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Andrei Marius On June - 23 - 2011

Hi there. In the following tutorial I will show you how to create a simple, vertical loading bar. You will start with the background, a simple rectangle with multiple fills and strokes. Next, using the Rectangle Tool along with some basic effects and techniques you will create your own loading bar.

Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes
Number of Steps: 11


This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 130 by 660px, 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 10px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 10 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 shape the size of your artboard and fill it with R=45 G=45 B=45. Select the fill from the Appearance panel and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then open the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel and click on Add New Fill. This will add a second fill for your shape. Now, you’ll need a pattern for this new fill. Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Pattern > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. This will open a new window with some nice patterns. Reselect the second fill from your shape. First, lower its opacity to 50% and change the blending mode to Multiply then use the USGS 7 Vineyard pattern.

Step 03

Reselect the shape made in the previous step and add a stroke. Make it 2pt wide, align it to inside and set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91. 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. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside and set its color to R=35 G=31 B=32.

Step 04

Pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 30 by 560px shape, fill it with white and place it as shown in the first image. The snap to grid will ease your work. Reselect this white shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1.5px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with R=10 G=185 B=232.

Step 05

Reselect the white shape created in the previous step and fill it with R=40 G=40 B=40. Select this fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below then click OK. Add a second fill for this shape and use the linear gradient shown below. The white numbers from the gradient image stand for Location percentage while the yellow numbers stand for Opacity percentage. Select this second fill, lower its opacity to 25% then change the blending mode to Multiply. Next, add 1pt, black stroke and align it to outside. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 15px radius then click OK. Make sure that the Rounded corner effect is in the top of the Appearance panel as shown in the image below.

Step 06

Reselect the blue shape created in the fourth step and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Select this fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below then click OK. Again, you will need a simple pattern. Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and this time go to Open Swatch Library > Pattern > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Lines. Reselect your blue shape, add a second fill and select it. First, lower its opacity to 7% and change the blending mode to Overlay then use the 6 lpi 50% pattern. Reselect this entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 15px radius then click OK. Again, make sure that the Rounded corner effect is in the top of the Appearance panel.

Step 07

Select the shape edited in the previous step, add a third fill and select it. Lower its opacity to 55%, change the blending mode to Overlay then use the linear gradient shown below. Add one final fill for this shape, set its color at R=38 G=34 B=87 and select it. Lower its oapcity to 5%, change the blending mode to Multiply then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2px radius, click OK then go to Effect > Artistic > Paint Daubs. Enter the data shown below then click OK.

Step 08

For the following step you will need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Grab the Rectangle Tool(M), create a a 30 by 20px shape, fill it with any color then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M). Create a 10 by 10px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the anchor points highlighted in the second image and go to Object > Path > Average. Check Both then click OK. Now, your shape should look like a triangle. Select it along with the rounded rectangle and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 09

Select the shape created in the previous step, fill it with the linear gradient shown below then add a first stroke. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside then set its color to R=1 G=217 B=254. Add a second stroke for this shape. Make it 0.5pt wide, align it to inside and set its color at R=36 G=90 B=166.

Step 10

Select the shape created in the previous step, place it as shown in the first image then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then pick the Type Tool. Click on your artboard and add your text. Set its color at R=241 G=242 B=242, use the Calibri font with a size of 15pt then add the Drop Shadow effect shown below.

Step 11

Finally, you can resize the blue bar anyway you want.

Final

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

Categories: Web Graphics

20 Responses

  1. rlharris9337 says:

    I didn’t know you could create anything like this. Your awesome. thank you.

  2. gjdj93 says:

    Is there a way to animate this and make it into a proper loading bar?

  3. rajasegar says:

    Great tutorial and techniques well explained!
    Thanks for sharing…
    Bookmarked & Featured in Tutorials of the Week!!

  4. Steve says:

    Thanks but can you clarify the last comment
    “Finally, you can resize the blue bar anyway you want”
    If I resize the height of the bar it effects the round corners
    Can you advise?

  5. Steve says:

    thanks :)

  6. Joyoge says:

    Nice tut, thanks for the post.

  7. Mayah says:

    Hi,
    Awesome loading bar! My only problem is that although it looks like every step in the appearance panel is in the same order as yours and I’ve got the same values. I encounter a problem when I add the 55% overlay that is half white and half transparent. Yours seems to blend into the light blue top part of the loading bar, whereas mine appears much more whiter in this area. Can you give me a solution to this problem?
    Thanks!

    • Hi,
      Do you have two gradient slider in the middle of the gradient? The left one should have the opacity set at 30% and the location at 49% while the right one should have the opacity set at 0% and the location at 51%.
      You can send me your .ai file at vforvectors@yahoo.com It will be easier for me to spot any error.
      Thanks

      • Mayah says:

        Hi again,
        I just figured out what’s wrong. The document color mode was set to CMYK, instead of RGB, so it didn’t allow me to use the same colours as in the tutorial. It looks perfect now. But thanks for offering to help!

  8. doosteps says:

    Thanks again for your work, though I’ve got a problem with step 9. There I can’t make two outer strokes looking the same as yours because the two strokes are not aligned, rather they become like… unbalanced boundaries (strokes are not aligned well along the path of the object). Sorry for my poor description but wish I could any help from you.

  9. Del says:

    Awesome post! really need to start getting into Illustrator I think I may begin here :)

  10. Leonardo says:

    It is awesome.
    My eyes are booooooom……

  11. shipbuysale says:

    great tutorial, thanks for sharing. Tumbs up

  12. cam sistem says:

    different and a nice application

  13. nazmus saud says:

    very good. thank you.

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