Create Radiolarians in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Create Radiolarians in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Make Radiolarians in Illustrator - Introduction

      0:54
    • 2. Pt 1 Where the Inspiration Comes From

      1:43
    • 3. Pt 2 Create a Basic Blended Shape

      7:22
    • 4. Pt 3 Bend the shape with the Scallop Tool

      2:49
    • 5. Pt 4 Try out Other Distort Effects

      5:46
    • 6. Pt 5 More distortions

      6:15
    • 7. Pt 6 Create a finished Illustration

      11:37
    • 8. Pt 7 A More Complex Example

      16:02
    • 9. Pt 8 Some Additional Techniques

      6:30
    • 10. Project and Wrapup

      1:19
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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to create stylized Radiolarians in Illustrator. These are small single cell ocean creatures and this class shows how to use blends and effects to create these creatures. This class is jam packed with fun techniques and you will finish off with a series of wonderful creatures you can use for original illustrations as well as for creating patterns and other assets in Illustrator. 

As well as creating fun illustrations, this class will extend your Illustrator skills with tools and techniques you can use every day. 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Make Radiolarians in Illustrator - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley, welcome to this graphic design for lunch class, create radiolarians in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic design for lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. In this class, we'll draw stylized radiolarians like these in Illustrator. Apart from being fun to make, these designs utilize techniques and tools that are valuable additions to your Illustrator toolkit. Now in the class, I'll explain what radiolarians really are, where the inspiration for this class came from, and most importantly, how to make these wonderful designs. By the time you've completed this course, you'll have some wonderful art and some new skills as well. Without further ado, let's get started. 2. Pt 1 Where the Inspiration Comes From: Before we start this project, let's say where the inspiration for it came from. What we're going to be doing is drawing what are called radiolarians. These things actually exist. They are a single-celled aquatic animal and they have these sort of skeletons that are basically symmetrical in shape. Here are some images of some radiolarians. Now, the radiolarians that we're going to be drawing are actually from a websites. They are there from the Behance website. What we're saying here is a post by somebody by the name of Maria Gronlund and she posted this many years ago. What she's done, is she's taken the concept of a radiolarians and she's reproduced it as a basic design in Illustrator. She's not trying to be accurate. She is using these shapes as inspiration. She sent out of very detailed tutorial for creating these shapes. We're not going to stick completely to her tutorial. We're actually going to draw out a little bit differently and for a very good reason because it's going to allow me to show you how you can get variety in the basic structure before you even begin. Our initial shape is going to be drawn a little bit differently, but we're going to pick her up at about this point here, where she's starting to do some interesting things with the actual basic design. I just wanted to give her credit for the concept and also to show you what radiolarians are just in case you're curious. Certainly if you go and look up radiolarians on the Internet, you're going to find some really interesting images and these might give you some inspiration for some extra elements that you can add to your radiolarian images. 3. Pt 2 Create a Basic Blended Shape: As we create our first radiolarians image, we're going to stick to pretty much the same dimensions as Maria Greenland used, but we're going to do it a different way. Let's start by creating a brand new document. I'll choose "File" and then "New." The document size is going to be 500 pixels by 500 pixels. It's pretty important that you use RGB color mode because we are going to be using glows and blurs later on. Setting this document up in RGB color is going to avoid some issues that you might otherwise have. I'll click "Create." Now we're going to create a circle to start off with. Now this circle does not have a fill. There are a few really crucial things in this design, and this was one of them; no fill on your circle, just a stroke. I'll click in the document and we're gonna do a six pixels circle, so it's going to have a width and a height of six pixels. If you're working in something other than pixels, just type six space px, and you'll get a six pixel circle. I'll click "Okay." Now we're going to apply a transformation to this. I'm going to get the Zoom tool. I'm just going to zoom into this area so we can say where we're working. This shape has way too big of a stroke, so I'm going to select it, and I'm coming up here to the stroke, and I'm going to wind that back to 0.5. Now, the other thing that you should be aware of, and which I have just recently discovered, is that Illustrator traits strokes that are not on the center of an object differently to those that are on the inside or outside. Come up here, and click on "Stroke," and make sure that you have this as "Align Stroke to Center," then you won't have any difficulties as you expand these objects later on. If you don't have this, you're likely to get into all sorts of problems at the outset. Make sure that "Align Stroke" is "Set to Center." Now that we've got our first circle created, we're going to create a blend. I'm going to make a duplicate of this circle. I'll choose "Object," "Transform," and then "Move." The reason for this is that it allows me to make a copy and move this at the same time. I'm going to type a 185 pixels as the horizontal value. I'm going to set vertical to 0, so we're moving in a perfectly horizontal direction 185 pixels. We want the original stripe, and we also want a duplicate of it. The original's going to stay here, and the copy is going to appear 185 pixels away. I'll click "Copy." Now we have two shapes, and we're going to make a blend of these. I'll select either both of them. I'll choose "Object," and then "Blend," and then "Make." Now you may see more or less blend objects at this point, that doesn't matter. You're going to come over here, and double-click on the Blend tool, select "Specified Steps," and turn preview on. What you're going to do here is just decrease, or increase the number of steps until you get a nice separation of your shapes. Now this is going to be fully editable. That's one of the reasons why I'm choosing this method to create the radiolarians is that it is editable. I'll just click "Okay." Now let's just zoom back out with Control or Command 0. We're going to create another circle. I'm going to select the Ellipse tool, click in the middle of the document. My circle is