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Design

How to Create a Detailed Tetris Game Interface in iDraw

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a detailed Tetris game interface in iDraw. For starters you will learn how to set up a grid and how to create the main shape using basic tools and vector shape building techniques. Next, you will learn how to add shading and highlights for your main shape using only the Effects pane. 

Moving on, you will learn how to create a dark grid using the Create Rectangular Grid plugin. Taking full advantage of the Snap to Grid feature and using basic tools and blending techniques, you will learn how to create the Tetris piece fragments. 

Finally, you will learn how to easily create all your Tetris pieces.

1. Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

For this tutorial we'll create a new 600 x 600 pixel document. Choose File > New (Command-N) to bring up the New Document pane. Select the Grid document style, set the document units to pixels, and set the document dimensions to 600 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.

Next, we'll set up the document grid. Switch to the Grid pane in the Properties pane. If the Properties pane is not currently visible, you can click on the orange ruler icon above the Layers pane to show and hide the pane. Change the grid X Spacing and Y Spacing to 5 px, set the Subdivisions to 0 px, and enable Snap to Grid (Command-Shift-').

setup grid

2. Create the Main Frame

Step 1

Focus on the Toolbar and you will notice that by default the fill color is set to white and the stroke color is set to black. Simply click on the stroke color well and drag the Alpha slider to 0%, which will make the stroke invisible. Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool (M), focus on your Titlebar and drag the Corner Radius slider to 5 pt. Move to your canvas and create a 240 x 340 px shape. Using the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will make your work easier.

Make sure that your shape stays selected and focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane. If the Appearance pane is not currently visible, you can click on the blue icon above the Layers pane to show and hide the pane. Focus on the Fill and select Linear Gradient from the Type drop-down menu. Set the angle to 90 degrees and then move to the gradient sliders. Select the left one and set its color to R=44 G=44 B=54. Then select the right one and set its color to R=65 G=65 B=74. Simply click on the gradient bar and you will get a new gradient slider. Select it, set the color to R=54 G=54 B=65, and drag it to the left until the Location tooltip shows 25%.

create main frame

Step 2

Return to your Toolbar, click again on that fill color, and replace the existing color with a simple white. Grab the Rectangle Tool (M), focus on your canvas, create a 220 x 300 px shape and place it as shown in the following image.

create main frame

Step 3

Using the Move Tool (V), select both shapes made so far, focus on the Path Tools section from the Properties pane, and click the Subtract button. The resulting shape should look like in the second image. Move to the Layers pane, open the existing layer and you will find your shape. Simply double-click on its name and rename it "frame".

create main frame

Step 4

Make sure that your "frame" shape stays selected, focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane, and check the little box that stands for the existing Stroke to activate it. Drag the Width slider to 1pt, select Inside from the Position drop-down menu and Soft Light from the Blend drop-down menu, and then click the color box that stands for your Stroke. Drag the Alpha slider to 30% and set the color code to white (R=255 G=255 B=255).

create main frame

Step 5

Make sure that your "frame" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and add a second Stroke using the plus button located in the bottom left corner of your pane. Select this new Stroke and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create main frame

Step 6

Make sure that your "frame" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and add a third Stroke using that same plus button. Select this new Stroke and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create main frame

Step 7

Make sure that your "frame" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane, and activate the existing Inner Shadow effect. Enter 1 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes, select Soft Light front the Blend drop-down menu, and then click the color box that stands for your Inner Shadow effect. Drag the Alpha slider to 25% and set the color to white. Finally, drag this effect right above the bottom Stroke.

create main frame

Step 8

Make sure that your "frame" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and add a second Inner Shadow using that same plus button. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create main frame

Step 9

Make sure that your "frame" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and add a third Inner Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create main frame

Step 10

Make sure that your "frame" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and add a fourth Inner Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create main frame

3. Create the Grid

Step 1

Return to your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible, and set the Fill color to R=54 G=54 B=65. Grab the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 220 x 300 px shape, and place it exactly as shown in the following image.

create grid

Step 2

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected, focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane, activate the existing Stroke, and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create grid

Step 3

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected, focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane, and activate the existing Inner Glow effect. Drag the Size slider to 5 pt, select Soft Light from the Blend Mode drop-down menu, and then click the color box that stands for this effect. Drag the Alpha slider to 20% and set the color code to black (R=0 G=0 B=0). Finally, drag this Inner Glow effect between the existing Fill and Stroke.

create grid

Step 4

For this step you will need the Create Rectangular Grid plugin that can be downloaded from the iDraw website. Return to iDraw and go to File > Plugin > Manage Plug-ins. Drag your Create Rectangular Grid plugin inside the newly opened folder and then close it. 

