 B=0). Make it 4pt wide, align it to inside and lower the Opacity to 25%. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the little, green arrow in the following image). Select this new stroke, set the color at black, make it 8pt wide, align it to inside the lower the Opacity to 15%. Get back the Appearance panel and add a third stroke for your shape. Select it, make sure that the color is set at black, make it 12pt wide, align it to inside the lower the Opacity to 10%.

Poker Game Interface

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1070 x 610px rectangle, set the fill color at R=45 G=132 B=47 and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this green rectangle stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel.

Add a second fill for your green shape and select it. Set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 8%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and get back to the Appearance panel. Add a third fill for your green rectangle and select it. Make sure that the color is set at black, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Sponge. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. In the end your green rectangle should look like in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 4

Make sure that your green rectangle stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt stroke, set the color at R=20 G=20 B=20 and align it to outside. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, add a second stroke and select it. Set the color at black and the weight at 4pt, align it to inside, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light. Make sure that this black stroke is still selected and hit the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. This will add a copy of the selected stroke. Select it, lower the Opacity to 30% and increase its weight to 8pt. Make sure that this new stroke is still selected and duplicate it using that same Duplicate Selected Item button. Select this new stroke, lower its Opacity to 20% and increase the weight to 12pt. Finally, duplicate this 12pt stroke. Select the newly added stroke, lower its Opacity to 10% and increase the weight to 18pt.

Poker Game Interface

Step 5

Reselect your green rectangle, focus on the Appearance panel, make sure that the entire path is selected (simply click on the Path piece of text from the top of the Appearance panel) and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 20px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window (in the following image), click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window (in the following image) and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 6

Focus on the top, right corner of your dark rectangle. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 290 x 100px shape, set the fill color at R=20 G=20 B=20 and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the existing fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel, add a 2pt stroke, set the color at R=20 G=20 B=20 and align it to outside.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, add a second stroke and select it. Set the color at black and the weight at 2pt, align it to inside, lower its Opacity to 5% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light. Duplicate this black stroke, select the newly added stroke and simply increase its weight to 4pt. Get back to the Appearance panel and duplicate this 4pt stroke. Select the new stroke and increase its weight to 8pt.

Poker Game Interface

Step 7

Make sure that your 290 x 100px rectangle stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 15px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 8

Make sure that your 290 x 100px rectangle is still selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 9

Using the Type Tool (T) add some random numbers and place them as shown in the following image. Use the "Digital-7 font", set the size at 65pt and the color at R=250 G=0 B=0. Continue with the Type Tool (T) and add some simple piece of text as shown in the second image. Use the same font, set the size at 35pt and the color at R=205 G=205 B=205.

Poker Game Interface

3. Create the Outer Screen Frame

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 100 x 970px shape, set the fill color at R=247 G=148 B=30 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this orange rectangle. Select the right anchor point and simply drag it 70px down and 30px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 2

Make sure that your orange shape is still selected and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical box then hit the Copy button. Select the resulting shape, drag it to the right and place it as shown in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1890 x 70px shape, set the fill color at black and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle. Select the right anchor point and drag it 70px to the left then select the left anchor point and drag it 70px to the right.

Poker Game Interface

Step 4

Select your left, orange shape, open the Gradient panel and simply click on the gradient thumbnail. This will replace that orange with the default black to white linear gradient. Make sure that your shape stays selected and focus on the Gradient panel.

First, set the Angle at -45 degrees. Next, select the left gradient slider and set the color at R=64 G=22 B=23 then select the right gradient slider and set the color at R=129 G=79 B=47. Make sure that the right slider is still selected, focus on the Location box and set it at 95.51%. Keep in mind that the white numbers from the Gradient image stand for Location percentage. Focus on the gradient bar and simply click on it to add new gradient sliders. Add four new sliders, use the colors shown below and use the Location attributes shown in the following image. Finally, you need to save this gradient. Return to the Gradient panel, click on that gradient thumbnail and simply drag it inside the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches). Double click on this newly saved gradient and name it "Bronze".

Poker Game Interface

Step 5

Make sure that the shape filled with the linear gradient stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 15%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 6

Make sure that the shape filled with the linear gradient stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill, set the color at white, lower its Opacity to 80%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Texture > Stained Glass. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Sketch > Torn Edges. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Sketch > Chrome. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. A big thank you to Diana Toma for sharing this neat effect in her How to Create a Molten Metal Text Effect in Illustrator tutorial.

