How To Create AWESOME Vector Textures In Illustrator – Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

How To Create AWESOME Vector Textures In Adobe Illustrator

Tutorial

\How do we create better textures in Adobe Illustrator?

This is a question I get asked all the time. 

So how do we create better textures? I am going to tell you 3 ways that you can use to create some awesome textures to add to your illustrations.

The 3 ways we explore are FREE and using features found inside Illustrator. The idea of these textures is to build on the skills you ALREADY have to help you become a better Illustrator.

Then it won’t be long until you’re CRUSHING your illustration game. You’ll be creating better illustrations, that look professional and full of character before you know it.  

Follow the steps below.

Document Set Up

First of all…

 

Make sure the document is set up correctly, to get the best out of the textures that were going to be creating. 

For this I recommend putting it into CMYK mode as we’re going to be using the varying intensities of black to actually create the effects. This allows us to manipulate the level of black a little easier.

Click the following…

File > Document Colour Mode > CMYK Colour

Ensure your colour panel is set to CMYK colour  because you may be in RGB.

Now I have a document set in CMYK Mode I am going to take you through the steps of how to create each of the texture examples and then we will look at implementing them into our illustrations 

Texture One

Step One…


Create two circles. 

Set one with a 50% Black Fill and the other circle, the standard black to white gradient fill in Illustrator and make sure its down to CMYK. 

 

Step Two…

Adding the grain effect. 

Set one with a 50% Black Fill and the other circle, the standard black to white gradient fill in Illustrator and make sure its down to CMYK.  

Click the following…

Click on the first circle which is set at black level 50% 

Effect (menu bar) > Texture > Grain

This will bring up a dialog box where we can alter the intensity and contrast of the effect to a specific place that we would want to use on our illustration. Once you have got something you are happy with click OK and the grain will apply to the first circle. 

Click the second circle, with the black to white gradient. 

Command shift & E to apply the same effect to this

You will see it will apply the same grain effect as the first circle but with the variant level of intensity due to the gradient.

While the effects are at this stage you can still manipulate them as they are still live and you can therefore play around with them until they are at a stage you are happy with. 

 

 

Once you are at a place you are happy with we will convert these into vector textures.

 
Step Three…


 To convert the circles into vector textures, we start by rasterizing them, rasterising them allows us to generate a more random texture. 

To do that were going to:

Click on the first circle

Click > Object > Rasterize

Then do the same for the second circle.

Once we have done that, to actually vectorise these textures you will need to use the image trace function. If you do not have the image trace option at the top of Illustrator, you can find it by clicking:

Window > Image Trace

This will bring up a dialog box.

Typically I use the Sketched Art Preset as my foundation to work with. I will then alter the threshold and the noise to dial in the effect to somewhere that I am satisfied. 

Hit Expand, this will outline everything and turn it into paths that you can edit and colour to match your artwork, we will do this to both circles for examples. 

 

Texture Two

Step One…


Create two more circles. 

As before set one with a 50% Black Fill and the other circle, the standard black to white gradient fill in Illustrator and make sure its down to CMYK. 

 

Step Two…

Adding the graphic pen effect. 

Set one with a 50% Black Fill and the other circle, the standard black to white gradient fill in Illustrator and make sure its down to CMYK.  

Click the following…

Click on the first circle which is set at black level 50% 

Effect (menu bar) > Sketch > Graphic Pen 

With this we will follow exactly the same steps as we did on Texture One using the two circles as an example, one with level black 50% and the other black to white gradient. 

 

Step Three…

Repeat the same process as Texture One

Texture Three

Step One…


Create two more circles. 

As before set one with a 50% Black Fill and the other circle, the standard black to white gradient fill in Illustrator and make sure its down to CMYK. 

 

Step Two…

Adding the Colour Halftone effect. 

Set one with a 50% Black Fill and the other circle, the standard black to white gradient fill in Illustrator and make sure its down to CMYK.  

Click the following…

Click on the first circle which is set at black level 50% 

Effect (menu bar) > Pixellate > Colour Halftone 

With this we will follow exactly the same steps as we did on Texture One using the two circles as an example, one with level black 50% and the other black to white gradient. 

 

Step Three…

Repeat the same process as Texture One

Final Thoughts and Uses

On this illustration you will see all the different varying types of textures to create depth and dimension to the piece.

How To Use The Textures


Taking one of the colour sections in your illustrations, create a new layer on top of your existing colour layer. Once the new layer has been created Paste the copied colour section onto this layer, once you have done this add a gradient or specific level of black depending on how you want to share the illustration. The gradient will represent where any form of light could be reflecting onto the image as a live object and in respect of the rest of the illustration. 

To do this you can either:

Use the gradient tool and actually drag it through or manipulate it using the options in the control panel on the gradient. 

Once we have got a gradient we are happy with we use one of the textures from above and follow the process to add the texture. We repeat this across the entire illustration.

So there you have it, how to create awesome textures in Adobe Illustrator and added example on how to use those illustrations to add depth to your illustrations. 

Thanks For Joining Designers

Before you leave head on over to the YouTube channel and smash that subscribe button we post new videos every Wednesday to help you become a better designer. Also drop a comment on the video and let me know your favourite way to add texture to your illustrations.

 

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