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Aug 05

Illustrator ring shape via overlapping crescents effect

2009 at 10.04 am posted by Veerle Pieters

Illustrator ring shape via overlapping crescents effect Today I have a very easy to follow step-by-step tutorial for people who just started out with Illustrator. This is another request from a reader who asked if I could explain how to draw this ring shape (see image on the left). Looking at this shape I can see it’s made of 2 overlapping crescents which are then rotated at 45 degrees. There is also this interesting overlapping effect which adds a bit of unrealistic depth effect which makes me think of the work of M.C. Escher. This time I thought it would be a good idea to work with screenshots again…

Draw a circle

Fill circle with linear gradient

Select the Ellipse tool and draw a circle holding down the Shift key.

Fill circle with linear gradient

Fill circle with linear gradient

Fill the circle with a linear, vertical gradient (90° corner), going from light green at the bottom (R197, G227, B38) to dark green at the top (R68, G134, B58), with the position of the gradient slider located around 70%.

Add a second circle

Add a second circle

Select the Ellipse tool again and draw a smaller circle on top as shown in the image above.

Vertically center the 2 circles

Vertically center the 2 circles

Vertically center the 2 circles by selecting both circles using the Selection tool, hold down the Shift key to select the second circle. Go to the Align palette and choose the Vertical Align Center option.

Minus front

Minus fronte

With the 2 circles still selected, go to the Pathfinder palette and choose Minus Front.

Change opacity to Multiply

Change opacity to Multiply

You should now have a crescent shape as shown in the image above. Make sure it is selected. Go to the Opacity palette and choose Multiply from the dropdown menu.

Duplicate rotate the crescent

Duplicate rotate the crescent

Enable Smart Guides: go to View > Smart Guides or hit Cmd/Ctrl + U. We need to find the center of the circle, so we will end up with a circle shape again when we duplicate the crescent. Draw a vertical guide and a horizontal guide as shown in the image above. Use the points of the crescent so the guide will snap to it. Now select the Rotate tool from the toolbox. Alt/Option click exactly on the intersection point for the 2 guides. In the Rotate dialogue box enter 180° and click Copy to duplicate the original crescent shape.

Ring shape

Ring shape

A ring shape with a nice overlapping effect (because we use Multiply) should be the result. We are almost there now...

Rotate the ring 45°

Rotate the ring 45°

The only thing left to do now it rotate the ring 45°. Select select the Rotate tool from the toolbox again and Alt/Option click exactly on the intersection point for the 2 guides again. In the Rotate dialogue box enter 45° and click OK. That's it! :)

Source file

This AI source file is for educational purpose only and is compatible with versions CS2 or later.

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and More A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.


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permalink this comment Richard Wed Aug 5, 2009 at 05.07 pm

Very nice! I really like your screenshot tutorials.


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permalink this comment Joey W. Wed Aug 5, 2009 at 06.19 pm

Thanks for sharing this technique. I also would like to say I absolutely love your easy to follow tutorials and your inspiring work.  Thanks again.


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permalink this comment janissh Wed Aug 5, 2009 at 09.01 pm

Thanks for tutorial!


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permalink this comment Simon Wed Aug 5, 2009 at 10.43 pm

Nice, looks like the new logo for Woolworths in Australia.


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permalink this comment Glenn Van Bogaert Thu Aug 6, 2009 at 07.03 am

Nice tutorial. I tried it immediatly when I saw the rss update and it is sooo good.


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permalink this comment Victoria Phee Thu Aug 6, 2009 at 08.17 am

Thanks for sharing! It’s good that you have a step by step process.


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permalink this comment Jonas Thu Aug 6, 2009 at 09.31 am

Thanks again Veerle for the simple but oh so usefull techniques.
Love your work!


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permalink this comment Andrew Thu Aug 6, 2009 at 01.42 pm

Thanks - it made it a lot easier with the screen shots. I’m going to give it a try now.


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permalink this comment M Gibraltar Fri Aug 7, 2009 at 10.04 am

Thanks for the Tuts+ link, always nice to be give a pointer as to how to learn the smart way ie, fast.


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permalink this comment Rajnish Fri Aug 7, 2009 at 12.38 pm

Very nice tutorials. Thanks for your post.


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permalink this comment Cody Sat Aug 8, 2009 at 12.05 am

As always very nice and simple tutorial.  -Thanks!


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permalink this comment Sam Sat Aug 8, 2009 at 11.51 am

I think you were right to make this tutorial using screenshots instead of a video, although I do love your recent video tutorials. Thanks for the great tut anyway, I love the effect.


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permalink this comment Josy Sat Aug 8, 2009 at 12.02 pm

I only work with corel draw but your tuts are so easy to understand that i can port it to corel and it also works like a charme ... i think you can write in future “Tutorial for Illustrator AND Corel”. Thank you so much.


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permalink this comment reece Sun Aug 9, 2009 at 09.03 pm

Hey, Veerle!  Thanks for the article.  When did you add a dropshadow to the comment h3 element?  I like it :)


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permalink this comment Veerle Pieters Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09.52 am

reece said:

When did you add a dropshadow to the comment h3 element?  I like it :)

It has always been there since the launch of this blog (May 2006), but only Safari users could see it. Maybe you’re using Firefox? Firefox supports it since 3.5 and so it might seem like I just implemented it.


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permalink this comment reece Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02.17 pm

Yes, that’s it.  I did just upgrade to Firefox 3.5.  :)


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permalink this comment Charles Canbry Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09.47 pm

Slick tutorial.  Thanks.


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permalink this comment John Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 03.13 pm

This is a great tutorial. I like the way how you work with screenshots. You made it very simple for me.

I’ll let you see my result when i accomplish this technique.


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permalink this comment Rich Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 11.30 am

Veerle, great tutorial as always.  It is the very last step that really transforms the image to something that is aesthetically unusual and different that could be used in so many ways.  When you rotate the ring, the image really comes to life and can be developed further!


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permalink this comment Jack Franklin Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12.54 pm

Great tutorial as always, but I’m having trouble understanding how to line the guides up. In the end I just copied and rotated and lined up just by eye.


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permalink this comment melody Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 02.39 am

you are an inspiration to me.  i love your color sense and simplicity (which is hard to do!). i’m just learning illustrator and will be back to read through all your tutorials. thank you from the bottom of my heart.


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permalink this comment eddie Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 04.48 am

I still countn’t find the circle center after I enable the smart guide


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permalink this comment Veerle Pieters Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09.56 am

Thank you all for commenting. Glad you like this tutorial.

Jack Franklin said:

Great tutorial as always, but I’m having trouble understanding how to line the guides up. In the end I just copied and rotated and lined up just by eye.

and

eddie said:

I still countn’t find the circle center after I enable the smart guide

I’ve updated the image right below the title ‘Duplicate rotate the crescent’ to help you dragging the guides in the right position. You need to use the points I marked with a circle as a guide:  A and B for the vertical guide and C and B for the horizontal one. This way you get the center point of the circle.  Hope this makes it very clear.


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permalink this comment eddie Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10.08 am

thank you for the reply and the new guide.It works.


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permalink this comment Mal Milligan Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 01.54 am

So Cool. Just gave me a level 10 idea for a logo. Keep these super tutorials rolling out - they’re great at starting the idea gears turning in my head - thanks !!



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