Drawing a waving flag in illustrator can be a tricky and challenging process for a new beginner. In this adobe illustrator tutorial, we will learn how to draw a vector waving flag effect of the United States of America. You will first need to create the 2D flag using Transform tools and we will move on to create the wave effect using 3D Distort Tools.
2D Vector Flag Creation
1. Let’s open a new document in Illustrator (File > New) and select the size 500 x 350 px. (but you can choose any size you want). If you want to use it for printing you should choose CMYK color mode.
2. Select the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a rectangle 600 x 28 px., red fill and without stroke.
3. Select a rectangle. Object > Transform > Move and press Copy.
4. Duplicate the rectangle 12 times. Use Command + D.
5. Select all even rectangles (press Command) and change fill for the white. Group all rectangles (Command + G).
6. Select the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a rectangle 250 x 196 px, draw a dark blue fill and without stroke. Select all of objects and align them horizontal left and vertical top. Group all objects (Command + G).
7. Select the Star Tool (M). Create a star, fill it with white and without stroke.
8. Select a star. Object > Transform > Move and press Copy.
9. Duplicate the star 5 times. Use Command + D. Using this techniques to create 50 stars. Group all stars (Command + G) and place over a dark blue rectangle. Select all and group.
Waving Flag Effect
10. Select the Pen Tool (P). Create a path without fill and black stroke.
11. Select path, Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel.
12. Select a flag and drag it in the symbols palette. Select the 3D object, open Appearance palette and double click on 3D Extrude & Bevel. Open Map Art in a dialogue window and select New Symbol 1. Click on Scale to Fit.
Select surface: “No shading” in a dialogue window.
Coloring the Vector Flag
13. Select the 3D object, go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select Direct Selection Tool (A) and make a gradient for the red strips.
14. Use the same method to get a white strips and a dark blue rectangle.
15. Scale and rotate the vector flag.
16. Select the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a rectangle 500 x 350 px. Place a rectangle over a flag. Select both object and click crop on the pathfinder palette.
17. Create a new background layer below the flag. Select the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a rectangle 500 x 350 px without stroke and fill it with radial gradient.
In this tutorial, we have explored on drawing a waving flag. With this technique, it is possible to recreate flags of the different countries.
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