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Super Easy Soft Shadows in Illustrator

Super Easy Soft Shadows in Illustrator

We all know that hyperrealist icons are over, the new trend now is flat and either hard shadows or super soft and subtle ones. You can also try to mix both styles, there are a lot of people actually doing that and the results are quite beautiful. With that in mind I decided to give it a try in Illustrator and recreate this effect. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple soft shadow effect uing the Blend Tool in Illustrator. We will also use the 3D features to create some sublte 3D effects. Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. Select the logo or symbol you want to apply the effect. I am using the Abduzeedo symbol. Step 2 Select the black outer circle and then go to Effect>3D>Extrude & Bevel. Use Front of the Position, 50pt for the Extrude & Bevel, 20pt for the Height and classic for the Bevel type. Also select the inner bevel option. For the Lighting use the values in the image below. Step 3 Repeat the same process for the symbol. You will have to change some values depending on the complexity of the symbol you will be using. Step 4 To create the shadows we will use the Blend Tool (W). So copy the symbol and paste in the same place. After that duplicate the symbol and move it down and left. Change the opacity of the symbols, one to 50% and the other one to 0%. Also use multiply for the transparency mode. Click on both symbols with the Blend Tool to create the blend. Change the Specified Distance to 3pt. Step 5 Repeat the same thing to other elements. Conclusion Create a rectangle to use as a background, then create another soft shadow using the Blend Tool again. Your design will look like the image below. The whole process is quite simple but the result is quite elegant and if you want to be reproduce this effect I believe Illustrator might be the best tool for that. Now it's up to you, time to have some fun! Download Illustrator file  

Simple Vector Artwork in Adobe Illustrator

Simple Vector Artwork in Adobe Illustrator

Last week we launched the new version of Abduzeedo. It's our 8th design in the past 6 years, that means we change our design more than once every year. That's our goal as the blog is not only to share inspiration but to experiment with new styles and technologies. For this new design our goal was to simplify and make the design minimal and simple.To celebrate that we decided to create a little vector wallpaper for our V8. The illustration uses only vectors, no textures, and simple set of vector effects using the blog colors. Besides that, as you probably know, we always create tutorials for our artworks. So this tutorial will show you how we created the Abduzeedo V8 wallpaper using Illustrator CS6.Step 1Open Illustrator and start a new document. The size used is 2880x1800 pixels. After that add the text V8 or any text you want. We used Futura Medium for the font.Step 2Add a stroke. The colors we are using is black for the fill and yellow for the first stroke. The yellow stroke is 4pt.Step 3Add another stroke, use 26pt for the weight and black for the color. Then on the Appearance panel, move this stroke so it's below the yellow one. The result you will have is something like the image below.Step 4Move the 8 so it looks like the image below.Step 5Add a rectangle with a dark grey with the color for the background.Step 6Create a 45º line with 3pt of weight, rounded cap and select the gap option. Use 1pt for dash and 4pt for gap. After that duplicate the line and move all the way to the top, so the first will be on one side and the last on the other. After that select the Blend Tool (W) and click on the two lines to create a blend effect. Double click on the Blend Tool icon to open the properties, change the steps to 80.Step 7Select the V8 text and duplicate it. Remove both strokes and change the fill color to white. After that cut the white V8 objects. Select the blend object (the lines from the previous step) and go to the Transparency panel. Double click on the mask thumb, then paste the white V8 object in place (Command + F). That will make the lines visible only in the inner part of the V8.Step 8Select the V8 with both strokes and duplicate them. After that go to Object>Expand. The idea is to create an object with all strokes together. Go to the Pathfinder panel and select Unite. Repeat the Blend process used before on the step 7 to create a 3D effect. Use grey with Multiply for the transparency.Step 9Fix some small details like the yellow stroke.Step 10Add your logo next to the symbol and we are almost done.ConclusionPlay with some patterns to add some depth. I used a basic checker pattern. The 3D effect using multiply will make the texture visible and that will create a stylish visual effect. You can also try different color palettes to make it look different and you can add some textures as well, but as I said in the beginning, the idea was to create a simple and clean vector effect.Download FilesClick here to download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial

Nike Hair in Photoshop

A couple of weeks ago I was playing in Photoshop in a Saturday afternoon and decided to create something using hair texture and photos. I was thinking about just a text with that but then I had this crazy idea of playing with the NIke Air brand to create the Nike Hair Ad in Photoshop. This idea is heavily inspired on the work of Glenn Jones AKA Glennz, always playing with real brands :) So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a funny photo manipulation to create the Nike Hair ad. The tutorial is very simple and won't take you more than 30 minutes. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document. I am using 2560x1440 pixels and white background. After that get the Nike logo online. It's pretty easy to find, just do a Google Image Search Step 2 Once you have the Nike symbol it's time to use some hair photos. The one I am using is by 1809056 Ontario Ltd and it's called long brown hair style on white. Courtesy of Shutterstock. Place the image on your document and make sure that the Nike logo is on top of it. We will use it for reference. Step 3 With the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) select the area of the hair image you want to use only. Delete the rest of the hair. Step 4 Go to Edit>Transform>Warp. Start deforming the image so you can sort of make the hair follow the nike symbol. Step 5 With the Magic Wand Tool (W) select the nike symbol. Then select the layer with the hair photo and group it (Layer>Group Layers). With the group selected go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Step 6 Now that you have the base for the nike hair idea you will have to make it look more real. The secret here is start adding some hair on the edges of the symbol to make it less uniform. To do that is easy. First select the hair image again and delete the white background. Use the Magic Wand Tool (W) again and select the white part. Go to Select>Refine Edges. Enable the Smart Radius and select the brush icon. Paint over the hair and then press okay. After that just delete the selection and you will have extracted the white background of the layer. Step 7 Start mixing some parts of the image with your logo especially the edges. The sort of tail is pretty easy (1) just add a part of the image and adjust with the warp tool again. Now the curve on the left requires more work. Notice that the edges are not perfect. So to do that just select the Brush Tool (B) with a very small and rounded brush. Then select the group with the hair and click on the mask. Now start painting on the mask with white color like as you were creating some hair. Step 8 Select all layers and duplicate them. After that with all the duplicated layers selected go to Layer>Merge Layers. You can use the keyboard shortcut for that: Command(mac)/Control(pc) + Alt + Shift + E. With the new layer selected go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 10 pixels for the Radius. Change the Blend Mode of this layer to Soft Light. Step 9 Add a new layer and then with the Brush Tool (B) and black for the color paint a little shadow underneath the symbol. You can use gaussian blur to make it very soft like the image below. Conclusion Just add the word Hair using Futura Condensed for the font and our funny Nike Hair image is done. As you could see the process was extremely easy. The most important thing is always the ideas. Creating funny representations of brands is a good exercise and we can always learn a lot from that. Now it's up to you, I would love to see what you can come up with :) Download Photoshop File Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial