Vector Illustration: Make a Fantasy Weapon | Hayden Aube | Skillshare

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Vector Illustration: Make a Fantasy Weapon

teacher avatar Hayden Aube, Illustrator & Designer

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Making a Fantasy Weapon


    • 3.

      Inspiration & Reference


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Starting in Greyscale


    • 6.

      Continuing in Greyscale


    • 7.

      Adding Colour


    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.

      Gems & Grip


    • 11.

      Adding Detail and Glow


    • 12.

      Refining the Background


    • 13.



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About This Class

Learn how to turn your doodles into fully realized vector art! Follow along as we take a simple sketch into Adobe Illustrator and step-by-step make a beautiful weapon right out of your favourite fantasy world. Great for learning how to work with shapes, colours and gradients.

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square3 by airtone (c) 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: kara square

Meet Your Teacher

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Hayden Aube

Illustrator & Designer


Hayden here and I am an illustrator, designer and most importantly to you, teacher!

I am constantly hunting for the actions that will have me producing my best work possible--I assure you it's no easy feat. That's why my primary goal in all of these classes isn't to give you just any information, but only the information that's going to make the biggest difference in your work. Think of it as optimizing your artistic development ;)

So if you're looking to level up your skills in design and illustration, consider checking out my classes. I've gone to great lengths to keep them short and to the point so you can get the information quickly and jump to creating.

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1. Introduction: Hello everyone. My name is Hayden Noel and I am a illustrator and graphic designer. Today, I'm going to be showing you how to create a fantasy weapon in Adobe Illustrator or whatever program that you're going to be using. To do that, we're going to go through the process of going online and finding inspiration and references that we'd like to use for our own weapons, and then using that to create a sketch that we will ultimately use to build our weapon and illustrator using basic shapes. From there we're going to add color to the illustration and then end off with dynamic lighting using gradients and other effects. This class is for anybody who has a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator, but anybody who doesn't yet can still take the class as to get a good sense of how to use the program. Above all else, this is for anybody who loves weapons, and fantasy, and all that great stuff. 2. Making a Fantasy Weapon: So the steps that we're going to take to create our fancy weapon are going to be to go online and find any resources or inspiration that we'd like to use when coming up with our sketch, and then using that to come up with our sketch. This will be something very basic, very rough that will then use to create our weapon in Illustrator using just very basic shapes. We're going to do that in gray scale to start with, and then we're going to add in color after when we look at our weapon and we can decide what we want the color scheme to be. Once we've got the color all sorted we're going to decide on a light source, and then we're going to start adding ingredients and other effects to make it seem like that light source is actually casting light on that object. I'm going to be using Adobe Illustrator as I've mentioned, but you're more than welcome to use any program you want. As far as I'm concerned they'll all be capable of doing what I'm going to be doing. 3. Inspiration & Reference: Before we can begin with our sketch, we are going to go online and look for inspiration and references and just imagery that's going to help us come up with our idea. I'm going to be creating a sword for my weapon. I'm just going to start off by looking for medieval swords, but anything like fantasy sword, video game sword. All those keywords really help find some interesting references. Right now I'm looking at what do I want the blade to look like? What do I want the handle to look like? Are there any specific details that I want to capture in my own design? Like right here, the bottom of the palm looks quite interesting there. I'm actually going to go ahead and look specifically for sword handles, just because that's where a lot of the detail is and the bits that I really find interesting. Yes, so right here, I really like how that blade is coming out of the handle and I think that's something that I could use my own sketch. I'm going to save that. Just go through, save the images you like, anything that you think can help you with your sketch. You can either print it off or just keep it on your screen and have it accessible for the next video, which will be our sketching phase. 4. Sketching: Once you've found enough images online and you have a good idea of the weapon you'd like to make, you can move on to the sketch. For the sketch, I would recommend using whatever means is most comfortable for you. Normally, I like using a pencil and paper, but for sake of filming, I'm just going to use Photoshop right now. But once again, just use what you're comfortable with. As you can see, I'm trying to recreate that notch in the blade that I found online that I really liked. I've decided after looking through my references that I want to create a Nordic ancient magic, fantasy blade, and I'm just keeping that in my mind as I flush this out. Now, don't worry too much about your sketch being absolutely perfect or symmetrical or anything like that. It's just a very rough idea more to give you the understanding of what your weapon is going to look like than for it to actually look, like a nice drawing or anything like that. This whole weapon is going to be recreated in Illustrator once we move on to the next step. It just needs to be rough and give you a good sense of what you're actually going to be making. Right here I'm deciding that I not only just like that notch in the blade from that one reference but I really actually do like how the handle moves into the blade as well. So I'm using that as a jumping-off point for my handle design. In a lot of these weapons illustrations, I like to add gemstones, a diamond, different crystals that really hit home the fantasy element of the weapon, especially with this design here that is very much a magical sword. I thought it'd be interesting to put a gem here at the bottom of the handle to give a sense of this is the sword's power. This is something that's interesting to make when I move into Illustrator. If it suits your theme, you might want to introduce some gem elements to your weapon. For the grip of the sword, here I'm thinking it'll just be some sort of ribbon or a piece of fabric wrapped around and just tied off at the end. So I'm going to add this trailing piece of fabric off. You'll feel that you have to adhere too much to any of the weapon designs that you find online as your reference. For example, I decided that I actually don't like how this end looks, so I'm toying with them, trying out different things. At the end of the day, this is your weapon, you're concept. You don't have to use any of the references if you don't want to. Again, I think there's an opportunity to add another gem or something right in the center here. It's very possible that I might overdo it by having both. But that's something that I can change and toy around with once I move in Illustrator. Even though this is your sketch and it is your concept, it's subject to change once you really start to flush it out your final weapon. After I established that, I wanted to make a magic sword. The Nordic theme came in when I started looking at these runes symbols. I thought it'd be a really interesting way to bring some character into the weapon by etching them into the blade similar to another reference that I found. The more you flush out your weapon and come up with a theme and a concept for it, look for small ways to add details that will further reinforce it. Once you're happy with how your sketch looks, you can save it out or scan it in, and we'll be bringing it into Adobe Illustrator to begin the vector process. 