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Design

How to Create a Wafer Text Effect Covered With Melted Chocolate in Adobe Illustrator

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

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a wafer-inspired text effect with the help of the 3D options and the Transform effect to obtain the wafer layers in Adobe Illustrator. You will also create the wafer pattern from scratch using a custom pattern brush, and you'll finish with the shiny melted chocolate running down on the letters. Sounds delicious!

This text effect was inspired by the Frosted Chocolate Wafers Alphabet Letters Set available on GraphicRiver. If you want more Illustrator styles or food vectors, head over to GraphicRiver and browse through a multitude of amazing designs.

Tutorial Assets

To complete the tutorial you will need the following assets:

1. How to Open a New Document 

Launch Illustrator and go to File > New to open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set the dimensions, and then select Pixels as Units and RGB as Color Mode.

Next, go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment to 1 px and, while there, go to Units to make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process.

how to open new illustrator document

2. How to Prepare the Text

Step 1

Grab the Type Tool (T) and write “WAFER” on your artboard using the Bob Font from Envato Elements. After that, choose Expand and Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) from the Object menu to get the individual letters.

how to type the wafer text

Step 2

Now, take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and use it to move some of the anchor points in order to make the indicated areas a little wider.

how to adjust the wafer text

3. How to Create the Wafer Layers

Step 1

Now that the letters are ready, you can select all of them and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Set the Rotation Coordinates and settings as shown, and then hit OK.

how to apply 3D effect to wafer letters

Step 2

Focus on the letter “A”. Choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu and then Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) a few times until you get all the shapes separated. Now, select only the four thin brown shapes (the first wafer layer) and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Type 2.6 px in the Vertical Move field, choose 6 Copies, and then hit OK. As a result, you will get seven wafer layers, but because they're filled with the same color, they are not clearly visible at this point.

Repeat the same thing for the other four letters.

how to create the wafer layers

Step 3

While the seven wafer layers for the letter “A” are still selected, choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu to expand the Transform effect. Now, you can select each layer separately with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and recolor them.

Repeat the same thing for the other letters.

how to color the wafer layers

4. How to Create and Apply a Wafer Pattern Brush

Step 1

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a small 25 x 5 px rectangle filled with gray (1). Now, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the top corner points and move them inwards by pressing the Arrow keys on your keyboard five times (2).

While the new gray shape stays selected, go to Object > Transform > Reflect, check Horizontal, and then hit Copy. Align the second shape to the bottom of the first one, and change the fill color to pink (3).

Drag the gray and pink shapes into the Brushes panel and choose New Pattern Brush. In the Pattern Brush Options window, just type a name for your new brush and set the Colorization Method to Tints and Shades.

how to define a new wafer pattern brush

Step 2

Use the Line Segment Tool (\) or the Pen Tool (P) to draw a straight path over the letter “W” and stroke it with the new Wafer Pattern Brush. Reduce the Stroke Weight to 0.5 pt and use pink as the stroke color (1).

While the pink path stays selected, go to Object > Transform > Reflect, check Horizontal, and hit Copy in order to get a second path. Choose a different stroke color, such as green (2). Align the two paths so the pink and green shapes match perfectly (see close-up).

how to apply the wafer pattern brush

Step 3

Multiply the pink path and arrange the copies between the green shapes. You may need to zoom to make sure they all match perfectly. Keep making copies of the pink path until the letter “W” is covered (1).

Now, multiply the green path and arrange all the copies between the pink ones. Make sure they are matching, and this will be the wafer pattern (2).

how to create the wafer pattern for letter W

Step 4

Select all the pink and green paths and choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu to get the individual small shapes. Now, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only one of the pink shapes, and go to Select > Same > Fill Color. As a result, Illustrator will select all the pink shapes for you, and you can easily change the fill color to cream (1). 

Next, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only one of the purple shapes, and then go to Select > Same > Fill Color. Illustrator will select all the purple shapes for you, and you can change the fill color to beige (2). 

how to recolor half of wafer pattern on letter W

Step 5

Follow the same technique and recolor all the light green shapes with the color indicated (1); then recolor the darker green shapes to brown (2). 

how to recolor entire wafer pattern on letter W

Step 6

Select the W shape and Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it in front of the wafer pattern. Set this copy to stroke-none and fill-none.

