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Glass Planet Vector Illustration – Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Today, we’re going to take a look at creating this really cool, glass planet illustration effect that was inspired by this really cool piece of artwork I saw over on Dribbble, I’ve got a link right down there in the bio. Go show the artist some love. It’s a really, really work of art that he’s created. I’m doing my best rip off of it, and covering some of the tips, and tricks, and techniques that I’ve come to use along the way. If you do enjoy this tutorial, think about hitting the subscribe button. Maybe wait a couple minutes, make sure you actually like the tutorial, right? and then just keep it there in the back of your mind as you’re watching this video. If you think it’s good, go ahead and hit the subscribe button, so you never miss any future Adobe Illustrator tutorials. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s jump in and get this thing started.

Alright, well, here we go in Adobe Illustrator. Let’s get this thing kicked off by going File>New and create a new file and we’re going to go with 2560×1440. I’m working in the RGB color mode, but you can work in CMYK if you want. I’m going to go ahead and create my document. The first thing we’re going to do here, is create a background. So, I’m going to select my stroke. It’s going to open the color panel. I don’t really need that. I’m going to hit the little slash icon to get rid of the stroke. Then I’m going to click the fill, and I’m going to go with 06062b, which is a super dark purple/blue color. I’m going to grab my rectangle tool. Click a single time and say, hey, you know what? Our document is 2560×1440, so we’re going to slap that background right in there, and very quickly we’ll go Window and open up the align panel here real quick, and we’ll just align this guy horizontally and vertically, and I’ll probably name the layer something like “bg,” for background.

And before we lock it up, we’re going to create a little glow for the center of this using the ellipse tool, click a single time. The height of our document is 1440, so I want a simple 1440×1440 ellipse, hit OK. Again – probably should have let the align panel open, right? – we’re going to align this guy horizontally and vertically, as well. Now, we’re going to fill this with a gradient. So, I’m going select my fill here in the properties panel. I’m going to go with the black to white gradient. I’m going to select gradient options which is going to pop open my gradient panel here. I’m going to swap this to radial gradient. I’m going to select the black color stop. In fact, I’m going to double click on it, and I’m going to slide all my RGB sliders all the way up to white, just like that.

Then I’m going to select opacity and set it to zero. I can close up the gradient panel, and I’m going to select the word opacity here and I’m going to change the blend mode to overlay. You can see, we have this beautiful, little glow here in the middle of our background, just like that. We can now lock up that background layer and go ahead and create a new layer where we will create our artwork.

So, I’ll name the layer something like “artwork,” that makes sense, right? And I’m going to grab my ellipse tool, and we’re going to begin by creating the base of our planet, which is going to be a 580×580 pixel ellipse, and hit OK. Now, for this particular shape, I’m going to hit the letter ‘d,’ which is going to reset my foreground – well, my fill and my stroke, I should say, I’m used to working in Photoshop.

My fill and my stroke, and I want to get rid of the fill. In fact, I want this to be a white stroke. We’re going to create as much of the line art as we can and then we’ll go ahead and add all the colors and really make it look awesome. So, what I’ll do, is I’ll hit the little arrow to swap my fill and stroke, and then hit the little slash to get rid of the fill.

Now, a one point stroke, a little difficult to see, so let’s just bump it up to two points, just like that. And what I’ll do, is I’ll go Window>Align, maybe I’ll leave the align panel open for a short while here. So, let’s go ahead and align horizontally and vertically, and there we go.

Of course, now that I have the align panel open, I’m sure not to need it for the rest of the tutorial. But, better safe than sorry. I’m going to go ahead and open up this layer, and you can see, I’ve got this ellipse. I want to duplicate it twice. So, I’m going to go Edit>Copy and then choose Edit>Paste in Front, and Edit>Paste in Front. That pastes it exactly in place, and I’m going to name the top one here “shine,” and I’m going to shut that layer off.

We’re going to come back to that later. I’m going to name the second one “base,” and I’m also going to shut that off. We will, also, come back to that later. Now, we’re going to select our visible ellipse here and we’re going to offset this path. So, I’m going to go Object>Path>Offset Path. So, I’m going to say, look, bump this inward fifteen pixels. So, we’re going to say -15 pixels on the offset path, and you can see, we’ve got a second path now. We’re going to select that inner path, we’re going to do that same Copy>Paste in Front game.

And I’m going to name this something like “low yellow.” We’re going to use this later, as well. So, I’m going to shut that off. And we’re going to need a second copy of that inner stroke, so I can just go Edit>Paste in Front because it’s still copied to my clipboard. You can see, there it is.

And I’m going to hit SHIFT+X, that’s going to swap the stroke and the fill. So, what we’re going to do, we’re going to take this white circle. We’re going to copy it, Edit>Copy and we’re going to say, look, paste it right in front, and then up here in the transform section on my properties panel with the topmost path selected, I’m going to make a couple changes here. I’m going to say, look, 1280 pixels on the x is where this is sitting. I’m going to say, subtract 100 pixels from that.

And you can see, it bumps it to the left 100 pixels. Then here for the y, I want to move it upwards, so I’m going to subtract maybe 50 from the y. Something like that. You can see, we now have these two overlapping circles. What I’ll do, is I’ll hold down SHIFT and select the other white filled circle, and you can see here in the properties panel, I’ve got some pathfinder options. I’m going to hit this subtract, or minus, front, as we can see it’s called, the minus front, to reserve this nice crescent shape right there.

And once I’ve done that, I’m going to swap fill and stroke. Again, SHIFT+X to make sure that I have a nice, little stroke. You can see, two point stroke, there we go. Next up, we’re going to take the inner path, and we’re going to offset this one more time. So, I’m going to go Object>Path>Offset Path, and we’re going to offset this to -40. So, if we preview that, you can see, it bumps it in a relatively decent amount. I’m going to hit OK; and I’m going to zoom in here, and what I want to do, I just want to save two little pieces of it somewhere up here, because I’m going to create a sort of highlight on my planet later.

