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Drawing a lens flare

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Drawing a lens flare

The Flare tool in Illustrator is incredibly sophisticated. Through the creation of many objects and the use of several blend modes, it actually creates realistic looking lens flares above both vector object and photographic content as well. For example, if I want to add just a little bit extra something to this particular image, and by the way I created this simply by working with an original photograph here, which you can see in this layer, and I simply drew these objects on top of it. Let me go ahead and turn off that Trace Image layer right here. What I want to do is I just want to add a little bit extra something here and maybe create some kind of lens flare in one of these windows. To create a lens flare in Illustrator, we are going to use the Flare tool. We are going to go over here to the Rectangle tool and beneath it will find the Flare tool here.

Drawing a lens flare

The Flare tool in Illustrator is incredibly sophisticated. Through the creation of many objects and the use of several blend modes, it actually creates realistic looking lens flares above both vector object and photographic content as well. For example, if I want to add just a little bit extra something to this particular image, and by the way I created this simply by working with an original photograph here, which you can see in this layer, and I simply drew these objects on top of it. Let me go ahead and turn off that Trace Image layer right here. What I want to do is I just want to add a little bit extra something here and maybe create some kind of lens flare in one of these windows. To create a lens flare in Illustrator, we are going to use the Flare tool. We are going to go over here to the Rectangle tool and beneath it will find the Flare tool here.

Now, before we apply a Flare, I want to go over to some of the elements that make up a flare inside of Illustrator. We can see that by double-clicking on the Flare tool, it brings up the Flare tool Options dialog box, and here I can see there is a whole lot of settings that are going to create in a flare. Don't worry about exactly what each of these settings mean because as we see, when we create these flares visually, we can really focus on what it looks like and not really the settings that you have here. You can't apply a flare in this particular way, I'm just showing you where the settings are, as we'll see, we are going to come back to these settings later on if you want to make tweaks or changes to our flare after we have already applied it.

But basically there are four parts of a flare. There is the Center which we'll first define when we create our flare, then there is a Halo which is basically the area around the center of the flare, and then you will also have Rays and Rings which really give the flare it's well flare. I am going to go ahead here and click on Cancel. Now let's go ahead and first create our flare. Using the Flare tool, I have it selected right here. Let's say I want to add the flare, say right about over here, it like, it looks like this sun is glinting off of this window. So what I'm going to first do is I'm going to define where the center of my flare is going to be. I'm going to click-and-drag my mouse, and as I drag outward, I'm not going to release the mouse button, the further I drag my mouse outwards, the larger that Halo area is going to be.

I could also hold down the Command key on my keyboard, and you can see how the space between the inner circle and the outer circle is growing. That basically defines how smooth the transition is from those particular areas as well. But I'm going to leave it small for now. I'm actually going to change the size of my flare to be a little bit smaller here. I want to keep it within the boundaries of my artwork. We'll see in a minute why that could be important. And again, I'm not going to release the mouse button yet, I can use the Up and Down arrows on my keyboard to add rays or remove rays from my flare. So if I want a flare with just a few rays, I could simply go ahead and just tab the Bottom arrow or the Down arrow several times, and then only get a few rays. As I tab the Up arrow, I can see that I'm now adding rays to my flare as well.

So I'm happy with what I have right there. I'm now going to release the mouse. What I have just done is I have defined the first half of my flare. We defined the Center, the Halo area and also the Rays. Now I need to basically define where the Rings of this particular flare are going to be. So, now I'm going to position my mouse cursor somewhere about over here. Now I'm going to click-and-drag once again. And now I'm defining where these Rings are for my flare as well. Again, I could use the Up arrow and the Down arrow on my keyboard to add rings or to remove rings. Now I'm going to release the mouse and I have created my flare. I'll de-select it right here, and I could see I have got this really cool photographic effect, all done with vectors, all using transparency blend modes to create this really, really cool effect.

One of the great things about working with these flares here inside of Illustrator is that they are live, meaning I can make changes or adjustments, I don't have to worry about pixels here, everything is vector and editable, and we'll see how to actually modify this flare, in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 29058 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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