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Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Create a Printer Illustration

In the following Adobe Illustrator tutorial you will learn how to create a detailed scanner illustration. We'll start with a bunch of simple shapes, some basic vector shape building techniques, several effects and the round any corner script. Once we have our starting shapes we'll continue with some Pathfinder options, several new effects plus some basic masking techniques. For the final touches we will use some simple blending.

Before we get started, here is a preview of the illustration we'll be creating.

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Step 1

Hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width and height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before your click OK. Now, turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you'll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box.

You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

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Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 480 by 345px shape, fill it with a flat green then grab the Direct Selection Tool(A). Select the left anchor point and move it 80px to the right then select the right anchor point and move it 80px to the left. This will turn your rectangle into a trapezoid. Next, you'll need the Round Any Corner script. You can find it in this article.

Save it to your hard drive, return to Illustrator and continue with the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the bottom anchor points (highlighted in the second image) and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 50px Radius and click OK. In the end your shapes should look like in the third image.

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Step 3

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Again, enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

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Step 4

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 410 by 270px shape, fill it with a flat yellow and place it as shown in the first image. Grab the Direct Selection Tool(A) and focus on this new shape. Select the left anchor point and move it 65px to the right then select the right anchor point and move it 65px to the left. Again, you'll need the Round Any Corner script.

Continue with the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom anchor points (highlighted in the second image) and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 10px Radius and click OK. In the end your shapes should look like in the third image.

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Step 5

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Again, enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

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Step 6

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with black.

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Step 7

Reselect the black shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy along with the green shape, open the Pathfinder panel and click on the Minus Front button. Once again, you'll need the Round Any Corner script.

Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the four anchor points highlighted in the second image and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 3px Radius and click OK. In the end your shape should look like it does in the third image.

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Step 8

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 300 by 20px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select it along with the black shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Move to the Layers panel and drag the resulting, black shape below the yellow one.

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Step 9

Reselect the green shape and replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown below. Move to the Layers panel, double click on this shape and name it "main".

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Step 10

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Reselect "main" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow twenty times (to move it 20px up). Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Move to the Layers panel and you will find a group with three new shapes. Select it, ungroup it (Shift + Control + G) and delete the two, top shapes. Select the remaining shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the third image. Move to the Layers panel and name it "mainBottom".

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Step 11

Reselect "mainBottom" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 3px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image.

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Step 12

Reselect "mainBottom" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the bottom copy and move it 3px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=199 G=203 B=203.

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Step 13

Focus on the shapes created in the last two steps. Select the first one and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 4px radius and click OK. Select the second one and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2px radius and click OK. Reselect both shapes and group them (Control + G). Next, you need to mask this group. Reselect "main", make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), fill it with white and drag it above the group (in the Layers panel).

Open the Transparency panel. Select the fresh, white shape along with the group, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and simply click on the Make Opacity Mask button. In the end your masked group should look like in the sixth image. Move to the Layers panel and lock it.

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Step 14

Reselect "mainBottom" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=175 G=175 B=175.

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Step 15

Reselect "mainBottom" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image.

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Step 16

Reselect "mainBottom" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 10px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with R=100 G=100 B=100 and lower its opacity to 5%.

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Step 17

Reselect "mainBottom" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 10px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Again, turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with R=100 G=100 B=100 and lower its opacity to 5%.

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Step 18

Reselect "mainBottom" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 10px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=100 G=100 B=100 and lower its opacity to 10%. Unlock the masked group created in step #13 then select "mainBottom" along with all the shapes created in the last seven steps and group them (Control + G).

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Step 19

Reselect "main" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and open the Transform panel (Window > Transform). Check the middle, top reference point and the "Constrain Width and Height Proportions" button then simply enter "385" in the height box.

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Step 20

Select this resized copy along with the other copy created in the previous step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the second image.

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Step 21

Reselect "main" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 25px up and 12px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with R=242 G=245 B=245, lower its opacity to 20% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

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Step 22

Reselect "main" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 25px up and 12px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with R=242 G=245 B=245, lower its opacity to 20% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

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Step 23

Reselect the black shape and replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown below. Move to the Layers panel, double click on this shape and name it "interior".

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Step 24

Reselect "interior" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px to the down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=70 G=70 B=70.