So, we will use the scissors tool right here, located under the eraser tool. Note the hotkey, the letter ‘c,’ and we’re going to go ahead and snip out the bits we’re trying to save. So, I’ll say, snip it there. Maybe right up there, as well. Then down over here, we’ll say, let’s go ahead and snip it right there. Alright, now it doesn’t look like I did much. But what I can do now is select this whole remaining part of the circle, delete it, and then there’s a little piece here in the middle that I should be able to delete. Let me zoom in on this. Not quite. Let’s take the scissors. Let’s cut it again. Let’s cut it right there. Great. Select that little piece in the middle, there we go.

Now we just have these two little pieces left and I know that looks kind of like, what are we doing here? But let me give you a little peek into the future. We’re going to end up coming in here and setting this to something like a 10 or 15 point stroke with rounded corners, and it’s going to give us this nice highlight. Now, for the sake of keeping the artwork simple, we’re going to leave it as artwork. Next, let’s go ahead and create a couple new ellipses. So, I’m going to grab the ellipse tool, I’m going to click a single time.

We’re going to begin creating the rings that wrap around our planet. So, that’s going to begin with a 1050×240 ellipse. See, more of an oval than anything, right? And I will take this.. I’m going to drag it down here, because we’re going to work on this for a quick second. We’re going to go Edit>Copy, and we’re going to paste this bad boy right in front. I’m going to change the width here to 990, the oval shrinks inward a little bit and I’m going to change the height here to 200.

Now, if your oval is doing weird things and changing different sizes, try checking and unchecking the maintain proportions little icon there. It should have the slash through it, and you should be able to work with width and height independently. But go ahead and toggle it on and off if it’s giving you any issues. Once we have that, we have our rings, but we need to tilt them on axis. So, select both rings and here in the angle, I’m going to angle it 35 degrees. This is the tilt that I’m going to go with for my little planet. Now, let’s go ahead and create a couple moons. We’re going to put a moon up in the sky over here to the top left, and a moon down here to the bottom right. So, let’s grab our ellipse tool, click a single time. We’re going to begin with the top left moon, and that’s going to be an 80×80 pixel ellipse. I’m going to move it over to where I think it should go.

Maybe somewhere right about there. Then we’re going to go Object, we’re going to offset this path, Path>Offset Path, because we’re eventually going to have some light energy rings emanating from this little planet. I’m going to offset it by 12 pixels. I’m going to do this two more times. Path> Offset Path. Notice the outer path is selected, so it’s going to keep making it larger and larger. Object>Path and one more Offset Path for this guy, there we go. So, that’s our top left moon. It looks weird. It’s going to look great once color is in it, don’t worry.

We’re going to click again here, and I’m going to go with a 50×50 ellipse for our lower left planet, and this is probably about where it should be. Somewhere around there is going to work. Then nothing has to be exactly perfect here. We’re going to go Path>Offset Path. Again, 12 pixels and we’re going to do one more ring for the planet down here. So, this one is going to have two rings down on the bottom right. The larger planet on the top left will have three rings. Then the next thing we’ll do, is we’ll create this overlaying disk/moon, whatever it is, that’s going to be a very flat shape down here on the bottom of our planet. I’m going to click a single time. This one, we’re going to go 225×225 pixels; and again, it’s going to look a weird here when I put it in place. But once it’s colored and we’ve got some blend mode action happening, you’re going to see, it’s going to work nicely for us. It’s going to look pretty cool.

Then we’re going to go with a couple more, smaller moons. I’m going to go with a 40×40 pixel ellipse, and I’m going to drag this one. By the way, do you see how we got these transform handles, and it’s almost like I can’t grab the shape without grabbing a transform handle? You can go View and say hide bounding box. That can be really helpful. We know what shape we want. We can create the shape we want. I just want it to be easy to move around. That moon is going to overlap up there. I’m going to hold down ALT/OPT. I’m going to duplicate this and maybe put one of them over here, as well. So something like that. We’ll have two moons that are in orbit around the star field, asteroid belt, whatever, ring around our planet.

Then we’ll create two even smaller moons. Actually, we’ll probably make four of them. So I’m going to go with a 20×20 pixel shape. Let’s pop one of them out here. Let’s maybe drop another one somewhere over. Then I’m going to put two of them overlapping my planets. Something out here. Maybe I’ll exactly adjust them a little bit later. Something like that. It’s going to all contribute to a very subtle effect. So, now we’re going to create a couple twinkling stars that are in space around our planet. I’m going to use the star tool here. One of the cool things about the star tool, is as you drag out, you can use the up or down arrow keys to add arms to your star, or reduce arms from your star.

I want to reduce down to more of a diamond shape. But you can see, the arms of the star aren’t quite long enough. So, you can hold down the CMD/CTRL key. And if you pull out, it’s going to lengthen those arms just like that. So, I’m going ot create a little star. Maybe something about that size. I’m going to zoom in on this a bit here, because what I want to do, is grab my regular select tool, hold down CMD/CTRL; and you see how all these dots appear? I’m going to use these dots to round the edges of my star.

Something like that. So, I think that’s pretty good. If the star’s a little big – eh, that’s about the right size. That’s probably close enough to working for us. I’m going to take… let’s make four of these stars in total. So, I’ll put another big star over here. Let’s take and put a small star up here. So, I’m going to size this down a little bit. I’ll lock proportions and let’s say, make this 25×25, something like that. Then we’ll duplicate this and make another small star down there. And before we get to the big wavy, sloshy stuff in the middle of our planet, let’s create a couple bits of hail. And we’re going to do that with the ellipse tool. I’m going to zoom in a little here for this. I’m going to create a small ellipse. Let’s go with, maybe 15×15.