Get back to your iDraw file and this time go to File > Plugin > Create Rectangular Grid. Enter 29 in the Horizontal Lines box and 21 in the Vertical Lines box, set the Width to 220 px and the Height to 300 px, and then click the OK button. Make sure that this new group of paths stays selected and focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Click the color box that stands for the existing Fill and simply drag the Alpha slider to 0%.

create grid

Step 5

Make sure that your group of horizontal and vertical paths is still selected and keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Select the existing Stroke, drag the Width slider to 2 pt, and things should look like this:

create grid

Step 6

Take a closer look at a corner of your group of paths and you'll notice a tiny gap. We'll solve it in this step. Make sure that your entire group of horizontal and vertical paths is selected and simply hit Shift-Command-G to Ungroup it. Now, focus on the Layers pane, select the four paths that make up the outer edges of your grid, and go to Modify > Connect Endpoints. Take a new look at that corner and the gap should be gone.

create grid

Step 7

Focus on the Layers pane and reselect all the paths that make up your black grid. Move to the Path Tools section from the Properties pane, and click the Outline Stroke button and then the Union button. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and go to the Effects section from the Appearance pane. Focus on the Fill and replace the existing color with R=44 G=44 B=49. Finally, you should go to the Layers pane and rename the shape made in this step "grid".

create grid

Step 8

Make sure that your "grid" shape stays selected and focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane. Activate the existing Drop Shadow effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create grid

4. Create the Separator

Step 1

Focus on your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible then set the Fill color to R=59 G=59 B=70. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 220 x 10 px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Move to the Layers pane and simply rename the rectangle made in this step "separatorShadow".

create separator

Step 2

Make sure that your "separatorShadow" shape stays selected, focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and activate the existing Outer Glow effect. Drag the Size slider to 10 pt, select Soft Light from the Blend Mode drop-down menu, and then click the color box that stands for this new effect. Drag the Alpha slider to 30% and set the color to black.

create separator

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 240 x 10 px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Move to the Layers pane and simply rename this new rectangle "separator". Make sure that it stays selected and focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Focus on the existing Fill, select Linear Gradient from the Type drop-down menu, and set the Angle to 0 degrees. Then move to the gradient sliders and enter the attributes shown in the following image. Remember that you can easily add a new gradient slider by clicking on the gradient bar.

create separator

Step 4

Make sure that your "separator" shape stays selected and focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Activate the existing Inner Shadow effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create separator

Step 5

Make sure that your "separator" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and add a second Inner Shadow using that same plus button. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

create separator

5. Create the First Fragment of a Piece

Step 1

For the rest of the steps you will need a grid every 1 px, which simply means that you need to return to the Grid section from the Properties pane and enter 1 px in both Spacing boxes. Focus on your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible, and set the Fill color to R=0 G=124 B=215. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 8 px square and place it exactly as shown in the following image.

create first piece fragment

Step 2

Make sure that your blue square stays selected and focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane. Activate the existing Drop Shadow effect and enter the attributes shown here.

create first piece fragment

Step 3

Make sure that your blue square is still selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane, and add a second Drop Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the following attributes.

create first piece fragment

Step 4

Get back to your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible, and then set the Fill color to black. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 x 8 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Path Selection Tool (A) and focus on the right side of this new rectangle. Select the top anchor point and drag it 1 px down, then select the bottom anchor point and drag it 1 px up. This should turn your rectangle into a trapezoid as shown in the second image.

create first piece fragment

Step 5

Make sure that your black trapezoid is selected and make a copy in front (Command-C, Command-Shift-V). Select this copy and go to Modify > Rotate > Flip Horizontal. Make sure your copy is still selected and drag to the right as shown in the first image. 

