Who’s up for another Ten Minute Tutorial? You can’t go wrong with these guys, they’re just so easy, fast and will teach you something useful!
Last week we learned to make Whirly Pops in Illustrator (though that took a bit longer than 10 minutes, I’d guess). This week we’re going to make a wood texture that is incredibly versatile. This can be used for the sides of buildings, floors, backdrops, barrels- you name it! It’s easy and adds a polish to your image.
So grab a cup of coffee and lets get started : )
Create a Wood Grain Floor in Illustrator
In a new document 400×400 px (you can make it any size you want, but run through the tutorial real quick to learn the technique, then add it anywhere!) grab you Rectangle Tool and create a square the same size as your artboard by simply clicking anywhere in your artboard and entering the dimensions in the popup. Click ok. Make your fill any wood-like color you want (I am using #933f11 in this tutorial) with a black 1px stroke.
With your new square selected go to Object> Path> Split Into Grid (image 1 below). Set the number of columns and rows as you like, I’ve gone with 2 and 6, but you must set the gutters to zero (image 2 below). Go to the Appearance Window (Windows> Appearance if not open) and duplicate your fill color (click the fill color in the appearance window and drag it to “Duplicate Selected Item” along the bottom of the Appearance Window, right next to the trashcan). Set the duplicated fill’s Blend Mode to Multiply (image 3 below).
And this is where the magic happens. In the appearance panel, with your duplicate fill color still selected, go to FX> Stylize (the one in Illustrator Effects)> Scribble. Apply the effects as shown, then feel free to adjust them to your taste!
Already starting to look like a wood floor : ) Needs a little more work, though!
Using your Direct Selection tool with your Bounding Box active (Shift+Ctrl+B to toggle on/off) grab and scale each wood plank to stagger their size and ‘placement’. Scale the next to close up the gaps. I’ve finished all but one in the image below so you can see what I mean.
With the scaling of your wood planks your stroke may have been altered in size a bit. I always keep ‘Scale Strokes and Effects’ checked, so to remedy this without toggling this option on and off and risking forgetting it (I always forget these things) we simply visit the Stroke window. Using the Direct Selection tool to make sure all of your planks are selected simply look at the stroke-width drop down. If it says ‘1’ with everything selected, you’re fine. If not, change it to 1. Now press Ctrl + G to group your wood pieces.
Polish it up! With your group selected, visit the Appearance Window and add a new fill above your group ‘contents’. With that selected go to your Gradient Window and add a simple Black-to-White gradient. Use your Gradient Annotator (Alt + Ctrl + G to toggle on/off) drag your gradient to reflect your desired light source. Now change its blend mode to Soft Light (or experiment!) and adjust the opacity to your liking.
And you’re done : )
Want to use it for more than just birds-eye illustrations? Manipulate it! For the basketball court image I used a lighter color, adjusted my rows and columns to create horizontal planks and then grabbed the Free Transform Tool (image 1 below). Grabbing a corner anchor point and holding Ctrl+Alt+Shift I pulled the top corners together (image 2 below) and then used the Direct Selection tool and scaled down from the top center point in my bounding box.
There you go! Hope this was helpful.
Have a terrific Tuesday!
Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone : )