Create Plants Vs. Zombie Type in Illustrator


Nowadays it seems that the good video-games era is coming back. Super fancy and graphic elaborated games dominated the early 2000's , but the simplicity and replayability of games as Plants Vs. Zombies will always be more fun than cinematics and complex plots. Anyway, let's skip to the tutorial that it's about this last game.

Well, let's not enter on a discussion about what are the best good games nowadays, because we have a tutorial to do. I would classify this one as a intermediary tutorial, but even If you're experienced in Illustrator, you might find some good insights and ideas on it, have fun.

Step 1

So, let's first open Adobe Illustrator and create a 70 x 15 cm canvas (command + N / ctrl + N).

Step 2

Well, in order to make this less harder I decided to use some fonts as a base to the type, although they're not the same as the original, so that's why we should od some adaptations. I used Impact fo the "plants" type and Samdan for the "zombies' type, i just substituted the "S" for the one on the Impact font.

Let's dispose them like this.

Step 3

Let's started with the plants type, first create some outlines (command + shift + O / ctral + shift + O), then ungroup them and resize and posicionate them on a less organized way. Also add some green to yellow linear gradient on them.

So, using the pencil tool (N) I made a few adjustments on it's corners turning them on round fluffly letters.

After adjusting it, add some bold dark green stroke on it. On the stroke panel, choose to use to align the stroke outside.

Now duplicate the type, select all the letter then go to the pathfinder panel > Unite. Make it one shape.

Select the duplicated type and go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the panel like the one bellow.

Turn the new outline into black, then send it to the back of the previous type.

Don't forget to do a few adjustments on this outline like removing some holes.

Now using the pen tool (P), create this leaf shape on the first and last letter, then unite them with the letter later.

Using the previous tool , make a few wrickles n the leaves.

Now finally, let's add some reflexes. Use the previous to do that, don't forget to put them only on one direction, in this case, always on the right side.

Ok, now we have a emboss effect properly done, let's skip to the zombie type.

Step 4

I did the same process on the zombie font, first turned it all into aoutlines, then ungrouped and adjusted it a bit.

I added a linear grey gradient on all letters.

Then using the pencil tool (N) I did a somekind of 3D perspective, nothing fancy, just used the space between the letters "m" and 'b" as a vanishing point.

And added some gradients following the perspective I used.

Let's add some thick black stroke.

And here's the trick part: I decided to add some light on the bottom of the letters using the pencil tool (N), create and place them like the samples bellow. Don't forget to use a transparent gradient.

I didn't want to detail it a lot, so I finally ded a couple of random round shapes to look like holes, duplicate it and just posicionate both layer a bit searate in order to give it some depth.

Also added a big gradient on the back of the type to look like fire.

Step 5

Finally, let's do the last thing: the grave. It's easy, first using the pencil tool (N) create the stone shape, then duplicate and use a darker color to look like a perpective.

Add some cracks using the previous tool and the "VS." type on it, use the same font as the one on "zombies".

Use some white lights to enhance the cracks.

And also put white layer of the text above to give depth on it.

Draw the pile of earth using the pencil tool (N).

Use the pen tool (P) to create the texture over it.

As you may have already noted, I'm using the hard gradient technique on the objects here, so it really don't depends of the tool you're using, If you got the logic of it, you will know what to do next.

Finally, add a blue background with a radial gradient on it, hoep you guys enjoyed doing this.


Download the Adobe Illustrator File

Download the Adobe Illustrator file used for this tutorial