Illustrator: Gradients & Polygon Patterns for Design Backgrounds | Benjamin Halsall | Skillshare

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Illustrator: Gradients & Polygon Patterns for Design Backgrounds

teacher avatar Benjamin Halsall, Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses

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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

3 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Lesson Introduction

    • 2. Setting Up Your Polygons & Gradients

    • 3. Clipping Masks Using Custom Shapes

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to creat gradient and polygon backgrounds that can be wrapped up into custom shapes in Adobe Illustrator.


Meet Your Teacher

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Benjamin Halsall

Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses


For the designer in you I create fun short lessons in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator & Adobe InDesign. I include some creative and technical tips in all my lessons which are always easy to follow. Check out my popular Banksy Yourself Photoshop Class, how to create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator or my Photoshop Drawing & Painting Fundamentals.

For Final Cut Pro X editors check out my course Learn Final Cut Pro X in 25 Minutes or learn how to put video inside type, create grunge style text or my basic and advanced split screen tutorials.

I look forward to seeing your projects and am always happy to answer your questions.

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1. Lesson Introduction: Hi there. Thanks. Checking out another one of my demonstrated tutorials in this to tour. We're gonna look at how we create cool, customized newsletter background. So we're gonna be using polygons. We're gonna be working with radiance on learning a lot about how we can manipulate and change those shapes using the PATH line. It'll to create this kind of patterned background you can see here, we're then gonna go on to actually mask this patent background into a useful shape. That's great for creating backgrounds to type detailed backgrounds for text in your newsletter or graphic design templates for creating whether you're correct them in Illustrator wanted to create illustrated backgrounds that you then go ahead and using something like in design or don't photo shop have enjoyed tutorial I look for to seeing some of the work you come up with. 2. Setting Up Your Polygons & Gradients: Okay, so for this to tour, we're going to start with a rectangle. Okay, so we're gonna run through some of the properties of the rectangle, and then we'll look at how we had a Grady Int and control a radiant within a rectangle. So it will just come across to our tool bar on the left hand side. Grab the rectangle till we're just draw one out right in the middle here. Okay. So basically, with the rectangle weaken minute place that we can edit it into some of the cool shapes that we saw a little earlier on. So we're gonna grab first of all, the great until so come across to your panels across here on the right hand side. If you don't see the great panel here, just go to window and radiant on bringing up there. Andi, essentially, once you've got a shape selected, we can click on our great in here. And that will add our first Grady in which will be the great it appears in this box. Probably if human needs cravings before the basic black and white radiant. Okay, so now, once we've done that, what we're gonna do is go ahead on and edit this grade in. And we're gonna do that? No, in the great panel here, but using the Grady and editor, it'll Okay, So the first thing we do is just take the stroke off this shape that we've drawn. Okay? And now we're gonna grab the gray. Didn't make sure that's in the front here on our tool bar on the left hand side. So the great into on will be partly down your your toolbox, and you'll need to see your toolbar as a single line here. Okay. So you can see you can toggle it with this double headed. Our here will be a single line on the left hand side where we could grab the Great until down here where it will be this kind of two column layout where we can crack the great until there, I'm gonna leave my toolbar in the single column for the moment. So with this Grady int option here, we could move this around so we can map, manage where are great in falls. We can extend it here. Okay. And if we come to the end here, this little pointers, So not the the round end here, but this kind of diamond shaped end that you'll see we can come just outside that end of the great until on weaken wrote tape are great in here. So we can rotate the grading in location and then position it and move it. So I'm just gonna leave my great in a nice angle going to stretch out a bit so I don't have hard black at the end. Okay? As I hover over the grading, Aiken do a couple other things. I can change the mid point where I have my great aunt for Okay on, I can also edit the colors at either end. So if I double click on one of these, I can jump into my swatches on select a color, or I can come into the color palette here, and I can adjust either my c m I K colors where I can jump to RGB or hue saturation and brightness here and edit the color there. We can also pick collison below here, so I'm gonna go for a nice orange. Okay on. We're gonna go for quite self Grady in here. So we're gonna go for orange at one end and rather than black at the other end, we're gonna grab another darker orange against. We got a nice, subtle, radiant moving from one edge of this rectangle to the other. Okay, so once you've done