Poker Game Interface

Step 7

Make sure that your textured shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill. Select it and fill it with a black to white linear gradient. Move to the Gradient panel, set the Angle at 90 degrees then select the right slider. Focus on the Opacity box and lower it to 0%. Keep in mind that the yellow zeros/numbers from the Gradient images stands for Opacity percentage.

Return to the Appearance panel, make sure that the new fill is still selected, lower its Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Stylize > Feather. Enter a 35px feather radius and click OK. Finally, make sure that your textured shape is still selected, open the Graphic Styles panel (Window > Graphics Styles) and simply click the New Graphic Style button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Double click on this new graphics style and name it "outerFrame".

Poker Game Interface

Step 8

Select the right, orange shape and simply click on that "outerFrame" graphics style from your Graphic Styles panel. Make sure that your shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the bottom fill, move to the Gradient panel and set the Angle at 45 degrees. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 9

Select the top, black shape and simply add that "outerFrame" graphics style from your Graphic Styles panel. Make sure that your shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the top fill and simply click on the Delete Selected Item button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image) to remove it. Next, select the bottom fill, move to the Gradient panel and set the Angle at -135 degrees. In the end things should look like in the following image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 10

Make sure that your top, textured shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, add a fourth fill and select it. Use the linear gradient shown in the following image and remember that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. Make sure that the top fill is still selected, lower its Opacity to 70%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Stylize > Feather. Enter a 20px feather radius and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 11

Reselect the three, textured shapes and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-F). Select these copies, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Unite button. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -10px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Feather. Enter a 35px feather radius and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

4. Create the Inner Screen Frame

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 60 x 810px shape, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and simply drag it 90px up and 30px to the left. Move to the bottom side of this white shape and make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active. Select the right anchor point and drag it 60px up. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 2

Make sure that your white shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and replace the white with R=20 G=20 B=20. Add a second fill for this shape and select it. Change the Blending Mode to Multiply, add the simple linear gradient shown in the first image and don't forget to set its Angle at 180 degrees.

Return to the Appearance panel, add a third fill for this shape and select it. Change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, add that "Bronze" linear gradient from your Swatches panel and set the Angle at -135 degrees.

Poker Game Interface

Step 3

Make sure that your dark shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a fourth fill, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 15%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Return to the Appearance panel, add a fifth fill for you shape and select it. Set the color at white, lower its Opacity to 75%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Texture > Stained Glass. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Sketch > Torn Edges. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Sketch > Chrome. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 4

Make sure that your dark, textured shape is still selected and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical box then hit the Copy button. Select the resulting shape, drag it to the right and place it as shown in the second image. Reselect the left shape, focus on the Graphic Styles panel, save a new graphics style and name it "innerFrame".

Poker Game Interface

Step 5

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1750 x 90px shape, set the fill color at R=67 G=69 B=72 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle. Select the right anchor point and drag it 90px to the left then select the left anchor point and drag it 90px to the right. In the end you should have a pretty squeezed trapezoid.

Poker Game Interface

Step 6

Reselect that squeezed trapezoid made in the previous step and add the "innerFrame" graphics style from your Graphic Styles panel. Make sure that this shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the second fill, focus on the Gradient panel and set the Angle at 90 degrees. Return to the Appearance panel, select the third fill, move to the Gradient panel and set the Angle at 135 degrees. In the end things should look like in the following image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 7

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1690 x 60px shape, set the fill color at R=67 G=69 B=72 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new rectangle. Select the right anchor point and drag it 60px to the left then select the left anchor point and drag it 60px to the right.

Poker Game Interface

Step 8

Reselect that squeezed trapezoid made in the previous step and add the "innerFrame" graphic style from your Graphic Styles panel. Make sure that this shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the second fill, focus on the Gradient panel and set the Angle at -90 degrees.

Return to the Appearance panel, select the third fill, move to the Gradient panel and set the Angle at 45 degrees. In the end things should look like in the following image.

Poker Game Interface

5. Add Subtle Highlights and Create the Bottom Side of the Screen

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1750 x 900px shape, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle. Select the right anchor point and drag it 30px to the left then select the left anchor point and drag it 30px to the right.

