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Illustrator Tutorial: Futuristic Interface Design

futuristic interface design

Follow this tutorial to learn how to draw a futuristic download player using only basic shapes. It is mainly created using the 3D effects tool because of the lighting/shading options and the Bevel shapes that can be easily created to obtain a futuristic look. This Adobe illustrator tutorial is good for learning more about interface designs in Illustrator. So leave a comment if you enjoyed this tutorial.

1. Open a new document. Take the Rounded Rectangle Tool, click onto your working area and enter the dimensions shown to draw the first shape that you need.

futuristic interface design

2. Having the rectangle selected, go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a 5 px Offset value to obtain the bigger rectangle. Fill it with white then go to the Effect menu and apply the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect to obtain the silver rounded border.

futuristic interface design

3. These are the settings that you have to choose in the 3D Extrude&Bevel Options window. For Bevel shape choose Rounded and click on the More Options button to view the entire dialog. Add one more light by pressing on the indicated symbol then drag and place it like in the image.

futuristic interface design

3. Copy and Paste in front the first gray rectangle and change the fill color with the one you see below which is 90% black. Apply again the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect to obtain the black border, just change the values like in the image and keep the two lights the same.

futuristic interface design

4. Select the first rounded rectangle then go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a -15 px Offset value. Fill the smaller rectangle with the color shown which is 80% black then go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Inner Glow effect. The color used is black.

futuristic interface design

5. Select the rectangle obtained at the previous step and apply a -12 Offset value to obtain the smaller one. Delete the existing appearances and fill it with the linear gradient shown. Having this shape selected, apply a 2 px Offset value and fill the bigger shape obtained with Steel that you can find in the Swatches Library under Gradients > Metals.

futuristic interface design

6. Next take the Ellipse Tool and draw a 100×100 px circle and place it on the right side of the button. Copy and Paste it in front and change the fill color to white then apply again the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect to obtain the silver border around.

futuristic interface design

Here are the settings that you need to make in the 3D Extrude&Bevel Options window:

futuristic interface design

7. Select the first dark gray circle and apply a -5 px Offset value to obtain the smaller red circle then apply a -8 px Offset value to obtain the green one. Select them both and click Subtract from shape area > Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Fill the resulting ring shape with the gray color shown then apply again the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect.

futuristic interface design

Change the values as you see below and this time keep only one light.

futuristic interface design

8. Select again the first circle, go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a -12 px Offset value to obtain the red circle then apply a -18 px Offset value to obtain the green one. Select them both and click Subtract from shape area and Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Fill the resulting ring shape with any color for now.

futuristic interface design

9. Let’s focus on the green ring and create the 50 loading squares, a square for each 2% loaded. There should be 100 squares but they would have been too many and too small. First take the Pen Tool or the Line Segment Tool and draw a straight path that goes right through the middle. Go to Effect menu > Distort&Transform > Transform and apply the values that you see below. Choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu when you are done.

futuristic interface design

10. Select both the green ring and the group of lines and click Divide from the Pathfinder Panel. Delete all the empty shapes from the inside because you don’t need them and keep only the squares. Every five squares correspond with 10% loaded and they are colored differently. Select the first five squares and fill them with the linear gradient shown then give them a 0.75 pt black Stroke. Do the same for the next five squares only change the second color of the gradient with the first one in the list. Continue with the next five and so on. Also adjust the gradient’s angle as you go depending on the rotation of the squares.

futuristic interface design

11. Select the last five green squares which correspond with 90% loaded and Copy and Paste them in front then click Add to shape area and Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Drag the sides of the resulting shape as indicated to obtain a slightly bigger shape. Give it a 1.5 pt Stroke before you Expand it. Copy and Paste it in back because you will need it again at the next step.

futuristic interface design

12. Fill the shape that you pasted in back earlier with Steel that you can find in the Swatches Library under Gradients > Metals then change the Blending mode to Color Dodge. The border obtained after expanding is filled with the other gradient shown. Next draw a small triangle as the loading cursor and place it like in the image.

Follow again the steps 11 and 12 and do the same on the opposite side.

futuristic interface design

13. Here’s how the button should look like so far. Next using again the first gray circle apply the Offset path option twice to obtain the two circles. Give them a 1 pt Stroke using any color then choose Expand from the Object menu.

futuristic interface design

14. Fill the two rings with the same gradient but only change the angle values then go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Outer Glow effect using the green color shown.

futuristic interface design

15. Select again the first gray circle, the one from step 6, and apply a -38 px Offset value to obtain the circle in the middle then use this circle and apply again a -1 px Offset value to obtain a slightly smaller circle. Fill them with the linear gradients shown in the right.

futuristic interface design

16. Take the Type Tool and type “90%” using Arial Black then go to the Object menu and choose Expand. After you fill it with the gradient shown go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Outer Glow effect.

futuristic interface design

17. In the next image you can see only the first two circles from the step 7. Take the Rectangle Tool and draw above them a rectangle having the dimensions shown. Copy and Paste in front the dark gray circle and move it up like the green one. Now select both the rectangle and the circle and click Intersect shape areas > Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Copy and Paste in front the resulting shape, change the fill color to white and apply the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect to obtain the silver border around. The settings are identical to those from step 7.

