In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a stylish retro television in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn how to draw basic shapes, modify them and apply gradient and gradient mesh for more realism. Hope you enjoy this illustrator tutorial.
Drawing the Television
1. Open a new document with 800x600px workspace in CMYK color mode. Select the Rectangle tool (M), and create a rectangle with this size – width: 447px, height: 300px. Apply Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and set Radius to 15px. Click OK. Fill the object with a gradient with colors from white to black. Press G and drag, to set the gradient direction.
2. Select the object, and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path, set the Offset to -2px, and press OK. Now you have to rounded rectangles. Select the second object and apply a gradient from white to black.
3. Repeat step 2, and fill the third object with gradient. We have now the television frame completed.
4. Let’s make the television’s base. It is very simple. Draw a rectangle with width: 325px, and height: 25px. Place to the bottom centerof the other objects, and send to back (Ctrl+Shift+[). Fill it with gradient, as you see in the image below.
5. Next we’re going to create the television’s face. Create a rectangle, with size – width: 95px, height: 295px. Place it to the right part of the other objects and fill it with gradient from gray to black.
6. Select the third object, and duplicate it (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F). Now select the duplicated object and the smaller one. Go to Windows > Pathfinder, and Intersect the two objects. After that, press Expand.
7. We will now proceed with the display. Create a rounded rectangle (Rounded Rectangle Tool). I used the next sizes: width:325, height:270. Fill it with some darker gray.
8. Select the Mesh tool (M), and create some reference points on the new object. Click somewhere around the corner, and select a color for that point. You can read more about the use of the mesh tool here.
9. Create a new rounded rectangle (width: 278, height: 215px). Go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp. Select inflate from the styles list, and set the Bend to 15%.
10. Go to Object > Expand. Click OK. Fill it with a dark gray. Make a copy of the object (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F), and put it somewhere around. We will need it later.
11. Select the Mesh Tool (M) again and create a single point. Fill it with white or light gray.
12. Now we’re going to make the speaker. Create a circle. Fill it with black. Duplicate it (Start to drag the circle to right, while pressing Alt+Shift. When the new circle is far enough from the original, release the mouse button, and the keys. Press Ctrl+D, to repeat this step). When you have a whole line of circles, select all of them and duplicate again (Now start to drag down, while holding Alt+Shift. Press Ctrl+D to repeat several times.
13. Resize the circles to fit on the control panel of the tv, and place them.
14. Create a circle (width:71px). Fill it with gradient fromt white to light gray.
15. Draw a line on the circle. Go to Object > Transform > Rotate, and set the angle of rotation to 6°. Press Copy.
16. Press Ctrl+D, to repeat this step, until you cover the circle with lines.
17. Create a circle and place it over the other circle. Fill it with gradient.
18. Duplicate the circle (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F) and make it smaller. Fill it with gradient and rotate it to get this realistic button-like effect.
19. Create a rectangle. Fill it with gradient with colors from white to gray and rotate it.
20. Select the button, and duplicate it (Alt+Shitf+drag down).
21. Create a circle, fill it with radial gradient.
22. Create anothe circle and fill it also with radial gradient.
23. Duplicate these two circles. We now have the buttons.
24. What else do we need? The antennas of course. So, we draw a rectangle with the size we want and place it on the top of the television. Send to back (Ctrl+Shift+[) of the television.
25. Duplicate the antenna (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F), and flip horizontal on the Windows > Transform panel.
26. We’re done with the TV. We need now proceed with the television display. It would be nice if we had a NEWS Flash. So let’s get started. We take the display that we created in step 10 and color it with a nice blue color. On the Windows > Transparency panel set the blending mode to Multiply.
27. Select the Polygon tool (Click and hold the Rectangle tool, in the toolbox. You’ll see the fourth tool in the flyout.). Click on the Artboard to display the Polygon dialog box. Enter 150 for the radius, and 3 for the sides. Press OK.
28. Resize the triangle and rotate it with 180°. Or Flip Vertical (Windows > Transform panel).
29. Go to the Effects > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter 15 in the Angle field, and 7 in the copies field. Click on the bottom center square on the reference point locator (the small grid of squares just above the Random checkbox) and click OK.
30. Now we have the light ray effect, we needed, we just have to rotate, and place it to the right place.
31. Color the light rays to blue and set the blending mode to Multiply in the Transparency panel. Select the blue rounded rectangle, and duplicate it (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F) and send to the front (Ctrl+Shift+]).
32. Select the rounded rectangle from the top and the light rays. Go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make. So we have the lightrays effect, we only need a text. Select the Type Tool (T) from the toolbox and click on the Artboard. Now type the text you want. Fill it with white, and place it on the TV’s screen. We’re done.
Using these basic steps, with some little changes it’s very easy to create different style retro TV’s. Just by playing with different colors, control panels you can easily create a whole set!
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