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Andrei Marius On October - 7 - 2010

Hi there. In this week’s tutorial I’ll show you how to create a glossy, smooth text effect using multiple fills and strokes with different blending modes and varied opacity percentage. For some discrete details, the Star Tool, the Pathfinder options and some other basic effects will come in handy.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes
Number of Steps: 16


This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 700 by 300px document and start with the background. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 700 by 300px shape and fill it with R=0 G=113 B=188. Select this new shape and got to the Appearance panel. Open the flyout menu and click on Add New Fill. This should add a second fill in the Appearance panel. Select it, use the left linear gradient then lower its opacity to 50%. Add a third fill for this shape and use the right linear gradient show in the following image. Lock this shape, to make sure that you don’t select/move it accidentally.

Step 02

Select the Type Tool(T) and add your text. Use the Ballpark Weiner font. Select your text and go to Object > Expand. Now, select the resulting shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfidner panel. Name the resulting shape “00” and fill it with none. Make a copy of “00” (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+V). Fill it with white, lower its opacity to 10% then add the Drop Shadow effect (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the final image. Lock this shape.

Step 03

Make another copy of “00”. Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]), fill it with none and add a 1,5px, black, aligned to outside stroke. Select this stroke from the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 15% then add a 2px Gaussian Blur effect (Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Lock this shape.

Step 04

Go to Edit > Preference > General and enter “1” in the “Keyboard Incremet” box. Make two copies of “00”. Select the top one and hit the right arrow and the down arrow three times (to move it three pixels down and three pixels to the right). Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfidner panel. You’ll get a group of thin shapes. Fill them with white. Now, using the Direct Select Tool(A) and the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) you need to make these shapes look sharp. You should also enable the Smart Guides for a more precise result. Overall, the final shapes should look like in image #3. Select the entire group of shapes, Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]), lower its opacity to 40% and change its blending mode to Overlay. Also, lock it.

Step 05

Make another two copies of “00”. Select the top copy and hit the left arrow and the up arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Once again, you’ll get a group of thin shapes. Fill them with white and make them sharp (like in the previous step). Reselect the entire group, Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]) then lower its opacity to 50% and lock it.

Step 06

Make a new copy of “00” and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Fill it with the linear gradient, lower its opacity to 10% then lock it.

Step 07

Make two copies of “00” and Bring them to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Let’s focus on the first copy. Add a 12px, white, aligned to inside stroke, lower its opacity to 6% and change its blending mode to Overlay. Also, click on the Round Join button from the Stroke panel. Select this stroke from the Appearance panel and click on the Duplicate Selected Item icon from the bottom of the Appearance panel. This should a dd a copy of the existing stroke. Select this new stroke, resize it to 8px and lower its opacity to 5%. Add a third stroke, lower its opacity to 4% and its size to 4px. Lock this first copy and move to the second one. Add only two, white, aligned to inside strokes. Select the first stroke, make it 10px wide, lower its opacity to 6% and change its blending mode to Overlay. Select the second stroke, make it 5px wide, lower its opacity to 8% and change its blending mode to Overlay. Lock this shape too.

Step 08

Make another copy of “00” and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Fil it with black, add the Inner Glow effect (Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow) then go to Object > Expand Appearance. You’ll get a group with two shapes. Save the masked shape (image #2) and the delete the other. Bring this masked shape to front, lower its opacity to 40% and lock it.

Step 09

Selectthe Ellipse Tool(L) and create squezed shape like the ones shown in the first image. Select this new shape along with “00” and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Now, fill this newly created path with the radial gradient shown in the final iamge. Lower its opacity to 30% then lock it.

Step 10

Open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes) then open the flyout and go to Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic Ink. Pick the Brush tool and use the Tapered Round brush to draw a smooth path like in the image below. Select this path and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape, fill it with none and name it “11”. Create a copy of “11” and fill it with white. Lower its opacity to 10%, add the Drop Shadow effect the lock it.

Step 11

Make a new copy of “11” and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Add a 1.5px, black, aligned to outside stroke, lower its opacity to 40% then add a 2px Gaussian Blur effect and lock it.

Step 12

Make another copy of “11” and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Fill it with the linear gradient, lower its opacity to 10% and lock it.

Step 13

Create two copies of “11” and bring them to front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow and the the right arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Patfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with white then select the entire group, lower its opacity to 45% and change the blending mode to Overlay. Don’t forget to lock it.

Step 14

Make another two copies of “11” and bring them to front. Select the top copy and hit the up arrow and the left arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Patfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with white then select the entire group, lower its opacity to 65% and lock it.

Step 15

Select the original “11” shape and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Fill it with black, add the Inner Glow effect then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Save the masked shape and delete the other shape. Select the masked shape, lower its opacity to 60% then lock it.

Step 16

Finally, pick the Star Tool, click&drag on your Artboard and don’t release the mouse button. Press the up arrow to add sides for your star then hold Ctrl to control the Inner Radius. Try to make it look like in the iamge below. Fill it with the radial gradient, lower its opacity to 45% then add the Outer Glow effect (Effect > Stylize >Outer Glow). Make some copies of this star shape and place them over the text.

Final

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

Categories: Text Effects

10 Responses

  1. Osang says:

    Wow, this looks handy to my project. :D

  2. Thanks for sharing this tuts. :)

  3. Jason says:

    When I try to do minus front, it creates the effect, but only does it on the dot of an “i” (i’m using “anniversary” as my word). i.e. everything else looks the same but the I’s dot has the white under-layer, and the selection box is only as large as the dot now. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Jason and sorry for the late response.
      You need to turn your word into a compound path before you move to the Pathfinder options. Select the dot from the “i” along with the large “anniversary” shape and hit Control + 8 (or go to Object > Compound Path > Make).

  4. Kiran says:

    Hi,
    How did you add a 1,5px, black, aligned to outside stroke? I can’t do that in appearance. Help!

  5. Chloe says:

    This is a fantastic step-by-step article. Nice attention to detail too! Here’s a similar article I’ve written for my readers, creating custom type from scratch, enjoy! http://bit.ly/URI2hi

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