Making vector stock images... some flair adds a lot to any design. Here's some tips!1. Make it Shine
Shine is a vector trick that's a bit trendy, but if done right can add a wonderful amount of realism and creativity.
First is a FLAT SHINE
- this can add the glass appeal.How To:
Apply it only to half of your object by creating another shape over the top of the intended "glass surface" using the pen tool. Add a slight curve to the inside of the object. The trick behind making a great flat shine is to get the gradient right. Add a gradient to your new shape and make each stop white. Now change the stop alpha on the second stop to be about 10 to 20 percent visible. Then use the Gradient Transform tool and angle of the gradient till the desired look is achieved. Edit the angle by click (and hold) to create a start point and drag to where you want the gradient to end.Tip:
Experiment with adding a 1 or 2 pixel padding around the shine from its parent object to enhance the effect even more in some cases. It will achieve something of a beveled glass surface effect.
Next is a SPOT SHINE
- this can add a liquid, high gloss effect.
It works best on objects with bends or curved edges. Ex., balloons, water drops, metal/plastic appearance.
How To: Create a shape with the pen tool that follows the curves or shape of your object. Try experimenting with thin, thick, and even clones of your original shine shape.Tip:
To get sharp points at each end of your object, set a point near the middle of your object to create the curve of your object, allowing you to have a sharp point at the "turning point."Tip:
Don't create 200 water drops or 50 balloons. Make one complete with shine, gradients, stokes and effects. Duplicate the complete object, rotate, scale and change the color. It saves a LOT of time and keeps your design consistent.2. Simple Shapes Create Amazing Designs
Designs don't need to have HUGE detail and puke random unnecessary complicated all over the art board. Simplicity can add a certain flair all it's own and a designed style of abstract. When I started simplistic vectors, I would make the full detail and delete until it appeared how I wanted it. Make a glass, make the shines, gradients, parts... everything detailed. When done, delete 90% of the detail. Leave one side of the shape and the shine on the opposite side. Experiment. Find a style you like. Even submit both if you want! Give some variety.Tip:
Simple line elements and a spherical gradient background can add a lot to a simple vector when complete. Make the appearance look desirable for downloaders. Backgrounds can always be deleted if they don't want it... it is vector after all. Perhaps they want the simple background! Never know. 3. Shape Explosions & Twirls
Explosions and twirls are a great way to add a bit of excitement. Used sparingly and in the right design they can work perfect.Shape explosions:
a whole bunch of shapes that look like they are exploding or pouring out. Great for adding color and a bit of surrealism. Be sure to try out everything you can think of, including mixing and matching shapes and colors.How To:
Create your first shape, add colours and gradients to it, then copy and paste, resize, rotate and edit the color. Repeat.Tip:
Once you start to build up shapes, grab a few and copy and paste. This will make the whole process a little quicker. After the first few shapes, you will start to pick up speed pretty quickly.Tip:
Use the skew tool. When you have an object selected, your cursor changes to the skew icon when you are just outside the bounding box on any point that isn’t a corner. Try adding a skew to some of your objects to give a little more depth to your explosion.Twirls:
Also great when you want to add color and a surreal effect. Use curves as vines that wrap around an object or just to fill out your design.How To:
Grab your pen tool, and create a smooth curved path or use the spiral tool. These can take a little practice to master and get the right distance between your path but just remember you always have your direct selection tool to fix it later. You will notice that my twirls don’t actually go behind images. This is because it would be impossible to make the path go from behind an object and then in front. Easiest way to make these behind an object is to create the swirl or curl. Copy your object and paste in place. Trim down the copied object with squares subtracted from the copied object. Crop the swirl with the cropped object. The swirl lines will line perfect with the object and gaps will be avoided. This requires some practice, but is very effective once mastered. After experimenting with this a bit you can do many at a time with one modified copied object over swirls. Tip:
Expand the curl or stroke (if bush was used). Select the new object and "combine shapes". A gradient can now be added to the curl for some added depth and effect.Tip:
If you want all curls to appear to have a shadow of the object above, copy the object above. Paste into place. Change the color to 70% gray. If there's multiple shapes to the object, combine it into one shape. Feather the gray object. Move the gray object behind the colored original and move it slightly. Next, change the gray shadow effect in transparency from "Normal" to "Multiply". You'll have a shadow that extends over your curls and backgrounds without all the work of modifying each curl individually.4. Glow, Shadows & Reflections
Glows, shadows, and reflections can add that final touch to any design, but the key is subtlety. Most people believe you need strong shadows and reflections because people won’t notice them otherwise. But adding a very light shadow or a slight reflection to your object can make a massive difference even if people don’t notice its there. Shadows and reflections are an everyday part of our lives. We see them all the time, so we might not notice them in a design, but sub-consciously it will heighten the effectiveness, realism of the overall usability of the design.How To:
Use simple shapes such as a circle, and creating a radial gradient from black to transparent, this can be used as a simple shadow under an object or text. Using that same technique with a bright color will create a nice glow around an object.How To:
Reflections, copy and paste the original twirl, move it behind the object (crtl + [ or - ] moves your objects backwards and forwards in the layer order), and then manipulate the points using the direct selection tool. Leave the low points the same but slowly moved the tip points away from the original object to create and effect that the twirl is getting further away from the screen. Finally change the opacity to transparent, around 10%. Full object reflections: copy all and paste all in place. Reflect the object vertical or horizontal to your liking. Skew as desired. Add a square over the reflection the same color as the background. Using the gradient tool make one side 30-40% opaque and the other side 100%. Adjust with the gradient adjustment same as the shine used.
Hope these were helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions or need further instruction for any of these.