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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Flat Design
Design

How to Create a Vintage Camera in Adobe Illustrator

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

If you're a lover of vintage cameras, this tutorial will bring you good memories. We'll create this retro camera with basic shapes and using flat colors to get a very cool result. Our camera is inspired by the Leica M6. 

If you're looking for inspiration for creating your own camera illustration, why not check out GraphicRiver.

Let's start!

1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Press Control-N to make a New Document. Set the Units to Pixels, and enter 800 x 600 for the width and height of the document. Then in the Advanced options, select RGBScreen (72 ppi), and make sure to activate the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box before clicking OK.

Activate the Grid (View > Show Grid) and Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You'll need a grid every 10 px, so simply press Control-K to go to Preferences, and in Guides & Grid set Gridline every to 10 and Subdivisions to 4. Don't worry—the grid will help you work in an easy way, and it can also be enabled or disabled by pressing the keyboard shortcut Control-".

You can activate the Info panel (Window > Info) in order to have a preview of the size and position of your shapes. Remember to set the measuring unit to Pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. This will greatly increase the speed of your work.

2. How to Create a Camera Body

To give it shape, we'll begin with the indispensable part of our camera, its body. Make sure to activate the grid so that you can work with ease and follow the tutorial without any problems.

Step 1

Click on the center of the canvas with the Rectangle Tool (M) and in the pop-up, set the Width to 300 px and Height to 170 px. Fill it with the color #e3e3e3 and remove the stroke color.

Step 2

Create a new rectangle of 130 x 20 px by clicking on the canvas with the Rectangle Tool (M). Align the rectangle to the upper left side of the main rectangle.

Select both rectangles and apply Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel.

Step 3

With the Rectangle Tool (M) create a 30 x 18 px rectangle and place it in the upper left corner of the main body. Select the rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and remove the lower left node, just leaving an angle.

Select both figures and apply Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel.

Step 4

Create a new rectangle of 300 x 104 px by clicking on the canvas with the Rectangle Tool (M). Place the rectangle in the body 16 px from the lower part. Set the fill color to #ebbd63, with no stroke.

In the Transform panel, set a Chamfer corner of 8 px in the lower left corner.

Step 5

Create a rectangle of 278 x 44 px by clicking on the canvas with the Rectangle Tool (M). Place it 126 px up from the main body.

Select both rectangles and subtract the rectangle formed in the upper left zone with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M)

Step 6

Take the rectangle obtained and copy it (Control-C) and paste (Control-F). Send it backward once (Object > Arrange > Send Backward). Move it downwards once with the arrow key on your keyboard and set the fill color to #c4c4c4.

Step 7

Create a new rectangle of 2 x 46 px by clicking on the canvas with the Rectangle Tool (M). Place it on the right, as shown in the picture below. Use the color #c4c4c4.

Make another rectangle of 300 x 2 px with the Rectangle Tool (M) and place it below, as shown in the second image. Use the same fill color as before.

3. How to Create a Camera Lens

We finished the body of our camera, and now it’s time to draw the lens. We'll help ourselves to accomplish this with the Ellipse Tool.

Step 1

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) in the toolbar and click on the canvas, and in the pop-up box set an ellipse of 120 x 120 px. Place it on the camera body as shown in the second image. Use the fill color #c4c4c4.

Step 2

Select the ellipse and right click over it. Then select Isolate Selected Path. This will help you to work specifically with the ellipse without affecting the rest of the shapes.

Now select the ellipse and Copy (Control-C), and Paste in Front (Control-F). Use the fill color #e3e3e3. Set an Offset with a -2 px value (Effect > Path > Offset Path…), and press OK.

Expand the appearance of the ellipse (Object > Expand Appearance).

Step 3

Add eight new ellipses using copies (Control-C followed by Control-F) of the ones we just created. In addition, adjust their size with the Transform panel (make sure to restrict the proportions) and using fill colors as follows:

  • First ellipse: 104 x 104 px#b5b5b5
  • Second ellipse: 100 x 100 px#c7c7c7
  • Third ellipse: 96 x 96 px#b5b5b5
  • Fourth ellipse: 88 x 88 px#4f4f4f
  • Fifth ellipse: 84 x 84 px#383838
  • Sixth ellipse: 60 x 60 px#242424
  • Seventh ellipse: 56 x 56 px#383838
  • Eighth ellipse: 44 x 44 px#242424

Step 4

Create a new ellipse of 8 x 8 px in the center with the Ellipse Tool (L), and apply the fill color #fffdc7. Add a 32 x 32 px ellipse with the fill color #ffffff, and set the Opacity at 10% in the Appearance panel.

Make another 20 x 20 px ellipse with the fill color #fffdc7 and Opacity at 50%. Place these last two ellipses as shown in the following image. 

Step 5

Select the last three ellipses that we just made and group them (Control-G). With the Rotation Tool (R), place the anchor point in the center of the smaller ellipse and rotate it 45° by pressing Shift.