5. Starting in Greyscale: So now that we've created our sketch, we can move into Illustrator. Just create a new document at 800 by 600 pixels. Start off just by removing some of the swatch that we're not going to be using, which is basically everything except for the set of greyscale ones. We'll be using those at first just to create the basic shapes and the flat color weapon. From here, you can press Command-R to bring up the rulers and just drag it out to guide at 400 pixels. If like me, you can't get exactly on, you can unlock your guides, select the one you've just made, and then in the transform window, you can actually manually put in 400 pixels for the x value. Great. You can lock your guide again, and we want to bring in our sketch. I'm going to place my sword sketch. I'll just put it to the side here so I can reference it as I'm making my weapon. Finally, I'm just going to name this layer, sketch, lock it, and then create a new layer called V1 where I'm going to start working on our weapon. Before we begin, just want to save this as whatever, I'm going to call my sword. Great. I'm going to start with the blade of my sword. To do that, I'm just going to draw a simple rectangle and just give it any color, really. To do the top bit in there. I'm going to add a, actually before I do that, I'm just going to make sure that this is centered on that. Then I'm going to add an anchor point to the center of it. Then just to make it a bit higher than these, and then I can use the rounded corner tool to round those off and you get a shape similar to what I've sketched out. Next, I'm going to create these notches in the void. To do that, I'm actually just going to create a little shape here. It looks like this. Then using the Reflect tool, which is O, I'm going to click along this path down here and use option shift to reflect it right below that. Once I've done that, I will unite those two shapes with the Pathfinder tool and then reflect the whole thing onto the other side by clicking on this center guide, and then once again using option shift and dragging it over to the side. Next up, I'm going to create the handle here. I think how I'm going to do that is I'm going to start off actually with a hexagon. I'm just going to drag that here. Using that different color. It's easy to tell, and I am going to create the rest of the handle. Just like this. I'm just going to add another shape in here. This is what I'm going to make that palmolive. Once again, I'm going to reflect it to the other side of this guide. I'm actually going to combine all of this. In a couple of places here I'm actually going to use the rounded corner again, just to smooth these things out. I'll use the convert anchor point tool, Shift C to just add a little bit of roundness to this point. To do this, top it up here, I'll actually just create a similar shape to what I did at the bottom. Basically I'm creating shapes on one side and then just reflecting over so that I can be symmetrical. Oops, I missed the guide there. Really make sure that you're reflecting around the guide. Even this here isn't exactly symmetrical, but that's okay. It'll be fixed when I unite it. Command semicolon turns off guide, I just want to look at it. Another useful view actually is Command-Y which is the paths especially when we get into a lot of different shapes and layers. This is quite handy. So I'm going to combine these and I'll actually combine it with the rest of the handle. Once again, use the rounded corners. It doesn't seem to be working on this side. That's okay. I'll just do the one side first. So I'll round out this side. Then because I want it mirrored on the other side, I'm actually going to create a rectangle and subtract half so that I can properly duplicate it. It seems like it's not lined up properly right now though, so I'm actually going to just fix it to make sure it's still lined up correct. Sometimes when you're combining shapes, they get a little wonky. So there's that piece of the handle. Then the last little bit for the handle are the pieces coming out on the sides. Actually think for that I'm going to use just circles. I'm going to copy this one, Command-F, paste in front. I'm going to get smaller. Subtract it. Whenever I can, use just really basic shapes to create a more complex ones that you're trying to do. Make it smaller. As you can see, it's a lot easier to make these handles that way than would have been to draw out with the Pen tool. I think this handle seems a bit big to me in comparison to everything, that [inaudible] a blade. So I'm just going to copy it all or grab it all and shrink it. I'm holding option and shift to make sure it stays in the center as I do this, and even this piece here. I'm using actually the direct selection tool, the white arrow, and grabbing just these anchor points here so that I can move them up only. There. I'll do Command-Shift, open bracket, send that to the back, and then we'll stop there for now. 6. Continuing in Greyscale: As you can see, I already have decided to change the shape of these. The end is coming out of the handle just a little bit. That's fine if you decided, change things from your initial sketch as you go. That's completely up to you. Go for it. Next, I'm just going to add in just a little oval in the center here. That's going to be where I put the gem. Then I'm going to create this ridge around the blade here. I think the easiest way for me to do that is going to be to click this shape, and under Object, Path, I go to Offset Path, and I can put in and see what negative six looks like. I'll do negative seven, I think. Preview on. I'll just make this a different color so it's easy to tell. There's that shape I've put it in there. I'm actually, even further going to try and build out the shape of the blade by just creating little panels here. What I'm doing now is just making a shape that I can then subtract the blade shapes from. If I copy this blade and then paste it in front, so Command F, I can select it with this shape I just made and use the intersect option to get that shape. If I put that, I can make this a different color and put it behind somewhere in there. Then once again, I'm going to do that on the other side. Then I think I'm actually going to just cut this blade in half. Using the same method, I'm going to grab this blade in the back. I'm going to intersect it with this shape I just made to that. Then as always, reflect to the other side. Now that the blade is made, I am going to add some edges to the rest of the handle. I'm starting with the cross guard here. I'm going to click this Object, and under Object, Path, once again, I'm going to go to Offset path, and I'll do something negative, see what negative six looks like. It looks good. I'll change the color of that. Then I'm actually, going to add just a little piece right in here. It gives it a sense of dimension. Reflect it over to the other side. I'll do the same thing for the rest of this handle here. I'll do Offset Path. Negative six seems good. Color that as a lighter color again. I'll add a couple of different shapes here. [inaudible] one here. Actually, for this one here, I'm going to have to subtract it using the Pathfinder tool. I'll take this shape, Command C to copy, and then Command F to paste it. Then if I keep that selected and keep this one selected, I can intersect it to get that shape. Finally, copy this, paste this in front, and subtract it. Now, I just have that shape. There'll be another one just like this is. Do the same thing. Once again, just give it some different color so it's easier to tell it apart. I will copy those over there. Just giving it a different color so I can differentiate between the shapes. Next up, I'm going to create the grip that's on the handle here. To do that, I'm going to create just a simple shape. It goes across like this. With Option and Shift, I'm just going to drag this down, and using Command D, do the same again. I will once again reflect this over to the other side, and move this down a bit just so they're staggered. To do the shapes, I'm going to use to create the grip. What I'm going to do now is take a few shapes here, copy them, paste them in front with Command F, and then move them to the front, unite then this so I have this one shape right here that I can use and intersect it with all of these little sashes so that they all get cropped off right along the handle. From there, I will get these different colors, so make these light for now. I'm just using Command and the open brackets to change positioning. I'm just actually, going to have it cut off right up here. I'm just creating a shape here that I can use to subtract from these. I like how that looks. Now, as I circle back here, a knot just for the piece of fabric that's trailing off. Then using N tool, I'll draw that shape. Once you're happy with how your weapon is looking in gray scale, we can move on to adding color. 7. Adding Colour: Hello everyone and welcome back. We're now going to take our grayscale weapon and add some color to it. You'll notice from last time that my design has changed slightly. I've added another gem here at the palm of the weapon, and I've also just changed the handle around it slightly, but nothing is new information, so I don't need to go over it. What you're going to do is duplicate this layer that you're preworking out before. I know it was called V1, but I just changed the basic, it doesn't really matter. Now from here, we're going to actually section it out into multiple layers just to make it easier to work with. I'm just going to make a few layers here and I'll be separating it out into the blade, so I'll put that here. As well as these gems, I'll put on their own layer. I'm just sectioning everything out so that it's easier to work with. I'm not grabbing things that I don't want. See that's all right. Just to make sure they're all of course, in the right order. Great. Now we can begin. You can hide the sketch. I'm actually going to take all of these and just make them a bit bigger. I'm actually going to add a layer for the background as well because we're trying to figure out all these colors at the same time. What I'm really going to do here is section now into just a couple main colors. I'm just looking at this here. I see maybe four, one of those being the background. A color for the background, the blade, the handle, or rather the whole hilt, and then the grip. Then I might use one of those same clothes for the gems or I might use something different. I'm looking at about four or five and actually how I'm going to do that is I'm actually just going to go through each of these layers and I'm going to turn the whole color to what I'm thinking. I'm thinking actually for this of having the blade, I want it to be, I mean it's was Nordic and cool, something like that pale blue for the blade. Give the sense of coldness. Hilt. Select all that command A. I think a deep read or okay. Show the fabric and the grip. Now there's a different shade really of red, maybe darker, I think a bit lighter. Here you're really just trying out different options. It's an opportunity to play around with colors, font combination you like. Something that might really suit your theme. Don't worry if it's not perfect because in the very end we're going to come back and tweak some of the colors if we want. We don't think they work. It's a really a simple way to do that. Then I'm going to show you I think a pale yellow, almost white for the gems, background and create a shape for that actually. Let's say I'm primarily going to look at some reds with the focus of this being the blue and the steel blade really stand out here. I guess think of like what do you want your focal points to be here, or what do you want the most important piece of weapon to be. For me, it's the blade because I want to have a nice glow to it. Secondary would actually be these gemstones. I might even pump those up and then I actually might just try the blue here as well, let's see. Actually, I think I like that. Now we're going to add some shades and highlights to the weapon using these colors that we set as a base. I'm going to "Command A" to select all of these, making sure that all the weapon layers that you are unlocked. Then while holding "Shift", I'm going to rotate it 45 degrees and I'm going to get a bit bigger. I'm just really setting up for where it's going to sit on the canvas. Now we're going to start adding some light based on a light source that's coming from the top left, right in this area. If you look at the other weapons that I have created, they all have a light source coming from this area. In considering that, we can now start to add different values of these colors to get a sense of light and bring back in that form that we made when our weapon was in grayscale. I'm going to do for that is actually, I usually like to use a hue saturation brightness panel here under color. You can get to it by clicking in these options. I'll just add some brightness where light would be hitting. I've been trying to really replicate how the light [inaudible] and may take some experimenting and playing around with. Just trying to consider that the light is coming from the top left here and so it can be brighter along this edge. Because light's getting cast here, it will actually cast a shadow down on this part. Then on the reverse edge is going to be even darker. [inaudible] take that sample that same color and as one-by-one, I'm going to go through these layers and do this. This will be our reference for once we actually start, because these are also going to be all replaced by gradients in the next step. Again, these are absolutely perfect. It's totally fine. Just want to really get a sense of the shape and where the light's actually hitting. They'll make our job a lot easier in the next step. I'm just quickly speeding through this part because I realized there is a mistake with how my layers were ordered. Don't worry, it's not a big deal and you're not missing anything. I'm going to leave actually these gems just empty for now. I'm going to really build those out in the lighting phase, which will be after I'm done coloring. [inaudible] the grip here. I'm just going to choose those two colors I think. Like I said, [inaudible] will be made. Yeah, feel free to change things around as you go. Nothing is really set in stone. These colors. At this stage, you might decide that one of the colors you've chosen, you don't actually like or doesn't work well with the rest of the colors. I mean, for that I'm going to show you a quick little trick and that you can really do at any stage of your illustration. For instance, this grip here, I actually don't like the orange anymore. I'm actually going to select all of it and I'm going to go up to "Edit Colors", "Adjust Color Balance". From here, I can add in and take away red, green, and blue from these colors. It's a nice little tool. Make sure Preview is on, Convert is on. It's a nice tool to try out different colors on the fly. For example, if there's too much red, I can take it away and I get more of a brown, add in some green. The green, I think it looks nice, but like I said, I want the main pieces of this weapon to be the blade and the gems, so that takes too much away from it. A darker red could work. Even if I decide that I actually want this just to be like black or white. Under Color Mode here I can change it to grayscale and I get this slider. Actually the white looks nice, so is the black. Sharper light. Yeah, I like them a lot better. Once you are happy with the colors you've chosen the color scheme, and you can move on to the next stage. 8. Blade: We're now going to take the colored weapon that we've made and add some lighting to it with effects and gradients. You'll notice from last time that I've changed my background color. Again, it was just something that I decided I didn't like anymore, and you're more than welcome to do the same thing with your weapon. I've also saved out a new version of this, because I want to preserve this flat color illustration just in case, because right now we're actually going to be changing all this around and add ingredients in place of the flat colors. The first step we're going to want to do is start pulling out swatches from this black color. That'll be really helpful for the gradients that we're going to be making if we have the samples of the colors that we want to use. You don't have to get all of them, but I would try to get three of each of the color. Here I have a really light, actually that's just a white. I have a blue here. I'm going to create that, the swatch, add the darker blue, and then do the same, and I'm just going to go through and pull out the colors that I've set. If you want you can delete this gray scale colors so that we don't recommend using those anymore. Now the colors are all set up. I'm going to start with my blade. I'm going to lock every other layer and I'm going to start creating gradients for it. I'm going to start with this edge right here, and we click it, and with the green panel open, which you can open with Control F9, or from up here in the Windows panel, I'm going to actually drag the colors that I want the gradient to be made of from my swatches, so it's going to be a white and it's going to be this light blue. I get rid of the black there, and just get rid of it by dragging it off. Now pressing G, we'll have the optic selected. I can angle the gradient in different ways. This is going to come from here. I'm going to have it like this. I'm going to make this flight away [inaudible] to make it easier to tell. Actually I'm going to make another swatch. Looks similar to this blue, but a bit lighter. Because I want it to be quite bright, and I'm actually going to use offset path, that we use before, object path, offset path, negative 3, miter 4. To create another shape, and I'm actually going to make this a gradient that's a bit darker. I'm going to take the light blue and like the medium blue. Because the light is coming from the top left down to the bottom right it'll go from light to dark for that. You could hold of Shift and have the gradient go in a 45-degree angle, which works great for us because our weapon is at 45 degrees. That just gives me this nice, almost like a little flat edge here where the edges of the blade meet. I quite like how that looks. I'm actually going to go back to this one, and if you make it a bit darker there, so you can really see it. It really helps here to have a good sense of when light comes and hits a surface, where does it go, and what gets dark, and what gets light. If you're not too comfortable with that it might be a good idea to go back to your references. Some of the swords or the other weapons that you found when you were trying to come up with an idea for your weapon and seeing how light hits that. You get a sense maybe of where light will be casting your weapon. I'm going to continue to go through. On the reverse side it's going to be darkest over here. I'm going to take my darkest blue, my second darkest blue. I'm going to add in there. I'll just draw it right here, same one. You got to continue to tweak it and play around with it until you get it, looking just right. I'm actually going to make another blue that's even darker than this. Great. Something that's quite neat is here with the gradient. Right now these colors are pretty evenly balanced, the light blue and the dark blue. If I decide that I want one to overpower the other, I can drag this middle point between them and get more of the dark blue or get more of the light blue, and that's also reflected here in the gradients panel. You can change it around. I think I actually like it when it's more of the light blue to it, like that. Great. The last thing I want to do on this blade is fix this edge right here, because it's hard to have the light behave exactly how I want it to with just a straight gradient, so I'm actually going to use a couple of layers to solve that. This layer here, I'm just going to keep it here like that. Then I'm going to do something about this top piece and something with this bottom piece to make it really have a lightest hook wrapping around it. To do that I'm going to create another layer on top of it with a opaque gradient. We create another layer, I'm going to press Control C and then Control F. That just copied and then placed the copy right on top of it. Then from here, this blue here, I'm going to meet the gradient just that blue on both sides, I'm going to make one of them zero percent opacity. I'm going to show you what this does. I'm just going to actually create another shape right here with that gradient. As you can see, it starts off solid and then it moves and becomes more opaque to the point of being seen through. It's a nice way to add reflections and shadows that you still want, the color behind it still to show. When we do that here is this shape that I've now placed on top of the first one. I'm just going to put it right here. As you can see, it starts to look like it's actually wrapping around. You can actually move it to see how that looks. That looks a lot better. Now to do it on top of here, I'm going to create another layer on top. Once again, Control C, Control F. This time I want to add a reflection up here. For this gradient I'm going to make them both this light blue that I'm using. Or actually, no, that's the white I'm using. I'm going to drag the white on to both of these, and I'm actually going to do this one a bit differently. Actually, no, I think I can just do it the linear way. I'll take the gradient and I'll start dragging it down here. It's not going to be absolutely perfect, but you can do a pretty good job of getting it to work the way you want if you do this. Just like that the light follows the blade much better than it did it with just a single shape. I'm just going to do the same thing on the other side, and in the next video I'm going to move on to the handle. 9. Hilt: So I've added a shadow to the back of the blade in a similar way to we did the front. I'm now going to move on to the hilt. So I'll lock the blade layer and unlock the hilt. I'll be using pretty much the same techniques for all of this, so I'm going to go through it a little bit quicker. But what I'm actually going to do is instead of doing one piece at a time, I'm actually just going to select all of these layers and apply the same gradient to start with. I'm just going to take the light red and the dark red. Even without setting anything, you start to see how this all works. I think I can probably use just this one gradient for most of this handle. So I'm just going to go through and apply the gradient to it and I'm going to stick with holding Shift here to make it all come from the top-left. Just to really hit home that it's all coming from the same. This one's going to be reversed. The reason I reversed this layer right here, I'm going to add a medium red here, it's because the light coming from here, it's going to be blocked out by this part of the handle, so it's actually darker in here. Likewise at this piece here, be quite dark. Once again, it's really just a matter of moving things around and seeing what works best. Really make sense with the light coming from where it's coming from. If you have any questions about why I'm doing what I'm doing, feel free to put them in the discussion for the class and I'll get right back to you. I'm really just making it easier on myself and choosing this single gradient for all of the weapon. In the case of back here, you can see it is where I have it darker up here and getting lighter down here. The reason I have it lighter down here is because even though there is this one light source coming from the top left, in my head there's still a secondary, less strong light source coming from behind and this usually exists when there's just light. If this sword was sitting on a table or if there is a platform, let's say somewhere below the sword, the light coming from the top-left would be hitting that surface and reflecting back up at it. In lines with keeping this quite dynamic in terms of the lighting, it's helpful to add in these little subtle things. At the end of the day, this looks right. Where this curve is on this handle, I can't really get the gradient with the Linear Gradient tool working exactly how I want it to, so I'm going to use the Radial Gradient. I'm going to go to the "Type" and I'm going to "Radial". Although that's quite good, I'm going to make it better. The Radial Gradient gives you this circle. You can draw it to whatever size you want and I'm trying to really get it to be right along this path here. This path is at a perfect circle, actually it might be. Now that I have this circle I wanted up here, if this wasn't a perfect circle, like this is round, if it is more like oval-shaped then I can actually take this black dot here and I can compress this and then once it's compressed, we can rotate it. You really create a gradient that fits into any round shape but I'm going to go back to this circle. Because the gradient is starting in the center and literally, all the action of this gradient only happens in this small space, I'm actually going to drag this marker. Well, first of all, I'm going to reverse this because it's mostly from dark to light and then I'm going to grab this dark marker and I'm going to drag it all the way to this edge here. I close here. Then I'm going to drag this middle piece to get exactly how I wanted. Once again, decide on the balance between these two colors. You might actually just bring this out a bit past so that the transition looks smoother, just like that. Now the gradients is wrapping around that edging much better. I can also do that here. I don't think I'll get too particular with it right now. Maybe when it's at the finishing touches, I'll come back to it and I'll address that, but I will do it here. Again, unless it's Radial, it's quite large. Perfect. [inaudible] this one. Although it's not going to be as dark, balance can be a bit different, more like that. There we go. I'm going to do at least two. The more you experiment with the Gradient tool, the more you realize how able you are to work in situations where it's not just a straight gradient. For this main section of the handle here, I'm doing the same thing I did with the blade. So I'm going to take this object here and I'm going to offset the path and this time by negative two pixels. The color behind it, the original shape, I'm going