Create Vector GEOMETRIC Background Illustrator Tutorial


MAKE THIS COOL BACKGROUND FROM SIMPLE SHAPES, SHADOWS, and GRAIN! | Build precise shapes and use pathfinder, alignment, smart guides, and more to create this cool looking background.

In this Illustrator tutorial, we will create a simple polygon and use guides and the Pen tool to build a complex series of shapes from our single initial shape and then add shadows and grain using the effects in Illustrator and then duplicate the initial cluster shape and build it out into a complex background that can be as big or as small as you want!

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Site Exclusive 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.

  • Create new doc 2560×1440
  • Grab Polygon Tool & click once and set the Radius to 128px and 6-sides
  • Hold Shift and rotate the polygon so the points are on the top and bottom
  • Set fill to any color you like.
  • Copy the polygon and go Edit>Paste in Front
  • Set the “H” of this shape to 164px in the top toolbar and align to the center of the polygon on the artboard.
  • Grab the Selection Tool and select both shapes and go View>Guides>Make Guide to convert those shapes to guides.
  • Go View>Smart Guides
  • Grab the Pen Tool and draw out the first shape. Draw the second and thirds shapes, too.
  • Select the top left shape and open the Gradient panel and click the gradient swatch to add the fill
  • Select the color stop on the left and open the Color panel and set this stop to #d8d8d8
  • Change the color stop on the right to #cdcdcd
  • Select the top right shape and add a gradient fill
  • Left color stop: #d1d1d1 Right color stop: #b8b8b8
  • Set the gradient to a Radial gradient and grab the gradient tool and draw a gradient so the lighter gray is in the middle of that shape
  • Select bottom shape and add a gradient and set to radial gradient.
  • Left color stop: #f1f1f1 Right color stop: #dbdbdb
  • Set the left color stop’s location to 35% in the Gradient panel
  • Use the gradient tool to place a light gray hotspot on the bottom center of this bottom shape.
  • Use the Pen tool to draw a simple triangle in each corner
  • Fill the triangles with black and go Effect>Blur>Gaussian Blur>55px
  • Go Object>Group and then select all three of our initial shapes and Copy them
  • Select the grouping of blurred triangles and add a layer mask and paste in the shapes that we copied and set the fill of these shapes to white.
  • Select all the shapes and group them together (Object>Group)
  • Duplicate the polygon group 3x and drag it to create a shape in the center of the original polygon shape we made.
  • Ungroup each of these three new groups and delete all the shadows and unneeded “outside” shapes.
  • Adjust the gradients for these inner shapes and group these three shapes together.
  • Grab the polygon tool and click once to create a 100px radius, 6-sided polygon and drag to snap to the center of the shape.
  • Fill the shape with white and go Edit>Cut
  • Select the group of shapes that we just made for the middle of this polygon and add a layer mask and go Edit>Paste in Front
  • Get back to editing the artwork and add an Outer Glow to this group of Black, 90% opacity, and 5px blur
  • Add a SECOND Outer Glow to the shape: Black, 90% opacity, and 5px blur
  • Duplicate the original center polygon group once more and open the group in the Layers panel and delete the corner blurs and then set the fill of this group to Black.
  • Set the H of this group using the Selection tool to 215px add a 35px Gaussian Blur and set opacity to 50%
  • Go Effect>Artistic>Film Grain: 10–0–10 and set shadow to Multiply blend mode
  • Drag this new shadow below the polygon group, but above the central shape group we just made.
  • Nudge the shadow to the left 5px using the selection tool
  • Duplicate the center shape and paste it in front
  • Select the duplicated group and open the Appearance panel and delete the Outer Glow
  • Also, open the Transparency panel and choose the “Release” button to get rid of the mask.
  • Delete the polygon shape that is released into the Layers panel
  • Select the shape group and go Object>Transform>Rotate and rotate in 60º
  • Use the arrow keys to nudge the shape until it’s perfectly aligned with the top and center of our overall shape
  • Go Object>Transform>Scale and uniform scale this to 70%
  • Nudge up or down to align perfectly with the current shape
  • Go Object>Arrange>Send to Back
  • Create a layer of overall grain by duplicating the original polygon ring shape.
  • Open up the Group in the Layers panel and delete the shadow group
  • Select the three shapes that make up the polygon ring and choose the Unite button to join these shapes together.
  • Grab the Direct selection tool and click one of the anchor points of the inner polygon that is “cutting” the hole in this shape and delete the anchor point and hit the delete button a second time to delete the entire path and make this a full polygon again.
  • Double click the fill swatch in the toolbar and set S: 0% and B: 50%
  • Next, go Effect>Artistic>Film Grain w/ settings: 5–0–0
  • Set the layer to Soft Light and 50% opacity
  • Select all the shapes and go Object>Group
  • Duplicate the shape and allow Smart Guides to assist in “snapping” the shapes together and drag the shapes to create a full size effect.
  • Group these together and create a mask that shows only the bits that are on our artwork area.

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