going to be 225 pixels by 225 pixels. We'll go to the Direct Selection tool, and we're going to select over the anchor point here on this side of the circle and press "Delete." That makes half a circle. We're going to apply this blend to this circle. What we want to do is this blend here has got a spine. You can see when I hold my mouse over it that you can say that's sort of a blue line through it, that's called its spine, and right now the spine is straight. This is a curved shape which we can use as a spine. What will happen is that these dots, will apply themselves around this curve. Select over both objects, and choose "Object," and then "Blend," and "Replace Spine." As promised, the circles are now bending around this shape. Now before we go on, we have to expand this blend. But if you want more dots at this stage, this is what you're going to do. You'll select over the shape, and go back to the Blend tool, Double-click on it to open up the blend options, and tone preview on so you can see what you're doing. At this point, you can increase or decrease the number of steps, and that is increasing of decreasing the number of dots that you have. You get to finesse this before you go to the next step, and the next step is to sort of bake this in if you like. To do that, we'll choose "Object," and then "Blend," and we're going to choose "Expand." Now at this point before you go on, you need to make sure that you've got a black stroke. When this set of objects is selected, you've got a black stroke, and you do not have a black fill. If you have a black fill, it's because you put the stroke on the inside or the outside. You need to stop, go back, and start all over again because these need to be stroked-shapes, not a filled shape. The reason for this is we're going to be working with the stroke weight later on, and you won't have a stroke weight if you've got a filled shape. Let's go and select this shape, and we're going to reflect it to make a circle again. "Object," "Transform," "Reflect. " We're going to reflect it over the vertical. I've got Preview turned on, so you can see that this shape has flipped. We want the original plus this copy. I'll click here on "Copy." Then I will pull this shape over to one of two positions. Now, either I can pull it over so it's side-by-side with the original shape, or you can put it on top. You're just going to get a slightly different result, it's not going to be a major difference. I'm actually going to try and place this on top of the original shapes. I've got two dots in the same position. That's just fine. Now we're going to create a blend between this side and this side. We'll select over everything, and we'll choose "Object," and then "Blend," and "Make." Now, you may say something different at this point, don't worry, it's just fine, just double-click on the Blend tool here, turn Preview on, set this to "Specified Steps," and start increasing your steps. This is what you want to see: You wanted to see a variety of dots in your shape. Now if you go too far, they're going to start to overlap. This is 60, it's way too many. You want to be able to see individual dots. When you come back to make these yourself later on, when he come back to make new ones, then you can vary the number of steps that you have to get a different effect. If you want to stick with what I'm doing, mine is about 25 at this point. I'll just click "Okay. " We also need to expand this blend, so with it all selectable choose "Object," and then "Blend," and choose "Expand." Now we've got the shapes that we can go ahead, and use to create our social of radiolarian. At this point what I would do is save this. You've got a really nice document that's all preset for what you're about to do. You don't have to recreate it then if you've saved it because you can use it to create multiple radiolarian shapes. 4. Pt 3 Bend the shape with the Scallop Tool: The next step in working with the shapes that you've created is to destroy them. We're going to use a range of tools to do just that. For this we're going to start by working through the settings that Maria did. We're going over here to the position in the toolbar where the Width tool typically sits at the top. You'll probably find it by looking for the Width tool. We're going down here to the Scallop tool. Now once you've selected this Scallop tool, you'll double-click on it to open up its Tool Options, because we need to make some changes to it. We're going to set the width and height to 300. That's going to make a circular brush that's going to be large enough to go over the top of our shape, remembering that that was a circle with a diameter of 225. We're going to leave the angle at zero, we're going to turn the intensity down to 10 percent. That means that when we press on this shape in a minute, it's not going to move really, really fast. Fifty percent and it would just shoot away from us. We're going to get more control with a lower the intensity. For complexity, we're going to set that to five and detail to one. Here we're going to disable Brush Affects In Tangent Handles, and we're going to select Brush Affects Anchor Points. We've got this option selected and Brush Affects Out Tangent Handles. We're going to show the brush size so we can see what the brush looks like as we are working and we'll click OK. Now our brush, you can see is really, really large, and it's large enough to cover our shapes. We're going to position at pretty much centrally over the shape and you can eyeball that, and just press with the left mouse button. Now the harder you press, the faster it goes, that's why we set the intensity to 10 percent. You may want to just tap for a really short period, or you may want to press quite hard. If you're finding that even 10 percent is too much for you to control, then you can adjust the setting. Again, just double-click on it and perhaps take it down to five percent, that might be more controllable for you. I'm going to undo that last one and let's try again. Now what's happening with the Scallop tool is that each of those individual circles is being destroyed, is being beamed and giving us a way more interesting result. You can hit things with the Scallop tool multiple times, so if you don't get enough the first time, you can just hit it again or you can undo things by pressing Control or Command Z and go back to the Scallop tool and start again. The nice thing about the Scallop tool is that you don't actually have to have your objects selected to be able to use it on the object. That's also a bit of a wake-up call, is you want to make sure that all the other objects are far enough away that they don't get grabbed by the Scallop tool. 5. Pt 4 Try out Other Distort Effects: We're now going to have a look at a number of different tools used on these basic shapes. I'm going back to my saved file. I'll Ctrl+C or Command C on a mac to copy that and I'm going to paste it into position using Ctrl or Command V. Having brought it in, I'm going to make multiple copies of it. Now, we've already set up the Scallop tool and their