Something really small. Smaller than anything else we have thus far. I’m going to grab my direct selection tool. It’s the white arrow, right there. And I’m going to select the little anchor on the top of this little ellipse. I’m going to hold down SHIFT and nudge upward with my arrow key a couple times.

Just until it looks about right. What is right? Whatever looks right to you. Then I’m going to click and hold on my pen tool, and I’m going to select the anchor point tool. And I’m going to click this anchor point, bam! once. You can see what that does. We’ve got this really cool teardrop shape that we’re working with. I’m going to tilt this bad boy to 45 degrees. 45 degrees. Eh. Maybe the other 45 degrees. Let’s go -45, that’s more like what I was thinking. Something like that. And we’re going to duplicate and place a bunch of these around our planet. I’m going to begin with a couple big ones. Let’s go one, two. Maybe we’ll put a big one over here. Then another big one there. Let’s duplicate this out. And I’m going to half size this. So, I’m going to say, maybe make it 25×25. So, really tiny little. Hail storm looking thing. Something like that.

That’s great. Then maybe one over there. Something like that I think is cool. Maybe we should take this one and put it up over here. Something like that I think is neat. I’ll move this one. No, that one should stay right about there. This small guy should move down here. Something like that. So, we’re beginning to add some of the atmosphere that’s going to be there around the planet. And again, we’re going to fill all of this. We’re going to make it look great.

We’re creating line art, getting all that knocked out right now. Let’s zoom in here. And what I want to do, is create the sloshy artwork. If I go and look at the finished stuff, you can see, it’s got this cool colored fill to it. What I want to do, is I’m going to create the big, blue shape first. Then I’ll worry about the pink and the inner part of it. Once we create the base, we’ll know what we’re working with.

So, the idea behind this is, we want – and I’m going to turn the bounding box back on – we want our s curve to cross the middle of the planet. That’s what I’ve found works and looks the best. So, if I know that, I know that I can enter right around here. Swoop down, swoop up, and exit right around that halfway point. So, I’m going to use the curvature pen tool, because it’s a little easier. Especially if you’re new to Illustrator.

Go ahead and grab the curvature pen tool, and here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to click right out over here, and we are going to click at the bottom most point of our first slosh. So, the first down-swing, if you will. So, I’m going to click right there, and then we’re going to come right over, and we’re going to click at the topmost area of the up-swing. Then we’re going to choose where we exit our ellipse. Something right around there. Now, here’s a cool, little trick, if you hold down ALT/OPT and you click that point, you can then just lock that point in, so you’re not affecting the rest of your path. Then quickly draw some sort of path out around the rest of the document, like this. Now, you can see, when I go to join it, it’s doing that weird, funky thing. If you hold down ALT/OPT and you join, it’s not going to affect it at all. So, you lock that shape in, and the whole goal here is to create a nice, swooping shape.

Then envelop the whole bottom half of our planet. So, just like that is what we want. We’ve got a great shape there. Now, to get the second wavy shape, we’re going to duplicate the shape. So, hold down ALT/OPT, I’m going to pull this shape straight down. Maybe something like that. Maybe what I’ll do is push it inward a little bit. Maybe I’ll push it in from the other side, as well. You can play with it a little bit. Maybe I’ll tilt it just a little. You don’t want it to be radically different, but just different enough that when we fill it with a different color it’s going to look good. It’s going to look the part. I think that’s going to work. So, we’ve got our first two swish shapes, and now we need to create a wave shape up here.

So, you can see, if I look at the finished piece, you can see, it goes up and then back in and meets the hillside, if you will, right there. So, let’s go ahead and try creating this. So, I’m going to go… I’m going to begin right out around – ugh, where should I begin? Maybe somewhere right around there. And you can see, the ring, if I click here, you can see how it selects the ring. So, I’m going to undo a couple times here.

What I’ll do is I’ll select both of those rings and – let me collapse my properties panel for a second – I’m going to scroll down. There the two rings are in my layers panel. I’m going to shut them off for just a quick second, and we’re going to get back to them in a second.

So, let’s grab our curvature pen tool here. Let’s begin right around here. Let’s go up to our high point, right about there. And the low point is going to be right around here. Then we’re going to curve it back around. Oh, maybe I should come out. Maybe something more like that. Hold down ALT/OPT, let’s lock that in. Then we’ll bring this guy around. Something like that. Make sure you don’t click on any other paths, and then ALT/OPT and join the path off. Now, that looks a little too radical. So, the cool thing about this is, we can go ahead and say, let’s stretch it out a little bit then. Let’s smooth and flatten that path out. Maybe we want it tilted a little. Maybe I want to grab my direct selection tool and select that point and nudge it to one side or the other a little bit.

Maybe nudge it down a little bit. That look goods. Let me grab the whole path. I’m going to rotate it a little bit more. There we go. Something like that. I’m going to bump it over, bump it over. Ugh, maybe I should go – I just want to make the wave a little bit bigger. And I think I’m going to compress it a little bit more. Something like that. Again, I’m probably obsessing over it a little bit too much. But, obsessions can be good, right? So, there we go.

This little teardrop looking shape, that’s the only part of this we’re really interested in. And you’re going to see how we’re going to save all of that stuff in a second. It looks a little bit like a mess. We’ll make these shapes one at a time, just to keep things simple for you. So, I’m going to shut off the two newest bits and we’re going to go with the big wavy shape. In fact, I should probably shut off those rings again, for the sake of keeping it simple. Again, I want this to be – not only do I want you to see what I’m doing.

