Create a Simple Trunk Icon

Create a Trunk Icon

In the following tutorial created by Andrei Marius,  you can learn to create a simple trunk icon. This detailed Illustrator tutorial uses some Extrude & Bevel 3d effects, gradients, offsets, and other techniques that can be easily applied to other icons ans illustrations.

Andrei Marius

Author: Andrei Marius

Andrei Marius is a a relatively newcomer illustrator who loves to share his knowledge with the design community through detailed Illustrator tutorials. You can see more of his work on VforVectors.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator
  • Version: CS4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hours 30 minutes

Final Image

What You’ll Be Creating

Trunk Icon Final Image

Step 1

Create a 256 by 256px document. First, turn on the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Now, you need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > preference > Guides & Grids then enter “5″ in the “Gridline Every:” box and “1″ in the “Subdivision:” box. You should also open the Info palette for a live preview with the size of your shape. All these options will significantly increase your work speed. Now, let’s make some shapes. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 130by70px shape then pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 130 x 130 shape and place it as shown in the second image. Duplicate the rectangle shape. Select this copy along with the ellipse and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Reselect both shapes and group them (Ctrl + G).

Step 1.1
Step 1.2

Step 2

Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Select the group made in the previous step and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Enter the data shown below, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance. You’ll get a group with a lot of shapes. Drill down in the group, remove the clipping mask and ungroup the rest of the shapes. Select the shapes shown in the second image and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. In the end you should have only four shapes. In the final image I’ve separated these shapes so that you can distinguish them easier.

Step 2

Step 3

Let’s focus on the bottom, left shapes. Select it and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a “-7″ Offset and click OK. Double click on the resulting shape (in the Layers panel) and name it “1″. You should also fill it with a different color (to distinguish it from the rest of the shapes). Duplicate this shape. Select this copy along with the larger shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Name the resulting shape “2″.

Step 3

Step 4

Let’s move to the bottom, right shape. Select it, add the “-7″ Offset and click OK. Name the resulting shape “3″ and duplicate it. Select the copy along with the bottom, right shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and name it “4″.

Step 4

Step 5

Continue with the top, right shape. Select it, add the “-7″ Offset and click OK. Name the resulting shape “5″ and duplicate it. Select the copy along with the top, right shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Double click on the resulting shape and name it “6″.

Step 5

Step 6

Finally, the top, left shape. First, duplicate this shape, then add the “-7″ Offset and click OK. Pick the Pen Tool(P) and create a shape like the one shown in the third image. Select it along with the copy of the top left shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape along with the smaller shape (the one made with the Offset) and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Double click on this newly created shape and name it “7″.

Step 6.1
Step 6.2

Step 7

Duplicate “7″. Select this copy along with the top, left shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Name the resulting shape “8″.

Step 7

Step 8

Enable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Next, you need a grid every 1px. Go to Edit > preference > Guides & Grids then enter “1″ in the “Gridline Every:” box and “1″ in the “Subdivision:” box. Now, let’s create the lock. First, grab the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 20 by 30px shape and add a 5px Rounded Corners effect. Next, use the Ellipse Tool and the Rectangle Tool to create the white shapes shown in the second image. Select these two shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Finally, select the resulting shape along with the rectangle and group them (Ctrl + G).

Step 8.1
Step 8.2

Step 9

Select the group made in the previous step, place it as shown in the first image then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Transform the buttons as shown then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the rounded rectangle along with shape “2″ and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Double click on the resulting shape and name it “2″.

Step 9

Step 10

Now, it’s time to add some color. Fill shape “1″ with R=96 G=56 B=11. Add a new fill for this shape (from the flyout menu of the Appearance panel) and use the linear gradient shown in the second image (the yellow text stands for Opacity percentage). Select this second fill (from the Appearance panel), change its blending mode to Multiply and lower its opacity to 25%. Add a third fill for this shape and use the second linear gradient shown below. Again, select this fill, change its blending mode to Screen and lower its opacity to 10%. Save these two gradients in the Swatches panel. You’ll need them in the further steps.

Step 10

Step 11

Let’s move to shape “2″. Fill it with R=128 G=128 B=128 then add three new fills and use the linear gradients shown below.

Step 11

Step 12

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter “1″ in the “Keyboard Increment” box. Make two copies of “2″. Select the bottom copy and hit the left arrow three times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus From button from the Pathfinder panel. You should get a group for three shapes. Keep the shapes shown in the second image and remove the other one. Fill them with black and lower their opacity to 10%. Don’t forget to remove the extra fills from the Appearance panel.

Step 12

Step 13

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter “0,5″ in the “Keyboard Increment” box. Let’s focus on the lock shape. First, fill it with R=51 G=51 B=51 then make two copies. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=230 G=230 B=230.

Step 13

Step 14

Fill shape “3″ with R=96 G=56 B=11. Add two new fill for this shape and use the gradients shown below (the same gradient saved in step #10). Don’t forget to change the blending mode and the opacity for each fill as shown below.

Step 14

Step 15

Let’s continue with shape “4″. Fill it with R=179 G=179 B=179 then add three new fills and use the linear gradients shown below.