settings are sticky, so the Scallop tool has the oldest settings still applied to it. I can come in here and just adjust these shapes. I'm applying the Scallop tool to the shape. Now if it's too dark, but you still like the result that you've got. You can select this and just dial down the stroke with. That's why we were really careful to make sure that we had stroke shapes are not filled shapes so we can adjust the stroke width down to whatever we want it to be. Now, if we press the down arrow here, it's going to be zero and so we won't be able to see the shape but, if you want to get narrower than 2.5 of a point, you can just type the value in here. I'm going to type 0.1 and tab away and this will give me a 0.1 of a point stroke. You can see, you can get very delicate shapes using that feature. Now, let's go and see how the Wrinkle tool works. We're going here to this group of objects and the Wrinkle tool is down the bottom. What happens with these tools is that they inherit the settings from the Scallop tool. The Wrinkle tool has inherited the 300 by 300 brush size. However, let's double-click on the Wrinkle tool so that we can make some other changes to it. There are some things about the Wrinkle tool that we need to know and one of them is that only wrinkles in a vertical direction by default. If you've got this set to its original settings, you are only going to have a vertical wrinkle. Well, if you want it to wrinkle both ways, you're going to need to set the horizontal to 100 percent as well. I'm going to leave complexity and detail where they are. I'm going to leave selected brush effects In Tangent handles and Out Tangent handles. I've got it set to an intensity of 5 percent right now because it inherited that from the Scallop brush. We're going to take us up to about 30 percent and see how that works. I'll just click "Okay." Now, I'll go over the top of the shape here and just apply the Wrinkle tool. Wrinkle is a really lovely feature. I really like that. I'm going to do that down here as well. I'm just going to tap on that and wrinkle this one just a little bit because we're going to see in a minute how we can combine wrinkling and bloating. Now, the next one we're going to do is to apply a roughen affect and, this isn't one of those tools over here. It's a menu option so before you can use the Roughen affect you have to [inaudible] select your shape. I'm going to select my shape here and I'm going to effect and then distort, transform and roughen. Now we're going to use the same settings as she suggests to use in her tutorial just so that you can see how things are going to look. We're going to set the size to 73 percent and we're going to set the details to 17 per inch. We're going to leave points set to corner and size set to relative and click "Okay" then I'll just click away and you can say another really interesting effect using that roughen filter. Let's come down here and look at bloat and bloat is one of the tools over here. I'm going to click to open up the panel and go down and select bloat. Again, it's still got that 300 by 300 pixel brush, but we may need to make some changes to the settings. Let's double-click on it and see what we have. Well, we don't want it to bloat it really fast. I'm going to set the intensity down to a very low 1 percent. I'm going to leave detail and simplicity as they are and leave brush size on effectively. All I'm doing here is reducing the intensity. I'll click "Okay." I'm going to position my mouse pretty much over the top and center of this shape. Now, moving it out of the way a little bit so that when I go and bloat it, I'm not actually going to pick up detail from this shape over here. Let's go and get the bloat tool. Click on here and push. What that's doing is forcing things in an outward direction that's making the middle bigger and pushing the detail into the outer edges and you can use the bloat tool with other tools. For example here we've already preset a wrinkle. Well, we can add a bloat to this and so we can push things out of the middle, again, throwing the detail into the outer edges. The last tool for this particular video is going to be crystallize. Again, crystallize is either in this group of objects, so let's select Crystallize. Let's double-click on it to check its settings. We're going to increase the intensity, so that goes a bit faster. We'll set it to 30 percent. I'm going to leave on Brush Affects Anchor Points. I'm leaving complexity and detail as they're setting. I'm not selecting brush affects in or out tangent handles. I will click "Okay." Let's hover over this shape and let's apply a crystallize tool. Well, that was a little bit too intense, I think so let's try that again. Again, it's running away from me here so I'm going to double-click on the Crystallize tool. I'm going to take the intensity down to 10 percent. Now, let's try that. Center pretty much over the middle of the object and now I'm getting a better and more controllable result. 6. Pt 5 More distortions: Let's have a look at some additional tools that you can use. You can use the twirl tools. Let's go over here and select the twirl tool. Again, it's going to default to the settings that we used last time. I'm pretty happy with that. Let's just see how it goes. As I press we'll be able to see this object twirling around. Now you can combine the twirl tool with other tools as well to get differing effects. We're going to have a look at envelope distort. Now, envelope distort allows us to bend the shape into another shape that we actually draw. Let's go to the ellipse tool. I'm just going to drag out a narrow ellipse here. Let's set it with a stroke and no fill. I'm going to select the topmost anchor point up here, and I'm going to convert it using this option here. It converts it to a corner, so it's got a nice pointy end to it. I'm going to do the same down here. Now we have a shape that we can bend this shape into, I'll place, this shape over the top of the original shape that we're working with. I'm going to select both of them and I'll choose object and then envelope distort, make with top objects. The top object is the object that I just drew. An illustrator puts objects higher up in the stacking order when you draw them, so it's got to be the topmost object because it just got drawn. I'll click here, and this gives us a shape that is now bent to the shape of the object that we created. Of course, you could do that with a shape that had been distorted in another way as well before you did that. Now this is the rough and effect that we did in the last video. Here it is, over here. All I've done is copied it over here because pucker and bloat used on this gives us a really interesting result. Now pucker and bloat is one of those that is accessible through the menu. You need to select the object that you want to work with before you actually go to the menu options. I've got it select, and I'll choose effect and then distort and transform pucker and bloat. I'll turn preview on and what we're going to do is go in a negative direction towards pucker. The