Step 6

Add a 120x 120 px ellipse with the Ellipse Tool (L) and use the fill color #000000. Send to back (Object > Arrange > Send to Back). Adjust the Opacity to 20% in the Appearance panel.

Double-click in the Selection Tool (V) and set a movement of 4 px vertically.

Once finished, don’t forget to exit Isolation Mode by pressing Escape.

4. How to Create the Camera Pieces

Now that we've finished the body and the lens, we will draw the different pieces of our vintage camera, such as the dial, the shooting button, the flashlight, the viewfinder, and other accessories that this beautiful camera possesses.

Let’s start with the dial.

Step 1

Click on the canvas with the Rectangle Tool (M) and set a 46 x 2 px rectangle. Use the color #bababa. Place it 8 px to the right, as shown in the following picture. 

Step 2

Make a pair of 12 x 2 px rectangles with the Rectangle Tool (M) and use the fill color #999999. Make another pair of 4 x 2 px rectangles using the color #b0b0b0. Place them as shown in the image.

Step 3

Make a new 50 x 12 px rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and use the fill color #d6d6d6. Place it above the rectangles we just created.

Add 12 rectangles of 2 x 10 px for the edges of the dial with the Rectangle Tool (M) and separate them horizontally 2 px from each other. Use the fill color #c4c4c4. Group them (Control-G) and place them as shown in the second picture.

Step 4

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), add a 42 x 4 px rectangle (#dedede). At the same time add five rectangles of 4 px Height and then adjust their Widths as follows:

  • First rectangle (#9c9c9c): 6 px 
  • Second rectangle (#d1d1d1): 4 px
  • Third rectangle (#d1d1d1): 4 px
  • Fourth rectangle (#bdbdbd): 10 px
  • Fifth rectangle (#9c9c9c): 8 px

Place them as shown in the image below.

Step 5

Now create two rings using a 30 x 4 px rectangle (#d1d1d1) with the Rectangle Tool (M) and add two more rectangles, one of 6 x 4 px (#bdbdbd) and another of 4 x 4 px (#dedede). 

Group them (Control-G) and make a copy (Control-C > Control-F) and separate it by 4 px vertically from the other. 

Step 6

Add the dial's button using a 14 x 2 px rectangle (#d1d1d1) with the Rectangle Tool (M). Add four copies of 2 x 2 px using the fill colors #9c9c9c and #c9c9c9 respectively. Place them as shown in the image.

Step 7

Add another button smaller using three rectangles with the Rectangle Tool (M), the first of 20 x 2 px (#dedede), the second (#9c9c9c) and the third (#d1d1d1) of 4 x 2 px. Group them (Control-G) and position them 2 px horizontally from the main dial.

Step 8

Now let’s draw the viewfinder. For that, make a rounded 44 x 34 px rectangle (#bdbdbd). Adjust the Radius of its corners to 3 px in the Transform panel.

Add three more rectangles, one of 44 x 26 px (#383838), another of 28 x 16 px (#454545) with Radius corners of 3 px, and the last one of 16 x 10 px (#2b2b2b) and with Radius corners of 2 px. Remember to adjust the radius of the corners from the Transform panel.

Select all the rectangles you've made and group them (Control-G).

Step 9

Create the main flashlight using a 34 x 24 px rectangle (#575757) with the Rectangle Tool (M).

Add a 2 x 20 px rectangle (#6e6e6e) and take the Direct Selection Tool (A) in the toolbar to select two nodes on the right side of the rectangle and move them once, the upper node downwards and the lower node upwards, with the arrow keys on the keyboard. Add eight copies (Control-C > Control-F) of this, separated by 2 px from each other.

Select the nine copies and group them (Control-G).

Step 10

We create a logo for our camera using a 16 x 16 px ellipse (#c64832) with the Ellipse Tool (L). Add a 2 x 4 px rectangle (#ffffff) and another of 8 x 2 px (#ffffff) so that they make a horizontal “L” shape. Select both rectangles and group them (Control-G).

Make a copy of the grouped rectangles (Control-C > Control-F), rotate it 180° with the Rotation Tool (R), and separate it by 2 px vertically from the first one.

Step 11

Create a 20 x 14 px rectangle (#3b3b3b) with the Rectangle Tool (M) and add a 10 x 10 px ellipse (#6b6b6b) in the center of the rectangle. Select both figures and group them (Control-G).

Step 12

Create two rectangles (#c4c4c4) with the Rectangle Tool (M), one of 36 x 4 px and another of 12 x 4 px. Separate them by 2 px vertically. 

Place them as shown in the following image.

Step 13

Now create a dial button using four rectangles with the Rectangle Tool (M) as follows:

  • First rectangle: 34 x 12 px (#e3e3e3)
  • Second rectangle: 8 x 12 px (#cfcfcf)
  • Third rectangle: 12 x 12 px (#c4c4c4)
  • Fourth rectangle: 28 x 2 px (#8a8a8a)

Place the rectangles as shown in the second image and group them (Control-G). Then deactivate the Snap to Grid (Control-Shift-“) to make it rotate and place the object freely.