Now, select the wafer pattern along with the copy of the letter and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

I've explained the process of creating the wafer pattern for the letter “W”. Apply the same method to create the pattern on the rest of the letters.

how to mask the wafer pattern

5. How to Color the Wafer Pattern Squares

Step 1

First, select the W shape, and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it. Give it any fill color (1).

Now, select the two groups of shapes that make up the wafer pattern from under the existing mask and Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make copies of them. Press Unite in the Pathfinder panel, and then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8). Fill the resulting wafer compound path with pink (2). Before you continue, make two copies of it for later use, but hide them for the moment.

Select the blue W shape along with the wafer compound path and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. You will get a group of blue squares (3).

how to create the wafer squares on letter W

Step 2

Follow the technique explained above to obtain the blue squares on the other four letters as well (1). After you are done, fill each group of squares with the linear gradient shown at a 90º Angle (2). Drag these groups of squares between the wafer pattern and the actual letters in the Layers panel.

how to color the wafer squares

6. How to Create Shading on the Wafer Pattern Squares

Step 1

Focus on the letter "W" and make a copy of the wafer compound path visible again (1). Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this compound path and move it 1 px upwards by pressing the Up Arrow key on your keyboard once (2).

While both wafer compound paths stay selected, press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. As a result, you will get a group of reversed V-like shapes at the top of the wafer squares (3).

how to create shading shapes on letter W

Step 2

Fill the group of shapes obtained in the previous step with brown; then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 1 px (1).

Name this group “shading” and drag it under the existing mask and under the wafer pattern in the Layers panel (2).

how to color shading shapes on letter W

7. How to Create Highlights on the Wafer Pattern Squares

Step 1

Make the second copy of the wafer compound path visible again (1). Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this compound path, and this time, move it 1 px downwards by pressing the Down Arrow key on your keyboard once (2).

While both compound paths stay selected, press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. You will get a group of V-like shapes at the bottom of the wafer squares (3).

how to create highlight shapes on letter W

Step 2

Fill the group of shapes obtained at the previous step with the color indicated, and apply a 1 px Gaussian Blur (1).

Name this group “highlight” and drag it under the existing mask and under the wafer pattern in the Layers panel (2).

how to color highlight shapes on letter W

Step 3

I've explained how to color and how to add shading and highlights on the wafer squares for the letter “W”. Apply the same method to add details on the other four letters.

how create shading and highlight on wafer letters

8. How to Create Texture on the Wafer Letters

Step 1

First, let's create a mask shape. Select all the wafer layers and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make copies of them in front of everything. Press Unite in the Pathfinder panel and, after that, go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8).

how to create a wafer layers compound path

Step 2

Next, select the letters and Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make copies of them. Go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to obtain a new compound path out of them (1).

While the red and pink compound paths stay selected, press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel; then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8). We'll use the resulting compound path to mask the texture next (2).

how to create a wafer layers masking shape

Step 3

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a rectangle that covers the letters. Select gray as the fill color; then go to Effect > Texture > Texturizer and apply the settings shown (1).

While this rectangle stays selected, also select the mask shape obtained in the previous step and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7) (2). Set the rectangle to Blending Mode Soft Light (3).

how to add texture on wafer layers

Step 4

Make copies of the five letters and then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8). Fill the new compound path with gray and apply the Texturizer effect using the same settings (1). Set the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 40%.

Make a copy of the same compound path in front and remove all existing appearances. Use it to mask the texture to get sharp edges (2).

how to add texture on wafer letters

9. How to Create the Melted Chocolate

Step 1

Let's cover the top of the wafer letters with delicious melted chocolate.

Look at the wafer letters and imagine chocolate running down on them. Use the Pen Tool (P) to define that melted chocolate on each letter (1). Next, join the paths between them (2) and, at the end, close the shape at the top to cover the letters (3).

how to draw the melted chocolate shape

Step 2

While the chocolate shape stays selected, add a New Fill in the Appearance panel above the existing brown one. Use the radial gradient shown; then go to Effect > Sketch > Chrome and apply the settings shown. Set the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

how to apply chrome effect to melted chocolate shape

Step 3

With the chocolate shape still selected, add a New Fill at the top of the Appearance panel and use white as the fill color. Go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply (white becomes transparent).

how to add inner shading to melted chocolate shape

Step 4

Make a compound path out of the wafer layers and another compound path out of the letters, as you did before (1). While both shapes stay selected, press Unite in the Pathfinder panel, and then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) (2).

how to create a wafer letters compound path

Step 5

Select the chocolate shape and Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it in front of everything. Remove all existing appearances and just give it a fill color (1).