It’s nice if you understand what’s going on. So, we’re going to select this wavy shape here. But to have something to work with, I want to select the innermost shape. This is the shape that I want this wavy shape to be cut within. We’re going to copy it. So, we’re going to go Edit> Copy, and I’m going to say, Edit>Paste in Front. Paste this sucker in front, I’m going to hold down SHIFT and select the wavy shape. And it’s pretty easy from here. We’re going to open up our properties panel, and I’m going to choose the click to intersect option. Boom! and you can see, our little wavy shape is perfectly cut within our ellipse. We’ve got our first wavy shape. Very, very cool. I’m going to turn on that bottom most shape. Now, remember that inner ellipse is still copied to the clipboard, so I can go Edit>Paste in Front one more time, and then SHIFT click our bottom shape, and once again, click to intersect.

Voila. And then, last but not least, I’ll turn on the little teardrop shape. We’re going to go Edit> Paste in Front, and I’m going to SHIFT click that, as well. And I’m going to intersect that, as well. Now, we have some other problems here, because there’s this whole overlapping nonsense, and this bit sticking out. Now, I am going to select both of those shapes. So, the wavy and the teardrop shape, and we’re going to hit the little triple dot, and we’re going to say, yeah, we’re going to use the divide path finder. Then we need to ungroup this. So, we’ll go Object>Ungroup, and now what I can do is select the bits I don’t want. I don’t want that shape. So, I’m going to select it and delete it. This little bit in here, I want, because that’s actually a big chunk of my little wavy thing.

I do, still, also want this, but this little shape here, if I drag it out, you can see, it’s a teardrop now, that really should be a part of this shape here. How do we do that? Well, we select both of those shapes, and we can say, look, join them together. At this point, ladies and gentlemen, we are ready to begin colorizing and bringing some life to this project. Adding color to this is where I have a little bit of a goody for you. You can use a link down in the description to this video, and you can download the exact color scheme that I’m using, and it’s going to be this .ai file, don’t be fooled. Planet artwork color palette tutvid. Now, here’s how you actually get these colors into Illustrator. You can do it through the swatches panel. In fact, let’s do it through the swatches panel to keep it simple for everybody. Window>Swatches, and with your swatches panel open, we’re going to hit the little flyout menu in the top corner and say, open swatch library, other library and navigate to where on your hard drive that file is.

Select it, choose open, and you can see, you’re going to have this whole mess open up. Now, the only important part of it is this little folder down here. The cool thing about this is, you click on the folder, and boom! it brings it in to your main swatches panel. This is everything we need for this. I can close out that original thing. In fact, I can close this out, because if I select a piece of artwork and I go to fill, all those swatches are now here in my fill panel within the appearance section of the new properties panel.

So, let’s start easy. Let’s go with the moon up here in the top corner. Add some color to this bad boy. So, let’s select it, we’re going to go fill, and I want this to be a gradient that runs yellow to green using these first two colors. So, what I’m going to do, is I’m going to say, look, fill us with a gradient, number one. Then we’ll choose gradient options, of course it’s going to open our gradient panel. Then I can come over and open my swatches panel, and I can say, yeah go ahead and swap the white with yellow, and the black with green. Notice it’s not fully updating. If I click the shape, boom, there we go.

We’ve got an update. Then what I’ll go ahead and do is change the angle. Let’s try 90 degrees. I wanted to go green to yellow, so I could either say -90 degrees or you can use the little reverse gradient button, and there you go. It does exactly what we want it to do. I’m going to close out the gradient panel for a second. I’m going to select stroke, and we’ll select this slash to get rid of the stroke. Now, once we’ve done that, we can select all of the rings for this, and grab our eyedropper tool, and sample that center gradient. Now, this isn’t rotating the gradient upright, the 90 degrees that we want. But we can go right in here to our gradient options and right out of the gate, we know we reversed the gradient.

So, we can go 90 degrees, there we go. Now, it doesn’t look very good. It looks difficult to see the rings. That’s fine. We’re going to come over here to opacity, and we’re going to set each of the rings’ opacity to 15%. And you can see, we’ve got this really cool effect now of this moon floating, and almost like a colored glow emanating from it. We haven’t used any effects. It’s just a gradient layered on, and reduced opacity is giving us that effect. So, let’s come down here a little bit faster and do this lower moon. So, with this guy down here, we’re going to go Fill. We’re going to fill this with a gradient, as well. So, let’s go black to white gradient. I’m going to open gradient options. I’ll move the gradient panel over and we’re going to go with a pink to orange gradient here. So, I’ll drag the pink in to replace white. Drag the orange in to replace black. Then I’ll click the gradient out here. We get an update.

And here I know I want the pinkish color on the bottom. So, we’re going to go 90 degrees, there we have it. I’ll close out the gradient dialogue box. I’ll select stroke once, get rid of the stroke. We’ll select both of our outer rings, easy. And grab the eyedropper tool. Sample that inner color. Once more, we’ve got to go back and rotate those guys upward, as well, to 90 degrees. I’ll close that out, and set these rings both to 15% opacity, as well. And just like that, we’ve colorized both of the little planets that will go on either side of our large planet. So, next up, let’s tackle the large moon that’s going to float in front of the planet here; and we’ll do the same little routine. In fact, I’ll preemptively get rid of the stroke. We know we’re not going to need it. We’ll go to fill, let’s give it a gradient.

Here, we’re going to use the next colors in line. That’s that blueish/purplish color and the pink for our gradient. So, I’ll go gradient options. Bring the gradient panel down here, so I can see all of what I’m doing. And let’s drag the blue in to replace the white. And drag the pink in over on this side. Let’s set the angle to 135, I want this to be on a bit of an angle like that.

