Making an object appear as metal can be a difficult challenge in Adobe Illustrator because metal has a grainy appearance and a glare that is difficult to re-create. It is possible, however, to add a metallic effect to a shape by using a gradient fill and applying a filter effect. The steps within this tutorial can quickly be modified to achieve the metal effect specific to your design.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Select the "Rectangle" tool and draw a rectangle.
Select the "Gradient" tool. Click on the rectangle and drag in the direction that you want the grain of the metal to appear.
Click "Window" and select "Gradient" to activate the gradient panel.
Double-click on the left slider. Change the colour to 40 per cent black. Then, change the right slider to 40 per cent black as well.
Click in the centre and just below the gradient bar to add a new gradient colour. Double-click on the new slider. Change the colour to 15 per cent black.
Click on "Stroke" in the tools panel. Change the colour to 40 per cent black, or the darkest colour in the gradient.
Click on the "Effect" menu and hover over "Texture." Select "Grain."
Set the contrast to "0" and the intensity between "5" and "10."
Click on the "Grain Type" drop-down menu. Select "Horizontal" for horizontal gradients or "Vertical" for vertical gradients. Then, click "OK."
Adjust the sliders in the gradient panel if you desire a smaller or larger glare on the metal.
Tips and warnings
- Drag the square into the graphic style panel to reuse this effect on other objects.
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