Trinity Spiral Effect – Illustrator CC Tutorial

Learn about creating complex shapes and colors in this Adobe Illustrator tutorial!

We’ll create this complex intertwining triple circular shape effect using strokes, the Pathfinder, gradients, snap to point, Smart Guides, and so much more in this intermediate to advanced level Illustrator tutorial!

Instagram credit: https://www.instagram.com/darumacreative/

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Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

  1. New Illustrator doc 2560×1440
  2. 70px ellipse
  3. Transform one copy 235% and expand this shape
  4. Transform the group of shapes: 59H & 102V make one copy and Expand + ungroup this transformed shape(s)
  5. Select the top ellipse and transform that group of shapes again: -59H & 102V make one copy and Expand + ungroup this as well
  6. Make sure all shapes are ungrouped
  7. Select all paths and apply 35pt stroke any color
  8. Select all paths, copy, and paste in front and group this second set of paths, reduce the stroke to 1pt and give it light blue color, group it together and hide the group in the Layer’s panel
  9. Select remaining 35pt paths and Expand strokes to fills
  10. Ungroup all rings
  11. Top center ring, add gradient: #CD6F8C – #D69229
  12. Left ring gradient: #75B5FE – #B1FBE3 and a -90º angle
  13. Right ring gradient: #5D8CFB – #CC6FBE and a -110º angle
  14. Fill smaller rings, top: #ECE34B, left: #DAA22C, right: #B6EB4F
  15. Select all shapes and add a stroke, 10pt, inside, color: #4E4C71
  16. Stack these layers: (bottom) large top ring, large left ring, larger right ring, small left ring, small top ring, small right ring
  17. Turn on Snap to Point
  18. Turn on the thin, blue paths we shut off earlier
  19. Grab the Pen Tool and draw these three paths and stroke with 25pt and random colors to differentiate
  20. Expand stroke to fill on the shape for the top ellipse and sample the fill/stroke of the top, small ring and set the stroke to align center on the path
  21. Move this layer down until it is just above the top small ellipse but below the small right ellipse
  22. Repeat this for the small left ellipse and move the shape down to just above it so this starts to look right
  23. Repeat the process for the small right ellipse and duplicate the larger right ellipse and paste in front and Divide it against the path we created for this intertwined effect and delete the pieces you don’t need
  24. Copy the top large ellipse and add a layer mask to the larger right ellipse and unclip it. Paste that larger top ring in place for the mask and dump the stroke and fill with a strong black
  25. Use the Direct Selection Tool to select the pieces of the paths that still have the stroke that splits up the effect of the flowing paths and delete those lines
  26. Add a gradient to each of these pieces to add a fade into the color that it “flows” into
  27. Further tweak and edit the gradient as needed
  28. Create a 12×12 ellipse filled with #4E4C71 and align in the very middle of the top ellipse
  29. Transform this ellipse 59H & 102V make one copy and Expand + ungroup this transformed shape(s)
  30. Select the top dot again and transform -59H & 102V make one copy and Expand + ungroup this as well
  31. Create three 24×24 ellipses and add a 10pt stroke #4E4C71 and position these around the shape we made until it looks cool
  32. If you want to Scale it, don’t use the transform handles, use the Object>Transform>Scale and choose to tick on the scale effects, strokes, etc…