Create Complex Geometric Shapes EASILY – Illustrator Tutorial

We’re going to explore the Offset Path function and the Shaper tool in Adobe Illustrator and see how they can help us quickly create all kinds of shapes, from the simple to the complex. It’s a great bit of fun and extremely helpful for all of us as we build our artwork and designs from basic shapes.

The basic shape in this design was inspired by and stolen from this app:

Create Complex Geometric Shapes Recording Notes:

Drag in the sketch of the concept.

Create an initial 180px circle and align it to the center of the doc. Fill this ellipse with orange.

Create a hotkey for Offset Path (Cmd+Shift+2)

Offset path +20px eighteen times to create what will be nine finished rings.

Starting with the center ellipse, select every other ellipse and change the color of them slightly.

Select all the shapes and use the Divide function in the Pathfinder panel to create rings of these ellipse shapes.

Select every other ring and delete it to create the base of concentric rings.

Select the outer three rings and group them. Hide the group layer.

Select the next three rings and group them. Hide the group layer.

Select the innermost three rings and group them.

Create a 2500px by 20px rectangle and align it to the center of the document.

Use the Move feature to bump a copy of this shape upward 40px and then downward 40px for a triple stripe across the middle of the rings of circles.

Group these three rectangles.

Duplicate the group of rectangles twice and drag a copy down above each of the hidden groups of rings. Hide these other two rectangle groups.

Use the Shaper tool to begin punching out all the little bits that we don’t want. But only for the first three rings to create the base shape. (This part is very helpful to watch the video!)

Expand this Shaper Group.

Repeat this process with the next three rings and expand this group. NOTE: Rotate this group of three rings 90º so the pattern is vertical.

Repeat this process for the outer-most three rings and keep the notch/cut marks horizontal.

Group all of the rings and add a gradient fill.

Select the swatches of color and ungroup them so each individual shape is selected. 

Choose to create a new group of colors from the artwork by using the Swatches panel.

Regroup the artwork.

Build a green gradient using three of the greens.