that, I'm actually gonna come back to the selection tool. Just got enlarge this rectangles that feels this entire space. Okay, so what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna create some edits and copies of this rectangle in place, and then we'll have a look, a kind of fun things that we can do with this. And then we're going to use the Pathfinder, actually break this up into some different on a cooler pans, and then we're going some of those different shapes and headed the radiance again. So we give this some real nice texture and flow before we then go on to actually had a master it so that we can get these shapes contained within a nice, smooth time. So we're gonna go to edit and copy or command or control and see on. Then we're going to use edit on paste in place to paste our Grady in right in front. Off the other shape is so we have to radiance one directly in front the other. Okay? And I'm just gonna now grab my direct selection tool. So I was using the selection tool, which is the black hair. It'll jumped my direct selection tool here and just select one of these corners of the top most shapes. And I'm just gonna set this outside editing this so that it flows right to the bleed of my my document here. Okay, so now that I've I got these two shapes, I'm gonna go to edit and paste in place again, pasted another version of the original rectangle, And then for this one, I'm just gonna grab the direct selection tool and just move this across. So here and to hear leaving a nice angle there. And if I now and select all four of these so I could do, select or command or control the name have all of these selected now, and this is where we're gonna begin to use the pathfinder toe. Break these shapes up. So if we go to when the we'll find out Pathfinder 2/3 of the way down here and then with this selected, we're going to use the Pathfinders option here to basically intersect these shapes. Okay, so we've got divide trim, merge crop Aulas, these different kind of pathfinder options. We're going to use the divide option when we click that. Basically, now we've made these into individual shapes. So if I grabbed by Rex election told you can see, basically each of these shapes now is its own individual shape. Okay, when I got a couple of duplicates below here as well, which I can head it on delete if I want to. Okay, so now that I've got this will just delay a couple of the other ones. They're basically we've got four different shapes. You know, we can split this down again. OK, we've got rid of the toothpick. It's on now. We can jump in here, grab our grade until so what? I'm hovering over the great into again. You'll see that when I'm hovering at the edge of it. I can add other markers in here. So I've got Now zoom out a little bit. Command or control and minus. You can see I've got three markers along the hs. I can add in some extra color into some of these sections and also shortened some of these longer Grady INTs that I've got dropped out down a little bit. Nice. Okay, so basically, once I've done that, I can go ahead now and do the same with these other shapes as well. So we'll grab the great and so I'm just gonna mostly just kind of short on the great down here will play around with his allotment more as we kind of go on. But we've got a different Brady in now for each of these these boxes that we have selected . So let's go ahead now and divide this shape up. So before it divided, I just wanna go to object ungroomed so I can select each of these individually drawn a new rectangle here, select the two shapes below that and then divided again. And you can see now I goto object on group. You can delete this and now delete these top most shapes. And now I've got that divided again. Okay, so now if we want to play around with these shapes, we can use the last suitable toe draw around different points here that we can then using the direct selection tool, manipulate a little bit so we can get some kind of more interesting angles going on when we can keep kind of building this up into, ah, more interesting pattern. So go ahead and begin toe build this pattern on. Then, in the next part of this lesson, we're gonna look at how we how we can contain this design within a graphic shape, but that we can then go ahead and use within our newsletter design. So I'm really just jumping between each of these playing with Mike Radiance and then moving things around gradually until I'm happy with the overall look and feel of this. And one thing I'm doing here is just toe. Get some quick variation between these shapes is I'm selecting one of the shapes now that I've ungroomed them. Then using the I drop it'll to select color from the other shapes. And this way I just need to have a few variants of the original Greg Unt that I was using. And then once I've got that, then I can select the shape, grab the I drop and then pull in, but color variation from a different part, the image which saves in a bit of time 3. Clipping Masks Using Custom Shapes: Okay, so now that we have a pattern established, we're gonna save This has its own group just so that we can now use it and reuse it if for parts of design. Okay, so you can play with the greatest that you're working on mawr if you need to. But for the moment, I'm happy with what I have. So I'm gonna select this on go to object group, and you may find that you're going between object and group an object of one group or expand quite a lot when you're working with these types of shape combinations. Okay, So the next thing want to do is draw on some shapes that I'm gonna use for part this newsletter design. Okay, when I'm combining shaped, always thinking about how