further we go, the more sort of spiky this gets. Let me just show you the result. I really like that result it got a sort of grid in it, but also a sort of spiky elements. You could go and apply and get another effect over the top of that, if you wanted to. You can stack these on top of each other. We're going to come back to this one in a minute. Let's go to tweak though. Tweak again is another one of the menu options. Let's go and select this. Let's choose effect, distort and transform and we'll choose tweak. Now we're going to turn preview on, and when we just drag out on the horizontal and vertical slide. As you'll see that there's not a lot of things happening here. It is a kind of interesting effect and if you do want something to happen in the vertical but not in the horizontal, this is a nice little effect to use, but it's not startling. It's not startling until you hit absolute. Then it becomes really, really interesting. What I'm going to do is just back off on this a little bit just so we don't get too much of what is this tweak effect. I'm going to click "Okay", and then if we go and select this and reduce the stroke weight, you'll say that you'd get a really, really interesting effect or potentially very, very interesting effect for that shape. We'll have a look at free distort. Again, this is a menu options, so we need to select the shape before we begin. We'll go to effect, distort and transform and then free distort. Now this is just a very simple dialogue and all four corners are selectable. What I'm going to do is try and make part of this shape, not the whole lot, but part of it. I'm going to bring in the top of the shape to a sort of point, and I'm going to pull out the bottom of that. I have a teardrop shape if you like. I'll click okay and that's been applied to this shape. Again, you could apply this distortion to something that's got a wrinkle or some other effect applied to it before you actually go and distorted. Finally, let's have a look at zigzag over wrinkle. Again, this is a menu option, so I let select this. I'll choose effect, distort and transform and then zig-zag. At this point, it's worth pointing out that these things can really slow down your computer and so that's why I'm doing zigzag over a wrinkle last of all because it does tend to slow my computer down a bit. The other thing I'm going to do is turn preview off while I set this up. It's not going to re-write after every change that I make. I'm going to set this to five as the size and three as the ridges per segment. I'm leaving absolute and corner turned on and let's just click "Preview". Now, this is faster than it has been in the past. I'll just click "Okay". Just be aware that these effects can have a slowing down effect on your computer. If you're experiencing this, you may want to restart your computer, close down every application that you don't actually need to be using, so you're giving your computer the full processing speed available. I'm going to just drop this stroke width down to 0.1 here and see if we can get the sort of fluffier result. Again, really interesting results, this time with a zigzag over a wrinkle. I encourage you, as you're working with these shapes to experiment with the kind of effects that you like, I like to create a document like this and explain underneath each of these objects exactly how that object has been distorted so that I could keep this file and use it later on. So it will become a resource to me for saying things that would be potentially interesting to use. I'm going to give you these documents. I'm going to give you a blank document with twirl, envelope distort and so on already put into it. I'll give you this template as well empty so that you can practice these distortions yourself. 7. Pt 6 Create a finished Illustration: It's time now to see how we could combine some elements to create a finished illustration. I'm going to start with this Zig Zag over wrinkle, because I really like that. So I'm going to copy that to a brand new 500 by 500 pixel document. Again, RGB color mode. I'll click "Create," and I'll paste this in. I'm just going to leave that for now and we're going to create an object that would go on the bottom of this. For this, I'm going to create a brand new document. Again, it's going to be 500 pixels by 500 pixels, I'll click "Create." What we're going to do here is basically exactly what we did to set up that original shape, but it's going to be a lot less detailed. So we'll be able to get a smaller shape to use. We're going to start with our circle tool, I'm just going to click in the document and create a circle that is six pixels by six pixels in size. We're going to do the same as we did previously and create a blend from this. So I'm going to select the shape, just make sure that the stroke weight is very small, I'm just going to use 0.5, we're also going to make sure that the stroke is aligned to the center. I'll hold the Alt or Option key as I drag a duplicate away, I'm just going to line this up sort of visually. I'm going to create a blend by selecting both of these, let me just use Vertical Align Center to align them. I'll choose Object, Blend, Make. This is exactly what we did previously, I'm not too worried about the overlapping right now, let's just go and find a spiral, make a spine to attach this two. Going to the Ellipse tool, I'm just going to drag out an ellipse here. I can read from the little pop-up there exactly how big it is, so it's quite a bit smaller than it was previously. The previous one was about 225, this one's about 160, I think. I'm going to remove the side of this so that I've just got a shape and I'm going to squeeze it up a little bit at this point. Select over both objects and replace the Spine with Object Blend and then Replace Spine. At this point, I'm looking at the number of dots that I've got, and it's way too many. So I'm going to select over the shape, double-click on the "Blend tool," turn "Preview" on and set Specified Steps, and then just decrease the number of steps so I can separate things out. I don't want nearly as much detail in this shape. I'll click "OK." Now at this point, if you want to make your shape a bit smaller you can do so but you'll need to get inside the blend. So go to the Layers palette, and when you open up this layer, you'll see that you've got a blend in the layer. Inside the blend is a path and two shapes, and you just want to select the path, not the shapes. Then you can just re-size the path down and the shapes are going to be exactly the same size, it's just that the path is going to be smaller. I still think I've got way too many shapes so let's just come in here and with Specified Steps turned on let's just decrease the number of shapes. I don't want this to be nearly as complex. When I'm happy with this, I'll select it and then go and expand this blend with Object, Blend, Expand. Then we're going to make a duplicate of this and reflect it. So I guess I'm going to choose to reflect it around the vertical, we need a copy, as well as, the original. Now, I've