How to Create a Menorah Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a Hanukkah holiday card and illustrating one of the most popular Jewish symbols, the Hanukkah Menorah. The Menorah is one of the oldest symbols in Judaism. Sometimes called the ‘Chanukiah’, the Menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum that is used on Hanukkah. It stands for light, wisdom, and Divine inspiration.

We’ll be creating a trendy flat design style, using a lot of basic geometric shapes, combining and transforming them with the help of the Pathfinder panel, Rounded Rectangle and Ellipse Tool. We’ll also learn some useful shortcuts that actually help us to create an illustration without requiring any drawing skills!

You can visit Envato Elements, where you’ll find a wide selection of elements to help you create beautiful card layouts for every occasion.

1. How to Set Up a Card Design File

Step 1

We will be designing a simple 5″ x 7″, one-page Hanukkah holiday card.

Have Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 up and running. Let’s set up a New Document (File > New or Command-N) using the following Print format settings:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 5 in
  • Height: 7 in
  • Units: Inches
Create and set up New dDocument Width height Units

Step 2

Next, let’s set up our layers for the artwork.

Open the Layers panel: Window > Layers. Name Layer 1 as ‘Background’ and click the Create New Layer icon to create another layer on top. Name it ‘Menorah’.

Create Name and Set up layers panel

2. How to Design the Card Background 

Step 1

Lets start by designing our background.

Make sure you are on the ‘Background’ layer. Turn on your Smart Guides (Command-U). These are short-term snap‑to guides that appear when you manoeuvre objects. 

Select the Rectangle Tool (M). Tap once on the artboard and create a rectangle that’s the same size as the artboard: Width: 5″ and Height: 7″

Give the rectangle a Fill hex color of #FFF3DA and use the Smart Guides to center it.

Create Rectangle with Hex color and Align with Smart guides

Step 2

Let’s create a frame for our card.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), and create a rectangle that’s 4.6″ Width and 6.6″ Height.

There’s a new cool feature in Adobe Illustrator CC 2018, which is the Properties panel. The new Properties panel (Window > Properties) lets you view settings and controls, plus it provides you with all the editing options when selecting shapes. It also allows quick access to options, alignment, pathfinder options, positioning and transform options all on one panel!

Select a Fill and a black Stroke of 6 pt, and use the Smart Guides to center it on the artboard.

Use properties panel set stroke width height

Step 3

Next, we need to create four ellipses on the edges of the frame to give a simple design.

Take the Ellipse Tool (L), and tap once on the artboard to open the Ellipse Options dialog box. Set Width and Height to 3.5 in, and with the Selection Tool (V), use the Smart Guides to center the ellipse on the left corner.

Next, with the ellipse selected, hold down the ShiftAlt keys to constrain movement and duplicate the ellipse. Drag the selection to the right, until ‘intersect‘ appears within the Smart Guides.

Then select both ellipses on the top and Shift-Alt-Drag downwards until the new duplicated ellipses are centred on the bottom edge, as in the image.

Ellipse Tool duplicate shift-alt-drag align with Smart Guides

Step 4

Select all four ellipses, and then, in the Properties panel, you will find the Pathfinder options. Select the Unite icon.

Then hold down the Shift key and select the black border line, and click the Minus Front icon from the Properties panel Pathfinder Options.

Properties panel pathfinder minus front option

Step 5

Object > Expand the black stroke to open the Expand dialog box, and check Fill and Stroke, and then OK.

Give the frame shape a hex color of beige #F9bd5d. Then give the frame a Stroke of 1 pt from the Properties panel, and hex color #EF7A2B.

Expand Stroke shape and give hex color

3. How to Illustrate the Menorah

Step 1

Lock the ‘Background’ layer, and move onto the ‘Menorah’ layer.

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, under the Rectangle Tool from the Tools menu. Tap once on the artboard to open the Rounded Rectangle dialog box and choose the following settings:

  • Width: 0.8 in
  • Height: 3 in
  • Corner Radius: 0.6 in
  • OK

Use the Selection Tool (V) to center the shape onto the artboard using the Smart Guides.

Set the Stroke from Properties panel to 13 pt.

Rounded rectangle tool set width height corner radius stroke

Step 2

With the rounded rectangle selected, Object > Path > Offset Path, and set the Offset to 0.4 pt.

Repeat the action twice until it looks like the image below.

Object path offset path to create candelabra

Step 3

Select the four rounded rectangles, and then Object > Expand, and check Stroke, and OK. Then, to create a compound shape, Object > Compound Path > Make (Command-8).

Object expand select stroke and Unite from Pathfiner

Step 4

To crop the top of the candelabra, select the Rectangle Tool (M), and draw a rectangle to cover the upper part of the candelabra shape.

Select both shapes, and then Minus Front from the Pathfinder options. Give the shape a hex color of #B27B3E.

Create rectangle and Minus front from Pathfinder give hex color

Step 5

Now let’s create a highlight color for the bars. Object > Path > Offset. Set the Offset to -0.04 in. Give the shape a Fill Hex color of #E8B44BEffect > Stylize > Feather. Set the Feather to 0.06 in.

Offset path and set effect as stylize feather

Step 6

Next, let’s create the center stem for the candelabra.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), and create a rectangle with Width of 0.14 in and Height of 2.9 in, and center it in the middle of the branches, using the Smart Guides.

Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow, to open the Inner Glow dialog box, and set the settings as:

  • Mode: Multiply
  • Hex Color: #9A6527
  • Blur: 0.08 in
  • Check Edge
  • OK
Rectangle Tool Stylize with Inner glow settings

Step 7 

Now for the base of the candelabra.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), and use the Smart Guides to draw two rectangles on top each other and center-aligned with the branches.

Give the top rectangle a Fill Hex color of #E8B44B and the bottom #C1843F.

Create base with rectangle Tool set hex color

Step 8

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, and create a rectangle with the following settings:

  • Width: 0.3 in
  • Height: 0.1 in
  • Corner Radius: 0.4 in
  • OK

Give the rounded rectangle with Fill Hex color of #E8B44B, and use the Smart Guides to center it on the far left branch.

Then, with the rounded rectangle selected, Shift-Alt-Drag down slightly to create a parallel duplicate, as shown below.

create decoration with rounded rectangle duplicate parallel

Step 9

Select both rounded rectangles and Group (Command-G). 

Then Alt-Drag the group to the right branch. 

Repeat the action, but place your bars on different levels to create diversity, as in the image below, and use the Smart Guides for assistance.

Group bars and duplicate with alt Drag

Step 10

Let’s create a spherical bead shape to decorate the menorah.

Select the Ellipse Tool (L), and let’s draw three circles within each other:

  • circle one with Width & Height of 2.5 in, and with Fill Hex color of #E8B44B
  • circle two with Width & Height of 0.17in, and with Fill Hex color of #FFCC71
  • circle three with Width & Height of 0.095in, and with Fill Hex color of #FFF3DA

Group (Command-G) them all together.

ellipse tool set width height group together 3 ellipses

Step 11

Select the round bead form and duplicate it by Alt-Dragging, and then center align them on top of each branch.

Looking good.

Duplicate bead for all branches

Step 12

Now let’s create a leaf-like form on top of the beads to lay our candles on.

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create two intersecting ellipses that are 0.4 inches in Width and Height.

Select both circles and click the Intersect icon from the Pathfinder options in the Properties panel, and give the leaf a Fill Hex color of #E8B44B .

Intersect two circles from Pathfinder option in properties panel

Step 13

Copy (Command-C) and Paste (Command-P) to duplicate the leaf. 

Object > Transform > Rotate and set the Angle to 40°. Then select the leaf behind and Object > Transform > Rotate and set the Angle to -40°.

Give the front leaf a Hex color of #FFCC71 and use the Right Arrow key to position the leaf to the right slightly.

Now, Group (Command-G) the two leaves together.

duplicate leaf copy paste to front rotate angle and group

Step 14

Select the leaf group and send to back: Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Position the leaf group behind the bead, and then Scale (Object > Transform > Scale), and set Scale to Uniform, at 80%.

scale uniform leaf object 80

Step 15

Position the leaf behind the branch head, and then Alt-Drag to duplicate the pattern and position it behind the other branches.

Place one in the center as in the image, and Object > Arrange > Bring Forward (Command-]) until it’s arranged behind the bead.

duplicate then Object arrange bring forward shortcut

Step 16

Now lets draw the Star of David.

Select the Star Tool, from the Rectangle Tool drop-down. 

Chose a Stroke Hex color of #3D77B2 and a Stroke Weight of 3 pt. Click once on the artboard and set the Points to 3.

Delete the shape that’s created, and then hold down the Shift-Alt keys and draw an upright triangle.

Draw star of David star tool Stroke Weight Set Points

Step 17

Copy (Command-C) and Paste (Command-P) to duplicate the triangle.

Object > Transform > Reflect and select Horizontal, and OK. Then use the Down Arrow key to align.

Select both triangles, and Object > Path > Offset, and set the Offset to 0.05 pt

Give the offset null Stroke and a Fill Hex color of #164875 and Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Command-[).

Then, with both offset triangles selected, Object > Path > Offset, and set the Offset to 0.0 pt

Give the offset null Stroke and a Fill Hex color of #1FFCC73 and Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Command-[).

Duplicate Reflect triangle and offset path send to back

4. How to Add Candles & Details to the Artwork

Step 1

Let’s add some candles.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle with a Width of 0.15 pt and Height of 0.8 pt. Give it a Fill Hex color of #1FFCC73 .

Then select the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse with a Width of 0.06 pt and give it a Fill Hex color of #6CA6E5. Position the ellipse on top of the rectangle using the Smart Guides for guidance.

Again use the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse with a Width of 0.12 pt and Height of 0.77 pt. Position it in the middle of the rectangle and give it a Fill Hex color of #6FA4D8

draw candle with rectangle ellipse tools

Step 2

Let’s place a flame and glow.

Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw in a flame shape.

Then select the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse with a Width of 0.03 pt and Height of 0.08 pt. Position it within the flame and give it a Fill Hex color of #FBD76D

Open the Gradient panel: Window > Gradient. Give the flame a yellow-orange 90° Gradient Angle.

give flame gradient angle and create ellipse flame

Step 3

Let’s draw the flame glow. 

With the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an ellipse with a Width and Height of 0.35 pt.

Make the Fill a Radial Gradient from light yellow to white.

Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

create ellipse glow with gradient arrange send to back

Step 4

Select all the candle parts and Group (Command-G). Then Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Select the candle and duplicate it by Alt-Dragging, and then center align it on top of each branch, and on different levels, as in the image below.

Duplicate candles by Alt Drag and position

Step 5

Let’s create a wreath-like decor at the base of the candles.

Select one of the leaf groups on the middle branch, and Shift-Alt-Drag to the base of the candelabra. 

Then duplicate another copy by selecting the leaf group and Alt-Drag slightly to the right. Object > Transform > Rotate.

Set the Rotation Angle to –63°.

Shift Alt Drag to duplicate then object rotate angle

Step 6

Then duplicate another copy by selecting the leaf group and Alt-Dragging to half the branch distance.

Select the Free Transform Tool (E) and scale the group slightly down from the bounding box by holding the Shift key to constrain proportions, and rotate it slightly.

Select both the leaf groups, and then Object > Blend > Make.

Then Object > Blend > Blend Options to open the Blend Options dialog box, and set:

  • Spacing: Specified Steps: 3
  • Orientation: Align to Page
  • OK
Make Blend Set Options Specified Steps and orientation align to page

Step 7

Select the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and pull the path slightly down.

Use Anchor point to tug path

Step 8

Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path from the base to the top of the leaf group, to create a branch.

Give it a Stroke of 3 pt and a Hex color of #C1843F

Object > Arrange > Send to Back

Pen tool create branch stroke and arrange send to back

Step 9

From the Tools panel, select the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B).

Select a Stroke Hex color of #EE7A29.

To control the Blob Brush Tool brush size, hold the left square bracket key ([) to decrease and the right square bracket (]) to enlarge.

Decorate the lower wreath, and then select all the related shapes with the Selection Tool (V), while holding down the Shift key to add on to the selection. Then Group (Command-G) them together.

Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Step 10 

Let’s create a symmetrical branch, with the branch selected.

Take the Reflect Tool (O) and set the center reference point at the end of the branch; Option-Shift-Drag and release when the group is mirrored into position. 

use reflect tool to create symmetrical branch

Step 11

Select the Ellipse Tool (L), and create a circle with Width and Height of 2.5 in, and with Hex color of #F8BD5D.

Duplicate the ellipse by Alt-Dragging, and place the circle between the rounded rectangle on the menorah and the base of the branches.

ellipse tool to decorate menorah branches

Step 12

Select the Star Tool, from the Rectangle Tool drop-down. 

Click once on the artboard to open the Star dialog box, and set:

  • Radius 1: 0.1 in
  • Radius 2: 0.05 in
  • Points: 6
  • OK

Then randomly draw six-pointed stars around the menorah and give them a Fill Hex color of #EFA4D8.

draw 6 point stars set radius and points star tool

Step 13

Select the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B), and with a white Stroke draw in several white circles around the candles of the menorah. Also draw some dots around with Hex Stroke color of #FFDE8D.

Don’t forget, you can control the Blob Brush Tool brush size with the left square bracket key ([) to decrease and the right square bracket (]) to increase.

blob brush tool create dots white stroke hex color

Happy Hanukkah!!!

I hope you’ve learned some new tricks from this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Show your friends, loved ones and fans how you can create some stunning cards!

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own, and then share your results in the comments below. 

Let’s kindle light for Hanukkah!!

Final Menorah Hanukkah car by Miss Chatz

Art for All: Celebrate Diversity in Design—Volume 4

Welcome back to our Diversity in Design series on Envato Tuts+. Discover four talented artists with inspiring styles you’ll love.

4 Artists You Should Know: Diversity in Design

Celebrate the work of these extraordinary artists. Each with their own unique
background, they draw inspiration from their culture and surroundings to create phenomenal illustrations.

Ndumiso Nyoni

Ndumiso is a motion graphic designer from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Film and design are his passion, and Ndumiso’s work features Afrocentric illustrations with brilliant colors and geometry. See more in his portfolio, or follow him on Instagram @ndumiso_nyoni

X-Men: Storm

I’m a Johannesburg based Illustrator and Motion Designer and I make contemporary African art. My art is a combination of vector
illustration, bold line work with vibrant colors and a touch of light
and shadow effects.

X-Men Storm by Ndumiso Nyoni
X-Men: Storm

After Midnight

Almost all my work is inspired by Africa and its beautiful people.
It is a continent that is filled with rich textures, bold colors,
carefully crafted shapes and diverse cultures. My goal is to celebrate
Africa with each artwork and portray it as the positive, fertile and
vibrant continent we know and live in.

After Midnight by Ndumiso Nyoni
After Midnight

Nomaqhawe (Mother of Heroes)

Nomaqhawe Mother of Heroes by Ndumiso Nyoni
Nomaqhawe (Mother of Heroes)

I Am Not My Hair

I’m a huge fan of traditional Ndebele patterns, so naturally Esther
Mahlangu’s work has inspired a lot of my art. I learnt about Bauhaus at
university and that has also influenced how I conceptualize my art. Some of my favourite artists include Esther Mahlangu, Malika Farve and
Gerard Sekoto.

I Am Not My Hair by Ndumiso Nyoni
I Am Not My Hair

Joanne Nam

Joanne is a fine artist and painter living in LA.

Her paintings are dreamy and ethereal, featuring scenes that pull you in with incredible little moments. See more in her portfolio, and support her work on Pateron @joannenam.

Floe

I was born in Korea and moved to America in my teens. I’m currently based in Los Angeles, and I love to paint based on
my experiences and emotions.

Floe by Joanne Nam
Floe

Buttery

My inspiration comes from my
childhood. I used to live in a forest so it was an interesting subject
to daydream from time to time.

Current life experiences and relationships
between people and myself change the mood of my art. Even a cup of tea
changes my mood and it affects my art.

Buttery by Joanne Nam
Buttery

Fate

Fate by Joanne Nam
Fate

The Dream

As I grow as an artist, I’ve
learned how to control my emotions and energy. I sometimes do certain
things to change my mood when I paint.

For example, I go to the gym to put confident bold brush strokes in my paintings. Then I listen to
delicate music to dig into the details.

The Dream by Joanne Nam
The Dream

Alex Herrerías

Our next artist is Alex, a children’s book illustrator living in Mexico.

He tells inspiring stories of triumph and tradition, and his work features lovely illustrations with mythological themes and more. See more in his portfolio, or follow him on Instagram @alexherreriasilustrador

El Aprendizaje – The learning

I am a professor at the School of Arts
and Design of Unam and I have become a father for the first time this year. My work is currently published in different parts of the world.

El aprendizaje by Alex Herreras
El aprendizaje – The learning

El Hombre Que Nunca Reía

I am working on my own graphic novel and I enjoy every project I do. I try to create a very comfortable work environment, with music, coffee and lots of sunlight.

El Hombre Que Nunca Rea by Alex Herreras
El Hombre Que Nunca Reía

Tú Eliges

Tu Eliges by Alex Herreras
Tú Eliges

The Surfing Luchador

Drawing in my notebook is of the utmost importance, I try to be very dynamic and honest with each idea.

For my process, I read books, see references and listen to music concerning it. Each illustrated project brings me a lot of personal learning.
Then I
draw the first ideas in my notebook and a larger final sketch before I send it to the client. The tools I use are usually: a pencil, notebooks, a Wacom Intuos and Adobe Photoshop.

The Surfing Luchador
The Surfing Luchador

Yifan Wu

Yifan is an editorial illustrator living in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her work is unique and profound, with beautiful subjects that will make you think. See more in her portfolio, and follow her on Instagram @icyfeetpie.

Let the Moonlight Soothe Your Soul

I am a visual artist and storyteller. I enjoy nature, funk, indie rock, dancing, reading and intellectual conversations.

Let the Moonlight Soothe Your Soul by Yifan Wu
Let the Moonlight Soothe Your Soul

Watercolor – What Is Reading to Me

A lot of my work is inspired by nature, life and fantasy stories.
There are also other pieces that express my quirky sense of humor and
satire.

Conceptually, I
get inspired from Kafka’s novels, 60s Polish animations, and illustrators
who do brilliant conceptual work like Saul Steinberg and Roland Tapor.

Watercolor - What Is Reading to Me by Yifan Wu
Watercolor – What Is Reading to Me

Boating

Boating by Yifan Wu
Boating

Respect Pussy

Making art is my way to escape from nihilism and connect to the world by raising questions for my audience to think. I believe that artists
should take on the responsibility of providing a clearer and deeper
insight into the world.

Respect Pussy by Yifan Wu
Respect Pussy

Celebrate Diversity! Send Us Your Favorite Artists!

Help us find more incredible artists from different backgrounds to share with our audience! Tweet me your recommendations at MelloNieves or use the hashtags #artforall and #tutsplusdesign on Twitter and Instagram. You never know, we may just feature you in our next article!

I’d like to extend a warm thank you to all the artists who participated in
this feature. Feel free to see more of their work in the links below:

How Sketch and InVision have revolutionised our design workflow

Oliver Newbery is the creative director at one of Melbourne, Australia’s leading digital design agencies, Webplace. Oliver has helped lead, create and deliver award-winning websites, creative campaigns, and various other applications for brands such as the AFL and Telstra. Here he tells us why they ditched Photoshop for Sketch and InVision.

It was in late 2016 that our agency first made the switch to Sketch from Photoshop. Changing tools and processes requires not just team buy-in, although company-wide acceptance too. You just have to ensure that these changes will meet client project deliverables.

Quite often, Photoshop source files are handed over to the client. We had to ensure that Sketch files would be acceptable, and for developer hand-off. Traditionally, they will have received PSD’s. We were trying to make behavioural changes, and that’s always difficult to get traction
with.

There are some key advantages over PS that make this User Interface design tool more effective. Although our team didn’t use PS solely for our digital design process (we used Illustrator also), these just aren’t tools built for designing apps and websites exclusively – whereas, Sketch is. This means Sketch isn’t bloated with options the UI designer will never use.

What are Sketch and InVision?

Available exclusively for Mac, the Sketch App has been built for digital designers. The app gives designers the capability to create fully editable symbols which allow you to be very flexible, especially with rapid changes, which make creating resizable responsive artwork a breeze.

The InVision App enhances the functionality of Sketch, and makes the design ready for presentation to the client, and then for the developer to start coding.

Benefits of the technology

There were various benefits for Webplace in implementing each application into our workflow. If I had to narrow it down to three key improvements, they would have to be the use of advanced gestures and transitions, more collaboration, and also efficiency.

Let me explain:

Advanced Gestures & Transitions

Advanced gestures and transitions are available out-of-the box, enabling us to construct high-fidelity prototypes with static designs. This helps the design team creativity with the user experience and user journeys.

Digital designers can use Sketch for creating advanced gestures and transitions.

Collaboration

When working on a project, collaboration is such a key component of a successful design. The capability for shared libraries so that team members can access and update the same assets, along with developer handoff with InVision Inspect or the Zeppelin extension is far more
effective.


Developers can view each element on the grid, and copy-paste the relevant CSS attributes to the development environment, all without needing to open the source files.

Efficiency

The prospect of improved efficiency was a major contributor to why our team have made the switch. Achieving an even better result in a shorter amount of time has benefits for all parties involved in the project.


Constructing design systems with nested symbols ensure a consistent design outcome and are very flexible when the inevitable design changes need to be implemented.

Why we chose to implement

Our team is always looking for new opportunities to improve our design workflow. With our UX team working in Axure, and the design team in the Adobe suite, there was always a disconnect with handover between the two teams.

With both the UX and design teams switching to Sketch, we saw immediate continuity returns by being able to pick up the same files. We used our internal website – webplace.com.au – as a project to learn with. A lot of the app tools were very familiar, so it didn’t have the long teething
process that could have potentially been a roadblock.

Expectations play a part too. You can’t be a master overnight, so we were realistic that it was going to take time to get short term gains. But I was always confident that it was beneficial to be an early adopter. Internal presentations to the client-facing producers were necessary, so that
they felt comfortable in introducing it to the client.

Ultimately, it must be easy for the client to get to grips with, as client stakeholders are obviously an integral part of the feedback process.

A few months on

Seamless syncing of shared assets between team members remained a long term goal when we made the switch to Sketch. The latest release now has a shared library function which has enabled our team to push and pull changes between libraries and artwork really easily.

I’d be interested to hear the feedback from larger teams who are working on enterprise-level projects whose experience with this feature might be quite different.

Integration with animations and transitions – especially HTML5 and SVG – would be high up on my wish-list. Using Adobe After Effects is akin to replicating the same problem that web
designers were experiencing with Photoshop – employing complex, powerful software for a scenario it wasn’t built for.

Although producing responsive artwork for different device sizes is a lot easier, there is still a disconnect.

A final word

These observations and gripes could be answered very soon however. Available next month (Jan 2018), comes InVision Studio, with the promise of being ‘the world’s most powerful design tool’.

It offers super-quick prototyping and full control over transitions and gestures and what looks to be a very interesting approach to responsive design.

Having switched software so recently, I’m loathe to entertain the idea of swapping again, so it’s going to have to be a compelling argument to convince me. InVision Studio is definitely worth keeping an eye on in the first half of 2018 to gauge industry reaction however.

If you’re new to digital design, and learning the tools, the future looks bright.

Create & edit your own 360-degree videos with this new software

360-degree video experts at Blend Media have created an editing tool for all brands and agencies to use, so you can create your own 360-degree videos and narratives for clients without the need of a third party.

Blend Media creates 360-degree video (shot in 4K as a minimum), as well as virtual realty and augmented reality for clients such as Google, UNILAD, Volvo and Framestore – and now it’s wanting to make it accessible for everyone, opening up its own extensive library of 360-degree footage to use in your own final videos.

The company’s new tool – 360 stories – (in beta), allows anyone to create, edit and publish 360-videos online. It costs £30 per month or £300 per month for the pro version. You can also choose a fully customised package with a price dependant on requirements. Brands who are already trialling the software include NBC Universal, Oath, The BBC and Universal Music.

Blend Media

As we become numb to the amount of video we consume each day, it’s becoming harder for brands to stand out. While ‘immersive technology’ have been the buzzwords of 2017, HD VR and AR is still rather pricey and inaccessible for most people. That’s why 360-degree videos are good idea. It is proven to be more effective than standard video, with 41 percent more interactions, 5 times a higher click-through rate, higher repeat views, 46 percent more full-length views and higher share rate, according to GoogleBlend Media’s founder Damian Collier explains this further

360-degree videos are being used by brands and news organisations frequently on Facebook and Twitter, which helps people to become familiar with the medium. For more on immersive content, check out Found Studio’s immersive storytelling and 360-degree video projection. Blend Media’s founder Damian Collier also shares his thoughts on why VR could be in danger of peaking too early.

360-degree projection mapping with Blend Media and Igloo at VRLO

Using Blend Media’s 360 stories seems simple enough – choose a background of either pre-existing video from Blend Media’s library, or upload your own. Then drag-and-drop additional elements like images or logos, 2D videos and interactive hotspots such as text with clickable links.

Publish the video online for both desktop and smartphone users with an embed code, so there’s no need to download an app or any extra software to play the video. You can also link all your stories together so it acts as an interactive story, or gameify your video, such as asking the viewer to looking around for a hidden image.

Blend Media says creating a video using 360 stories can be done by anyone, you don’t have to be a coding or videographer expert. It says the whole process can be completed in the same time as it would to take to render a video in a traditional professional video editing package.

The 360 stories web editor allows text, logos and images to be edited in the same scene as the 360-degree video, so you can see how the finished video will look like.

Here’s how it works:

Choose & upload

Select a 360-degree video file, either from Blend Media’s library of 7,000 professionally-created videos or any other 360-degree video content. Or select a custom coloured background and texture.

Edit & customise

Add text, images, brand logos or linear video anywhere in the scene.

Each piece of content can be interactive by linking it to other websites or other 360 scenes. Add an audio track if needed.

Publish & share

360 stories creates an embed code that can be used on any website or published to Twitter or Facebook.

Pricing

Blend Media offers three different 360 stories packages.

Starter: £30 per month.

Pro: £300 per month, including 20 percent off Blend Media library content and
reporting (standard video engagement metrics).

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Photoshop in 60 Seconds: RGB vs. CMYK

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What You’ll Be Creating

Learn essential design terms in under a minute! Check out the quick video below.

Photoshop in 60 Seconds: RGB vs. CMYK

Learning color modes is essential for understanding design. In this video, I’ll discuss the main differences between RGB and CMYK, what they stand for, and how to change the color mode in Adobe Photoshop.


How to Change the Color Mode in Photoshop

RGB and CMYK are both acronyms to describe color. These colors are what we see on our screens and on printed work.

CMYK

CMYK, or cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, comes from the days of the early printing presses where colors were applied in single, consecutive layers that were then left to dry until the print was complete. Today, it’s considered a standard design mode since it’s still used by professional printers.

CMYK RGB comparison
Comparing how RGB (1) and CMYK (2) modes affect the colors in your work.

RGB

RGB stands for red, green, and blue. RGB refers to the colored light on our computer monitors that displays everything we see. With millions of colors available, you can achieve way more artistically.

To change the Color Mode in Photoshop from RGB to CMYK:

First, Merge all the layers.

Then go to Image > Mode and select CMYK. Save your file in a high-resolution format or talk with your printer for more help.

CMYK Color Mode

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How to Create an Illustration With the Pantone Color of the Year 2018

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Every year, Pantone sets out on a mission to find a color worthy of carrying the title of “Color of the Year”. For 2018, the color is Ultra Violet, which is a beautiful blue-based purple that we’re going to be using ourselves to create this minimalist illustration.

As always, we’re going to be using some basic geometric shapes combined with some of Adobe Illustrator’s most basic tools.

You can always expand the project by heading over to GraphicRiver, where you’ll find a great selection of paint-themed assets.

 So assuming you’ve grabbed a fresh cup of that hot cocoa, let’s get started!

1. What Are Pantone Colors?

If you’ve been dabbling in the world of design for some time, this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard the term, but have you ever taken a moment and wondered what it actually means? Well, according to Pantone LLC, the term is defined as a “standardized color matching system” used by graphic designers in order to ease the process of identifying and cross-matching colors within different printing systems.

The way this is done is by creating Pantone color swatches, which are individually defined by a unique naming system that uses a numeric indicator (the number of the color—Pantone Red 032), followed by a suffix indicative of the type of paper stock on which it is meant to be printed (C for coated, U for uncoated, M for matte).

This way, designers can easily identify and reproduce exactly the same color, ensuring that the design maintains its original values from start to finish.

In the case of Ultra Violet, you might notice that we have a different suffix, “TCX”, which stands for Textile Paper Edition.

2. The Queen of 2018: Pantone 18-3838 TCX

Every time the calendar grows older, the people at Pantone take the time and energy to give a new color the title of “Color of the Year”, explaining not only the reasons behind their choice but also the values and message carried by it.

2017: Greenery

In 2017, that position was filled by Pantone 15-0343 (Greenery), which was a fresh yellow-green shade evocative of the first days of spring.

greenery example

2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity

In 2016, for the first time we had not one but two shades to carry the title, Pantone 13-1520 (Rose Quartz) and Pantone 15-3919 (Serenity), meant to “psychologically fulfill our yearning of reassurance and security”.

rose quartz and serenity example

2015: Marsala

2015 was the year of Pantone 18-1438 (Marsala), which was described as a seductive red-brown shade, meant to draw us into its embracing warmth.

marsala example

2018: Ultra Violet

For 2018, the color is Pantone 18-3838 TCX, or Ultra Violet, which is a beautiful, provocative value meant to suggest “the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now”.

ultra violet example

As Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, puts it:

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level”.

And I do have to agree—the color does present itself as a symbol for experimentation and non-conformity, historically having been worn by unconventional artists such as Prince, David Bowie, and the brilliant Jimi Hendrix.

That being the case, I thought it would be a great idea to put our creativity to work by doing this minimalist project, where we’re going to play with this beautiful color.

3. How to Set Up a New Project File

Assuming you already have Illustrator up
and running in the background, bring it up and let’s set up a New Document (File > New or Control-N)
for our project using the following settings:

  • Number
    of Artboards:
    1
  • Width:
    800
    px
  • Height:
    600
    px
  • Units:
    Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color
    Mode:
    RGB
  • Raster
    Effects:
    Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default
setting up a new document

Quick tip: Now, as I pointed out a few moments ago, the Pantone Color system is mainly used for print, which of course uses a CMYK color space, so you might be wondering why we set our Color Mode to RGB. Well, usually when you attempt to use a CMYK-created color within an RGB document, you’ll notice obvious shifts between the two. Normally you would have to approximate the color using an intricate guide, but luckily for us, Pantone has put together an online color finder that gives you the RGB and Hex values for all of its colors, including Ultra Violet

4. How to Set Up a Custom Grid

Even though today’s project is not an icon-based one, we’ll still want to create the illustration using a pixel-perfect
workflow, so let’s set up a nice little grid so that we can have full control
over our shapes.

Step 1

Go to the Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid submenu, and adjust
the following settings:

  • Gridline
    every:
    1 px
  • Subdivisions: 1
setting up a custom grid

Quick tip: you can learn more
about grids by reading this in-depth piece on How Illustrator’s Grid System Works.

Step 2

Once we’ve set up our custom grid, all we
need to do in order to make sure our shapes look crisp is enable the Snap to Grid option found under the View menu (that’s if you’re using an
older version of Illustrator).









Now, if you’re new to
the whole “pixel-perfect workflow”, I strongly recommend you go through my How
to Create Pixel-Perfect Artwork
tutorial, which will help you widen your
technical skills in no time.

5. How to Create the Paint Stroke

We’re going to kick things off by creating
the paint stroke created by the roller, so assuming you’ve already set up the custom grid, let’s get started!

Step 1













Create a 96 x 240 px rectangle
which we will color using ultra violet (#5F4B8B) and then center align to the
underlying Artboard, making sure to
position it at a distance of 196 px from
its left edge.

creating the main shape for the paint stroke

Step 2





Start working on the paint drips by creating a 4 x 12 px rectangle (#5F4B8B), which we will position at a distance
of 64 px from the larger shape’s
bottom-right corner.

creating the smaller section of the first paint drip

Step 3





Adjust the shape that we’ve just created, by setting the Radius of its bottom corners to 2 px from within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties.

adjusting the smaller section of the first paint drip

Step 4





Add the taller drip using a 4 x
28 px
rectangle (#5F4B8B) with a 2
px
bottom corner Radius, which
we will position on the right side of the previously adjusted shape, at a
distance of just 4 px.

adding the taller section to the first paint drip

Step 5





Create the center section using a 4 x 8 px rectangle (#5F4B8B), which we
will position as seen in the reference image.

adding the middle section to the first paint drip

Step 6





Adjust the shape that we’ve just created, by removing a 4
x 4 px
circle (highlighted with red) from its bottom edge using Pathfinder’s Minus Front Shape Mode.

