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Andrei Marius On May - 19 - 2011

Hi there. In the following steps I will show you how to create a nice test tube illustration. As always, I used the grid and the snap to grid along with some basic tools, effects and options. It’s a pretty simple tutorial so you might get it even if you are new in Adobe Illustrator.

Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes
Number of Steps: 14


This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 250 by 250px, RGB document. First, turn on the Grid (View > 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

Let’s start with the Rectangle Tool(M). Create a 35 by 230px shape fill it with any color and remove the stroke. Select this fresh shape and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 20px radius, click OK then go to Object . Expand Appearance panel. Reselect the Rectangle Tool(M), create 35 by 20px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select these two shapes created so far and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like in the fourth image. Go to the Layers panel, double click on it and name it "Bottom".

Step 03

For the following image you will need a grid every 1px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box, Now, focus on the top area of the shape created in the previous step. Grab the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 37 by 10px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this fresh shape and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Name the resulting shape "Top" then make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy along with the shape made in the previous step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 04

Select the two shapes created so far and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F) then select the copies and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Name the resulting shape "All".

Step 05

Let’s add some color. First, the background. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a shape the size of your artboard, fill it with R=225 G=225 B=215 and Send it to Back (Shift + Control + [).

Step 06

Select "All" and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Select the fill from the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 30% then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then add a stroke. Make it 0.75pt wide, set its color to R=230 G=231 B=232 then lower its opacity to 50%. Next, open the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel and click on Add New Stroke. This will add a second stroke for your shape. Select it, make 0.4pt wide and the color to R=255 G=255 B=255.

Step 07

Select "Bottom", Bring it to Front (Shift + Control + ]) and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image. The yellow text from the gradient image stands for opacity percentage while the white text stands for location percentage. Select the fill from the Appearance panel and lower its opacity to 40%. Next, open the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel and click on Add New Fill. This will add a second fill for your shape. Select it, use the same linear gradient (as shown in the second image) then lower its opacity to 50%. Grab the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 5 by 205px shape and place it as shown in the third image. Fill it with white, lower its opacity to 40 then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 4px radius then click OK.

Step 08

Grab the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 14 by 7px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 30% then go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the data shown below then click OK.

Step 09

Select "Bottom", Bring it to Front (Shift + Control + ]) and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image. It’s the same gradient used in the seventh step. Select the fill from the Appearance panel and lower its opacity to 70%. Next, open the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel and click on Add New Fill. Select the new fill, use the same linear gradient (as shown in the second image) then lower its opacity to 60%.

Step 10

Disable the Snap to Grid then go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 0.5 in the Keyboard Increment box. Select "Top" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape, remove the second fill from the Appearance panel then use the linear gradient shown below.

Step 11

Enable the Snap to Grid then select "Bottom" and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with R=39 G=170 B=225 so that you can distinguish it from the rest of the shapes then pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a shape like the red one shown in the third image. Select it along with the blue shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like in the fourth image. Select it, move it below "Bottom" (in the Layers panel) then fill it with the linear gradient shown below.

Step 12

Let’s focus on the top area of the blue shape. Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 33 by 5px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below then place it as shown in the following image. Disable the Snap to Grid then select this squeezed shape and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow once then reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button grom the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=39 G=194 B=255.

Step 13

Enable the Snap to Grid then pick the Ellipse Tool(L) and create several circles with random dimensions. Fill them with the linear gradient shown below then spread them as shown in the following image. Select all these circles along with the two shapes created in the previous step and group them (Control + G). Select this group and move it below "Bottom" (in your Layers panel).

Step 14

Finally, make a copy of "Bottom" (Control + C > Control + F) then pick the Pen Tool(P) and create a shape like the red one shown in the first image. Select it along with the copy of "Bottom" and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 25% and you’re done.

Final

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

Categories: Illustrations

17 Responses

  1. Paulius R says:

    I like the shape and the colors. Well done!

  2. Nana Yaw says:

    Man you technically good.GBU

  3. rajasegar says:

    Great tutorial and techniques well explained!
    Thanks for sharing…
    Bookmarked!!

  4. Nice tutorial! Just visited your site – I am going to spend here a lot of time for sure!
    Well done, Andrei!

  5. Simple and nice tutorial. Such tutorials are very important for building basics for beginners. Thanks for writing.

  6. Daniel says:

    Very nice tutorial. I like it.. Keep it up! Good work bro!

  7. GOD'S POWER says:

    man you are my mentor ride on and God bless you, because you have open my eyes to see what I could not see before.

  8. Graphit says:

    I love this tutorial. I like your style, it is so clean, and highly detailed :)

  9. Joyoge says:

    Nice work i like, thanks for the tut.

  10. doosteps says:

    thank you so much! your lecture is easy enough to follow..

  11. jeet says:

    Nice Tutorial. I learned a lot

  12. vampire says:

    how can i select bottom again in step 07 when i unit them before?

  13. Michel says:

    That design is so clean and doesn’t take to long to make. Perfect for my presentation. THANKS!!

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