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Andrei Marius On October - 27 - 2011

Hi there. In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a semi-realistic MacBook Pro illustration. This is the left side view version. Next month I will also publish a shorter tutorial on how to create a MacBook Pro viewed from the front. Until then you can have a look at this detailed tutorial that will guide you through some interesting tools, effects and techniques.

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Estimated Completion Time: 3 hour 45 minutes
  • Number of Steps: 36

This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 1000 by 500px document. First, enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you’ll need a grid every 2.5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 2.5 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

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 830 by 20px shape and fill it with any color. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool(A) and focus on the left side of this fresh shape. Select the bottom anchor point and move it 60px to the right. The Snap to Grid will ease your work. Move to the right side of this shape, select the bottom anchor point and move it 60px to the left. Now, your shape should look like in the second image.

Step 03

Select the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the data shown below and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Again, enter the data shown below and go to Effect > Arc > Arc Lower. Once again, enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the second image and go to the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Select the existing fill and click on the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will add a copy of the selected fill. Make it black, lower its opacity to 2% and change the blending mode to Multiply, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown in the following image and click OK.

Step 04

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 1px in the Keyboard Increment box. Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select the shape created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and go to the Appearance panel. Remote the top fill (the one with the Film Grain effect) then select the remaining fill. Replace the existing gradient with R=138 G=143 B=145 and lower its opacity to 50%.

Step 05

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 830 by 35px shape, fill it with R=234 G=235 B=236 and place it as shown in the first image. Make a copy of this shape, make it invisible and send it in the bottom of your Layers panel. You’ll need it later. Now, focus on the visible shape. Pick the Mesh Tool(U) and add the mesh lines shown below. Once again, the Snap to Grid will come in handy. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the point columns one by one and give them then fill colors shown below.

Step 06

Go to the Layers panel and find the invisible shape created in the previous step. Make it visible and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Fill it with black, lower its opacity to 5% and change the blending mode to Multiply, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 07

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape edited in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and go to the Appearance panel. First, remove the Film Grain effect and change the blending mode to Normal. Next, raise the opacity to 75% and fill it with white.

Step 08

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 810 by 2.5px shape. Fill it with R=3 G=3 B=3 and place it as shown in the following image.

Step 09

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 830 by 5px shape, fill it with R=223 G=224 B=225 and place it as shown in the first image.

Step 10

Reselect the shape created in the previous step, add four new fills and use the linear gradients shown below. The yellow number from the gradient image stand for opacity percentage while the white numbers stand for location percentage.

Step 11

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape edited in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and go to the Appearance panel. First, remove the extra fills and keep only one. Next, select the remaining fill, make it white and lower its opacity to 75%.

Step 12

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 830 by 17.5px shape and place it as shown below. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool(A) and focus on the left side of this fresh shape. Select the top anchor point and move it 45px to the right. Move to the right side of this shape, select the top anchor point and move it 45px to the left. Now, your shape should look like in the second image.

Step 13

Select the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the data shown below and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Again, enter the data shown below and go to Effect > Arc > Arc Lower. Once again, enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 14

Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A) and focus on the left side of the shape made in the previous step. Select the top anchor point (highlighted in the first zoomed image) and drag the handle up as shown in the third zoomed image. Next, focus on the right side of this shape. Again, select the top anchor point and drag the handle as shown in the fourth zoomed image. In the end your shape should look like in the final image. Select it, make a copy, make it invisible and send it in the bottom of your Layers panel. You’ll need it later.

Step 15

Next, you need to turn the shape created in the previous step into a simple mesh. Pick the Mesh Tool(U) and click in the points pointed by the two arrows. Once again, the Snap to Grid will ease your work. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the mesh points one by one and give them then fill colors shown below.

Step 16

Go to the Layers panel and find the invisible shape created in the fourteenth step. Make it visible and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Fill it with black, lower its opacity to 3% and change the blending mode to Multiply, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 17

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 740 by 10px shape, fill it with R=59 G=65 B=67 and lower its opacity to 75%. Place it as shown in the following image, send it to back and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 4px radius, click OK and lock this shape. Select the shapes highlighted in the second image (step created from step 2 to step 6) and group them (Control + G). Select this group and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Horizontal button and click on the Copy button. This will create a vertically flipped copy of your group. Select it and move it down as shown in the third image.

Step 18

Select the shape created in the third step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Horizontal button and click on the Copy button. This will create a vertically flipped copy of your shape. Select it and move it down as shown in the second image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work. Make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) of this new shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the third image. Reselect both shapes, go to the Transparency panel, open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. Select the resulting, masked shape, send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ) and lower its opacity to 50%.

