VforVectors

Vector Tutorials

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Andrei Marius On July - 28 - 2011

Hi there. In the following tutorial I will show you how to create a simple chemistry flask illustration. You will start with a group of simple shapes. Next, using some basic effects and the Round Any Corner script you will create the two basic shapes. Finally, using multiple fills and strokes along with various effects and options you will create your own illustration.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
  • Number of Steps: 29

This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 300 by 300px document. First, enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you’ll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.

Step 02

First, go to the Appearance panel and remove the color from the stroke. Next, pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 170 by 165px shape. I filled it with red and I lowered its opacity to 30% so that you can see the grid easier. It’s not absolutely necessary to do the same but, it might be helpful if you’re new in Illustrator. Keep focusing on this fresh shape and grab the Direct Selection Tool(A). Select the top anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average. Check the Both button then click OK. Your rectangle should turn into a triangle as shown in the second image. Continue with the Ellipse Tool(L). Create a 170 by 60px shape and place it as shown in the third image then reselect the Rectangle Tool(M) and create two new shapes. First, create a 170 by 15px shape and place it in the bottom area then create a 60 by 95px shape and place it in the top area (as shown in the final image).

Step 03

Select all the shapes created in the previous step and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Next, you need to add a discrete roundness effect for the resulting shape. The Round Any Corner Script will come in handy for this. Save it to your hard drive. Now grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the two anchor points highlighted in the second image and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 10px Radius and click OK. Continue with the Direct Selection Tool(A). Select the two anchor points highlighted in the third image and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 20px Radius and click OK. In the end your shape should look like in the fourth image. Go to the Layers panel, double click on this shape and name it "Back".

Step 04

For the next step focus on the top area of "Back". Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create two new shapes and place them as shown in the first image. The large one should be 80px wide and 30px tall while the small one should be 60 wide and 20px tall. Select these two ellipses and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like in the second image. Switch to the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 60 by 10px shape and place it as shown in the third image. Select it along with the other, fresh shape and click on the Minus Front button from Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like in the fourth image. Name it "Top".

Step 05

Select the shape create in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy along with "Back" and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Name the resulting shape "Back". Now, you should have two shapes in your Layers panel: "Back" and "Top".

Step 06

Let’s add a simple background for the existing shapes. Pick the Rectangle Tool, create a shape the size of your artboard and fill it with R=0 G=167 B=157. Move it in the bottom of the Layers panel and lock it to make sure that you don’t select or move it accidentally. Now, let’s add some color for "Back". Select it, fill it with R=209 G=211 B=212 and lower its opacity to 30%.

Step 07

Select "Back" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 18 by 95px shape and place it as shown in the second image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work. Select this rectangle along with the fresh copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=57 G=181 B=74 then go to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill then click on the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will add a copy of the selected fill. Select this new fill and use the linear gradient shown below the fourth image. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for opacity percentage. That means you need to select the gradient slider and lower its opacity to 0%.

Step 08

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 120 by 20px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below then make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Disable the Snap to Grid then select the top copy and hit the up arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=57 G=199 B=74.

Step 09

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 170 by 60px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none and add a 1pt, white stroke. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the bottom anchor point (highlighted in the first image) and hit the Delete key from your keyboard. Select the remaining path and lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 10

Disable the Snap to Grid then pick the Ellipse Tool(L) and click on your artboard. Enter 4 in the Width and Height boxes then click OK. This will create a 4 by 4px shape. Fill it with R=57 G=181 B=71 then go to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and change its blending mode to Overlay then duplicate it. Select this second fill and make it white then lower its opacity to 50% and go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK. In the end your shape should look like in the zoomed image.

Step 11

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the "Scale Strokes & Effects" box is checked then click OK. Reselect the shape create in the previous step, make two copies and move them a few pixels to the right. Pick the Selection Tool(V), select one of these two copies and go to the Control panel (the top bar) in the width/height section. Check the Constrain Width and Height Proportions icon and enter 3 in the height/width box. Now, this copy should be 3px wide and 3px tall. Use the same technique to make the other copy 2 by 2px. In the end you should have three perfect circles as shown in the first image. Multiply these shapes and spread them as shown in the second image.