Next type “Loading…” and follow again the previous step to finish it.

futuristic interface design

18. Now type “Download” using Arial Black and select Expand from the Object menu. Fill the text with Silver that you can find in the Swatches Library under Gradients > Metals. Go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a 1 px Offset value and change the fill color for the bigger letters to black.

futuristic interface design

19. Next draw a rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool and send it in back. Go to Effect menu > Warp > Inflate and apply a -45% Horizontal Distortion. When you are done choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu and Ungroup then fill the resulting shape with the second gradient shown at the step 15.

futuristic interface design

20. Copy and Paste in front the shape obtained at the previous step, change the fill color to green and apply the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect.

futuristic interface design

21. Take the Ellipse Tool and draw a small circle then draw an oval shape at the bottom and fill it with a radial white to black gradient. Change the Blending mode to Color Dodge and lower the Opacity to 50%. Draw another oval shape at the top and fill it with the same gradient just set it to Screen this time. Group all the shapes when you are done.

futuristic interface design

22. Let’s continue with the circuits. To draw them, take the Pen Tool and first draw the straight paths then place a small circle at each end. Some of them have a 0.75 pt Stroke applied (both the path and the circle) and others have a thinner 0.5 pt black Stroke. Draw the circuits randomly around the green ball and when you are done Expand them all. Group and send them behind the ball.

futuristic interface design

23. Fill the circuits with Tin Radial that you can find in the Swatches Library under Gradients > Metals then place the group on the right side of the button like in the image. Change the Blending mode of the green ball group to Color Dodge. Next draw with the Pen Tool a shape to cover the area where are the circuits then Copy and Paste in front the gray circle from the step 6. Select them both and click Subtract from shape area and Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Fill the resulting shape with a linear gradient using white and different gray tones and lower the Opacity to 40%.

futuristic interface design

24. Let’s continue with the arrows. First draw a square using the Rectangle Tool then rotate it 45 degrees. Copy and Paste it in front and then move it upward as in the image. Select with the Direct Selection Tool only the two top anchor points and delete them then close the end points using the Pen Tool. Select the shape obtained then go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a 1.5 px Offset value. Fill both shapes with any color for now.

futuristic interface design

25. For the smaller arrow, duplicate the one obtained earlier then go to Object menu > Transform and Scale it 75%. Multiply them and compose the entire arrow like in the image. When you are done select and drag them all into the Symbols Panel.

futuristic interface design

26. Use the Ellipse Tool to draw an oval shape then delete the left side. Go to Effect menu > 3D and apply the Revolve effect. Select only the front position and leave the other settings as they are.

futuristic interface design

Press the Map Art button and select the symbol that you defined earlier to apply it on the front surface..

futuristic interface design

27. Place the sphere on top of the button and open again the Map Art window. Check the Invisible Geometry option so you can see better how the arrow looks like on top of the button. Move the symbol to adjust its position and when the arrow is in the right place and you like how it looks go to the Object menu and choose Expand Appearance.

futuristic interface design

28. If there are other shapes in the group after expanding delete them and keep only the arrow. Fill all the red shapes of the arrow with the green linear gradient shown and all the green shapes (the borders) with the light gray to black radial gradient. Now select all the green shapes, group them then go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Inner Glow effect. The color used is black.

futuristic interface design

29. Let’s add some shadows and then you are done. Select the arrow group then go to Effect menu > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply the settings shown below. Next select the dark gray circle from the step 6 and apply again the Drop Shadow effect with the other settings shown in the right.

futuristic interface design

Final Image

Here is the finalized futuristic download button and don’t forget to let me know if you like it.

futuristic interface design

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About The Author: Diana Toma

I'm a graphic designer extremely passionate about my work. I discovered Illustrator a while ago and simply love it. Since then, it has kept me busy and active.

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+Add Comment13 Comments

  1. Gravtar for GRR
    GRR April 3rd

    Now this is an amazing tutorial. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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    Iran Lama April 27th

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  3. Gravtar for Rama
    Rama June 18th

    Very nice. I can’t wait to try this out!
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  4. Gravtar for MercuryCrest
    MercuryCrest June 23rd

    Fantastic! I’ve been looking for just this kind of tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to write this up.

  5. Gravtar for billT
    billT August 22nd

    Step 2: Fill it with white then go to the…
    If you fill it with white you don’t get what you’ve shown in the picture. It’s like your applying a stroke and coloring it white only you say path. I don’t understand what your doing here.

  6. Gravtar for tomz
    tomz August 22nd

    The edges are very jagged. How can this be reduced or eliminated?

  7. Gravtar for Diana
    Diana August 22nd

    @ tomz – That’s just because the screenshots are not done at 100% view. In my vector file they don’t look like that.

  8. Gravtar for Diana
    Diana August 22nd

    @ billT – Just fill the bigger rectangle with white. I didn’t say anything about stroke…then apply the 3D effect.

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