Create Non-Raster Drop Shadows

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Illustrator has the ability to add raster effects to elements like outer glows, inner glows, and drop shadows. Vector art is great because you can scale them to any size. That is why I try not to use the raster effects in final output. One area this creates a problem, is drop shadows, but there are a couple of easy ways to add drop shadows using blends and gradients rather than raster effects.

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Create A Brushed Metal Texture

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The second texture up for Vectips Texture Week is brushed metal. Like the previous Water Texture Tutorial, this brushed metal technique also utilizes Illustrator’s Effects. Again this tutorial is pretty simplistic when you break it down, and easy to replicate numerous times. You can use the brushed metal texture in almost anything, but I find myself using it in icons, logos, and interfaces quite a bit.

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Create Abstract Backgrounds

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I like illustrating characters, icons, and other highly representative illustrations. I do this kind of work the majority of time in Illustrator,  so it’s nice to break out and create abstract backgrounds. Abstract backgrounds are easy to create in Illustrator with a couple of simple techniques. Using Gradient Meshes, Steps Blends and Opacity Masks you can quickly create an abstract background.

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Create Web 2.0 Stickers

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I wonder how long the Web 2.0 style will be around. All those shiny graphics are great to look at and create, but it can’t last. In some respects, it’s good to capitalize on the trend, but it the same respect it’s good to explore new techniques and styles. Regardless, there is enough demand with the Web 2.0 style to justify a tutorial on some nifty Web 2.0 Stickers!

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Shiny Buttons Without Blends or Transparencies in Illustrator

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I have been asked many times how I create some of the shiny buttons I sell on iStock. Although there are other tutorials out there, this one shows you how to create these buttons without blends and transparencies. It is a relatively simply technique that can be applied to many different elements other than buttons. Moreover, using this shiny effect will create a cleaner, more accessible, and consistent file.

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