Illustrator Special Effects #7: Spiral Motion Abstract Background

Abstract Spiral Motion Background

Follow this quick tip and learn how to draw a black and white spiral cube abstract background. So, let’s get started!

1. Open up a new document and set the dimensions of the Artboard to about 800 x 600px. Now grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a rectangle that is the same size as your artboard. While the object is still selected, choose the black swatch in the Swatches panel to set the fill color.

spiral motion abstract

2. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a rectangle and set the dimensions to about 750 x 680px. To round the edges of the rectangle, go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners… and in the Radius field enter 80px and press OK. Select Object > Expand Appearance to expand the object. At this point, you can choose any color you like (it is temporary, anyway).

spiral motion abstract

3. Make sure the object is still selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path… and in the dialog box set the Offset to -23px. To scale the object along the horizontal axis, start dragging the middle-left bounding-box handle to the right a bit. Pick another color from the Color panel and fill the object.

spiral motion abstract

4. Selech both objects, and go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Ctrl+8), in order to create a hole where the two objects overlap. Open up the Gradient Panel and fill the resulting shapes with the following linear gradients: light grey (R=204 G=204 B=204) and white (R=242 G=242 B=242).

spiral motion abstract

5. When you’re done, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform… and apply the shown values and hit OK. Then, select Object > Expand Appearance to detach the copies we have just created. Ungroup (Shift+Ctrl+G) the objects first, and in the Transparency Panel change the Blending Mode to Difference (Opacity 100%).

spiral motion abstract

6. If you find it more interesting, you can simply rotate the objects randomly until you are satisfied. To finish the background, make a copy of the rectangle from Step 1 and place it on top using the Bring to Front (Shift+Ctrl+]) command. Select all the objects created so far and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Ctrl+7) to mask out the parts that exceed the boundaries of the rectangle. As you can see, the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. That’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial.

spiral motion abstract

View the list of all 101 Illustrator special effects tricks at 101 Illustrator Special Effects.


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About The Author: Nikola Adzic

Hi, I'm a digital artist and designer and I really enjoy creating photorealistic artworks. Most of the time I'm just observing how objects behave in the 'real' world and it's really challenging to create it in a vector-based software, such as Illustrator.

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