just realized that I have filled shapes here and not hollow shapes, so let me just select over both of these objects and let's turn off the fill. Now, we just have circles that are strokes and no fill. We're going to make a blend out of this with Object, Blend, Make. Double-click on the "Blend tool," turn Preview on, choose "Specified Steps" and start increasing the number of steps to create our base shape. Again, we don't want too many elements here, because it's just going to make it too detailed in a minute. When we've got what we want, we'll just select it and choose Object, and then Blend and Expand. So now we've got our base shape and we can start applying some filters to it. I'm going to apply the same wrinkle filter as I did last time so let's go and get the wrinkle tool. I'm going to double-click on it and let's just set its settings. Now, I've been working with it so it's changed shape, I'm just going to make it 200 by 200, leave the other settings in effect, click "OK," and let's just wrinkle this a bit. Now that it's been wrinkled, I can apply the same Zig Zag to it. So I'll select this effect, "Distort and Transform" and go to "Zig Zag." Let's just click "Preview" and see it looks like. Well, it's probably a little bit too detailed, so I'm going to bring down the Ridges per segment and perhaps bring down the size of it. So that's looking pretty good, I'll click "OK." I just think the line weight is way too much, and it's going to be way too much when I take it into the other drawing. So I'm going to bring its line weight down to 0.1. Let's grab this and put it in the other documents. So I'll Ctrl or Command C to copy it, and then Ctrl or Command V to paste it in and let's just place it over here and look at it. Well stylistically, it's not going to be too bad for going with this shape, but I still want to do some more work on it. I want to distort it, so I'm going to select it and choose Effect, Distort and Transform, and then Free Distort. If you remember, this is the tool that allows us to create a sort of teardrops shape. So what I'm going to do is do just that. I'm going to make it a very, very, much teardrop shape here. You can even bring these elements up here, so I'm stretching it a little bit and I'll click "OK." If I now size it down and perhaps even squeeze it up, I'm going to have an element that's going to go pretty nicely as a tail for my radiolarian. Now at this point, if this is too regularly, you could do something like give it a bit of a twirl. So let's go to the twirl tool and let's just attack it slightly here. Of course, that's attacking the radiolarian original element as well, so you may want to come into the last pallet and just lock down the element that you don't want to have move. So here's the basic shape, this one here, so I'm just going to lock that down, meaning that the only thing that I can affect is this shape here. So I'm just going to give it a bit of a twist. Now, this tool is also one that you can sort of click and drag with. So if you click and drag as you twist, you're going to get perhaps a more interesting result than if you just sit over the top of it and twist. Now, you can experiment with this tool, just continue to press "Undo" every time that you apply it, if you don't like the result. I'm pretty happy with what I've got here right now. So we're going to progress to the next step, which is to make this white and then put a background underneath it. We'll start with the background, for this I need a rectangle that's going to fill up this document. So it'll be 500 pixels by 500 pixels in size. Now, at the moment it has a stroke and no fill, so I'm going to flip that so it has a fill and no stroke. I'm just going to position it in position. I'm just making sure that it is right over the top of the art-board. You can use the align tools, it's just mine are not working for me right now. I'm going to drag the rectangle to the very back here, or you could choose Object, Arrange, Send to Back. Now, we're going to fill this with a gradient. So the first thing I'm going to do is go and get a gradient to use. I'm going to open up the Swatches panel, go to this "Library" option here, and click on "Gradients." I like the sky gradients, but you could choose any of these gradients or you can make your own. With the sky gradients, I'm going to choose this one, so let me just target the fill here, let's make sure that we've got our rectangle selected, and let's go and select the gradient I am going to use. Now, this gradient at the moment is a linear gradient, if we go over to the gradient panel over here, we can make it radial. We can also reverse it so that purple is where the yellow is and vice versa, so I'm going to do that. Because I want to draw it with the lighter area here, I'm going back over here to this gradient tool and then I can just click and drag to drag out this gradient. I'm pretty happy with that, I can move it around a little bit if I like, and push that back off the edge of the screen. Now that I've got my background created, I'm going to lock it down. Just makes life a lot easier because that means you can select your objects and not risk selecting and moving your background. I'm going to select over these objects and I'm going to apply a white stroke. So these objects that are stroked, I'm just going to click here to make them white. I'm also going to group these objects so it travels as a single object, so I'll choose Object and then Group. Just makes it easier to move it, for example. You're going to have problems if you try to rotate it. Watch what happens down here when I try to rotate this shape. You'll see that the tile just moves in all sorts of directions. If you want to get rid of that, what you're going to need to do is to expand this effect. So we're going to the Layers palette. Let's open up this group and let's make sure we know which one is the tail, that's this one here. I'm going to select the tail, not the body of the shape, and I'm going to choose Object and then Expand Appearance. What that does, is it expands it so that now it will move as a single object and it won't have that appearance applied to it. So it won't distort as we move it. You're going to find that that's going to be the case with any effect that is applied, such as a distort effect through the menus. You're going to have to expand things if you want them to look correct when you rotate them. Another thing that you can do with these shapes to sort of bring them off the background, give them a bit more visual effect, is to apply a glow to them. Again, we're going to select this shape and I'll go up to Effect and then Stylize, Outer Glow. We can't do inner glow because these lines are really, really small, we're not even going to see an inner glow. But an outer glow, we will see. With an outer glow, what you'll need to do is to set the blend mode to something like Screen. You need a lightening effect, then you'll click here and select the color to use. I'm just using white, but well, it's nearly white, let's just make that white. You can use any