From the Transform panel, adjust the rotation to 329° and place it with the help of the Selection Tool (V). Send the group to Back (Object > Arrange > Send to Back).

Once you've done this, remember to activate the Snap to Grid (Control-Shift-“) again.

Step 14

Add four smaller rectangles with the Rectangle Tool (M) with the following sizes and fill colors:

  • First rectangle: 6 x 24 px (#3d3d3d)
  • Second rectangle: 6 x 20 px (#3d3d3d)
  • Third rectangle: 4 x 10 px (#d6d6d6)
  • Fourth rectangle: 2 x 10 px (#bfbfbf)

Place the first rectangle on the left side and the second rectangle on the right side. Place the last two rectangles on the lower left part of the camera as shown in the image.

Step 15

Create two 12 x 12 px ellipses (#d8d9dd) with the Ellipse Tool (L) and align them horizontally to the center. Add a 6 x 12 px rectangle (#d8d9dd) with the Rectangle Tool (M) and place it at the halfway point of the two ellipses we just made.

Select all and choose Unite in the Pathfinder panel. Now add an 8 x 8 px ellipse and selecting all again, select Minus Front from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 16

Make another 12 x 12 px ellipse (#cca456) and send backward once (Object > Arrange > Send Backward)

With the help of the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), select all and subtract the corner of the ellipse that sticks out. Group them (Control-G), make a copy (Control-C > Control-F), and reflect it vertically (Object > Transform > Reflect...)

Place the objects as shown in the image.

Step 17

Now let’s draw a clasp. To do that, first make a 16 x 16 px ellipse (#cca456) with the Ellipse Tool (L) and double-click on it to enter to Isolation Mode. Make a copy (Control-C followed by Control-F) of the ellipse (#cccccc) and move it upwards once.

Add a 12 x 18 px rectangle (#dbdbdb) with the Rectangle Tool (M). Now add four ellipses with the Ellipse Tool (L) in the following order:

  • First ellipse: 12 x 12 px#e3e3e3
  • Second ellipse: 8 x 8 px#cccccc
  • Third ellipse: 8 x 8 px; #e3e3e3
  • Fourth ellipse: 4 x 4 px#cccccc

Select all and group them (Control-G). Press Escape and place the clasp as shown in the image.

Step 18

Make a 36 x 36 px ellipse (#cca456) with the Ellipse Tool (L), make a copy (Control-C > Control-F) using the fill color #ebbd63, and move it upwards once with the arrow key.

Add a new 28 x 28 px ellipse (#cca456) and another of 24 x 24 px (#ebbd63), moving this last ellipse once upwards. Group the ellipses (Control-G) and place them near the lens as shown in the following picture.

Step 19

Create a new button, by taking the Ellipse Tool (L) and creating a 16 x 16 px ellipse (#cca456). Make a copy (#ebbd63) (Control-C > Control-F) and move it upwards once with the arrow key.

Add a new 12 x 12 px ellipse (#b5b5b5) and make a copy (#8a8a8a) (Control-C > Control-F), and taking the Direct Selection Tool (A) remove the upper node of this last one.

Make another 8 x 8 px ellipse (#e3e3e3), copy it (#cccccc), and remove the upper node of this one. Take the Rotation Tool (R) and rotate it 45°, placing the anchor point in the center of the ellipse. Group all the shapes (Control-G) and attach the button over the camera.

Step 20

We will make the last piece using a 12 x 26 px rectangle (#dbdbdb) with the Rectangle Tool (M). Add a 12 x 12 px ellipse (#cca456) with the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a copy (#cccccc) and move it upwards once. Make another 8 x 8 px ellipse (#e3e3e3).

Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move the upper nodes of the rectangle that we created at the beginning, one to the right and the other to the left, and round them.

Lastly add a 4 x 4 px ellipse (#cccccc) and make a copy (#b5b5b5) (Control-C > Control-F). Send this ellipse backward once (Object > Arrange > Send Backward) and move it downward once. Group them (Control-G) and rotate 45° with the Rotation Tool (R) by pressing Shift.

Place the object over the camera as shown in the image below.

Step 21

Make a 12 x 152 px rectangle (#000000) with the Rectangle Tool (M) and reduce the Opacity by 10% from the Appearance panel. Place it on the left side of the camera.

Make another 12 x 164 px rectangle (#000000) in the same way and place it on the right side. Select the main body of the camera and the new rectangle, and using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) subtract the excess. Adjust the Opacity by 10% in the Appearance panel.

Finally create an 800 x 600 px rectangle (#422e39) for the background. Send to Back (Object > Arrange > Send to Back).

Congratulations! You're Finished!

We have finished our vintage camera and the results have been memorable! I had lots of fun, and especially I think that this is a good tutorial if you are starting with illustration. We have made a bit of everything, and that is good since this will help you to expand your abilities.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I hope you benefit from this as much as you can. Remember that practice makes perfect. 

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