Lessons: 15Length: 1.7 hours

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3.1 Making a Laptop

In this lesson we’ll be making a flat laptop with the help of Adobe Illustrator basic shapes and distort effects. What is more, we’ll be using the screen of the laptop as a mockup to display any custom image or template.

3.1 Making a Laptop

Hi Aaron and welcome back to creating flat workspace elements for advertisements course with [INAUDIBLE] at tuts+. Today we'll be making a semi-realistic flat laptop with the help of Adobe Illustrator basic shapes and [INAUDIBLE]. What is more, we'll be using the screen of the laptop as a markup to display any custom images or template. Let's start. First of all let's make a new document. The size of the Artboard doesn't matter at this time, so we can actually hide it in View > Hide Artboards. And turn on the Smart Guides in View Smart Guides. We'll start from the keyboard of the laptop. As it is the most detailed and tricky part. Take the rectangle tool and create an 8 by 4 pixels shape. And let's make some more copies. Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. And make the horizontal move value equal to the widths of your rectangle plus the distance you want to set between the shapes. In our case, it is eight plus one, which makes a total of nine pixels. And set the number of copies to 13. Now, let's move to the next row of keys. Make a seven by seven pixels rectangle. And let's align its left edge to the upper row of the keys. Select the two shapes, and holding down the Alt or Option key, click on the top rectangle. You will see a thick stroke which indicates the key object. Now you can go into the align panel and here, make sure that you align it to the key object, and select Horizontal Align Left. And let's set the vertical space in between the objects to 2 pixels. Select the square key and apply the transform effect. Set the horizontal null value to nine and the number of copies to 12. If you need to return and edit any settings to the transform effect after you've clicked the OK button. You can always open the appearance panel in Window > Appearance. Select the transform effect here and make the needed adjustments. What is more. You can drag the effect onto the double [INAUDIBLE] selected icon in the bottom of the panel. And this way add another effect with its own settings. For example, let's add another transform effect and set the vertical move value to 9. Set the number of copies to 4, and the horizontal move value to 3.5 pixels in order to move each next row of keys to the right of it. As a result, using two transform effects, we've made five rows of keys. Let's now make some adjustments making them look more like a real keyboard. You can use the reference image if you need to see how the keys are distributed on the keyboard. Or as in my case, I'm just looking at my own keyboard. I don't want the keys to be exactly the same because they will probably be quite small at our final image. So, we don't need to make them super realistic. Go to Object > Expand Appearance, and ungroup all the keys. There might be several groups inside each other. And now we'll adjust the length of some keys to the edges of the keyboard and to each other. Smart guys are really helpful at this step. Select the needed keyword and press Enter to open the Move options window. And from here, you can set the horizontal or vertical move value to move the key itself, or to make a copy if you press the Copy button below. Let's set 9 pixels for horizontal move value, and create a copy of the key. And this value remains the same every time you open the Move options window for every key that we're going to copy this way. And again, if you feel like some of the keys are too small or too big, or too long as in my case, you can always adjust the size of the keys and the distance between them to your liking. Just to make it look good. Select the key and press Enter to create a copy and move it to the right. Now let's create the big Enter key. Make the two keys overlap. Go to Window > Pathfinder and use the Unite function in Pathfinder panel to merge two separate shapes into one object. Continue resizing the keys adding Shift and Caps lock which are longer than the letter and digit case. For the lower row of the keys, align the shapes to the left side. Let's copy those three top keys and group them, hold down Alt+Shift, and drag them to the bottom, making a copy. They will help us to form the arrow keys of our keyboard. Select the arrow keys and the upper long key. And click the vertical distribute spacing button in the Align panel. Align the other keys of the bottom row to the arrow keys. And adjust their size. Finally, use the Unite function of Pathfinder to form the Spacebar. So they will be using some stroke effects, and live corners feature of the illustrator. So let's go to Preferences and make sure that we have this Scale Rectangle Corners, and Scale Strokes and Effects boxes checked. This way our image will preserve its initial look if we scale it up or down. Select the keys and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners. Set