Vector Tutorials

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Andrei Marius On June - 17 - 2010

Hi there. Here you can learn to create a vector bubble and a bubble text effect. First, you need the Ellipse, Rectangle, Rectangular Grid and Twirl tools plus some basic effects. Later, for the text effect you’ll only need the Type Tool and some of the Symbol Tools.

Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
Number of Steps: 14

This is what you’ll be creating:


Step 01

Create a 700by300px document and start with the background. Select the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 700by300px shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Lock this shape.

Step 02

Now, let’s create the bubble. Select the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 200by200px shape and name it “Bubble”. Fill it with R=242 G=242 B=242, lower its opacity to 25% then add the Inner Glow (Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow) and the Outer Glow (Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow) effects shown below.

Step 03

Duplicate “Bubble”. Select this copy, erase the Inner Glow and the Outer Glow effects then increase the opacity to 70%. Fill this shape with the radial gradient shown below then add the Feather effect (Effects > Stylize > Feather).

Step 04

Reselect the Ellipse Tool(L). First, create a 70 by 70px shape and place it as shown in image #1. Fill this circle with R=242 G=242 B=242 lower its opacity to 60% the add a 25 px Gaussian Blur effect (Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Next, create a 25 by 25px shape and place it like in image #2. Fill it with the same color, lower its opacity to 80% then add a 20px Gaussian Blur.

Step 05

Pick the Rectangle Tool and create a 40 by 20px shape. Fill it with white and add a 10px Rounded Corners effect (Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners). Next, add the Arc effect (Effect > Warp > Arc) shown below then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 06

Select the shape made in the previous step, rotate it and place it as shown in image #1. Lower its opacity to 35% then add a 10px Gaussian Blur effect. Duplicate this shape. Resize this copy, rotate it and place it like in image #2. Lower the opacity of this shape to 30% then add a 5px Gaussian Blur. Next, pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a shape like the one shown in image #3, fill it with white, lower its opacity to 20% then add a 25px Gaussian Blur effect.

Step 07

Create a copy of “Bubble”. Select this copy, erase all the effect, raise the opacity back to 100% then fill it with none. Name this shape “Mask”. Select “Mask”, go to Object > Path > Offset Path, enter “10” in the “Offset:” box then click OK. Name the resulting shape “Crop” (I filled it with a discrete tint of red so that you can distinguish it easier). Lock “Mask” then double click on the Rectangular Grid Tool in your toolbar. A dialog box should pop up. Enter 0 for the number of horizontal dividers and 6 for the number of vertical dividers. First, turn on the Smart Guides (to ease your work) then use the Rectangular Grid Tool to create a grid like the one shown in image #3. Select this grid along with “Crop” and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. Keep only the shapes shown in image #4 (delete the rest). Fill these shapes with the colours shown below then group them (Ctrl+G).

Step 08

Select the group of colored shapes, then use the Twirl Tool (double click on this tool and use a 210px width and height) to distort the shapes like in image #1. Reselect this group and add a 20px Gaussian Blur. Finally you can add a discrete Twist effect. It’s not very important but you can try it and use it if you like it.

Step 09

Unlock mask “Mask”, select it and bring it to front. Select this circle and the group of colored shapes then go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make. Now, your group should look like in image #2. Send it in the bottom of the Layers pallete, just above the background shape. Lower its opacity to 15% then change the blending mode to Overlay.

Step 10

Open the Symbols panel (Windows > Symbol). Select all the shapes create so far (except the background shape), open the fly-out menu of the Symbols panel and click on the “New Symbol…” option. Select this symbol (from the Layer panel) and resize it as shown in image #2. Select this resized shape and once again click on the “New Symbol…” option. Name this new symbol “Bubble”.

Step 11

Now, let’s create the text. Select the Type Tool(T) and add your text. You cand use my font (Arial Narrow) or you can try any other font. Lock this text. Now, pick the Symbol Sprayer Tool (double click on the tool to change its options), select the “Bubble” symbol from the Symbols panel and follow the text like in image #2. Unlock the text and delete it when you’re done.

Step 12

Select the symbols sprayed in the previous step then pick the Symbol Sizer Tool (double click on the tool to change its behaviour). Use this tool to increse the size for some of these bubbles as shown in the following image.

Step 13

Reselect the Symbol Sprayer Tool and add some random bubbles aroud the text (image #1). Reselect the Symbol Sizer Tool to resize some of these symbols (image #2).

Step 14

Once again select the Symbol Sprayer Tool and add a few bubbles aroud the text (image #1). Pick the Symbol Sizer Tool to increase the size for some of these symbols. Make them a little bigger in comparison with the others (image #2). Finally, you can use the Symbol Spinner Tool to randomly rotate some of these large bubbles (image #3).


Now your work is done. Here is how it should look like.

Categories: Text Effects

18 Responses

  1. another great tutorial, and easy to follow

  2. Nana Yaw says:

    Man this stuff is good,can you do one how to create a font

  3. aziq says:

    great effect and great tutorial.Thanks.

  4. melvin says:

    Great Tutorial, thanks. Added to tutorial river.

  5. Ilie Ciorba says:

    Not exactly a text effect, but it looks good 🙂

  6. amy says:

    easy to follow the step, thanks!!

  7. tribhuwan says:

    nice job

  8. Hector Matias says:


    Bueno pero muy bueno, me gustaria tenerlo

  9. Great tutorial and have added your link in my site 🙂

    Thanks for sharing friend

  10. Billy Tang says:

    Great tutorial. I really like your Bubble effect. Looks very bubbly, and airy, and pleasant 🙂 And I’m no photoshop pro but your explanation made sense. Anyways, there’s another type of bubble text too. Your bubble text is an image, but there’s also unicode bubble text which doesn’t require images. All you need to do is use a generator like this one, http://www.bubbleballtext.com/

  11. Great tutorial, as ever. Have a client that I tink would appreciate this style of image. :o)

  12. pip says:

    this is really cool! thanks!

  13. ducsu says:

    I completed the steps up until adding the bubble as a symbol. I have 3 layers in my layers panel in this order, bubble with the effects, the mask(rainbow color) and the background.

    It looks nice. However, when I try copy it to the symbol panel, the bubble effect is gone and I am left with the solid rainbow color in the symbol panel. I selected my 2 layers minus the background. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong?

  14. Good post. I absolutely appreciate this website.
    Continue the good work!

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