Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects
Design

How to Create a Slimy, Alien Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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

In the following steps you will learn how to create a green, slimy text effect in Adobe Illustrator. 

For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create a simple background. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel and using a neat font, you will learn how to create your fully editable, slimy text effect.

Moving on, you will learn how to add some subtle highlights and how to quickly select a bunch of shapes with similar attributes. Finally, you will learn how to save and use an art brush and how to create a funny alien eye using basic blending and vector shape-building techniques.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final slime text effect, you can find plenty of resources at Envato Market.

1. Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 800 in the width and 600 in the height box, and 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). You will need a grid every 10 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, and enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-" keyboard shortcut.

You can learn more about Illustrator's grid system and how it can ease your work in this short tutorial from Andrei Stefan: Understanding Adobe Illustrator's Grid System

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don't forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

setup grid

2. Create the Background

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke, and then select the fill and set its color to R=214 G=150 B=229.

Move to your artboard and simply create an 820 x 620 px rectangle that completely covers your artboard as shown below—the grid and the Snap to Grid feature should make this easier.

rectangle

Step 2

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected, open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button.

Select this new fill and replace the existing color with the radial gradient shown below. Keep in mind that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage, and use the Gradient Tool (G) to stretch your gradient roughly as shown in the following image.

Once you're done, return to the Appearance panel and click the "Opacity" piece of text that stands for your new fill to open the Transparency fly-out panel. Set the Blending Mode to Overlay and keep the Opacity at 100%.

radial gradient

3. Create and Use Graphic Styles

Step 1

Open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character) and pick the Type Tool (T). Simply click on your artboard and focus on the Character panel. Select the Spilt Ink font, set the size to 150 px, and then add your "GREEN" piece of text.

Make sure that your piece of text stays selected and remove the existing fill color, which will make your text invisible. Focus on the Appearance panel and add a new fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select it and set the color to R=115 G=191 B=69. Now, duplicate this piece of text (Control-C > Control-V), replace "GREEN" with "WORLD", and place it roughly as shown in the second image.

type tool

Step 2

Select your "GREEN" piece of text, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button.

Select this new fill, drag it below the green one, set its color to R=115 G=191 B=69, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10 px Offset, set the Joins to Round, and then click the OK button. In the end, things should look like the following image.

add new fill

Step 3

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the bottom fill and duplicate it using the Duplicate Selected Item button.

Select the newly added fill and replace the existing color with the linear gradient shown below. Remember that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. Return to the Appearance panel, make sure that the fill added in this step is still selected, and open the Transparency fly-out panel. Lower the Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

linear gradient

Step 4

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Select the top fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the left window (in the following image), click the OK button, and then add the other two Drop Shadow effects shown below.

drop shadow

Step 5

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add a new fill and drag it above the existing ones. Make sure that it stays selected, set the color to R=115 G=191 B=69, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the attributes shown in the left window (in the following image), click the OK button, and then go again to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. This time, enter the attributes shown in the right window, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below and then click that OK button.

inner glow

Step 6

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add a new fill and drag it above the existing ones. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3 px Offset and click that OK button.

offset path

Step 7

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add a new fill and drag it above the existing ones. Make it white, lower its Opacity to 20%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -15 px Offset, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 5 px and click OK.

gaussian blur

Step 8

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add a new fill and drag it above the existing ones. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -10 px Offset and click that OK button.

linear gradient

Step 9

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add a new fill and drag it above the existing ones. Make it white, lower its Opacity to 5%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -20 px Offset and then click that OK button.

white fill

Step 10

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add a new fill and drag it to the bottom of the panel, below the rest of the fills. Make it black, lower its Opacity to 15%, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Vertical slider to 10 px, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 20 px and then click that OK button.

black fill

Step 11

Make sure that your "GREEN" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add one last fill and drag it to the bottom of the panel. Make it black, lower its Opacity to 15%, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. This time, drag the Move-Vertical slider to 30 px, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 15 px and then click that OK button.

transform effect

Step 12

Now you need to copy the properties used for your "GREEN" piece of text and paste them onto the other piece of text.

Go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), focus on the right side, and you'll notice that every shape comes with a little grey circle, a target icon. Hold the Alt key, click on the target icon that stands for your "GREEN" piece of text, and drag onto the circle that stands for your "WORLD" piece of text.

In the end, things should look like the following image.

target icon

4. Add Subtle Highlights

Step 1

For the next steps you will need a grid every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a bunch of 1 px, 2 px, and 3 px circles, fill them all with white, and spread them across the top half of your text, roughly as shown in the first image.

Once you're done, select one of these circles and use the Select > Same > Fill Color command to quickly select all your white circles. Move to the Appearance panel, lower the Opacity to 15%, and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

white circles

Step 2

Again, use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create a new set of 1 px, 2 px, and 3 px circles. This time, fill these shapes with black and spread them across the bottom half of your text, roughly as shown in the first image.