to create a red that's brighter than this one. Once again, the same thing we did to the blade. So I'm going to increase the brightness, not so much. Yeah, like that. Then that's the handle so we can move on to gems. 10. Gems & Grip: So moving on to the gems, I'm going to tackle this round one first. It's going to be quite simple. Just as you need, very around. The other one will have more edges to it, so, it will be a little more complex, but this one is basically going to be like a main gradient, and I'm actually going to throw some purple into it. So I decided that I would like to, simple enough. I'm actually going to create a new swatch, something a bluey purple, and I'm going to make a gradient here. That goes from blue, it goes from this purple, to the light blue that I have. Using G, I'm actually going to, create this screen to fit this oval similar to how I showed you before. I'm going to give the whole thing a drop shadow appearance, or a window appearance. If you have it open already, Shift F6, and under effects I can go to stylize drop shadow. Again, I want my drop shadow to have, for the color, I'm going to go to my swatches. I'm going to pick this dark red I've made, and keep preview on. I want the X and Y offset to be the same, because that way it goes right into the bottom right, it's going to have three and three. So I think that's probably good distance. I want to make a super blurry, no, I think too blurry is pretty good. I'm going to pass it of course. It looks like shadows being cast from it. Any point, you can actually click on this, and then the appearance panel go back in the drop shadow, and tweak it some more, which is handy. The final thing I'm going to do is just add a catch light. I'm going to create a ellipse, and give it a gradient. Can give it white on both sides, and one of those sides have positive zero. Let's going to do this. I want this to be the same shape out of it, and this is just going to be a reflection here. I'm going to make this a little bit deeper. Yes, I like that. You can actually might use. The next step is to have a little bit like that. It can help to go online, and look at some different gemstones, and see what exactly you would like to use, and then once again, how does light pass through it, and what does it look like? For this gem, I'm going to offset it by, let's say three pixels. Let's make that a different color for now, and I'm going to use the pen tool just to create a shape for each of these panels here. If you're looking up online, different stones, you'll see a lot of them cut in a similar way to this. Once I've made these five shapes, I'm going to select all of them, and I'm going to apply gradient to them, the blue and the purple grade. Do not be too particular about where exactly all the light is coming from just because when it comes to things like gemstones, they're quite intricate because they are translucent. The light ends up all over the place really. Just get it to a place where it looks quite nice. Something like that. Underneath this, is all that base shape, so I'm actually going to grab it. I'm just going to press Command 2 on the shape to lock it, and so I have grabbed the shape behind it. There are several ways we could have grabbed it, so that's just one of the ways that I used. I'm going to go to appearance, and add a drop shadow, the same as the one we made before, and the option should still be here. I think actually for this, I'm going to bring the offset down to reach the blurred one. Yeah, let me do that. There is our complete handle with gems. Finally, I'm going to do the grip. To do that, I'm just going to select the grip, and the fabric that's trailing off. I'm just going to plug into the whole thing like this. These two colors that I sampled from swatches animate, and I'm going to make this one a bit darker. I'm going to begin to layer these gradients, just in a way that you can really see how the fabric is layered on top of itself, wrapped around the handle here. For this strand back here, I'm going to use two gradients. Some do one just from here. Then using Command C, and then Command F to face that in front, I'm going to create a gradient here just so that you can really see this one piece overlapping. To do that, I'm going to get three copies of this gray here, on the gradient. One on each side, and I'll put one in the middle, location 50 percent. The ones on the side, I'm going to put to zero percent. You'll see how this works best when I actually just apply it. So I apply it right here. You can see that it starts off at zero, so you can't see anything, it moves to the center where it's at a 100 percent, and then back to zero. It really makes it easy to replicate a shadow being cast on top of it. Actually, I'm going to move these middle points out more, so that it's a more pronounced shadow. Once we've applied these gradients to all of our weapon, we can move on to the finishing touches stage. 11. Adding Detail and Glow: Welcome back. Now that our weapon is at a nice looking place, we can go through and do a final sweep of adjustments, as well as do something about that background, right now it's just a flat color, and we can do something much more interesting. One of the first things I'm going to do is, as I remember, I wanted to add some ruins along the blade here. I've actually went ahead and created the some using the pen tool. I'm actually just going to take all of these parts, and I'm going to go to Object, Path, Outline Stroke, to turn them into shapes and then unite them and I'm just going go and place them on the blade at 45° and just like that. I wanted to be quite subtle, so I think, either the lights or maybe-, I like that, it looks like they're more indented into the blade. Next up, I'm going to add just a couple more lighting effects, starting out with actually the blade still. I'm actually just going to grab the shapes here and make a duplicate on top. I'm just trying to add some more shadow coming from the base of the blade, so you can really get that it's behind that piece of the hilt. So I'm just making one of these transparent gradients that's dark, but goes from being solid to transparent. I'm just going to do this. I just need to push back. It's adding a bit more shadow on there. It's really just something you look through your weapons and see where, maybe the lighting can be improved. Again on the hilt here, I'm going to actually make more shadows coming from behind this wrap. So I'm going to duplicate, Control C, Control F to paste in place a copy of this layer. Then I'm going to make it green. It goes from invisible to solid, back