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Andrei Marius On July - 29 - 2010

Hi there. In this new tutorial I will show you how to create a very simple bomb icon. You will only need the Ellipse Tool and the Rectangle Tool. Then you’ll be using Warp effects, simple strokes, various gradients, Offset Path and several effects to create the other components.

Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Completion Time: 30 minutes
Number of Steps: 8

This is what you’ll be creating:


Step 01

Create a 256 by 256px document. Grab the Ellipse Tool(L) create a 150x150px shape and fill it with R=51 G=51 B=51. Select this cricle, add three new fills (from the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel) and use the radial gradients shown below. Select the third fill (from the Appearance panel) and lower its opacity to 50% then select the forth fill and lower its opacity to 30%. Take a closer at the gradients. The yellow numbers stand for the Opacity percentage and the white numbers stand for Location percentage.

Step 02

Reselect the Ellipse Tool and create a small circle like the one shown in image #1. Place it as shown, fill it with R=179 G=179 B=179 then add a 20px Gaussian Blur effect. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a simple rectangle (image #2). Add the Rounded Corners (Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners) and the Arc effect (Effect > Warp > Arc). Now, go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and send it to back (Shift + Ctrl + [). Fill it with R=51 G=51 B=51 then rotate it and place like in image #4. Reselect this shape, add a new fill and use the radial gradient shown in the final image.

Step 03

Now, you’ll create the fuse. Select the Pen Tool(P), create a simple path (image #1) and sent it to back. Fill it with none and add a 8px stroke. Expand this stroke. Fill the resulting shape with R=198 G=156 B=109 then add the Inner Glow effect. Add two new fills and use the radial gradients shown in images #3 and #4.

Step 04

Next, is the spark. Select the Ellispe Tool(L) and create a simple circle above the fuse. Fill it with R=252 G=238 B=33. Add the Zig Zag (Effect > Distort&Transform > Zig Zag), the Pucher&Bloat (Effect > Distort&Transform > Pucher&Bloat) and the Arc effects then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 05

Select the shape made in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -0,5px offset then hit Enter. Fill the resulting shape with R=249 G=183 B=31. Next, add the Inner Glow effect for each shape.

Step 06

Select the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a squeezed shape (image #1). Pick the Convert Anchor Point Tool(Shift+C) and click on the anchor points highlighted with red. Now, your shape should look like in image #2. Make several copies of this shape. Rotate and resize these copies then place them around the main spark. Fill these shapes with R=249 G=183 B=31 and with R=252 G=212 B=33.

Step 07

Select the Rectangle Tool(M), create four identical shapes and group them (image #1). Select this group, add the Arc effect then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Fill the resulting shapes with none then group them. Select this new group, add a new fill and use the radial gradient. Reselect this group and lower its opacity to 5%.

Step 08

Finally, a simple shadow. Grab the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a circle like the one shown in image #1. Send it to back then fill it with black and add a 12px Gaussian Blur. Reselect the Ellispe Tool(L), create a bigger circle (image #2) and send it to back. Fill this new shape with black, add a 25px Gaussian Blur then lower its opacity to 50%.


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

Categories: Icons

19 Responses

  1. sriganesh says:

    hey that was a good tutorial, OMG why this thing didn’t get into my mind. lol :P.
    Nice work Bro !!

  2. Eko says:

    Nice icon design

  3. Espreson says:

    Simple, but robust..

  4. RakuX says:

    Wow excellent tutorial. I love how you had everything broken down to finest detail. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Rocky says:

    Hey mate, superb tutorial, love it!!!

  6. Ivars says:

    I think that that “window” reflection is totaly not needed. But still thx for the tutorial.

  7. matt says:

    Hey man ive been doing your tuts and im kinda new to illustrator im using cs3 and this one is probably my hardest yet, i was able to make your iPod nano pretty easily and this one is just complicated and confusing to me. its the beginning gradients that just are not working for me with the new fills and what not their like not applying it looks the same 51 51 51 it has no shine effect to make it look 3rd or anything and cant get the yellow part at the edge either just not working :/

    • Marius says:

      Illustrator CS3 is the problem. If you take a closer look at the gradients you’ll notice some yellow text above the gradient sliders. It stands for Opacity percentage. In Illustrator CS4 you can select each slider an lower its opacity while in Illustrator CS3 you can’t.

  8. This is a great tutorial. I can take these skills and put it into new designs!

  9. I’ll try it right away.

  10. melma says:

    Simple way to very good effect. Thanks for this tut.

  11. ducsu says:

    I notice in step 1 where we apply the third gradient(flame flare) is wrong. Did you meant to say 249-183-31 to 51-51-51?

  12. Tues says:

    Thanks for the tutorial – nice and clear.

    The bomb looks great. Would like the cord to fuse to look more textured – any suggestions for doing that?

    • A discrete Film Grain effect might work.
      Select the fuse shape and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill and select it. Make it black, lower its opacity to 10%, change the blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Film Grain. Set the Grain at 20, the Highlight Area at 0 and the Intensity at 10 then click OK. Now, have a look at your fuse shape. You can increase/decrease the opacity of that black fill it you think it’s too subtle/strident.
      Let me know if this is what you were looking for.

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