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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Effects
Design

Using Surprising, Raster Effects with Vector Shapes

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:

Raster effects can be made in Illustrator easily. Here are three examples of what you can do by combining Illustrators vector tools, and brushes, with raster effects. The possibilities are endless when only your imagination is the limit.

Step 1

Open a new web document. Take the Star Tool and draw a star shape like in the image below. Now use the Scissors Tool to click on every point, which cuts the star into twelve segments.

Step 2

Now stroke all the line segments using the brush that you see below from the Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil > Charcoal-Rough.

Make sure the thin edge of the brush is following the tips of the star, if not double-click on Stroke in the Appearance Panel to open the Stroke Options window and select Flip Along.

Step 3

Go to Object Menu > Expand Appearance and expand all the segments, then fill them with a linear gradient from white (R=255, G=255, and B=255) to purple (R=147, G=39, and B=143).

Step 4

Group all the segments of the star, then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur, select 1 px radius, and reduce the Opacity to 90%.

Step 5

Copy and Paste in back the first star group, go to Object > Transform > Rotate and change the angle to 30 degrees, then go to Object > Transform > Scale and change the Uniform Scale value to 80%. Now change the Gaussian Blur radius to 1,5 px and set the Opacity back to 100%.

Step 6

Copy and Paste in back again the first star group, go to Object > Transform and Scale to 60% then change the Gaussian Blur radius to 2 px and set the Opacity back to 100%.

Step 7

Next Copy and Paste in back the second star group, scale it to 60% and change the Gaussian Blur radius to 2,5 px.

Step 8

Keep doing this until you think the shapes are enough just start decreasing the Gaussian Blur radius each time from 2,5 px (the last group made above) with 0,5 px for each step until you end up with the last one having 0,5 px Gaussian Blur or even no blur.

Step 9

Copy and Paste in back the second star group and scale to 150%, set the Stroke color to purple (R=219, G=44, and B=219) then go to Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_Ink and use Ink Spatter 2 to stroke the group. Change the Gaussian Blur radius to 6 px and reduce the Opacity to 35%.

Step 10

Copy and Paste in back again the second star shape, set the Stroke color to purple (R=161, G=66, and B=157), use again the Ink Spatter 2 Brush to stroke the group and set the Gaussian Blur radius to 4 px. Change the Blending Mode to Color Dodge and reduce the Opacity to 15%. Make sure this group is on top of the one made above and then send both behind all the star groups made so far.

Step 11

We are done with the first effect. Here is how the final image looks.

Step 12

To make the second effect take the Rectangle Tool and draw a square. Now go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat, and move the slider towards Bloat until you end up with the shape that you see below. Go to Object Menu and Expand Appearance, then click Divide from the Pathfinder Panel. Now go to the Object Menu again and Ungroup so you have four shapes.

Step 13

Set the Stroke Weight to 0,75 pt from the Stroke Panel, then go to Brush Libraries Menu > Borders > Borders_Decorative and use Scallops Brush to stroke each shape.

Step 14

Go to the Object Menu and Expand Appearance for each shape, Ungroup them, then change the fill colors to white (R=255, G=255, and B=255) and to green (R=140, G=198, and B=63) like in the image below.

Step 15

Group all four shapes, then go to Effect > Blur > Radial Blur, and set the values as shown.

Step 16

Copy and Paste in back the first group, then go to Object > Transform > Scale and select 80%.

Keep doing this until you think you have enough shapes. At this point mine looks like this:

Step 17

Copy and Paste in Back the first group of shapes (the bigger one). Now double-click on Radial Blur in the Appearance Panel and change the values as shown. Reduce the Opacity to 50%.

Here is how the effect looks so far:

Step 18

Next Scale the first group of shapes four times each one bigger than the previous one, like in the image below, group them then apply for the entire group Radial Blur using the values from the following image:

Do the same as above to make the smaller ones, but only using a group of two shapes.

Step 19

The green effect is done and the final image is shown below.

Step 20

To make the orange shapes and effects first take the Star Tool and draw a triangle by pressing the Down Arrow Key on the keyboard, then drag the upper point to make it longer. Now go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Twist and set the angle value as shown.

Step 21

Next delete the middle point shown in the image, then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Take the Scissors Tool and click on the upper point to obtain 2 individual paths.

Step 22

Use the same brush Charcoal-Rough (like in step 2) to stroke the two paths. Now Expand Appearance and change the fill to a linear gradient from white (R=255, G=255, and B=255) to orange (R=247, G=147, and B=30).

Step 23

Group the two shapes from above, then Copy and Paste three more, and place them as shown. Now go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 2 px. Change the Blending Mode to Hard Light and lower the Opacity to 90%.

Step 24

Copy and Paste in back the shape you just made, Scale it to 70%, lower the Gaussian Blur radius to 1,5 px and the Opacity to 80%.

Step 25

Scale again the shape, change the Gaussian Blur radius to 2 px and reduce the Opacity to 60%.

Step 26

Do the same until you think you have enough shapes and you are happy with the way it looks so far. I scaled four more shapes and modified the Gaussian Blur for each one from 1,5 px, to 1 px, to 0,5 px until the last one with no blur. The Blending Mode and the Opacity remain the same.

Step 27

Copy and Paste in Back the first group of shapes (the bigger one). then use the Ink Spatter 2 Brush to stroke the group again, like you did for the purple effect. Change the Stroke color to orange (R=237, G=28, and B=36), change the Gaussian Blur to 4,5 px, and reduce the Opacity to 15%.

Step 28

Copy and Paste in back again the bigger group, Rotate 5 degrees, go to Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_Ink and use Ink Splash to stroke the group and also change the Stroke color to orange (R=255, G=153, and B=51). Set the Gaussian Blur to 5 px and lower the Opacity to 15%. Send the last two effects behind all the other shapes made.

Step 29

Copy and Paste in Back all the shapes and effects made so far, group them, go to Object > Transform > Rotate and set the angle value to 45 degrees then scale it to 80%.

Step 30

We are done with the orange effect also. The final image is shown below.

The Final Image

The work is done. The final image of the shapes and effects made are shown below.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you learned new approaches to combing raster effects with vector tools in Illustrator. Be creative and play with other brushes and shapes to create more interesting effects.

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