Where it’s beginning from the top left and running to the bottom right, sort of like that. That looks good. I can close out the gradient panel. I’m going to open up my opacity panel, because we’re going to make some changes to this. We’re going to set this to color dodge. It’s going to give us this extreme color effect, and it’s going to change as we add colors to our planet underneath. In fact, we may come back to this later and decide to reduce opacity a little bit. Maybe change that blend mode. But for now, we’re going to live with color dodge at this 135 degree gradient angle. Let’s go ahead and select our frontmost wave shapes. This is the wave shape at the bottom. Again, we’ll dump the stroke. I’m going to go to fill, I’m going to fill it with the black to white gradient. Open up the gradients panel. We’re now going to drag a light pink and a darker pink in. So, the next two colors in line. Let’s go ahead with that.

Drag the light pink in, and drag the darker pink. Just like so. And for this, I’m going to change the angle. Let’s go with 90 degrees. You can see, the light pink is on the bottom. We don’t want that. We’ll just reverse the gradient real quick. And basically, you want to play with this gradient slider until you get the amount of almost glow that you want. In fact, we may want this to be on a slight tilt. We could try 80 degrees. 80 degrees is not the right direction. Let’s go 100 degrees. Something like that. That looks pretty good. And we can compress the lightened edge up to the actual edge. Something like that. So, about 100 degrees for the gradient. And I just slid and filled a lot more of heavy pink into the bottom. Now, you can see that our moon here on the bottom is not looking so good. That’s because it’s being covered by this wave. What we’re going to do, is we’re going to be restacking a lot of this artwork as we create it so it all looks right.

In the case of this, you would need to bring this to the front. So, I would right click and choose arrange and we could choose bring to the front. Really what you should do is bring it forward. As forward as it needs to be. But, for the sake of getting it done, we can just bring it forward. And you can see the effect that we’re getting here. It’s a very interesting little effect, and as we build out the shapes around it, this gradient moon shape is going to interact with the colors in our planet. But at this point, that’s neither here nor there. So, let’s select the large wave shape and once more, we’ll dump the stroke. I’m going to say, give me a fill. Let’s go with a gradient. We already have our gradient panel open, and I’m going to drag the light cyan and blueish color out and drop them in place.

So, let’s go light cyan for white, and the more heavy, thick blue for black. Then we’ll come down here and once more, let’s try setting this – maybe we will go 100 degrees and we’ll reverse the gradient. I think 100 degrees works well for this wave that we’ve created. It might be slightly for whatever wave you create, but you know, work with it. Finesse it until it looks right. Now, obviously this doesn’t look good because we’re covering up the pink.

If we go to Object>Arrange which is the same as right clicking on the artwork and going arrange. It’s really helpful to know these two, little hotkeys here in Illustrator. CMD/CTRL and the left or right bracket keys, they will allow you to swing your artwork around. So, I’m going to begin using CMD/CTRL and the left or right bracket keys and I’m going to start syncing artwork, or bringing artwork up to the fore, depending on what I’m doing.

As I was moving that path down, I had to move it quite a ways down, and the reason that was was because we had a lot of extra little bits of path, residual junk left behind from when we created our path finders to create these wave shapes. So, let’s real quick shut off these wave shapes and what I’m going to do to address those shapes, I can’t even really see what they are because right now we’re using white stroke, and we have white thumbnails in our layers panel.

So, I can’t see, for instance, if this is a little, tiny piece of path which, well, I can see it is once I select it. But I don’t know beforehand. So, in order to combat that, I am going to select all of the white strokes using the magic wand tool. Let’s go ahead and select all of the white strokes and I’m going to change the white color to, I don’t know, maybe yellow or something that I can still see above this background.

When I do that, you can see in my layers panel, I’m going to collapse properties for a quick second. This is just the most boring housekeeping junk you’ve ever seen, right? All these little nibs of path. So, what I can do, is I can hold down SHIFT and select all these guys, and delete them wholesale. We don’t need these. There you have it. It’s all good, we can turn these shapes back on. Is it annoying? Yeah. But it sometimes part of working in Illustrator. At least it is for me. Let’s go ahead and grab our little teardrop shape here, because I can see where that is now that we’ve cleaned up the excess of layers, and honestly, because everything is colored yellow, I’ll drag this up to the top, and we’re going to fill this using that same gradient.

So, it’s as simple as grabbing the eyedropper tool and selecting that gradient and there we have it. Not quite what we want, because that looks pretty bad. So, I’ll select the shape, and you can see, our gradient panel isn’t updating. Well, that’s because we have the stroke forward, and right now, there’s no stroke. See, it’s saying, should I add the gradient to the stroke? No, no, no. We want to work on the fill. So, I’m going to select the fill. The first thing I want, is I really want the dark blue, the shadow, if you will, to be against our current wave.

So, I can use the gradient tool and I can try drawing the gradient, see how that works. I drew it the wrong direction, of course, because you always draw it the wrong direction! There we go. Something like that. Then I could adjust, and say, no, bring more of that teal color in. Then I could, more specifically, adjust over here, and use my up or down arrow keys with the gradient angle. Something like so. And I could really play with this and decide, do I want more blue there for the shadow? Do I want to bring back, and force the shadow to only live along that ridgeline, something like that? I think that looks pretty good.

That gives our little shape a bit of dimension. In fact, I may select the big, blue wave shape and increase the amount of blue coming up from the bottom. Just to help it match with our wave a little bit. Then I would select the wave and say, you know what? Retract some of that blue a little. Just to help the shadows line up and make it look like it all belongs together. Now, this moon with the color dodge is not being shown any love, because you see it’s behind all these colors. So, we could drag it up. But let’s use that hotkey that we just learned, CMD and the left bracket key, and boom! We’ve bumped that way up to the top right above everything. Looking good. Let’s hide the gradient for a quick second here. Let’s work with some other colors. We’re going to take our little crescent overlay, and we’re going to make this a white shine. So, I’m going to hit SHIFT+X to swap foreground and background, and right away, it’s a shine, it needs to be on top of everything.