color that you like, it just has to be a light color. Set the blend mode to Screen and then work on your Opacity and Blur. I've reduced my opacity down quite low. It's a default of 75 percent, I've dropped that to 25 percent, I think the default blur is about five pixels, I've dropped it to three. Let's turn Preview on, and let's click "OK." That's just giving the shape a sort of really nice glow. 8. Pt 7 A More Complex Example: This next radiolarians incorporates some additional technique. Let's see what we're going to do here. The first thing that you're going to need is a script. The script that you want it is called Dup at selective anchors. You're going to come to this website that I'm going to give you and you're going to download this script file and you're going to unzip it. Inside that zip file are a number of scripts including Jupiter reflected Anchors. Sorry, then you're going to install it. To do that you'll go to Windows Explorer or Finder on your Mac. Now, I've got that in my Downloads folder, so let me just find downloads right now. Here is Dup at selected Anchor. What you're going to do is right-click it and choose copy that's on a Windows machine. Then you're going to your computer, you need to go to computer, you need to click on your C drive and go to Program Files and then Adobe, you're going to look for the current version of Adobe Illustrator that you're using right now for me that illustrated 2020. I'll double-click on that, go to presets, go to English US yours will be the language that you have installed. It may not be this, if you're not living in the United States. Double-click on your language, double-click on scripts, and here you just going to right-click and paste it in, now, I've already got it pasted in. At this point, you need to go and re-start illustrator because that's going to make it easier for you to find their script and use it when you need to. Now let's swing over to the Mac and the first thing to do is to make sure that your illustrator application is closed. Then you'll go to the location to download the file from. I'm just downloading the file here, once it's downloaded will go to the Downloads folder. Once the files downloaded, I'm going to click on the arrow here and go to Show in Finder that will locate the download location of the file, double-click the zip file to expand it, and then go to that folder and locate the Dup At Selected Anchors.jsx file. I'll press "command", say to copy it. Then I'll go to the Adobe Illustrator icon on my doc and command click on it. This gives me access to the location where my Adobe Illustrator application is stored. In that location is my presets folder, I'll double-click on "Preset", go to English US or whatever language you're using, and locate the scripts folder. There I'll press "Command and V" to paste the file in, you may need to type in your Mac password to do that. Now you can re-start illustrator and you're ready to go. Once you've got your scripts installed, your ready to progress the we're going to create a brand new 500 by 500 pixel document, again working in RGB color. Again, I'm going to have a black stroke but no fill at all. Going to the Ellipse tool, I'm going to click once in the document and I'm going to create a small six by six pixel circle. Then I'll click just about here and create a 15 by 15 pixel circles, this is much larger. Select either both of them and just align them using the vertical aligned center option. Now these want to Bay just 0.5 in stroke width. Then we'll grab both of these, hold the Alt or Option key as we drag a duplicate set away. Then I'll go back to the first one and drag a duplicate of it away so that we've got small, large, small, large, small. Now if you want a space that accurately you're going to select over all of them. You'll go here to this option which is horizontal Distribute Center. When you click it, you'll see that each of these has an uneven space between them. Now we're going to create a blend out of phase. When you've got a number of objects, when you're creating a blend from them. If you're not a 100 percent sure that they are arranged in order in the Layers palette, you can build up the blend by hand. Click on the "Blend tool" and click on the first object, you'll see that when you hold your mouse pointer over, it has a little asterisk beside it. Click on that. Then when you come to this next one, it's got a plus symbol. You're going to click on that. Then another one with the plus symbol, and again. This allows you to select the order in which the objects are added to the blend, that's pretty important. Let me zoom back out and now let's make a shaped to use for our radiolaria. I'm going to the pencil tool, make sure I'm working in black and the stroke that we're using and I'm going to make a shape I can use. I'm thinking something like about this will be good. We'll select over both objects and again, we're going to replace our spine, object blend, replace spine. Don't worry if this looks like this, that's just fine, you're just going to double-click on the Blend tool. You're going to turn preview on, you're going to select specified steps, and then you're going to reduce the number too. Let's start with 12, in fact, 12 is going to be too many, so let's start reducing that. It's just that there are a lot of steps in the blend, that's why you're seeing a continuous stream of black rather than the individual shapes. I'm not worried that they are overlapping this time it's perfectly acceptable to have them overlapping. By using the blend tool to make these shapes, you can see that we're getting large and small and large and small. I can determine a size variation for the circles, which is not so easily possible using the method that the original designer had. If we're happy with this, we'll select over the object and expanded object blend and expand. Then we're going to do as we did before and duplicated and reflected object transform, reflect, reflect over the vertical. We're going to make a duplicate of it. Then we're going to move this one out of the way and just join these up. This is going to be the basic shape of my radiolaria and that's going to flare out at the bottom. If you're happy with that, you're going to create a blend object. Blend, make. Now this time we didn't have to build up the blend by hand because we only had two objects in it. When you've got multiple objects, you want to make sure that they're done in the right order. Double-click on the Blend tool preview on specified steps. All of this is exactly what we did with the first one. Let's just go and add some extra shapes and I'll click "Okay". If you're happy with that, expand your blend with object blend and expand. At this stage, all you should have is a stroke and no fill at all. Now we've got our basic shape for our radiolaria and we can go ahead with things like the wrinkle and crystallized tall. Chosen the wrinkle tool here, let's just go and make it much larger. Thinking, this is probably going to need to be 450 pixels in size for the brush. Let's take it back to 15 percent