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Design

Quick Tip: How to Illustrate a Modern Volume Dial

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:

In the following steps you will learn how to create a volume button. It all starts with three concentric circles. Using some interesting stroke properties along with basic effects you will create the volume line. Next, using multiple fills and strokes along with Pathfinder options and some new effects you will create the rest of the button. Give it a try and you might learn some new stuff about working with strokes.


Step 1

Create a 700 by 700px, RGB document. First, turn on the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you'll need a grid every 10px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

First go to the Appearance panel or to the Toolbar and remove the color from the stroke. Now, pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 460 by 460px shape and fill it with R=154 G=154 B=152. Select this first shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -30px Offset, click OK and fill the resulting shape with R=213 G=213 B=213.

Again, select this new shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -15px Offset, click OK and fill the resulting shape with R=247 G=248 B=250. In the end you should have three concentric circles.


Step 3

Now, let's add the background. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your artboard and fill it with R=236 G=238 B=237. Send it to back (Shift + Control + Left Square Bracket) then go to the Appearance panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Add New Fill. Obviously, this will add a second fill for your shape. Select it from the Appearance panel, make it black, lower its opacity to 5% and change the blending mode to Multiply then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below, click OK then add a third fill for this shape. Lower its opacity to 30% and change then blending mode to Multiply then fill it with the radial gradient shown below. The yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. Finally, go to the Layers panel and lock this shape to make sure that you won't select or move it accidentally.


Step 4

Disable the Grid (View > Hide Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select the largest circle, set the fill color at none then add a 20pt stroke. Set its color at R=128 G=130 B=133 then go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom anchor point (highlighted in the second image) and hit the Delete key from your keyboard. Select the resulting path and go to the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). Check the Dash box then and enter 10pt in the dash and gap boxes. Move to the right and check the button the that aligns dashes to corners and paths ends, adjusting length to fit. Move to the Profile section, open the drop down menu and select the "Width Profile 4" then click on the Flip Along button.


Step 5

Reselect the path created in the previous step and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Delete the starting and the ending shapes (pointed by the arrows) then select the remaining group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.


Step 6

Select the compound path created in the previous step and and add a stroke. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside and set it color at R=88 G=89 B=91. Select this stroke from the Appearance panel and click on the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will create a copy of the selected stroke. Select this new stroke, make it 0.5pt wide, set its color at R=247 G=248 B=250 and lower its opacity to 80%. Reselect the entire compound path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below then click OK.


Step 7

Let's move to the next circle. First, fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32. Select this fill from the Appearance panel and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then add a second fill. Make it black, lower its opacity to 8% and change the blending mode to Multiply then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Again, enter the data shown below then click OK.


Step 8

Keep focusing on the shape from the previous step. Reselect it and add a stroke. Make it 5pt wide, align it to outside and set it color at R=147 G=149 B=152. Add a second stroke for this shape, make it 3pt wide and set its color at R=247 G=248 B=250. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below then click OK.


Step 9

Select the smallest circle and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select top copy and hit the down arrow once then reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You will get a pretty thin shape. Bring it to front and fill it with R=154 G=154 B=152.


Step 10

Reselect the smallest circle and fill it with R=85 G=86 B=88. Select this fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then add a second fill. Make it black, lower its opacity to 8% and change the blending mode to Multiply then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below, click OK then add a simple stroke. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside, set its color at R=109 G=110 B=113 and lower its opacity to 70%.


Step 11

Select the two circle shapes and duplicate them. Select these copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and hit D from your keyboard. This will add the default properties (white fill and black stroke) for this shape.


Step 12

Select the shape created in the previous step, remove the stroke then fill it with the radial gradient shown below image #1. Add a second fill for this shape and use the radial gradient shown below image #2. Add a third fill for this shape and use the radial gradient shown below image #3 then add a fourth fill and use the radial gradient shown below then final image.


Step 13

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and simply click on your artboard. Enter 20 in the width and height boxes then click OK. This will create a 20 by 20px shape. Fill it with R=88 G=89 B=91 then go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset then click OK, Fill the resulting shape with R=45 G=41 B=42 then make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once then reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like in the fourth image.


Step 14

Reselect the 20 by 20px shape create in the previous step. Select the existing fill from the Appearance panel and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then add a stroke. Make it 2pt wide, align it to inside and set it color at R=128 G=130 B=133. Add a second stroke for this shape, make it 3pt wide and set its color at R=247 G=248 B=250. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below then click OK.


Step 15

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shapes create in the previous two steps and group them. Select this group and place it as shown in the following image.


Step 16

Disable the Grid (View > Hide Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the compound path and make a copy in front. Select this copy, go to the Appearance panel and replace the two colors shown below.


Step 17

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a white shape and place it as shown in the first image. It should cover the left half of the compound path. Select it along with the compound path created in the previous step and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your button should look like in the third image.


Step 18

Finally, let's add some text. Use the Britannic Bold font or any other font that you like. Add the text as shown below, set its color at R=65 G=64 B=66 then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then select "Volume" and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the data shown below and click OK. Also, add two small circles above the "Min" and "Max" text. Fill them with R=65 G=64 B=66 and add the same discrete Drop Shadow effect.


Conclusion

Here's the final result. To take this tut further you can try some different colors or some other button styles to make a set. I hope you've enjoyed this tut.

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