Hyper-Realistic Shadows That Trick The Eye (Illustrator Tutorial)

in today’s a graphic design illustrator
tutorial I’m gonna show you guys how to make some realistic shadows within adobe illustrator. now for today’s tutorial I found it really neat PNG of an iPhone
on Google and you can find this file link down below for you to download if
you want to use it for yourself to practice the techniques that we’re going
to go through right now so in today’s video is gonna be really really helpful
to use and utilize the layers window and you will see just why as we get on with
the video but yeah next we’re going to make a
background and you’ve seen me do this many many times on my channel so just
press M for the rectangle tool and cover the entire artboard with a rectangle it
might be a good idea to make the background color a sample from the image
itself so in this case the iPhone and just use the eyedropper tool to navigate
around the iPhone picking off different colors and seeing what’s gonna work best
for your background design so once you finally land on the color that you want
to use we can lock the background layer in the layers window by just clicking
next to the eye icon I’m gonna bring down a guide from the rulers that’s
gonna act as a kind of fictitious or a imaginary ground level and this will
help me build up the shadow as I move along the design this isn’t necessary
but I just find it helps quite a lot we’re making shadows you can also
right-click or control-click the background to lock the guides down in
place if you don’t want them moving around or being in the way so now it’s
finally time to make the first shadow so press M for the rectangle tool and then
generate a rectangle like so and add a gradient fill now in the gradient window
apply black to both sides of the gradient but then lower the opacity down to 0% on
one of the ends of the gradient and this will help blend in the shadow to the
background as you will soon see in the layers window make sure to bring the
iPhone to the front of all layers and actually we can lock this down as well
which will be very handy when building up the shadows in our design so going
back to the rectangle here and we can use the live corners in illustrator CC –
rounded off like so but if you don’t have illustrator CC just head up to
effect and then round corners another really useful tip here is to press the G
which will access the gradient tool and here we can actually dictate the
direction of the gradient and also the slider which will help blend in the
shadow to the background as far as you can see this is already looking pretty
needs but I’ve got some more techniques that are really gonna help build up your
realistic shadows for your graphic designs in Illustrator Sonax come up to effect and then blur
and Gaussian blur we’re going to apply a Gaussian blur to the shadow now how much
you apply is completely up to you and also your design but after you’ve
applied it I do suggest that you come up to the document or raster effect
settings and increase this value here as it’s going to help all of the blends and
the blurs look that much more smooth so that’s looking pretty neat already I’m
imagining a light source coming from the kind of top left direction coming down
so the rest of the shadow is going to be behind the iPhone itself kind of and I
would suggest that my light source is kind of more vertically speaking than
far out to the left so my shadows not going to be too long
and elongated so when you’re ready press a P for the pen tool and still with the
same gradient selected in the color palette we’re going to draw a shape that
will dictate the shadow I remember this doesn’t have to be too
perfect right now because we can adjust it later and also the Gaussian blur
effect means that we didn’t have to be neat with our pencil paths if you’ve
been drawing the path of just a stroke only press shift annex to flick the
stroke over to a field or gradient and then move the iPhone layer back up to
the top of the layers and this is why we use the layers panel because even though
the iPhone is locked we can still move around the positioning of the layers now
again press G for the gradient tool and adjust the gradient until you’re happy
with the final outcome of this part of the shadow now again go ahead and add a
Gaussian blur effect to the shadow and I really do love this gradient because it
blends so well into the background and that is one of the most you know crucial
techniques for this kind of design but yeah I suggest that you add a few more
shadows closer to the bottom of the iPhone to make it darker in that area
and this will add more emphasis and again some more realism to the shadows
on your graphic design but I was today’s video on making shadows in Adobe
Illustrator that adds some realism to your graphic designs I hope you learned
something today and if you want to keep learning essential skills as a graphic
designer subscribe to my channel for weekly
graphic design content and of course until next time design your future today
peace you


  1. Wow… i never knew this way of giving shadows.. i never used guidelines for shadows!!!! It never came to my mind..
    Also, i never used gausian blur for shadows..
    Thank you so much.. i will now on be able to give sensible shadows for the objects n vectors.. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. thank you for this tutorial, i hope if you can make a tutorial to how build isometric city with people etc ….. ๐Ÿ˜€ something very complex !!

  3. Tom! Nice video bro! How are you?! Any updayes re: subscribers website? Thank you again for all the skills you have taught me, they are paying off massively with my more formal Ps Ai course. Ive been cheating this by using cinema4d mixed in with Ai and Ps. Bro get into 3d it will blow your mind and i know you already love isometric/fake 3D work. Cheers mate, happy weekend where ever you are!

  4. Oh wow. I have a question! I saw stuff like this being done in photoshop, although it took far to many steps to get the same result. My question is, is photoshop necessary? The most use I see in photoshop is making mockups only. Yet whenever I look at companies that are willing to hire they all say (expert in the adobe suits Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc).
    Are they that much needed or are they used for only one purpose each?
    I'm sorry, I'm just confused.

  5. Iphone with a headphone jack
    FBI : wait.. thats illegal

    Thanks for the tutorial Satori
    Keep up and get well soon <3

  6. This channel gives balance for the designer, hard skills (like this video) and soft skills (about mindset, experience, etc. to be a good designer).

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