adjusting the middle section of the first paint drip

Step 7





Add the side sections using two 4
x 4 px
squares (#5F4B8B), from the bottom of which we will remove a 4 x 4 px circle, positioning the
resulting shapes as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and
group all five shapes together using the Control-G
keyboard shortcut.

adding the side sections to the first paint drip

Step 8





Add the second paint drip using a 4
x 16 px
rectangle (#5F4B8B) with a 2
px
bottom corner Radius as your
starting point. Once you’re done, select and group (Control-G) all three shapes together before moving on to the next
step.

adding the second paint drip

Step 9





Create the paint stroke’s darker section using a 4 x 96 px rectangle, which we will color using #332B4B and then
position on the right side of the larger shape. Once you’re done, select and
group (Control-G) all of the current
section’s composing shapes before moving on to the next one.

adding the darker section to the paint stroke

6. How to Create the Paint Roller

As soon as we’ve finished working on
the paint stroke, we can start working on the roller, which as you’ll see is
really easy to create.

Step 1













Create the sponge using a 32 x
112 px
rectangle, which we will color using a complementary orange (#F7CB7F),
and then position on the right side of the paint stroke as seen in the
reference image.

creating the main shape for the sponge

Step 2





Add the paint using a 32 x 96 px rectangle (#5F4B8B), which we will center align to the previously created shape,
selecting and grouping the two together afterwards using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the paint to the sponge

Step 3





Start working on the roller’s handle by
creating its guard using an 8 x 24 px rectangle
(#F7CB7F), which we will position at a distance of 64 px from the sponge’s right edge.

creating the guard for the handle

Step 4





Add the actual handle using a 52 x 16 px rectangle (#F7CB7F), which we
will position on the right side of the previously created shape.

adding the main shape for the handle

Step 5





Create the rear end section using a smaller 8 x 8 px square, which we will color
using ultra violet (#332B4B) and then position as seen in the reference image.

adding the rear end to the handle

Step 6





Separate the guard from the handle using a hard shadow, which we will
create using an 8 x 16 px rectangle
(#332B4B), which we will adjust by selecting its top-right anchor point using
the Direct Selection Tool (A), and
then pushing it to the left side by 4 px using the Move tool
(right click > Transform > Move
> Horizontal > -4 px
).

adding the hard shadow to the handle

Step 7





Add the vertical grip lines using three 4 x 16 px rectangles (#332B4B), which
we will horizontally distribute 4 px from
one another, grouping (Control-G)
and then positioning them 4
px
from the shadow that we’ve just created.

adding the vertical grip lines to the handle

Step 8





Finish off the handle by adding the little
insertion point using a 4 x 4 px circle
(#332B4B), which we will position at a distance of 4 px from the center of its right edge. Once you’re done, select
and group (Control-G) all its
composing shapes before moving on to the next step.

adding the circular insertion to the handle

Step 9





Start working on the roller’s arm by creating
the main shape for its lower section using an 8 x 8 px square, which we will color using #5F4B8B and then
position on the left side of the guard.

creating the lower section of the arm

Step 10





Select the Pen
Tool (P)
and, using an 8 px thick
Stroke (#332B4B) with a Round Join, draw the arm’s main body, following the reference image
as your main guide. Take your time, and once you’re done, move on to the next
step.

drawing the arm

Step 11





Finish off the arm, and with it the project
itself, by adding the left segment using an 8 x 8 px square (#332B4B), which we will position on the opposite
side of the sponge. Once you’re done, select and group (Control-G) all of the paint roller’s composing sections, doing the
same for the entire illustration afterwards.

finishing off the illustration

Awesome Work! You’re Done!

There you have it, fellow Pantone lovers, a nice and easy tutorial on how to
create a cute illustration using the hottest color of 2018.

As always, I hope you’ve had fun working on the project and most
importantly managed to learn something new and useful along the way.









That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing
your final results, and if you have any questions, please post them within the comments
area and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

End Result

If you’re looking for more Pantone and color resources here on Envato Tuts+, why not check out the following awesome tutorials:

This truly bizarre Christmas tree is entirely made out of plasticine

This is probably the most unusual Christmas tree you’ve seen, throwing away every part of traditional Christmas as we know it. This tree replaces tinsel, lights and an angel at the top with brightly-coloured Alice in Wonderland characters and Christmas objects.

High-profile set designer, illustrator and artist Gary Card created the eight-foot Christmas tree for London’s five-star Sanderson Hotel entirely out of plasticine (umm, but why?) – and it’s just been placed in the reception area this week.

Using 400 bars of different coloured plasticine, the tree is far from light and nimble – coming in at a whopping 2000 pounds, so about a tonne. It has a steel structure underneath to support it.

Gary and two other artists spent 36 hours moulding each individual element, including iconic characters from Alice in Wonderland like the Cheshire cat, the rabbit and Alice herself – which look rather creepy up close – as well as brightly coloured foods and Christmas symbols, like santa and snowmen. It was then another 10 hours to construct the tree in the hotel reception near Oxford Circus. The hotel offers a ‘Mad Hatters’ afternoon tea and evening tea, which might be why Alice in Wonderland features on the tree.

Gary’s regular clients include Stella McCartney, Nike, Adidas and Topshop to name a few. His work has also featured in The New York Times and British Vogue. He also created his own psychedelic magazine this year, titled Happy Breakfast.

Take a look at some of the detail.