to invisible. Similar thing that I did to this piece here, the wrap. I'm going to [inaudible] that. This kind of adding a shadow underneath the grip. We'll use a stronger shadow, so you can really get that it's laying on top of the hilt of that. Cool. Next up, I'm going to actually add a bit more shadow to the grip itself, because right now, it's this grip here is really round, whereas the actual blade is very edged. So we're trying to reinforce those edges, by copying these two shapes, going to my grip layer and pasted them on top. Then I'm actually just going to make a shape out of this, Control C, Control F. I'm just bringing a shape here that I can use to subtract these other shapes from. Then the more you use the Pathfinder tool, the more comfortable you get with subtracting shapes, it's very handy. I'll make more sense once I've done this here. So I have these two pieces. I'm going to create another solid to transparent gradient and I'm going to apply like this to reinforce the shape behind the edge. It's a little too strong, so I'm going to knock it back to 50%. Now, you can still see the shape, the hard-edged shape of the blade or of the handle going through the raft which I quite like. A last little anything I want to do is to add some glowing effects to these gems and to the blade itself. I will start off with blade and I'm actually just going to take these two shapes, Control C, Control F, ignite them into one and I'm going to do Command Shift, open bracket to send it to the back. Just make sure it has a solid fill color when you're doing the glow or else the effect might not work properly. Then back in appearance, I'm going to go to Effects, Stylize, Outer Glow, and I'm going to add the glow for this blue one. Preview, makes more down a bit. [inaudible] a little. Something like that. I want to really reinforce it that there's some magical properties to this. Now we do the exact same thing for the gems. So I'm going to turn on the gem layer and I'm going to grab say just this shape here. Actually am going to make a duplicate on top, because there's a drop shadow on this one and if I have both a drop shadow and a glow on the same object, it doesn't really work too well. So I'm going to make a duplicate on top during the drop shadow. Then I'm going to add the outer glow. [inaudible] I don't want it too strong, something like that. That's good. Do the same thing to this one, Control C, Control F, get the drop shadow and add an outer glow. Great. 12. Refining the Background: Now, we're going to do something over that static background. The first thing I'm going to do is create a radial gradient. I'm really just make a gradient of blue. My two stops with the blue. Then the one that's going to be on the edges of the picture. I'm going to make it darker and I might just change the hue slightly. I'm darken it up. I'm just going to make it a bit more purpley, something like that. We do have some purple on our gem, so just something like that. I think a dark background which works really nice for this weapon, just like it's bright and glowing. Now that I've done that, I'm just add a little bit of detail to the background. I think what I'm going to do is I'm going to use these runes that I have on the blade as little design elements just to be floating around at different sizes and opacities. So I'll create a new layer, and I'm going to call this bg runes. I'm just going to copy this here. I'm going to Ungroup this, and I think I'm actually just going to give them all a glow as well. Something like that. I just knock them down on Opacity to start with. I think I'm just going to start for these in different spots around the weapon, maybe shrink a few. Just something subtle but adding a little more interest to the piece. The smaller ones, I'm going to make them even more opaque. I'll grab some of these symbols that I really liked. It really helps to get hone that magic concept, I think. So depending on what the idea behind your weapon, maybe you'll roll that into your background with some mutual design elements or patterns or something like that. Sometimes I'll do patterns, sometimes I'll add even the horizontal lines and things like that just to add something extra. Even this, I think I'm just going to do a couple of these. I'll just quickly grab all of these. Put it in center. I'm going to save that. Now, the very last thing that we have the option of doing is doing another sweep with the Adjust Color Balance. I'm liking the way my colors are right now, but I think I might just see what it looks like changing the color of my handle. So I'm going to lock everything except for it. I'm going to highlight everything. Go Edit, Edit Colors, Adjust Color Balance. I'm going to Preview and Convert on. I'm going to start tweaking these sliders to see what else I could possibly get. There's a green. Maybe I could do a purple. We already have a piece where we had a lot of blue and purple in it, so it might be nice to continue with that. Maybe we just want it to be another shade of blue, and see what that looks like. My gem didn't move properly. I'm just going to fix that. Great. So give it just a final play around to see if there's any color that you prefer. A nice way to end off the piece is just seeing if maybe there is a different alternative that you like. I do like the purple but I think the red, it's nice having another little pop of color in the piece on actually, and I'll just keep it like this. 13. Conclusion: So just in wrapping up the class, I want to go through the different steps that we took to get to our final weapon. We started out with going online and funding research in different inspiration and then we use that to create a sketch. It's really helpful to make a sketch before you move into illustrator because everything is so rigid once you get it and then you start working with paths, and squares, and circles, and things like that, and it's really nice to start off fluid with a sketch. Once we had our sketched figured out, we went to illustrator, and we just started basic grayscale because we didn't want any of that color to influence their decision. But once we had a grayscale weapon that was looking good, we were able to add color, and then we were able to polish it with gradients and other effects and start to change things as we want. These techniques we use today to create a weapon, but you could use them for any factory illustration. I hope that you had a great time in the class. I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys post and if you have any questions or suggestions for future classes, just let me know. Thank you.