Step 19

Disable the Snap to Grid, select the Ellipse Tool(L) and click on your artboard. Enter 2 in the width and height boxes and click OK. This will create a 2 by 2px circle. Fill it with R=122 G=123 B=125 and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform. Again, enter the data shown below and click OK. Now, your should have a row with eight simple circles. Select it, place it as shown in the first image then make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and go to the Appearance panel. First, replace then grey with R=47 G=196 B=51 then open the existing Transform effect. Focus on the copies box, replace the 7 with 4 and click OK.

Step 20

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. From now on you will need a grid every 1px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Now, pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 15px circle and place it as shown below. Fill it with none and 1pt. Set its color at R=166 G=167 B=169 and align it to outside.

Step 21

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a 15px circle. Fill it with R=65 G=64 B=64, add a pt stroke (R=147 G=149 B=152) and go to Object > Expand. This will turn your shape into a group with two separate shapes (the fill and the stroke). Select the dark one and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown in the second image and click OK.

Step 22

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 0.5px in the Keyboard Increment box then disable the Snap to Grid. Reselect the stroke expanded in the previous step and make to copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. This will create a group with two thin shape. Fill the top shape with R=109 G=110 B=113 and the other one with R=209 G=211 B=212.

Step 23

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 1px in the Keyboard Increment box then re-enable the Snap to Grid. Grab the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 17 by 17px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none and add a 0.5 stroke. Make it white and align it to outside. Now, select this shape along with the shapes created in the previous two steps and group them (Control + G). Make a copy of this group then place these two groups as shown in the third image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work.

Step 24

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 90 by 10px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black.

Step 25

Reselect the rounded rectangle created in the previous step and add a 1.5pt stroke. Set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91 and align it to outside then add a second stroke for your shape. Make it 0.75pt wide, align it to outside and set its color at R=209 G=211 B=212. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M) and create several black shapes as shown in the second image. Once again, the Snap to Grid will come in handy. Switch to the Ellipse Tool(L) and create two, 2 by 2px shapes. Fill them both with R=88 G=89 B=91 and place them as shown in the third image. Select all the shapes created in this step along with the shapes created in the previous step and group them (Control + G). Place this new group as shown in the fourth image.

Step 26

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 45 by 20px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow and the right arrow three times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

Step 27

Next, you need to mask the blurred shape created the previous step. Select the rounded rectangle created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Fill it with white nad bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select it along with the blurred shape and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your blurred shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 28

Reselect the rounded rectangle create in the twenty-sixth step and add a 1.5pt stroke. Set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91 and align it to outside then add a second stroke for your shape. Make it 0.75pt wide, align it to outside and set its color at R=230 G=231 B=232. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 39 by 5px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1px radius and click OK. Reselect the Rectangle Tool(M), create several simple shapes and place them as shown in the third image. Fill them with R=71 G=59 B=32.

Step 29

Select all the shapes created in the last three steps, group them then make a copy of the group. Place these two groups as shown in the second image.

Step 30

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 24 by 19px shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Switch to the Add Anchor Point Tool(+) and add two new anchor points as shown in the first image. Grab the Direct Selection Tool(A) and focus on the bottom area of this new shape. Select the left anchor point and move it 5px to the right then select the right anchor point and move it 5px to the left. Now, your shape should look like in the second image. Select it and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1.5px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow and the right arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

Step 31

Next, you need to mask the blurred shape created the previous step. Select the rounded shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Fill it with white and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select it along with the blurred shape and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your blurred shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 32

Reselect the rounded shape create in the thirtieth step and add a 1.5pt stroke. Set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91 and align it to outside then add a second stroke for your shape. Make it 0.75pt wide, align it to outside and set its color at R=230 G=231 B=232. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 22 by 5px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1px radius and click OK. Reselect the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 6 by 2px shapes. Place them as shown in the second image and fill it with R=71 G=59 B=32.

Step 33

Select all the shapes created in the last three steps and group them . Place this new group as shown in the second image.

Step 34

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 45 by 20px shape. Fill it with R=118 G=123 B=125 and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow twice and the right arrow four times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

Step 35

Again, you need to mask the blurred shape created the previous step. Select the rounded rectangle created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Fill it with white and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select it along with the blurred shape and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your blurred shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 36

Reselect the rounded shape create in the thirty-fourth step and add a 1.5pt stroke. Set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91 and align it to outside then add a second stroke for your shape. Make it 0.75pt wide, align it to outside and set its color at R=230 G=231 B=232.

Step 37

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 46 by 27px shape. Fill it with R=174 G=177 B=178 and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 24 by 8px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select these two rectangles and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Reselect the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 5 by 4px shape and place it as shown in the third image. Select this small rectangle with the other fresh shape and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that the resulting shape is filled with R=174 G=177 B=178 and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the final image and click OK.