How to Create a Polar Bear Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Once upon a time in the frozen Arctic lived a polar bear. He was standing alone on a glacier, waiting for fish…

Today, you are going to learn how to create this animal in Adobe Illustrator. If you want more inspiration, then check out GraphicRiver. You will see tons of amazing images of polar bears

Some images there might look complicated, but here, I will show you how to create a polar bear using basic shapes. We will also use Warp effects and the Pen Tool. To use the Pen Tool and not have to worry, we’ll use the Smart Guides, which will help us.

Let’s get started!

1. How to Create the Scenery

Step 1

After opening a new document (850 x 850 px Width and Height), we will start by creating the background. Let’s create a blue square: hit the Rectangle Tool (M) and click on your artboard. Enter Height and Width 850 px, and press OK. Set its fill color as shown in the image below.

creating the background

Step 2

Next, we will add a darker blue rectangle on the bottom part of the image. Select the background and create a copy in front: press Control-C and then Control-F. Then, using the Selection Tool (V), narrow it down. Change the fill color. This will be the ice-cold ocean!

creating the ocean

Step 3

Now we will create an image of mountains. To start our mountain, we will use the Pen Tool (P). Select the Pen Tool (P) and set any stroke color you want and no fill color. We will change the color later on, so go ahead and choose any stroke color to start with.

Now, simply start to click on your artboard. You will see that the points will be connected by a line.

drawing the mountains

Once you reach the beginning of this shape (the first anchor point), you will see that there is a small circle there, near the Pen Tool (L). Now click on the first anchor point, while you still see this circle, to close up your shape. If you have never used this tool before, then I would recommend messing around with it first just to see how it works.

finishing drawing the mountains

As soon as you close up the shape, you can change its color to a darker blue and remove the stroke color.

changing the color of the mountains

Step 4

In this step, we will continue working on the mountain image. But first, in order to the draw the lines with more precision, we need to enable the Smart Guides. So let’s go to View > Smart Guides (Control-U). Select the Pen Tool (P) and make the lighter part of the mountain.

creating the light part of the mountains

Do the same thing with all the other mountains. Try to end up with a result similar to the one below.

continue creating the light parts of the mountains

Step 5

Using a similar technique, create another set of darker blue shapes. Make sure you have this order: light blue part, middle blue part, and then the darker blue part for each mountain.

These will be our mountains!

creating the dark parts of the mountains

Step 6

Finally, using the Pen Tool (P), create a glacier on the bottom of the image, where our bear will be standing. The Smart Guides will help you not to go beyond the boundaries of the background.

creating the glacier

Step 7

Now we will create some clouds! To do so, create a bunch of rectangles, and then place them close together. Now simply create some more clouds to finish it off.

creating the clouds

Step 8

To smooth the shape of clouds, select one and unite all of the rectangles making up the cloud by pressing the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). To smooth the clouds, select all of them and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners… In a new dialogue window, enter Radius 10 px.

We just created a place for our polar bear to live!

smoothen the clouds

2. How to Create the Polar Bear

Step 1

To create the bear, we will start by forming the shape of the body. Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a white rounded rectangle. To get a rounded rectangle with very rounded corners, create a small rounded rectangle first and then stretch it. Or you can go to View > Show Corner Widget and modify the corners by dragging them inside.

creating the body of the polar bear

Step 2

Now, create a smaller white rounded rectangle and attach it to the larger one on the upper left side. This is the head. To create an eye, add a dark grey or black ellipse, using the Ellipse Tool (L).

creating the head of the polar bear

Step 3

For the neck, add a white rectangle and place it between the head and the body. Next, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), move its anchor points to connect the head and body.

creating the neck of the polar bear

Step 4

Now we will add the ears. Create three ellipses—two larger and one smaller ellipse—and place them as shown below. Change the fill color of the left and middle ovals to make them a little darker. Be sure the left ear stays behind the head (Control-X, Control-B).

creating the ears of the polar bear

Step 5

For the muzzle, create another white rounded rectangle and attach it to the left side of the head.

creating the muzzle of the polar bear

Then we will deform this shape by applying the Warp Effect: go to Effect > Warp > Arc and adjust the necessary options. Expand this shape: select it and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warping the muzzle of the polar bear

Step 6

We will create a nose from an ellipse. Create a black ellipse and, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), move the left and right anchor points up.

creating the nose of the polar bear

Attach the nose to the muzzle of our bear.

placing the nose of the polar bear

Step 7

For the tail, create another small oval. Attach it to the upper right side of the body and rotate it to the left as in the image below.

creating the tail of the polar bear

Step 8

Let’s create the bear’s legs. First, create a white rounded rectangle. Then transform it: go to Effect > Warp > Arch, and enter the options shown below. Expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance).

creating the leg of the polar bear

Attach this leg to the body.

placing the leg of the polar bear

Step 9

For the paw, create a small white ellipse. Now we will cut away the bottom part of the ellipse. For the cutter, create a rectangle with any fill color you want. Make sure that the rectangle overlaps the bottom part of the ellipse. While keeping these two shapes selected, press the Minus Front button on the Pathfinder panel. We will end up with the top part of the ellipse.

creating the paw of the polar bear

Attach this part to the bottom of the leg as a paw. The back leg is ready!

placing the paw of the polar bear

Step 10

Make another copy of the leg and attach it to the right side of the body as a front leg.

creating another leg of the polar bear

Step 11

Now create a copy of the front and back legs behind (Control-C, Control-B). Make them darker (use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to take the same color as the darker ear) and slightly shift the legs to the left.

Make sure the new darker legs are behind the whole body.

Our bear is ready!

creating other legs of the polar bear

Conclusion

And you are done! Great job. I hope you get used to this tricky Pen Tool and now will use it a lot. Or maybe you know already how to use it and just had some good practice. Anyway, I’m happy that you were with me through the whole tutorial!

See you next time!

final image