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Step 25

Reselect "interior" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the bottom copy and move it 2px to the down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=235 G=235 B=235.

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Step 26

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a 150 by 45px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image. Move to the Layers panel and drag this new path right below the "interior" shape. Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select this squeezed circle and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px up.

Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=140 G=140 B=140. Reselect the squeezed circle and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the bottom copy and move it 2px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=235 G=235 B=235.

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Step 27

Select "main" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup the resulting group of shapes and delete the right shape. Fill the remaining shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ).

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Step 28

Reselect "main" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Again, ungroup the resulting group of shapes then delete the left shape. Fill the remaining shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ).

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Step 29

Select "interior" along with all the shapes created in the last five steps and group them (Control + G). Move to the Layers panel and drag this new group below the yellow shape.

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Step 30

Now focus on the yellow shape. One last time, you'll need the Round Any Corner script. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top anchor points (highlighted in the first image) and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 5px Radius and click OK. In the end your shapes should look like in the third image.

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Step 31

Reselect the shape edited in the previous step, replace the yellow with the linear gradient shown below then name it "cover".

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Step 32

Select "cover" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the bottom copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=70 G=70 B=70.

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Step 33

Reselect "cover" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image.

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Step 34

Reselect "cover" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 3px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity to 10%.

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Step 35

Reselect "cover" and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 10px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its opacity to 50%.

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Step 36

Select "cover" along with all the shapes created in the last four steps and group them (Control + G).

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Step 37

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 145 by 20px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with R=90 G=90 B=94, lower its opacity to 75% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2px radius and click OK. Move to the Layers panel and drag this blurred shape below the group created in the previous step.

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Step 38

Select the "main" and "cover" shapes and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Drag these copies outside their groups and bring them to the front (Shift + Control + ] ). Turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make) and fill it with a random flat color.

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Step 39

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 590 by 230px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this squeezed circle along with the compound path created in the previous step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Move to the Layers panel and you will find a new group with three shapes. Fill the middle one with R=150 G=150 B=153 and lower its opacity to 2% then fill the other two with R=70 G=70 B=70 and lower their opacity to 5%.

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Step 40

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 90 by 15px shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Select it and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 7px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

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Step 41

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=201 G=201 B=201.

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Step 42

Reselect the shape created in step 40 and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=140 G=140 B=140.

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Step 43

Reselect the shape created in step 40 and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=235 G=235 B=235.

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Step 44

Again, reselect the shape created in step 40, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill. Select it, drag it in the bottom of the Appearance panel, set its color at R=100 G=100 B=100 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 1px Offset and click OK.

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Step 45

Reselect the shape created in the fortieth step once more, add a third fill and use the linear gradient shown in the first image. The yellow "0" from the gradient image stands for opacity percentage. Select this new fill, drag it to the bottom of the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 50% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 4px Offset and click OK.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill for your shape. Select it, drag it to the bottom of the Appearance panel, add the linear gradient shown in the second image, lower its opacity to 50% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Again, enter a 4px Offset and click OK.

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Step 46

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For the following step you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 1 by 20px shape and fill it with R=100 G=100 B=100. Place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the following image and click OK.

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Step 47

Return to "Gridline every: 5px". So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Select all the shapes created in the last seven steps and group them (Control + G). Place this new group as shown in the following image.

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Step 48

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 240 by 50px, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as is shown in the first image. Add a 1pt stroke for this shape, set its color to R=120 G=120 B=120 and align it to the inside. Finally, send this squeezed circle to the back (Shift + Control + [ ).

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Step 49

Select all the shapes created so far and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Select these copies and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white.

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Step 50

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the white shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy, move it 3px down and send it to the back (Shift + Control + [ ). Make sure that this copy is still selected, lower its opacity to 5% the replace the white used for the fill with black.

Select this black shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, move it 2px down, raise its opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 4px radius and click OK.

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Step 51

Reselect the white shape created in step 49. First, replace the white with R=39 G=170 B=225. Next, lower its opacity to 10%, change the blending mode to Overlay and you're done.

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And That's That!

That wraps up this all new Adobe Illustrator tutorial. Once again, here is what the final result should look like. Feel free to leave any questions or thoughts you might have in the comment section.

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