the radius value to 1 pixel. And Expand Appearance to apply the effect. And let's edit the arrow keys a bit using the live corners. Here you can see these tiny circle indicators. And you can adjust each color separately if you select it and pull the marker. Now from the base of our laptop from a rectangle of 150 by 100 pixels, make the corners slightly rounded. Align the base of the laptop with the keyboard, placing it in the center, and move it up a bit. And we're gonna make the keyboard a little bit smaller using the scale tool, setting the universal scale value to 95%. Add some minor details, aligning the objects to each other and using the align panel. Now let's add the rounded touchpad. Use the shade builder tool to get rid of the unwanted pieces, by holding down the Alt key until you see the tiny minus sign next to your mouse cursor. And then just click on the piece that you want to delete. Make the corners of the shape rounded, preserving the smooth style of the device. Now let's make the display of our laptop. Go to Object > Shape > Convert to Rectangle. This way we turn our shape into an editable object. And we still can adjust its corners if needed, even after modifications. Hold Alt+Shift and make a copy. Make it smaller, about almost half of its height. And go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Set the offset value to -2 forming the inner edges of the display. And add another offset inside with -5 pixels value. Now we need to transform our shape in a proper perspective. Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Make the upper edge wider and expand the shape. And now we can apply the colors. We'll be using linear gradients. You don't need to set exactly the same colors as I have because I picked the colors just by guess. You can see my color numbers in the color panel in the top left corner. And you can also use the reference image if needed, and pick the colors from there using the eye-dropper tool. Pick the created appearance and apply it to other parts of your laptop with the eye-dropper tool. Make the touchpad a bit darker to separate it from the base of the laptop. Use the gradient tool to change the direction of your linear gradients. Fill the screen with bright blue gradient. And make a dark gray stripe in the upper part of the base. Use the eye dropper tool to apply the same dark gray color to the inner part of the display and the keyboard, making the panel beneath the keyboard darker as well. Now we're gonna add some reflections and highlights to make our laptop glossy and more realistic. Select all the elements and switch off the strobe color in the color panel. Copy the touchpad and paste it in front. Then take the line segment tool and draw a diagonal line across the touchpad shape. Then select both the line and touchpad, and click Divide in Pathfinder panel to split the shape into two halves. Delete the upper piece of the divided shape, set the blending mode to multiply in the transparency panel. Make one part of the gradient white, this way making it transparent while the multiply mode is applied. Add the same semi-transparent shadow to the base of the laptop. Draw a diagonal line across the laptop, divide it. And switch the remaining half into multiply blending mode. And then, put a highlight on the display, using the same technique, but this time in screen blending mode. Split the display into two halves. Switch the upper half to screen mode. And make one part of the gradient black. The black color becomes transparent in the screen blending mode. Now we can use the screen as a mockup for some image that can be displayed there. Let's make a simple flat style template of some web page just to see how it works, create a rectangle. Add a bright header and some thumbnails below. Align the shapes to the centre. And apply bright, interactive colors. Let's add some elements to the header. Use the scissors tool if you need to split some shape apart. Click the anchor point to divide the shape. It can adjust the template to your liking or add some minor details. Or use any other vector image instead. Finally, add those lines depicting the text lines. Now, let's place the created template on the top of the screen. Align it and adjust its size to fit the height of the screen. From here, go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mash. And set the rows and columns value to 1. Now we can take the direct selection tool and just move the anchor points. This way changing the perspective of our template and making it fit the screen. It might cross the edges a bit, but that's totally fine, we'll fix it. Now in your Layers panel, copy the blue screen shape. And place the copy on top of the template. Select both the screen copy and the template. Click your right mouse button and make Clipping Mask. That's it. Now everything fits the screen. Our flat laptop is finished. Great job, guys. We have made the first element from our list of workplace objects, and can move to the next one. In our next lesson, we'll be creating a cup of coffee using some basic shapes. Stay tuned.

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