While the blue and pink shapes stay selected, press Intersect in the Pathfinder panel and then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) (2).

Use the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to distort the resulting shape, especially at the top. Add a lot more anchor points and move them randomly to create an irregular edge (3).

how to create a melted chocolate masking shape

Step 6

Select the chocolate shape along with the pink compound path from the previous step (stroke-none, fill-none) and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

how to mask the melted chocolate on wafer letters

10. How to Create a Shadow Under the Melted Chocolate

Step 1

Make a copy of the chocolate shape and move it behind the original chocolate but in front of the wafer letters. Remove the existing appearances because we have new ones. Select dark brown as the fill color and apply the Drop Shadow effect using the settings shown.

how to add shadow under melted chocolate on wafer letters

Step 2

We need a mask shape now. Make a compound path out of the wafer layers and another compound path out of the letters, as you did before (1). While both shapes stay selected, press Unite in the Pathfinder panel and then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) (2).

how to create new wafer letters compound path

Step 3

Go to the Layers panel and find the mask shape that you used for the chocolate. Copy and Paste it in Place (Shift-Control-V) because we need a copy of it (the orange shape) (1).

While the blue and orange shapes stay selected, press Unite in the Pathfinder panel and then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) (2). Use this new compound path to mask the copy of the chocolate shape with the Drop Shadow effect applied to it (3).

how to mask shadow under melted chocolate

11. How to Add Details and Shine on the Melted Chocolate

Step 1

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a few paths following the top edge of the chocolate (1). Give all of them a 5 pt black Stroke and use Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel. Next, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 2 px; then set the Blending Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 25% (2).

Group (Control-G) all these paths and drag the group under the existing mask used for the chocolate in order to mask the blur that goes over the top edge.

how to add shading on edge of melted chocolate

Step 2

Take a closer look at the chocolate and at the details created by the Chrome effect (1). Follow those details and draw a few paths on top using the Pen Tool (P) (2). 

Give all of them a 2 pt white Stroke and use Width Profile 1 again. Apply a 2 px Gaussian Blur; then set the Blending Mode to Overlay and 75% Opacity (3).

how to add highlights on melted chocolate

Step 3

Draw more paths on the chocolate as shown in the image below, where there is a bigger empty space (1). Give them a 4 pt white Stroke and use Width Profile 1 again. Apply a 4 px Gaussian Blur; then set the Blending Mode to Overlay and 25% Opacity (2).

how to add extra details on melted chocolate

Step 4

Let's add more shine. Draw a few paths following the bottom edge of the chocolate (1) with the Pen Tool (P). Give them a 4 pt Stroke using the color indicated and use the Black Blend Art Brush 100x3 (info below). Next, go to Effect > Stylize > Feather and apply a Radius of 4 px (2).

I have an entire tutorial dedicated to Blend Art Brushes and how useful they are. I use them in my drawings all the time. You can find out how to create and save the Black Blend Art Brush 100x3 that we are using today in How to Create a Set of Multi-Use Blend Brushes in Adobe Illustrator. Since the Colorization of the brush is set to Tints, when you select another stroke color, the brush becomes that color as well, despite its name. 

how to add shine on melted chocolate

Step 5

Let's add even more shine. Draw more paths closer to the edges of the chocolate (1) using the Pen Tool (P). Give all of them a 3 pt Stroke and use the Black Blend Art Brush 100x3 again. Go to Effect > Stylize > Feather and apply a Radius of 4 px to make them smoother (2).

how to add extra shine on melted chocolate

12. How to Add a Shadow Under the Wafer Letters

Go to the Layers panel and find the shape that you have used to mask the shadow under the melted chocolate. Copy and Paste it in Place (Shift-Control-V) because we need it again (the gray compound path).

Move this copy to a new layer called “Shadow” under the letters, and then apply the Drop Shadow effect twice.

how to add shadow under wafer letters

These are the settings for the Drop Shadow effects:

drop shadow settings

Congratulations! You're Done 

Here is the final image of the wafer text effect that gets covered with delicious melted chocolate. I hope you enjoyed this sweet tutorial and learned new techniques. Don't forget to share an image with us if you decide to recreate it. 

Keep on drawing and learning with the recommended tutorials from below.

wafer text effect with melted chocolate final image


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