So, let’s bring it all the way up to the top. You can’t even see this in our layers panel. So, this is going to be a candidate for going arrange, and bring this bad boy right to the front. There it is now at the top of our layer stack. Of course, we want to fill it with white. So, we’ll select fill and just select the white, right there, and what I’m going to do is click on opacity. We’re going to set this to overlay and set this blend mode to – let’s go 20%. While we’re adding shines and stuff, let’s go all the way down. Let’s select that low yellow shape, right? Let’s turn that bad boy on. Select him and we’re going to go Object>Arrange and bring this on all the way up to the front. Alright, there it is. Low yellow. We’re going to fill this with a gradient, as well. So, I’m going to dump the stroke, and let’s go fill.

Let’s fill it with a black to white gradient. It’s going to cover everything up. No worries. We’re going to go gradient options here. We want to drag in these yellow color swatches here. So, we’re going to go with light yellow, and say, yup, drop that where the white is. Then a darker yellow right there where the black is.

Then I think I’m going to set this to 135 degrees. I think we want to the lighter yellow up there on the top. So, we’ll go ahead and reverse this gradient. What I’m going to do, is I’m going to select the light yellow color stop. And we’re going to set the opacity to zero percent. So, you can see what we’re getting. We’re getting this almost faded, hazy effect. I’m going to try to kick this up a couple notches by going to the opacity, and let’s try setting this to hard light, and maybe drop the opacity to 80%, something like that.

Then we really need to rein this yellow in. There’s way too much yellow. It may need to be a little bit of a steeper angle. Let’s go – not 150 degrees, a little bit of a less steep angle – about 115, that looks good. Then I want to really compress the yellow back in. I just want to there to be a bit of a yellow glow, sort of along the bottom. See how the yellow is still hazing up there? So, we’ll maybe set this to 105, see if that helps swing it around a bit more. Something like that. We’ll bring that transparency back in even more to really contain it down there on the bottom of our planet. Something like – you know, somewhere right around there. I could probably bring it back to about 110 or so. Yeah, that looks about right. We’re building that nice, subtle glowing edge. The success is in the details.

There we go. Something like that, I think is going to work for us. And next, what we want to do, is move down and select that base shape. I’m going to turn it on. Select it, and I want to bring it to the front, so we can really get a look at it. I’m going to go Object>Arrange, just bring it all the way up to the front. We are going to have to send it back in a little bit. But let’s work with it here. I’m going to get rid of the stroke. We are also going to give this a gradient, as if that’s not expected at this point, and I’m going to use a couple of these light pink colors here.

So, let’s go with these two right here. And drag the light pink down. Replace white. Drag the pink down and replace black, and I think what I’ll do here, is swing this around. I want this pale pink to be in the bottom corner. So, let’s go ahead and try setting this to 135, and that’s probably about perfect. We might be able to push it a little bit in either direction, but 135 is looking good for us. I’m going to select the pale pink and we’re going to knock the opacity down to zero percent. But I’m going to go ahead and open up opacity, and set this to hard light and then reduce the opacity to 55 percent. Now, we’re starting to cook with some fire. You’re starting to see how this shape is building out the way we want it to be built out. Now, this is not the shine.

This is the base. So, we want to take this and drag it beneath all our waviness. So, we can do that manually, or we can send it down using our hotkey. Something like that. I want to bring it way down though. So, I might send this all the way to the back by going Object>Arrange>Send to Back, there’s really nothing that’s going to need to be behind it. After all, it is our base. Next, what we’ll do, is we will select the bit that’s going to make up the outer ring of the planet. Not the big ring that wraps the planet. Just this little guy in here.

In fact, I might be able to go down and select both of these ellipses, just like that. And I’m going to swap the fill and the stroke real quick, so we can really get an idea of what’s about to happen. You can see, it doesn’t look quite so natural. We’re going to use the pathfinder and minus front them, and punch a hole in the middle, leaving us with this nice border. I’m going to open up the fill. We don’t actually need a gradient here. Shockingly. We’ll go ahead and give this a nice, pale pink color. Like that. We’ll go to our opacity option here. Set this to overlay. We can always reduce the opacity a little bit if we think it’s a little bit to strong up here. Something like that. I can select the compound path here. I can reduce opacity. Let’s knock it down to 50%. See what that looks like. We can always come back later, bump it up a little if it needs to be spruced up and made a little more poppy.

While we’re down here at the bottom of the layers panel, let’s grab our shine option. Select that, bring it all the way to the front. We’ll go Arrange>Bring to Front. Once more, we’ll swap the fill and the stroke, again, to illustrate what we’re doing here. We’re going to go with a simple white to white gradient. So, we’ll say, give me a black to white gradient. We’ll double click here on black, and make this white. I will come down here and reduce the opacity to zero percent of one of the color stops. Then I’m going to set it to the 135 angle. You can see, angled the wrong way, no problem. Just reverse that gradient. Let’s set this to the blend mode of overlay and we’ll reduce this opacity down to 40-45%. I’m going with 40%, that looks good. And let’s select both of these. The little moons that are going to be on top of our ring here. But with these selected, I am going to use my eyedropper tool, and I’m going to sample the gradient off of this color dodge moon, just like that.

You can see, it’s this bizarre pink and blue. But what we want, is we want the pink to be at the bottom. So, let’s go ahead – I believe this would be -90. There we go. You can see, set that pink right down there to the bottom. The key with these little moons, is we almost want them to fade off into nothingness. So, we’re going to select the blue color stop.