and let's add some complexity to it and a little bit less detail. We're also going to set these settings the way that we had them in the first time that we used at brush effects, anchor points and brush effects out tangent handles. I'll click okay and let's go and distort this. Now to this wrinkle effect, you can add something else. I might try, something like the crystallized tool though with the crystallized am going to position myself high up on the shape and then just pushed down because that gets me a nice hairy look to it if you like. But I don't think it's big enough. Let me just make the brush 600 and 600. The crystallized tool, when you press it in the middle of a shape, blows it out from the middle. But if you press it from the top of the shape, the blow out direction is down. You can get this really interesting effect. I actually really like that. Let's go with this, but let's reduce the stroke size down to 0.1. We've got a shape here that's got some very fine lines on it. Now let's look and say how we could use the script that we just installed into Illustrator. Going to the ellipse tool, I've got a fill here and no strikes and we're going the other way round to what we've been doing so far. I click once in the document and I'm going to do a two pixel by two pixel circle. It's just a really small circle. You want to look at it against your illustration and say, okay, that's probably about the size that it wants to be. Now what we're going to do is duplicate this shape at the selective anchor points. What the program is going to assume as if we select everything that because this object is at the top, we're going to duplicate it at every anchor point in this design. Now if you think that's too much, what you can do is go to the last sue tool and just last sue the areas that you want to apply, that circle too. Let's just go around the outsides of this object. What I'm doing is selecting all these points around the outside but nothing in the middle. I'm going to the selection tool, I'm going to shift click on this anchor point because we have to include heat, because it's the one that's going to be duplicated at these points. Now will choose file and then scripts. If you've installed your script correctly, it's going to be here. We'll click dup at selected anchors. When I click away, you will say that on every anchor point that was selected, those dots now appear, now runs pretty quickly. You can say that if you don't like what you've got, you can undo it. I think in actual fact, I am going to opt to put the dot on all of the anchor point. Let's go and raise, select everything, file scripts, dup it selected anchors. I actually think this is going to be a better result. The only thing that you have to be concerned about here is that this dot has to be at the very top of the last stack. Otherwise it's not going to work. I don't need the dot any longer. I'll just remove it. Now if we go and have a look in the last pallet, you'll see what we get by using that option or using that script, we get a whole series of ellipses and then down the very bottom is our actual object. Now I'm going to lock the object down for now. That will allow me to select all of these dots and put them in a group together. It's going to make management of this entire thing a little bit easier. Now I am going to unlock this group which is the actual object itself. I'm going to make the lines a whole lot smaller at the moment there, 0.1, I'm going to make them 0.01. Very fine lines probably to find to be able to be correctly represented on the screen. But I think that's a better result here. Now I'm going to select either everything and rotate it. I wanted to point in the direction as if it were moving. Now we need to give it a background and we need to change its color, and we need to add some elements to it. In creating the background again, we're going to the rectangle tool, and we're just going to create a 500 by 500 pixel square, Make it a fill rather than the stroke. I'm going to go and get one of those sky gradients, again. I think I was pretty good. Let's position the rectangle in position. It's over the top corner of the art board. I'll choose object, arrange, send back. Then I'm going to edit the gradient. Let's go to the gradient tool here, will make it a radial gradients and going to reverse it. Let me go and get my gradient tool, which is over here. Let's just drag it out from the bottom corner. We want to move it slightly around. We can do so. Now this rectangle is not positioned in the correct place, so let me just select it and select the transform tool. It's supposed to be with its bottom corner, which is the one I've got selected here, should be zero and 500. Now it's in position. I can lock it down. I don't need these gradients any longer either. Let's go and get the shape itself, which is everything except for the dots right now it is black, but I want to make it a light purple. Let's just double-click on this and let's go and select a pale purple to use. Thinking, something like about this will be good as not white. It's just a light color. Then let's go and make the dots white. Let's select over that and let's double-click on this and make the dots white, which would be 255, 255, 255 RGB. Once we've done this, we can add our glow to it. I suggest that you probably won't want to add a glow to both the lines and the dots. You might choose which of them you're going to add the glow to. I think I'm going to add my glow to my lines. I'll choose effect, stylize and then outer glow. Again, I'm going to choose screen. Again, this time, I also want to use a light purple color. Probably could, should have used the same color I used for the lines, but as long as it's in that color area, that's just fine. I don't want it to be as big as a five pixel blurry. I think probably about three is good, and the opacity, about 25 percent is a good option. Let's just click okay. That's got a nice little glow to it. Now, with the other illustration that I showed you earlier, it also had some little threads off it. What I did with the threads was I used the same color as I'd used basically for the lines. I went to the pencil tool and I've got a very thin stroke here. All I did was start drawing in these little lines. Now you can hardly see them, but they are adding a little bit of dimension to this illustration. I've got the pencil tool set to really smooth. If you double-click it, you'll see that I've got smooth selected here, so it's smoothing out as I draw and I've got cape selected disabled. That's important because then my lines are not being selected, see is enough to undo them, but they're not remaining selected because all I want is some wiggly lines here and just a few hanging off my shape. Now if you want to, you could also add some in front of it. That's fine too. Probably want this to be very fine and you're hardly want to say them, you just want them to be just there in the illustration. That dup it select it anchor script is really handy for adding an extra level of dimension to these radiolarians, very