Poker Game Interface

Step 2

Make sure that the white shape made in the previous step stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the color from the fill and add a 2pt, white stroke. Select it, align it to inside, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and lower its Opacity to 30%. Make sure that this subtle stroke is selected then make three copies using that same Duplicate Selected Item button.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, select the bottom stroke copy, lower its Opacity to 25% and increase the weight to 4pt. Move up to the next stroke, select it, lower the Opacity to 20% and increase its weight to 8pt. Finally, select the top stroke, lower its Opacity to 10% and increase the weight to 16pt. Add a fifth stroke for your shape and drag it in the top of the Appearance panel. Select it, make sure that the color is set at white, set the weight at 2pt, align it to outside, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and lower its Opacity to 50%.

Make sure that this new stroke is selected and then make three copies. Select the bottom stroke copy, lower its Opacity to 25% and increase the weight to 4pt. Move up to the next stroke, select it, lower the Opacity to 20% and increase its weight to 8pt. Finally, select the top stroke, lower its Opacity to 10% and increase the weight to 16pt.

Poker Game Interface

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1750 x 900px shape, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the first image.

Make sure that this new shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the color from the fill and add a 2pt, black stroke. Select it, align it to inside, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and lower its Opacity to 40%. Make sure that this subtle stroke is selected and then make four copies using that same Duplicate Selected Item button.

Focus on these stroke copies, select the bottom one, lower its Opacity to 35% and increase the weight to 4pt. Move up to the next stroke, select it, lower the Opacity to 30% and increase its weight to 8pt. Continue with the next stroke, select it, increase the weight to 12pt and lower its Opacity to 20%. Finally, select the top stroke, lower its Opacity to 15% and increase the weight to 16pt.

Poker Game Interface

Step 4

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1890 x 30px shape, set the fill color at black and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and focus on the left side of this new rectangle. Add a new anchor point (as shown in the second image) then grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the bottom anchor point and simply drag it 30px to the right. Move to the right side of this black shape and switch to the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). Add a new anchor point (as shown in the second image) then grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the bottom anchor point and simply drag it 30px to the left.

Poker Game Interface

Step 5

Make sure that your bottom, black shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and replace the flat color with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Add a second fill for this shape and select it. Set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 15%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown below and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 6

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1890 x 10px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the first image.

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 2px. Reselect the thin rectangle made in this step and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow once to move it 2px up. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and set the fill color at R=90 G=90 B=90.

Poker Game Interface

Step 7

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create two, 1570 x 40px shapes and two, 40 x 750px shapes. Place these squeezed circles as shown in the following image. Make sure that all four shapes are selected, set the fill color at black, lower their Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Poker Game Interface

Step 8

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 40 x 900px shape, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the first image. Continue with the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 20 x 900px shape, set the fill color at black and place it as shown in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 9

Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of those squeezed circle. Select both anchor points highlighted in the first image and simply drag them 30px to the left. Move to the middle section of those squeezed circle, make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active, select the four anchor points highlighted in the third image and simply drag them 20px to the left.

Poker Game Interface

Step 10

Reselect both the black and the white shapes and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical box and click the Copy button. Select the resulting shapes, drag them to the right and place them as shown in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 11

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 1710 x 40px shape and a 1690 x 40px shape, set the fill color at white then place them as shown in the first image. Using the same tool, create a 1710 x 20px shape and a 1690 x 20px shape, set the fill color at black then place them as shown in the second image.

Poker Game Interface

Step 12

Select all four white shapes, lower their Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light. Select all four black shapes, replace the black with white, lower their Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Poker Game Interface

6. Create Four Tiny Screws

Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 10px circle, set the fill color at white and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this tiny shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the existing fill, replace that white with the radial gradient shown in the following image and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a second fill, select it, set the color at R=64 G=22 B=23 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3.5px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat. Drag the slider at -45% and click OK.

Poker Game Interface

Step 2

Multiply (Control-C > Control-F) that 10px circle and spread the copies as shown in the following images.

Poker Game Interface

Step 3

Select all the shapes made so far and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), double click on this new group and simply name it "screen".

Poker Game Interface

Hold Up, There's More to Come!

We're half way there! Here is how it should look.

Poker Game Interface
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