Once you're done, select all your black circles using the same Select > Same > Fill Color command. Move to the Appearance panel, lower the Opacity to 15%, and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

black circles

5. Create the Eye

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 6 x 50 px shape and fill it with R=0 G=146 B=69.

Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 2 px to the right, and then select the right anchor point and drag it 2 px to the left.

green rectangle

Step 2

Keep focusing on your fresh green shape, make sure that it's selected, and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the attributes shown below, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Again, enter the properties shown below, click the OK button, and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warp effects

Step 3

Disable the Snap to Grid (Shift-Control-") and then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set to 1 px.

Make sure that your green shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the left using the left arrow key. Reselect both copies made in this step, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), and click the Minus Front button.

Fill the newly made shape with the linear gradient shown below, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

pathfinder panel

Step 4

Reselect your green shape and make two new copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Again, select the top copy and this time move it 1 px to the right using the right arrow button on your keyboard. Reselect both copies made in this step and click that same Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the newly made shape with the linear gradient shown below, lower its Opacity to 40%, and change the Blending Mode to Overlay. Keep in mind that the blue number from the Gradient image stands for Location percentage and that you can easily add new gradient sliders simply by clicking on the gradient bar.

minus front

Step 5

Reselect your green shape, focus on the Appearance panel, and replace the existing color with the linear gradient shown below.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, add a second white fill, place it above the other fill, and make sure that it stays selected. Lower its Opacity to 15%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2 px Offset and click that OK button.

second fill

6. Create the Eyeball

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-"). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 24 px circle, place it as shown in the first image and fill it with the linear gradient from the following image.

Make sure that the Ellipse Tool (L) remains active, create a 22 px circle, fill it with R=115 G=191 B=69, and place it as shown in the second image.

Next, create a 21 px circle, fill it with R=86 G=177 B=58, and place it as shown in the third image.

Finally, create a 20 px circle, fill it with a random yellow, and place it as shown in the final image. Don't bother to get a color similar to the one that can be seen below.

circles

Step 2

Select your yellow circle and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 19 px circle and place it as shown in the following image. Select this new shape along with the copy made a few moments ago and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the newly made shape with R=41 G=171 B=226 and lower its Opacity to 15%.

minus front

Step 3

Select your yellow circle and make a new copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create an 18 px circle and place it as shown in the following image. Select this new shape along with the copy made a few moments ago and click again that same Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the newly made shape with R=41 G=171 B=226 and lower its Opacity to 15%.

minus front

Step 4

Reselect your yellow circles and replace the existing color with the radial gradient shown below. Don't forget that you can use the Gradient Tool (G) to easily adjust your gradient.

radial gradient

Step 5

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 10 px circle and fill it with R=41 G=171 B=226, and then create a 4 px circle and make it black. Place these two shapes as shown in the first image, and make sure that the Ellipse Tool remains active.

Add a 2 px circle and a 4 px circle and place them as shown in the third image. Fill both shapes with white and lower their Opacity to 70%.

circles

7. Create the Eye's Shadow

Step 1

Select the three main shapes that make up your eye (highlighted in the first image) and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-F). Select only the copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black.

black shape

Step 2

Keep focusing on the black shape made in the previous step. Go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), open the existing layer, and drag your black shape below the rest of the shapes that make up the eye.

Make sure that your black shape is selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Drag the top points roughly as shown below, click that OK button, and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

free distort

Step 3

Make sure that your black shape is selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill, lower its Opacity to 10%, and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5 px Radius, click the OK button, and return to the Appearance panel.

Add a second fill and make sure that it goes above the existing one. Select it, lower the Opacity to 10%, and replace the existing color with the linear gradient shown below.

shadow

8. Create and Use an Art Brush

Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 10 x 2 px shape and fill it with black.

Select this shape, open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes) and click the New Brush button. Check the Art Brush button and click the OK button to open the Art Brush Options window. Pick a name for your brush, enter all the attributes shown below (make sure that you're setting the Colorization Method to Tints), and then click that OK button to add your new brush inside the Brushes panel.

art brush

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (Control-") and pick the Brush Tool (B).

Select your art brush from the Brushes panel and focus on the eye. Simply draw a curved path along the base of your eye as shown below and set its color to R=217 G=224 B=33.

brush tool

9. Multiply and Spread the Eyes

Step 1

Select all the shapes that make up your eye and Group them using the Control-G keyboard command. Grouping shapes makes it a lot easier for you to select a bunch of shapes with a simple click.

group

Step 2

Finally, make about three copies of your eye group and place them roughly as shown in the following image. Feel free to add as many copies as you wish or perhaps resize some of the groups.

multiply group

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.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You might find some great source of inspiration at Envato Market with interesting solutions to improve your design.

final product
Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.