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Shining Text in Illustrator Print E-mail


final artwork

1) We will use two shapes in this tutorial. The first one is an oval shape. Choose the Ellipse tool from the tools menu (hot key “L”). Click and drag on your art-board to make this shape.

Tip: Hold the shift key while dragging so that you can get a perfectly proportioned circle. Hold Alt, the circle will grow from the centre of where you initial clicked.


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2) Add gradients and drop shadows. Select the oval by hitting “V” (the hotkey for the selection tool). Hit F6 for the colour pallet and option F9 for the gradient toolbox. Pick a colour from the colour pallet and simply drag it onto the gradient window on-top of an existing colour. Make them subtle in tone so that you will get a shinny effect.

Now we are going to give our gradient at an angle. Choose the gradient tool (hot key “G”), and click and drag the angle of our desired gradient. This gives us complete control over how the gradient looks.

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3) This oval is the base of the object we are going to make ’shiney’. To provide further depth to it, add a subtle drop shadow. Hit “V” (the hotkey for the selection tool) and choose the oval. Navigate to the top menu – choose Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow, and give the object a subtle drop shadow as shown below:

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4) Create the shine shape. Choose the Ellipse tool and click and drag on the art-board. This one has to be slightly different from the previous oval. Make it smaller and less wide in proportions (see below):

Use the selection tool (Hot key “V”) and select the oval. While the mouse click is still down hold the “alt key” and drag – then release the click. You have made a duplicate shape. To increase the size of the new oval, select it and move the cursor over one of the corner nodes and stretch. If you hold the shift key, this will happen proportionally.

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5) We have to remove the larger oval shape from the smaller one. First, the shape which we have to delete needs to be on top. To make sure the shape is on top, choose it using the selection tool (hot key V). Bring it to the front (Object > Arrange > Bring to front or by using the hot key, “option”). Choose both the shapes (make sure you have the selection tool selected, click one oval, hold down shift and select the next one.) Go to the pathfinder window (Hotkeys: “shift, option F9?). Select Shape modes > Subtract form shape area (second option along). Now select “Expand”.

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To place it in position, choose it (hot key “V”) and drag it into its desired position and colour it white.


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6) Creating an opacity mask. To do this we need to make the shine a gradient from white to nothing. But for now Illustrator doesn’t allow to add a gradient from white to nothing. So we have to use ‘Opacity Mask’. Before that choose the rectangle tool (Hot key M) and draw a rectangle. Give it a gradient of white to black.

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7) Keep the gradient rectangle we created earlier over the “shine” shape. Choose the area to mask out the gradient. Navigate to Outline view (Menu > View > Outline – hot key “Y”) and with the selection tool select the shine shape and the gradient rectangle as shown below:

After selecting go back to Preview (Menu > View > Preview – hot key “Y”) and open up your transparently pallet (shift option F10). At the top on the right hand side there is a little “further options” icon. When you click on it another window will open. Choose “Create Opacity Mask” from a drop down list. This will create your opacity mask.

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Invert the shape to get a better effect:
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8) The final result is pretty good. Now you have a nice, shiny oval. Obviously, this technique has many applications and can be used to create some stunning graphics.


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Author: Attitude Design

Website: tutorial




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