(AWESOME TECHNIQUE!) Shape Building to Create a Football in Illustrator!

Use the Shape Builder, Snap to Point, and the precision of the Properties panel to quickly create some fun shapes that you can use in your next logo or design project!

Recording notes:

Start with a 300px ellipse. Center it in the document.

Duplicate the ellipse and use the Properties panel to make it 150% bigger.

Duplicate the original center ellipse and make it 200% bigger.

Turn on Smart Guides.

Duplicate the center ellipse and Shift + drag down until it clicks to the bottom of the big outer ellipse.

Delete the outermost ellipse.

Create a triangle and drag it so the point snaps to the top center point of the new ellipse we dragged downward a moment ago.

Use the Selection tool and hold shift and drag the triangle until the bottom corners click to the ellipse. Check on the top point and adjust if needed.

Duplicate the two outer rings and drag them, together, down and to the right until the leftmost edge of the ellipse clicks onto the left side of the triangle that we created.

Duplicate the double ring again and drag over to the left until the rightmost edge of the ellipse clicks onto the right side of the triangle.

Select and delete the triangle.

Use the Shaper Tool and hold down Alt/Opt and draw through the outside bits of the ellipses to wipe away everything outside of the actual ball.

Drag through the sections of the ball that will make up the swooping shapes to build the sidewall of the ball.

Ungroup any bits and layers that group together.

Select all the junky edge bits and get rid of them.

Group everything together and set the stroke width to 20pt. Increase the football size to 400px using the Properties panel.

Next, let’s create a newer version of the ball.

Create a new 400px ellipse. Create a six-sided hexagonal shape sized 70px.

Align both shapes to the very center of the artboard.

Duplicate the hex shape and stack them 5-high down the middle of the ellipse. 

Lock the original elliptical shape and select all of the hex shapes.

Turn on the Snap to Point feature and drag this strip of hex shapes to the right. Grab the Direct Selection tool and select a specific anchor point on the left side of a hex shape and drag to align these hex shapes with the valley areas of the original hex strip.

Duplicate the hex pattern so it’s five columns across and align everything with the Snap to Point/Direct Selection tool.

Set the fill of all the hex shapes to white and give them a 3pt stroke.

Select the center hex shape and a few around it and fill these shapes with black.

Group all the hex shapes together and duplicate the original ellipse and leave it above the hex group in the Layers panel. Select this new shape and hex group and hit Cmd/Ctrl + 7 to create a clipping mask. 

You can now drag the hex shapes around to make the pattern perfect on the ball surface.

Final step is to select the actual layer group of the hex shapes and apply a warp effect to this group. Choose the “Inflate” preset and set it to the 100% max.

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