Lightning Bolt in Illustrator
● Create a shiny lightning bolt for your composition using this simple technique.
✓ Gradients ✓ Offset Path ✓ Zig Zag Effect ✓Selection vs. Direct Selection Tools
Other People's Work:
Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.
Step #1: Open your Project in Illustrator ~
✓ Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator and create a New Layer.
… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …
Step #2: Default Colors ~
✓ Set your Default colors by hitting the keyboard shortcut (d).
Step #3: Line Tool ~
✓ Get the Line Segment Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (\) …
✓ … and drag a line across your artboard.
✓ Holding Shift keeps the line perfectly straight.
Step #4: Selection Tool ~
✓ Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …
✓ … and, holding the Alt (⌥)/Option key, click the line and duplicate it.
Step #5: Direct Select Tool ~
✓ Get the Direct Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (a) …
✓ … and highlight 2 end-points by dragging a box around what you want to select.
Step #6: Average ~
✓ With two end-points selected, go to: Object > Path > Average …
✓ … and pinch the two lines together.
Step #7: Zig Zag ~
✓ Then go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag and make sharp corners …
Step #8: Expand ~
✓ Then go to: Object > Expand Appearance …
Step #9: Adjust the Anchor Points ~
✓ If your lightning bolt needs to be adjusted, get the Direct Selection Tool again and click on one of the anchor points …
✓ … and, using the arrow key, nudge the points to make a perfectly shaped Lightning Bolt.
✓ Use the arrow keys to nudge the all the points. Do a Good Job! Line up all the points to create a good shape.
✓ Do a Good Job! Line up all the points to create a good shape.
Step #10: End Points ~
✓ Select the two open-end points the same way you did before, with the Direct Selection Tool …
✓ … Right-Click and select Join.
Step #11: Gradient Colors ~
✓ Now click the Gradient icon or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+F9 and select Radial as the Type.
✓ … and click on the gradient slider to select a color.
✓ If you don't see any color, Shift+Click the Grayscale Ramp and that will bring up more choices.
✓ Also do the other side, too.
Step #12: Stroke ~
✓ Also set the Stroke to none …
Step #13: Adjust the Gradient ~
✓ Lastly, get the Gradient Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (G) …
✓ … and adjust the gradient.
Step #14: Pen Tool ~
✓ Get the Pen Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (p) …
✓ … set the Fill color to white and the Stroke color to none …
✓ … and draw some shapes in corners to give it some depth.
✓ Continue adding highlights to all the corners …
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.