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Illustrator Tutorial: How to Create a Vector Christmas Bell

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Illustrator Tutorials / Illustration/ Comments: 4
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You can download the source vector file for this tutorial



In this tutorial we will learn how to create a Christmas Bell using the 3D modeling and a couple of other coloring techniques which will make our illustration look professional. This tutorial is especially suitable for proficient users but I’m pretty sure that our beginner designers will find a lot of useful information here. Find out more at the jump.

3D Modeling of the Christmas Bell

Step 1

Take the Pen Tool (P) and create two curved paths which match inner and outer surface of the bell.

Step 2

Let’s create a vertical  line with the Pen Tool (P). Apply a trapezoidal profile and the Round Cap in the Stroke panel.

This object corresponds to the shape of a bell handle. Select the handle and then go to the Objec t> Expand Appearance. Take the Scissors Tool (C) and cut the form in points A and B; delete the left part of the form.

It is desirable that the points A, B and C lay on the same vertical line. You can align them with the Align panel.

Step 3

Group all created object; go to the Object > 3D >Revolve… and set the parameters indicated on the figure below.

 
 

3D model of the bell is ready.

Step 4

Now, based on the form of our model we will create some regular vector objects with the Pen Tool (P) and the Ellipse Tool (L).

Create a form of a clapper.

Select a bar of the clapper and go to the Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

Step 5

Let’s hide a part of the bar that should not be seen. Copy the brown ellipse and paste it to the front (Command / Ctrl + C, Command / Ctrl + F)

Place the new ellipse above all the objects; then select it and all the clapper objects. Go to the Object > Clipping Mask > Make or use the Command / Ctrl + 7 shortcut.

Coloring of Christmas Bell

Step 6

Fill the form of the handle with the linear gradient which consists of different shades of brown. Light-brown sliders in the left part of the gradient correspond to reflection of the light from the surface where our handle is situated. Light-brown slider in the right part of the gradient corresponds to the part of the handle which is illuminated by the direct rays from the lights sources. Note: We will work in RGB color mode.

Step 7

Let’s create some form of highlight on the upper part of the handle with the Pen Tool (P). Fill this form with the linear gradient which consists of two shades of brown; then apply the Screen blending mode in the Transparency panel to it.

I always adjust colors after using blending mode and hide edges ( Command/Ctrl+H) in order to reach the right effect. I use the HSB color mode in the Color panel to mix the colors.

Step 8

Fill the side surface of our bell with the linear gradient which has some shades of dark-yellow color.

Create a new form with the Pen Tool (P) and fill it with the linear gradient which consists of some shades of brown.

Step 9

Create an ellipse and fill it with elliptic gradient which consists of two identical yellow sliders. Set 0% opacity for the right slider in the Gradient panel.

Draw a curved segment with the Pen Tool (P); then apply the triangular profile in the Stroke panel.

Keep the path selected and go to the Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Fill the received object with the linear gradient and then apply the Screen blending mode to it.

Step 10

Create a curved segment. Apply a triangular profile to it in the Stroke panel; then reduce the opacity and apply the Screen blending mode to it in the Transparency panel.

Step 11

And now let’s create Art Brush with soft edges. Create two circles with the brown fill. Set 0% opacity for the lower bigger circle.

Go to the Object > Blend > Blend Options… and set the number of steps in the dialog box. Now go to the Object > Blend > Make

Drag the created blend object to the Brushes panel and save a new brush as Art Brush

Select the Stretch between Guides and place our guides as it is indicated on the figure above. Create two paths and apply the created brush to them.

Step 12

Let’s go on creating the light effects on the metal surface of our Christmas bell. Draw a circle with the radial gradient fill from yellow to black. Apply the Screen blending mode to it.

Create a form of a highlight. Fill this object with the linear gradient and apply the Screen blending mode to it.

Create an ellipse as it is indicated on the figure below.

Select this ellipse and the circle created in this step; then go to the Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

Step 13

Copy the form of the side surface of our bell and paste it to the front. Place this form above all objects.

Select this form and the objects of the side surface of the bell; then use the Command / Ctrl + 7 shortcuts to create the Clipping path.

Step 14

Let’s work on the creation of the inner surface of the bell and its rim. We will create these objects with the help of a couple of ellipses filled with the radiant gradients. Let’s look at this process on the figures below.