I can work with different kinds of shapes rather than drawing shapes and scratch. I'm gonna go to my layers panel now and actually drag this layer. That's the new layers panel to make a copy. Cool. This is No, that's it. Okay. And I'm gonna lock it and hide it by clicking the eyeball. Okay, so I just got this one new layer visible. Okay, We're gonna be working on this. So I'm gonna grab the first of all the rounded rectangle tool. Okay, on. I'm gonna change my color to my default colors with a black fill and no stroke, because I'm gonna take a stroke off there, and I'm gonna stretch out a nice, big rounded rectangle here, okay? And then just use the up and down hours as I'm drawing my rectangle. Teoh, increase the corner radius of that rectangle. Okay, so I've got this shape. I'm gonna keep that there, and then I'm gonna pull this, huh? Okay, Drag it off the campus, okay? And I want to have a kind of reverse curve that kind of curves up here. So been a duplicate this shape, but to this point, okay. And then just make sure it's snapping to the edges here, okay? And then do the same down here. Okay, I'm going to have shaped gymnastics here as we're setting this up. So basically, I've got my main shape to great shapes for kind of laying text over the top off. Okay. Now, gonna grab another rounded rectangle and just position it so that covers this part of shape these corners where these corners are gonna cut into and you'll see how this is gonna work in a sec. So now select these four shapes. OK, so not these two shapes on the left bottom. Right. I'm going to use to kind loving later. But just these four shapes here, I'm gonna use my shape modes in my Pathfinder panel to combine those together. Okay. And now what I'm gonna do is grab these two shapes, OK? Go to object. Arrange bring to front with the front most shape that cuts things out. Select this shape and then use those shapes to punch out a hole in that back shape again. So you can still get it's nice kind of shape there. And then I'm just tired of this right hand side up, okay? I grabbing this and grabbing that and then punching a hole in that right hand side. Okay, so I've got a nice kind of shape design here. Okay, so now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make a point of sharpen up their shape at the bottom left. Okay? I could do that. Using a rectangle toe. Just bring my rectangle out. Make sure it's snapping nicely to the edge of my shape here. Okay, I know just that Will check that. Okay. And then I can combine those shapes and that adds that nice, that kind of rectangular shape there. Okay, so this is on the same layer as my layer while copy. Okay, so now I can select that I can select my background shape. I can go to object, clipping, mask and make. And now I've placed my shapes within that design content. So we bring this into Photoshopped. Now we can jump into a shop. We can go to file open select, are designed, hit open. And we'll get some prompts for how we want to open this up. We're on the bounding box to bay, basically click. OK, and then we have our layer rendered out on Usable has a Photoshopped Bachmann. Okay, One of the nice things about foot shop. I like to do it once I've got one of these kind of colored patterns is if you jump into the hue and saturation mode and turn on colorize or leave cars off, we can change the hue and kind of see how different saturation will work with this type of design. Okay, So if you want to put dark text on, you might want to lighten it up, and we can also colorize it. Okay, So we can select different colors. And for that map off these different kind of polygonal like shapes, that's close that up. So in illustrator, we've got it's nice design. It's still edible. So if we go back in here, we can jump in on edit these any point in time. On you can see, you got some real nice control over how we set up these kind of cool polygonal designs that were working with him. And we can wrap this in 20 shape. So, for instance, we saved this original in our background. Okay, so if we duplicate this again, look up the original game. So this is our shape. What? Okay, Andi, we will dive in here on. We can now jump in here, use any shape. So, for instance, something like a simple elex. Okay. And with that shape selected, we can now select the background. It was still group together and we could go to object cooking, mask, make. And then we have this kind of nice designs on that we can use and kind of reuse in our different designs were placing text over this kind of design, for instance. Then I would just draw text away from it here, and I just read typing word circle will make its myriad pro andi boat. Okay, I'm gonna make it nice and big. Drop this down here. Just gonna do it by high on will make the fill white that is creating a nice on a graphic Henneman on top here and then with these types of designs, jump into my appearance and that had from the effects a drop shadow. Okay, we preview that we can see that just gives this a nice come a little pop from the background there, even with just a little bit of drop shadow. And I normally dropped my offset to zero and zero so that we're just getting that sense that the text is popping out from the background there and you get some nicer design flow with this type of layout has been useful. We've covered quite a few things here from working with polygons from editing polygons, using the lawsuit or to manipulate things on, then also how to mask using a different shape. I want for other shapes to kind of create these core designs. Do you have any questions about illustrator about in design or photo shop? Then please don't hesitate to get in touch.