I still have both moons selected, and we’re going to set the opacity of the blue to 10%. It’s going to give us more of a planet-like effect. You can see it’s a really cool, little thing. We’re not even using blend modes. But it’s just a nice, little thing. Right there, where I said we’re not using blend modes to get this effect, but I still think I am going to, in the end, use a blend mode. We would probably set this to something like screen. Again, because we’re going to be working on our ring here in a minute and we do want to interact with the ring a little bit. Both of the moons, we want to interact with that ring. So, we can select both pieces of the ring. Again, like we did for the outer ring of the planet, let’s just swap the fill and the stroke to really see what we’ve got going on here. Maybe what we’ll do, is we’ll go Object>Arrange>Bring to Front, just so we can really see it all.

I’m going to go minus front down here in the pathfinder, it’s going to punch that hole in the middle and give us an actual ring shape and what we need to do here is create another gradient. So, we’re going to go Fill, let’s say black to white gradient. And I’m going to use the gray and the pink. Or, that almost blueish gray. Slate gray. Whatever you want to call it – and pink. I’m going to drag the slate gray over the white stop and the pinky/salmon color over the darker stop and then we’re going to set this, let’s try setting this to 135.

It’s the wrong orientation, so let’s swap the gradient. 135 isn’t quite right. So, let’s try adjusting it a little bit. It’s very close. Maybe we’ll go with 130? I think 130 might be more perfect. Let’s increase the amount of pink in our gradient, something like that. When we come over here to opacity and choose a blend mode, something like color dodge is almost entirely going to drop that color out. We really don’t want the ring that’s supposed to be behind the planet, and we’ll mask that out in a second. We really don’t want that stealing the show, so to speak. We want the ring almost to appear as though it fades off as it heads back there. Let’s deselect this. We need to go ahead and create a nice mask that’s going to knock away a bunch of where the ring goes behind the planet. So, here’s where we will select maybe the base, let’s just select our base shape. We want a nice, big ellipse like that and copy it. CMD/CTRL+C, or you can go Edit>Copy.

We’re going to select our ring again, and here, if we select opacity, we have this open slot, which if we double click, it’s going to add a mask. Well, I want to unclip the mask, because I want to use my pasted in mask that I’m about to paste in to hide only one part of this. So, I’m to go Edit>Paste in Front. We’re now in clipping mask mode, by the way, if you saw that change happen. You can see, there’s our opacity mask, it’s not really doing anything, because we want to fill it with solid black. So, I’m going to go ahead and say, give me the solid color.

I can close my color panel, I don’t need that. Just double click to get my color picker, and say, yeah, give me a nice, solid black there. Now, one of the things you’re seeing on the opacity mask is that it’s not black. It’s actually a medium gray. The reason that’s happening is because we had reduced the opacity of the base, and that opacity is carrying through. So, it is black, but black at 55% opacity. So, we want to bump that back up to 100. Now, this is great except for the fact that, the ring in front of the planet is also gone. How do we change that? Well, we can do a couple things. Probably the fastest thing, is to grab the pen tool and create a really quick path over the front side of the shape. And what we would do is just select both of these shapes. Once we have both of them selected, it’s both of the mask shapes, we would use the pathfinder here and just subtract, or minus, the front. So, we now only have this back half of the planet covered with the mask.

Therefore, allowing the front ring to be revealed as it swings across the face of the planet. Now, remember, the planet is a glass planet, so this mask actually probably shouldn’t be at an opacity of 100%. We should be able to see the faintest, little bit of ring behind it. So, let’s go ahead and set the opacity to something more like 80. See that? We get a nice, subtle ring behind the planet. That’s great. And I’m going to go Window and pop open the transparency panel and get back to my normal editing mode by clicking on the artwork.

You can see, all of our layers are restored, I can close out transparency and we have the makings of a nice ring that will be swinging around our planet. Very, very cool. I think I want to intensify the ring so we can select it and I’m going to duplicate it by going Edit>Copy and then a simple Edit>Paste in Front. I think that’s going to be too much.

You can see, that’s really intense. What I think I’m going to do is select this layer and I’m going to edit the gradient. So, maybe we’ll make this even darker, because it’s a global color it’s going to allow us to work with tint. But I think I would want to go to a much darker color, much closer to black. Something like that. And if I go to my color editor, I can make it solid black, which means it won’t really appear much back there.

And I can more heavily influence the ring. So, really, this pink is only intensifying the front third, if you will, of the ring. If I shut that off, you can see, we don’t even really need to worry about the pink ever getting back and influencing the back side of the ring, because remember, we have this layer set to color dodge, so it’s dropping out a lot of those really dark colors. So, this gradient works well for us for something like that. We could even try changing it maybe to something like screen. The screen blend mode, see what that does for us. That’s actually cool. I think I dig that. And one last thing, not to obsess over this too much, we could try reducing the opacity, also, back there. Maybe drop it all the way to zero and we can see, yeah, that actually might be the best of the best.

Just doing something like that looks pretty good. Let’s go ahead and create a little shadow for our ring, that would be cast on our glass orb here. So, I’m going to select the compound path that we just created. Remember, we got this crazy gradient and opacity blend mode nonsense going on here. I’m going to ignore that for a second. We’re going to go Edit>Copy, and we’re going to paste this in front, and I’m going to nudge it downwards. So, let’s use our arrow keys and nudge it down.

Something that you think is about right. Then what we’ll do, we’ll come back real quick. We’re going to set this to a normal blend mode. I want to move into the mask, because we actually only, obviously, want this to be the bottom of the planet here to be masked, because we want to get rid of the double ring everywhere else, right? So let’s go back into the mask and what I’ll do, is I’ll select that mask.