Step 38

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create several simple shapes and place them as shown in the first image. Fill them with R=164 G=138 B=100. Select all these shapes along with the shapes created in the last four steps and group them. Place this new group as shown in the third image.

Step 39

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 44 by 29px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front. Reselect the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a second shape. Make it 48 wide and 22px tall, fill it with R=106 G=111 B=114 and place it as shown in the third image. Select this new shape along with the fresh copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 40

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 16 by 5px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select it along with grey shape created in the previous step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with R=59 G=65 B=68.

Step 41

Select the rounded rectangle created in the thirty-ninth step and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow twice and the right arrow four times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ) and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.

Step 42

Once again, you need to mask the blurred shape created the previous step. Select the rounded rectangle created in the thirty-ninth step and make a copy in front. Fill it with white and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select it along with the blurred shape and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your blurred shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 43

Select the rounded rectangle created in the thirty-ninth step, make a copy in front ad bring it to front. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M), create two simple shapes (a 14 by 11px shape and a 4 by 6px shape) and place them as shown in the third image. Fill them both with R=174 G=177 B=178 and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape along with the copy of the rounded rectangle and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape would look like in the fifth image. Select it and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click on the Copy button. This will create a horizontally, flipped copy of your shape. Select it, move it to the right and place it as shown in the sixth step.

Step 44

Reselect the rounded shape create in the thirty-ninth step and add a 1.5pt stroke. Set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91 and align it to outside then add a second stroke for your shape. Make it 0.75pt wide, align it to outside and set its color at R=230 G=231 B=232.

Step 45

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 3 by 11px shape. Place it as shown in the following image and fill it with the linear gradient. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 1 by 7px shape. Fill it with R=164 G=138 B=100 and place it as shown below.

Step 46

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 1 by 8px shape. Place it as shown in the following image and fill it with the linear gradient. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 2 by 4px shape. Fill it with R=86 G=69 B=34 and place it as shown below. Select these two shapes, group them (Control + G) and go to Effect > Distort > Distort&Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 47

Select all the shapes create in the last eight steps and group them. Place this new group as shown in the second image.

Step 48

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 44 by 21px shape. Fill it with R=174 G=178 B=179 and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and make two copies in front. Select the top copy and hit the down arrow twice and the right arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 1.5px radius and click OK.

Step 49

Once last time, you need to mask the blurred shape created the previous step. Select the rounded rectangle created in the previous step and make a copy in front. Fill it with white and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select it along with the blurred shape and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your blurred shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 50

Reselect the rounded rectangle created in the forty-eight step and add a 1.5pt stroke. Set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91 and align it to outside then add a second stroke for your shape. Make it 0.75pt wide, align it to outside and set its color at R=230 G=231 B=232.

Step 51

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 28 by 6px shape. Fill it with R=199 G=201 B=202, place it as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 52

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 3px circle and fill it with R=254 G=227 B=149. Continue with the Pen Tool(P) and draw a horizontal and a vertical path as shown in the second image. Select these two paths along with the yellow circle and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. This will divide the circle in four separate shapes. Fill them with the colors shown in the third image then reselect the Ellipse Tool(L). Create a 3px circle and place it above the fresh group of shapes. Fill it with the radial gradient shown in the fourth image and change its blending mode to Overlay.

Step 53

Select the five shapes created in the previous step and group them. Place this new group as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Distort > Distort&Transform. Enter the data shown below then click OK.

Step 54

Select all the shapes create in the last six steps and group them. Place this new group as shown in the second image.

Step 55

Finally, let’s add a simple background. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a shape the size of your artboard. Fill it with white and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ).

Step 56

Reselect the shape created in the previous step, add two new fills and use the linear gradients shown below. Remember that the yellow numbers from the gradient image stand for opacity percentage while the white ones stand for location percentage. Finally, go to the Appearance panel, select the top fill and lower its opacity to 50%.

Final

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

preview

Categories: Illustrations

11 Responses

  1. RaydenCruz says:

    Awesome!!!

  2. PauliusR says:

    What an effort! Very detailed tutorial and beautiful outcome. Wish you all the best with your works

  3. chainno says:

    …EXCELENTE!!!! muy buen trabajo y explicacion.

  4. Anjali says:

    Wow its awesome…your workflow and methods are impressive…

  5. Alice says:

    really great tut … I’m just going through it step by step.
    I don’t know why, but I have some problems with the gradient shown in steps 24 and 26. It should be from 0, 0, 0 to 255, 255, 255, so from black to white, but your screenshots look different. Am I missing something?

    Cheers,
    Alice

  6. Hector Matias says:

    Hola…!!! Eselente trabajo

  7. ducsu says:

    Simply amazing work. Looks so real.
    Here is my take.

  8. el mehdi meji says:

    good job

  9. ss says:

    Thank you for sharing.It is really helpful.

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