Thursday, February 12, 2009

Creating Pins in Illustrator


Pins are popular these days, so I thought why not write a tutorial on how to create these in Adobe Illustrator. If you’ve ever wondered how to simulate this realistic looking pin or button effect, here’s your chance to learn.

Draw the pin shape

Creating pins in Illustrator - Draw the pin shape

Draw a circle by choosing the Ellipse tool and holding down the shift key while dragging the mouse.

Fill with a gradient

Creating pins in Illustrator - Fill with a gradient

To the left of the circle is my Geeky Dog that I want to use for the pin, but just for demonstration purpose we'll create an actual pin first and then at the end we'll wrap it with this illustration. Add a radial gradient fill to the circle. I've used orange yellow in my example here. Now change the position of the radial gradient by selecting the Gradient tool in the Toolbox and click-drag while holding down the shift key from the center bottom of the circle towards somewhere above the center point of the circle.

Draw the shiny highlight shape

Creating pins in Illustrator - Draw the shiny highlight shape

Create a new layer by clicking the Add New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Double click the new layer and give it the name 'shiny highlight'. Press 'd' on the keyboard to set white as fill color and black as stroke color. Set the stroke to no fill by clicking on the Stroke icon in the Toolbox or Color palette and selecting the 'None' fill option at the bottom of the Toolbox or Color palette (the white square with the red diagonal line). Select the Ellipse tool again and draw a circle (holding down the shift key) that is slightly smaller then the pin's circle. The circle should have a white fill now and no border. Deselect the circle and draw a wider ellipse (with a white fill) on top of this white circle a bit as shown in the image above. Select both the pin's circle and the white ellipse and circle. Click the vertical center alignment in the Option bar (or Align palette) to align everything nicely.

Creating pins in Illustrator - Draw the shiny highlight shape

Deselect the pin's circle. Use the (black arrow) selection tool and click the gradient/pin's circle holding down the shift key. Now only the white ellipse and circle are selected. Click the Subtract from Shape area in the Pathfinder palette and click the Expand button.

Add the shiny highlight effect

Creating pins in Illustrator - Add the shiny highlight effect

Select the Rectangle shape tool in the Toolbox and draw a rectangle on top of the highlight shape. Make sure the rectangle covers the entire highlight shape. Fill the rectangle with the default white to black linear gradient enter -90° as angle value or use the Gradient tool again like you did for the radial gradient for the pin's background. Only now you need to move downwards with the mouse holding down the shift key. Now select both the gradient rectangle and the white highlight shape. Now selecting the highlight shape might be a bit tricky. You can make it yourself very easy by using the Layers palette's "Click to target's" option. I'm referring to the small circle buttons you see on the right of each layer. Click on the arrow to the left of the layer thumbnail of the 'shiny highlight' Layer to reveal all sub-layers. Now click the sub-layer that holds the white highlight shape, hold down the shift key and click the sub-layer that holds the gradient rectangle.

Creating pins in Illustrator - Add the shiny highlight effect

This gradient rectangle will be used as masking effect for our highlight. Now that we have both shapes selected, all we need to do is go to the Transparency palette and choose 'Make Opacity Mask' in the palette's dropdown menu.

Add the image on the pin

Creating pins in Illustrator - Add the image on the pin

Select the gradient circle and copy the shape. Now select the image you want to put on the pin. Make sure the image is one group (command/control + g). To make it easy on yourself, make sure this image is in a separate layer on top of the gradient circle. Drag the image on top of the pin now. Make sure the pin is nicely covered and things are nicely centered etc. Now hit command/control + f (to paste the gradient circle on right on top). Give this circle no fill. Now click the target circle icon again in its layer to select the entire layer. Hit command/control + 7. This way the circle is used as a mask for the image. Hey, it looks like you have almost a pin now :) Almost yes, exactly, because we're not there yet. We need to make it perfect.

Add more depth to make it perfect

Creating pins in Illustrator - Add more depth to make it perfect

I think it could use a bit more depth. Create a new layer on top of the image but below the shiny highlight layer. Double click it and call it 'depth effect'. Paste the circle in front again by pressing command/control + f. Change the colors of the gradient fill to white and black as shown in the image and drag the gradient slider all the way to the right.

Creating pins in Illustrator - Add more depth to make it perfect

Change the Layer mode to Multiply to make the white transparent. Change the transparency to 20% or higher if you believe higher is better. This depends a bit on the color of the image.

9 comments:

khairul onggon said...

Salam nur.. suke ntry ni.. thanks..

Luth Textile said...

hebat!

cool style graphics said...

to onggon..

salam onggon... sama2.. try la... tuts yg nie sng sikitkn...

cool style graphics said...

to luth textile

makacih... biase jew la... hehehe...

Shitsurei shimashita said...

nur, banggalah saya bila da org Melayu yg sudi kongsi ilmu2 sebegini.

apa yg diajar tu ringkas dan teratur even saya bukan mahir sgt Adobe2 ni. Nasib baik ada onggon tolong explainkan apa yg x phm tu.

keep it up!!

cool style graphics said...

to shitsurei shimashita,

Makacih... sy hanya berkongsi apew yg sy adew... x rugi rsnya... apew info yg sy dpt insya-allah sy akn kongsi... Bagus ya... si onggon tue... die pon x kedekut ilmu... hehehe...

cik_ah82 said...

nur..
saya baru je nk blajar benda2 gini..
thanks sudi kongsi ilmu sama2..
hmm, tau x caner nk wat border yang lawa2?hehe..tengkiu..

cool style graphics said...

cik ah82

sory.. sy busy ari tu nk bc comment... hehe... sory yew... ok.. awk g jew kt sy nyew my tutorial.. kt sana ada mcm2... rs nyew apew awk nk tue adew... 10Q

ARC said...

OMG!!awesome!!but im more interested on how 2 create that retro-looking background..hit me back pls


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