We don’t need it. I can just delete it. And I’m going to open up my transparency panel again to make it a little easier to move back and forth between our mask mode and regular artwork editing mode. And I think I’m going to clip this within the inner circle. So, maybe I’ll grab our shine, because that’s – our shine’s the whole thing. Lower yellow is the inner circle, I’ll select that. I’ll copy it, CMD/CTRL+C, and let’s enter back into our mask. Select the mask there, and I’m going to paste it in place, by going Edit>Paste in Front and we have this weird gradient and the opacity is messed up. So, let’s set the opacity back to 100. Let’s set it to a normal blend mode, and let’s set the fill to white. Let’s set it to white; and, of course, this doesn’t do us much good, because the whole mask is white.

So, we need to check on clip and it’s going to clip on everything around the selection we have. So, now we have this nice bit of pink showing through, that’s great. And I can select my normal artwork thumbnail to get back to regular editing mode. Close my transparency panel, and here what I’ll do, is I’ll probably change the blend mode of the artwork. Let’s try setting to multiply, and to make it even more subtle, let’s drop the opacity to 25%. Just a super, super subtle, little shadow there. Maybe 25% is even too much. Let’s go 15%. Something like that. We’re going to close the gradient panel for a quick second here. I’m going to select both of these little highlights.

Now, you can see, we’re just selecting the shine, because that’s what’s on top. Here they are, way down by the bottom, I can select them both and let’s immediately move them to the front. Great. So now, they’re all the way up here in front. We will set the stroke to white. We do want it to be white, and I want the stroke itself to be, I don’t know, 20 points.

That looks pretty good. And I’m going to click on the word “stroke,” let’s give these a round cap. Remember, we went over this before. Then I’ll knock the opacity down to 85%. Next what we’ll do is we’ll select all of the star and raindrop shapes. So, not the little circles, just the stars and raindrops. I’m holding down SHIFT as I drag these selections. And voila, there we go, something like that. Whoop! I don’t want to select that bottom most ring. And flip the fill and stroke color, just like that. And you could go with either a very cyan blue or white.

I think I’m going to go with a cyan color and I’m going to set the blend mode here to – let’s try overlay, and see what that looks like. I do want these to be pretty subtle. Now, what we’ll do is, we’ll select our little moons left and the easiest way to do that, because you can see those two are probably underneath some shines and things. Just use the magic wand tool and select them. But notice when we do that that it selects the stroke that we have as our little highlight. Check this out. You can double click on the magic wand and specify what else it selects. So, we can say, look, I just want to select stuff, not that has the same fill color, I don’t care about fill.

Give me the stuff that has the same stroke color. Boom! And we just got those four little moons. Great. I am going to sample the green/yellow gradient from the top planet here. Just like that. And I’m going to zoom in so we can really get a good look at these. I’m going to select fill. We’re going to open up our gradient options again. We’re going to -90 this, and I’m overthinking it. It should be a regular 90. We’ll select the yellow color stop. Change the opacity to zero percent, and I can close out that gradient panel for a quick second. I’m going to open up opacity and I’m going to try setting this to color dodge. You can see, it’s going to take that greenish color and it’s going to work with it really interestingly over the background. It looks blue but then there’s a slight hazy, green/yellow color that it fades to. And then over our little moon, planetary object, it’s different than that. So, that’s pretty neat.

Now, the last thing we want to do, before we wrap this up. We’ll zoom right in. I want to grab this moon right here and we’re going to use this to add texture to the wavy areas. We’re going to do it by duplicating a bunch of them. So, I’m going to ALT/OPT drag it over the wavy area. But you can see, we can’t see it because it’s buried way down the layer order. So, we’ll go Object>Arrange and bring this guy to the front. But, before I go duplicating this a hundred times, I’m going to go opacity, and I’m going to change this from color dodge to screen. There we go. Something like that. It’s an important step for what we’re about to do. Now, I’m simply going to ALT/OPT drag a bunch of this little circle out. You could convert this to symbol and use simple sprayers and resizers, and all kinds of stuff. Honestly, I’ve always found that process really wonky and a pain in the neck. Alright, so now we need to select all of these shapes.

How do we do that? Well, we can use the magic wand, as well. But the problem is, this fill is the same as the fill of all the other moons that we just created. So, we can double click again on the magic wand and say, look, select not only stuff that has the same fill – we don’t care about the stroke color right now – but stuff that has the same blending mode. Remember, all of these have the same screen blend mode, whereas the four moons outside of this, have the color dodge blend mode. So, I can say, yup, give me that. I’m simply going to ALT/OPT drag a copy of this over. I’m going to go view and make sure I turn my bounding box back on. I’m going to make this quite a bit smaller. So, now we’ve got all these little tiny dots and I’m going to begin selecting these, and just drag them around.

Move them wherever they have to move so they’re not overlapping or looking funky, or anything like that. And last, but not least, I’ll select a couple more of them. Maybe something like that, and I’ll ALT/OPT drag these over, and I’m going to make these a bit bigger. And let’s move this, so it’s kind of like that, and what I’ll do, is I’ll just select and move these into place. And it looks a little over the top and maybe it is. I might have created a few too many of them. Once more here, I want to use the magic wand. I want to select all these bad boys and I’m going to go Object>Group, just to group them up, so we don’t have a thousand of these layers creating this effect, right? And I’m simply going to reduce the opacity to 15%.

So, there’s a lot of them, but it’s a very subtle texture. In fact, 15 might be a little too low. Let’s try 25%, something like that. There we go. So, we have a nice, bubbly texture for the fill that we’ve placed within that planet, as well. And that’s really it. We’ve created this planet right here in Adobe Illustrator. And well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, that is how you create that glass illustration effect in Adobe Illustrator.

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