Step 12

Select "Back", make a copy and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 20% and rename it "Front".

Step 13

Select "Front" and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -33px Offset then click OK. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 30% then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 20px radius then click OK.

Step 14

Select "Front" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy then hit the left arrow 10 times and the up arrow 5 times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below then lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 15

Select "Front" and make two new copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow 20 times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below then lower its opacity to 20%.

Step 16

Select "Front" and make two new copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow 10 times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below then lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 17

Select "Front" and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -7px Offset, click OK and duplicate the resulting shape. Select this copy and hit the right arrow 10 times then reselect both shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image and lower its opacity to 50%.

Step 18

Select "Front" and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -7px Offset, click OK and duplicate the resulting shape. Select this copy and hit the left arrow 5 times then reselect both shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image and lower its opacity to 50%.

Step 19

Reselect the shapes created in the previous two steps and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius then click OK.

Step 20

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select "Front", make a copy in front and pick the Ellipse Tool(L). Create a 170 by 170px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select this circle along with the fresh copy and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You will get a group with two simple shapes. Select the bottom shape (pointed by the arrow in the third image) and delete it then select the remaining shape. Ungroup (Control + Shift + G ) it and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the final image then lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 21

Select "Front" make a copy in front and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Fill it with none then add a 4pt, white stroke. Select it from the Appearance panel and lower its opacity to 30% then go to the Stroke panel and click on the Align Stroke to Inside button from the Align Stroke section. Again, use the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel to create a copy of the existing stroke. Select this new stroke, make it 1pt wide and raise its opacity to 50%.

Step 22

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create an 80 by 25px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 10% then go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the data shown in the following image and click OK.

Step 23

Now, let’s focus on "Top". First, fill it with R=209 G=211 B=212. Select this fill from the Appearance panel and lower its opacity to 30% then make two copies of this fill and use the linear gradients shown below.

Step 24

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select "Top" and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the left arrow 5 times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You will get a group with the two shapes selected in the third image. First, ungroup it then select the two shapes. Remove the two extra fills from the Appearance panel then select the remaining fill. Lower its opacity to 10% and replace the existing color with white.

Step 25

Select "Top" and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow 15 times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You will get a group with the two shapes selected in the third image. Ungroup it and delete the right shape then select the remaining shape. Remove the extra fills then fill it with white and lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 26

Select "Top" and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow 10 times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You will get a group with the two shapes selected in the third image. Ungroup it and delete the right shape then select the remaining shape. Remove the extra fills then fill it with white and lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 27

Select "Top" and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 15% then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 1px radius then click OK.

Step 28

Select "Top", make a copy in front and bring it to front. Select this fresh copy and fill it with none then add a 1pt, white stroke and lower its opacity to 50%. Don’t forget to align it to inside.

Step 29

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 170 by 60px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with black, lower its opacity to 50% then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius, click OK then reselect the Ellipse Tool(L). Create a 180 by 65px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32, lower its opacity to 30% then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px radius then click OK. Select these two, blurred shapes and group them (Control + G). Move this group in the bottom of the Layers panel, above the "Background" shape and you’re done.

Final

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

Categories: Illustrations

9 Responses

  1. Very good tutorial! The outcome was clean! This can be used for a icon.

  2. Wow this reminded me of my Chemistry class. But hey, thanks for sharing your tips. I have learned a lot from it.

  3. Joel says:

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 good tutorial

  4. Stephen says:

    easiest tut to follow. nice work. thanks for putting in the extra effort. the flask came out perfectly!

  5. Michel says:

    Nice… Goes well with the ‘Test tube’ tutorial

  6. Marie Mad' says:

    Wouah ! What a great tutorial. I’m very proud of my flask and will use it for the birthday invitation of my daughter and will link to your website.

  7. Sarah says:

    How do I select the two shapes that are on top of each other?

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