Step 15

Step 16

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter “1″ in the “Keyboard Increment” box. Make two copies of “3″. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow three times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity to 10%.

Step 16

Step 17

Fill shape “5″ with R=96 G=56 B=11. Add a second fill for this shape and use the linear gradient shown below. Select this new fill (from the Appearance panel), change its blending mode to Multiply and lower its opacity to 25%.

Step 17

Step 18

Fill shape “6″ with R=179 G=179 B=179. Add two new fills for this shape and use the linear gradients shown below.

Step 18

Step 19

Make two copies of “5″. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow three times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity to 10%.

Step 19

Step 20

Fill shape “7″ with R=96 G=56 B=11. Add two new fills for this shape and use the gradient shown below (the saved gradients). Don’t forget to change the blending mode and the opacity for each fill as shown below.

Step 20

Step 21

Fill shape “8″ with R=128 G=128 B=128. Add two new fills for this shape and use the linear gradients shown below.

Step 21

Step 22

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter “0,5″ in the “Keyboard Increment” box. Make two copies of “1″. Select the top copy then hit the up arrow and the right arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You should get a really thin shape. Fill it with R=204 G=204 B=204.

Step 22

Step 23

Make two copies of “3″. Select the top copy then hit the up arrow and the left arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=204 G=204 B=204.

Step 23

Step 24

Make two copies of “5″. Select the top copy then hit the up arrow and the left arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=204 G=204 B=204.

Step 24

Step 25

Make two copies of “7″. Select the top copy then hit the up arrow and the right arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with R=204 G=204 B=204.

Step 25

Step 26

Make two copies of “1″. Select the top copy and hit the up arrow. Drill down in the group and remove the bottom shape (pointed by the arrow).

Step 26

Step 27

Now, let’s focus on the shapes made in the previous step. First, fill them with white then pick the Delete Anchor Point Tool and remove the anchor points highlighted in the first image.

Step 27

Step 28

Pick the Pen Tool(P) and create a shape like the one shown below. You should Enable the Smart Guides (Crtrl + U) to ease your work. Name it “vvv” an duplicate it. Make a copy of “2″, select it along with the copy of “vvv” and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity 15%. Make a copy of “4″, select it along with the original “vvv” shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill this newly created shape with black and lower its opacity to 10%.

Step 28

Step 29

Reselect the Pen Tool(P) and create a shape like the one shown in the image below. Again, name it “vvv” and duplicate it. Make a copy of “2″, select it along with the copy of “vvv” and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity 5%. Make a copy of “4″, select it along with the original “vvv” shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill this newly created shape with black and lower its opacity to 5%.

Step 29

Step 30

Disable the Smart Guides. Make a copy of “2″ then select the Pen Tool(P) and make a shape like the red one shown in the first image. Select it along with the copy of “2″ and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity to 10%.

Step 30

Step 31

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape like the red one shown in the first image. Make a copy of “8″, select it along with the newly created shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with white and lower their opacity to 20%.

Step 31

Step 32

Make two copies of “8″. Select the top copy and hit the up arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Remove the shapes pointed by the arrows (image #2) and save the one shown in the final image. Fill it with R=128 G=128 B=128.

Step 32

Step 33

Make two copies of “6″. Select the top copy and hit the up arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Remove the top shapes (pointed by the arrow) and fill the bottom one with R=128 G=128 B=128.

Step 33

Step 34

Make another two copies of “6″. Select the top copy and hit the right arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Remove the right shapes (pointed by the arrow) and fill the left one with R=128 G=128 B=128.

Step 34

Step 35

Make two copies of “8″. Select the top copy and hit the left arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Remove the left shapes (pointed by the arrow) and fill the right one with R=128 G=128 B=128.

Step 35

Step 36

Enable the Smart Guides, pick the Pen Tool and create a path like the one shown in the first image. Fill it with none, add a 1px stroke (any color) then go to Object > Expand. Grab the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the bottom anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average. Check the Both button and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with R=128 G=128 B=128.

Step 36

Step 37

Finally you need to add a little shadow effect. Pick the Pen Tool(P) and create a path like the one shown in the first image. Fill it with black, lower its opacity to 80% and add a 2px Gaussian Blur effect. Don’t forget to Send it to Back (Shift + Ctrl + [). Reselect the Pen Tool and create a larger path as shown in the second image. Send it to Back (Shift + Ctrl + [), fill it with black, lower its opacity to 30% and add a 5px Gaussian Blur effect.

Step 37

Final Image

Trunk Icon Final Image

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Design Float
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • TwitThis

12 thoughts on “Create a Simple Trunk Icon

  1. Nice tut and I like the result, thanks!

    I do think, however, that the way you apply all these gradients in different blending modes is way too complex. Why don’t you fill the shapes with a simple gradient that runs from one colour to the other? The effect is similar if not identical and can be more easily followed by CS3 or lower users.

    Besides, I’d avise to name your shapes something significant, that way it’s easier to distinguish them, especially if you’re interrupted during your work and return to it later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>