Creating Shiny Effects  E-mail
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Written by Craig Watkins   
Here's a few methods for creating shiny effects in Illustrator!

Ready?! Here we go!

The first step is to type out some letters. The thicker the better, and a san-serif font will most likely look the best.



Next, outline the font to make the letters into an object. (TYPE>CREATE OUTLINES)

For these examples, we will be using the GRADIENT PALETTE to create the shiny effects. (WINDOW>GRADIENT)



Click on the default gradient in the palette to fill the letters with a simple black and white gradient.

Now, set the ANGLE to 90 so the gradient runs from the top to bottom.



Click on the WHITE GRADIENT SLIDER and slide it to a LOCATION of approximately 50.



Open your SWATCH PALETTE if it is not already open. (WINDOW>SWATCHES)



Click on the black swatch in the SWATCH PALETTE and drag the swatch onto the GRADIENT SLIDER bar to where the white swatch originally was.



Now, to make this a little more interesting, replace the black swatches with some color by dragging a swatch from the SWATCH PALETTE on top of the black swatch. (I'm using the darkest blue in the SWATCH PALETTE and increasing the black in the CMYK mixture to 75 for this example.)

TIP: After you click on any GRADIENT SLIDER, you can adjust the color using the sliders in the COLOR PALETTE. (WINDOW>COLOR)



I've also added a lighter blue from the SWATCH PALETTE to give the gradient more color.

That's it! You can now play around with the colors and sliders to create different effects.

For a nice touch, I have copied the text (EDIT>COPY) and then pasted in back (EDIT>PASTE IN BACK) and added a dark STROKE to the object pasted in back.

Then, with the object still selected, I made the STROKE into an OUTLINE (OBJECT>PATH>OUTLINE STROKE) so I can fill it with another GRADIENT. To do this, chose the EYEDROPPER TOOL and sample the original GRADIENT you created in the text and set the ANGLE to a random number between -90 and 90. I used 76




For a final touch, I have added a slight reflection. 




Here's another example from a project where I needed a "gold" effect and sampled colors from a photograph of a gold statue to make up the color palette and used the same techniques described above. 




Find the right combination of colors and gradient patterns that work for you!

Now, for more of a gel or glazed look...



Create your type and turn it into OUTLINES as we did in the previous example.

Next apply a gradient as before. Make the gradient mostly a solid color, with a small amount of lighter versions of the color at the top and bottom.



Copy the text and place it in back and apply a STROKE that is a little bit darker than the main color.



Finally, select the top layer and change the ANGLE (I used -70) until you get the effect you want!" alt="" />



There you have it! All of these examples are entirely "vector" and as I'm sure you can see, endless in their possibilities!

Hope you enjoyed the tips!

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