easily. Then just thinning down the lines and adding some other elements to it. But this time you've seen how you could take a different shape so it doesn't have to be circular. We using a different shape for this, but the same basic principle for designing it. 9. Pt 8 Some Additional Techniques: Before we finish up, I've put some Radiolarians into a finished image, and I just want to show you a few things that I have done here. Now, all of these shapes except for this one here have come from the original art that we made in this class. They've come from these groups of objects. There's nothing magical about that with the exception of this shape here. This shape was a basic triangular shape with a bump on the end, and I added a effect to this to get it spiky. Across the bottom here, I just used the Jupiter selected anchors to create a little set of dots here. Now, the tails and these hairs here have all being put on using the pencil tool. I just grab the pencil tool and just drew in the lines. Just literally doing it like this, of course I'm using a much thinner line. Now, here I used a variable width profile on my line. For example, I drew my line and then I selected it. Up here, I used one of these profiles like the triangle one. I've increased the line weights so that we get this thick, thin look to our line. What I did over here was I created a rotation. Let me just show you how that would be done using a brand new documents, so I'm just going to choose File and New. Now, let's assume that our base shape is a sort of filled circle. I'm just going to create the circle and this is basically my radiolarian. What I did was, let's just go and choose a color to use. I did a line using the pencil tool, so I'm just going to draw in a sort of line here. I'm going to make mine a little bit thicker here because I just want you to be able to see what I did. Then I went and got the pen tool and I just clicked in where I thought the middle of the radiolarian was, so just click once. Over here, I made sure that I had no fill and no stroke. I've got a pen dot here and a line. What I'm going to do is just lock down that large shape because that was the easiest way of doing it so that the shape wouldn't be in the way. I'll just lock that down. Now I can select the wiggly line plus this anchor point in the middle and I'm going to group them. It's critical that you group them because otherwise this is not going to work. Then I went to affect distort and transform, and I chose "Transform". I'll turn preview on. I chose this anchor point here as the rotation point because that's it here. I added a number of copies. I think I used something like about 36, and I press the up arrow key here so that I would just rotate these shapes around. Having done that, I could then go and edit the line. So what you can do is go into the Layers palette. The topmost item here is going to be your anchor points. This is the anchor point and this the actual line. At this stage, you can decrease, for example, the line width of the line. I also thought it would look better with a dot on it. So let me just show you what I did to add the dot after the fact. I came in here and I drew out my dot, and I made it a filled dot and not adult with a stroke on it. Let me just say which one is my line. So I've actually attached it to the correct one. So you can say this is my original line and this is my dot. What I'll do is just drag the ellipse into this group and the group has a transform effect on it. As soon as the dot appears inside the group, it's actually attached to the end of this transform. So that's literally all I did. Of course, in the middle I had my radiolarian and around the outside I've got this wiggly line. This is what it looks like in practice. I've also got a brush across the back here, so what I did was I created a small scatter brush. Let me just show you the scatter brush settings. It is a very small dot. It's I think a two pixel by two pixel dot, and I've set the size to random so I can go to a 31 percent of its size all the way up to 200 percent. I've increased my spacing to 760 to 1,000 so the dots would be well spaced out from each other, and I've used minus 1,000 to positive 1,000 for my scatter. So you can say that I've set random for all of these. Rotation is irrelevant because it's a dot and rotating a dot is not going to achieve anything. All I did was create the scatter brush and then I just painted it inside. I just paint it in here. You can see that this is very white. What I did then was I went and got my scatter brush lines and I decreased the opacity of them. I brought them down to being less opaque so they'd blend into the background. So there are sort of dots all the way across the background of this image. Now, because they are going to get in your way once you've created them, I just put them in a group and then lock them down. You can see that locked down here so that we can't select them because otherwise they just a nuisance. But they're giving us a dotty background which fills in the background and suggests that there are particles in the water, if you like. Now, over here, what I did was I re-created the shape we'd already created. We had our basic blended shape and I went and created another one. I applied to that a wrinkle and a zigzag. Effectively the same thing as I did over here, zigzag over a wrinkle because this was the shape that we were actually using here. This is the zigzag over wrinkle. By creating a more spread apart and smaller version of it, I was able to use it as a sort of tail on this shapes. I've put the two together and then just added some simple lines to it. I hope that's given you some basic ideas as to what you can do with these radiolarians. If you're looking for inspiration, just go to your favorite browser, lookup radiolarians and go and have a look at some of the historical pictures of them, or some of the photographs of them, and that will give you some ideas as to what you might want to do with yours. 10. Project and Wrapup: We've now finished the formal part of this class so it's over to you. Your class project will be to create a series of radiolarians of your own and put them together in a final piece of art, aiming for at least two or three shapes in your artwork. Post an image of your completed art as your class project. As you were watching these videos, you will have seen a prompt asking if you would recommend this class. Please, if you did enjoy the class and learned from it, would you do two things for me. Firstly, answer yes, that you do recommend the class and secondly, write even in just a few words why you enjoyed the class. These recommendations help other students to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you see the follow link on the screen, it's because you're not following me yet, so click it to keep up to date with my new classes as they're released. If you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. I hope that you've enjoyed this class as much as I enjoyed making it. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.