Step 15

Let’s create highlights and shades on the rim of the bell. Create a rectangle with the fill of white-and-black linear gradient and apply the Screen blending mode to it.

Now let’s create a blend object as we made it in 11th step. Please note, the lower objects have 0% opacity. You can change the form of the object after blend has been created. This will help you to achieve the desired effect.

Now we need to hide protruded parts of our highlight’s shadow. Do it as earlier, with the Clipping Mask.

Step 16

I hope you understood the main work approach. I will show you the creation process of other shadows and highlights.

Step 17

Let’s work on the bell’s clapper. Fill a spherical shape with radial gradient.

Create two circles with yellow outline and apply the Screen blending mode to it.

Step 18

Copy the form of a spherical object and paste it to the front. Fill the copy with radial gradient from white to brown; then apply Multiply blending mode to it.

Limit the objects of spherical surface with the Clipping Mask.

Step 19

Fill the form of the bar with the linear gradient.

Create some highlights on the bar with the help of ellipse which is filled with elliptical radial gradient; apply the Screen blending mode to it.

Step 20

We create some bright highlight on the spherical surface with the help of a circle filled with black-and-white radial gradient; apply the Color Dodge blending mode.

Step 21

With blend objects let’s create some drop shadow from the clapper of the bell.

If you need to darken some part of the illustration or our shadow has a simple form, then you can use ellipses with black-and-white radial gradient to which  Multiply blending mode should be applied.

In order to achieve the desired shade of color you can use one color slider in radial gradient, but the second should be necessarily white.

Let’s create one more bright highlight on the rim of the bell.

Step 22

Let’s work on creation of the bow on the handle of the Christmas bell. The creation process of its elements is shown on the figures below. We will use the Pen Tool (P) for this work.

Step 23

Sometimes it is very complicated to reproduce the complex lighting of some objects. In our case, we will need to create some additional objects. Exactly this way I’ve created some shadow on the ribbon. Create some blend object which consists of two grey ellipses; then apply the Multiply Blending Mode to it.

Now let’s restrict the visibility of this object with the Clipping Mask along the ribbon’s form.

Step 24

Our bow will reflect on the metal surface of the bell. Let’s create this reflection.

To lighten the part of the reflection we create a circle filled with the radiant gradient from dark-red to black and we will apply the Screen blending mode to it.

You have probably noticed some pattern in the usage of the blending mode, haven’t you? In fact, such pattern really exists. The Screen blending mode is used for lightening of parts of objects and for highlight creation. Color Dodge Blending Mode is used for creation of very bright highlights. And Multiply Blending Mode is used for darkening of parts of objects and creation of shadows.

Step 25

We just have to create some drop shadow from our bell. It consists of a couple of blend objects.

You can use the Pencil Tool (N) in order to change the forms of blend-objects.  You can learn more about this technique in our other tutorial "How to Create a Vector Paper Butterfly and Apply Text Effect to It in Illustrator”.

Conclusion

I understand that this is technically difficult tutorial, so do not hesitate to ask me any questions in the commentaries or on my Illustrator Forum. Happy holidays!


You can download the source vector file for this tutorial



More tutorials:
How to Create an Isometric Shopping Basket in Illustrator
How to Create a Polygonal Vector Mosaic in Illustrator
How to Apply a Duotone Effect to Vector Artwork in Adobe Illustrator
Total comments: 4
0   Spam
1 John   (2012 Nov 27 09:36)
Looks amazing, very realistic Christmas bell!

0   Spam
2 jaroslav   (2012 Nov 27 09:49)
I'm glad you like it.

0   Spam
3 Kaare   (2012 Nov 28 12:21)
I got down to step 2, full stop. Why? I have Illustrator 5.5, but no trapezoidal profile on a stroke. What if people who send in these tutorials informed about the version of software they have used? There is no trapezoidal profile mentioned in my Help menu either. So without that stroke option it is impossible to go any further. This is not the first time I have come across such lack of description in tutorials on the web. It is vital to be very accurate in describing tutorials, and here something is obviously missing.

0   Spam
4 jaroslav   (2012 Nov 28 12:27)
You can make such stroke profile with Width Tool
"This tutorial is especially suitable for proficient users" as I mentioned above.

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