Shadows in Illustrator
● Shadows are not easy to do well, but they are a major component of realism.
● You can make circular shadows or rectangular shadows.
● And don't forget the plain old Drop Shadow effect to add shadows in Illustrator.
✓ Gradient Tool ✓ Transparency
Other People's Work:
Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.
Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~
✓ Make a New Layer, and lock your other layers.
✓ Drag the New Layer behind your object.
Step #2: Ellipse Tool ~
✓ Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …
✓ … turn the Stroke off and make the Fill Black.
✓ Drag an oval circle around the bottom approximately where you want your shadow.
Step #3: Radial Gradient ~
✓ Now click the Gradient icon or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+F9 and select Radial as the Type.
Step #4: Reverse the Gradient ~
✓ Hit Reverse Gradient so black is on the inside and white is on the outside …
Step #5: Opacity of the Shadow ~
✓ Click on the Gradient Slider on the lighter side …
✓ … and lower the Opacity of the lighter side so the background will show through, especially if you have a background.
Step #6: Aspect Ratio ~
✓ Locate the Aspect Ratio setting for your shadow and lower it (if necessary) …
✓ The Aspect Ratio squeezes the Gradient to fit inside the oval better …
Step #7: Horizontal Shadows ~
✓ Another easy way to make shadows is to copy the outline of the object by selecting it and hitting the keyboard shortcut Cmd (⌘) +C …
✓ … and pasting it on a new layer BELOW the other layers.
Step #8: Gradients and Strokes ~
✓ With the object selected, set stroke to none (shadows don't have stroke), and set the Fill to Gradient by clicking the small icon or hitting the keyboard shortcut (>) …
Step #9: Free Transform ~
✓ Go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Transform …
Step #10: The "Other" Gradient Tool ~
✓ Get the Gradient Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (G) …
✓ … and use it to adjust the gradient to your requirements.
Step #11: Opacity of the Shadow ~
✓ Double-Click on the Gradient Slider for the lighter side …
✓ … and don't forget to lower the Opacity of the lighter side so the background will show through …
Last Step: Save and Attach ~
✓ Save your work as - FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME.ai]
✓ Attach it!
• ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:
• DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.
• NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.
Other Resources: http://vectips.com/tutorials/create-non-raster-drop-shadows/