Now, select both trapezoids and grab the Rotate Tool (R). Focus on your Toolbar, set the Angle to 90 degrees, and click the Copy button. In the end things should look like in the third image.

create first piece fragment

Step 6

Keep focusing on your black trapezoids. Select the left one and focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Drag the Opacity slider to 70% and select Soft Light from the Blend drop-down menu. 

Keep focusing on the Effect section from the Appearance pane and select your right trapezoid. Drag the Opacity slider to 50% and select Soft Light from the Blend drop-down menu. Next, select the bottom trapezoid and change its Blend to Soft Light

Finally, select your top trapezoid and focus on that same Effects section from the Appearance pane. Replace the existing Fill color with white, and then drag the Opacity slider to 50% and change the Blend to Soft Light.

create first piece fragment

Step 7

Focus on your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible, and then set the Fill color to white. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 6 x 3 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Path Selection Tool (A) and focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and simply hit the Delete button from your keyboard to remove it. Then select the right anchor point and drag it 3 px to the left. In the end your white rectangle should turn into a triangle as shown in the second image.

create first piece fragment

Step 8

Focus on your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible, and then set the Fill color to black. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a second 6 x 3 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Path Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and remove it. Then select the right anchor point and drag it 3 px to the left. In the end things should look like in the second image. Select both triangles and grab the Rotate Tool (R). Go to your Titlebar, enter a 90 degrees angle, and then click that Copy button.

create first piece fragment

Step 9

Keep focusing on your triangle shapes. Select the left one, replace the existing Fill color with black then lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light. Select the right triangle, lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light. Select your top triangle, drag the Opacity slider to 30% and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light. Finally, select the bottom triangle, lower its Opacity to 80% and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light.

create first piece fragment

Step 10

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 2 px square and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this tiny new shape stays selected, and focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane. Drag the Opacity slider to 20%, select Overlay from the Blend drop-down menu. Then focus on the Fill color and make sure that it's set to white.

create first piece fragment

Step 11

Reselect your blue rectangle along with the rest of the shapes used to highlight it and simply hit Command-G to Group them. Move to the Layers pane and rename your new group "blue".

create first piece fragment

6. Build Your Seven Pieces

Step 1

Make sure that your "blue" group is still selected and duplicate it (Command-C, Command-V). Select the new group, drag it up, and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the Layers pane, rename your group copy "orange" and then open it. Select the blue square that lies inside your "orange" group and move to the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Focus on the Fill and simply replace the existing color with R=204 G=78 B=26. Now, create another five group copies, spread them as shown in the following image, and replace the blue with the colors shown in the following image. Don't forget to rename your new groups.

build seven pieces

Step 2

Multiply your "blue" group (Command-C, Command-V) and spread the copies as shown in the first image. Once you're done, select all your "blue" groups and Group them (Command-G). Move to the Layers pane and rename this new group "BLUE". This will be your first piece. Naming and grouping these shapes will make it a lot easier for you to select, move, or multiply them later.

build seven pieces

Step 3

Focus on the rest of the groups and use them to create the other six pieces as shown in the following image. Don't forget to Group and name them when you're done.

build seven pieces

Step 4

Now that you've got all your pieces, multiply and spread them roughly as shown in the following image.

build seven pieces

7. Add Some Text

Step 1

Grab the Text Tool (T), click on your canvas, and then move to the Text section from the Appearance pane. Select the DIN Condensed font, make it Bold, and set the size to 10 pt. Add the piece of text shown in the first image, make sure that it's placed as shown below, and then move to the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Set the Text color to R=145 G=145 B=145 and activate the existing Drop Shadow effect. Then enter the attributes shown in the following image.

add text

Step 2

Reselect the Text Tool (T) and add a second piece of text. Use the same text attributes, add the piece of text shown in the first image, make sure that it's placed as shown below, and then move to the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Set the Text color to R=255 G=200 B=0 and activate the existing Drop Shadow effect. Enter the attributes shown in the following image.

add text

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

final product
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