• Sumo

Using the awesome Dragonball as reference, the following tutorial teaches you how to create orb effects in Adobe Illustrator – particularly in CS3; but the process seems not too different with the later versions (I made this tutorial years ago and I re-posted it here). Here, Blending and Opacity Masks are used to achieve the shiny orb effect. If it’s shiny then it’s good lol. No, really.

Here it is:


Step 1:

Draw a circle, and fill it with #F7931E (the lighter orange shade on the CS3 swatch palette). I recommend drawing the circle using the intersection of horizontal and vertical guides as its center but it entirely depends on your preference.

Fig.1 Orange circle
Fig.2 The color code goes in the encircled box. This window appears when you double-click Fill in the Tools Palette.

Step 2:

Draw an oval vertically aligned with the larger circle and position it so that it looks like Fig.3. Fill it with #F15A24. In CS3, it’s just beside the first color that we picked.

Fig.3 Vertically aligned oval, in darker orange

Step 3:

Here’s the fun part: select the two circles then go to Object > Blend > Make, or simply press Alt+Ctrl+B. It should already look like Fig.4 after blending. If you are not satisfied with how they blend, you can always use the Direct Selection Tool (the white arrow on the Tools Palette) to select the smaller oval and transform/adjust it to your liking. Just keep the vertical alignment with the larger circle.

Fig.4 The two objects blended

Step 4:

Select the circle, then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow… Change the opacity to 40% and the color to yellow. I cannot exactly tell you how much Blur you should use because it depends on the size of your circle. But essentially, you have to adjust it so it looks like Fig.5 – not too thick, not too thin.

Fig.5 With Inner Glow

Step 5:

Draw another oval over the blended circles and fill it with white. It should be positioned approximately near the top edge of the circle like that of Fig.6. Observe the smooth spacing between the oval and the top edge of the blended circle, and it is also vertically aligned with it, like what we did in Step 2.

Fig.6 The shine effect in the making

Step 6:

This part is a bit tricky, but is extremely easy. I will break this step to parts so that I can walk you through nicely. For those of you who already know how to use Opacity Masks, then you can get this done with your eyes closed.

Step 6A:

From Fig.6, draw a rectangle over the white oval. Fill it with a black and white gradient vertically, with white on top and black at the bottom. For now, try to adjust the gradient to look like the figure below. Also, the rectangle should cover the oval from top to bottom, almost exactly. Refer to Fig.7A.

Fig.7A First step of using Opacity Mask

Step 6B:

When all is set from Step 6A, select the white oval and the rectangle over it. Open the Transparency Palette and click the little icon right-most of the palette window. Refer to Fig.7B. A menu will pop out and click Make Opacity Mask. Furthermore, change the mode from Normal to Overlay in the Transparency Palette. The object should now look like Fig.7C.

Fig.7B Press the encircled icon to show the menu to create the Opacity Mask.
Fig.7C Our Dragonball taking shape after opacity mask!

Step 7: Last Step

Like placing a cherry on top of an ice cream, draw a star at the center of the ball (Yes! We can now call it a ball!!! T_T). Fill it with #ED1C24 and change its mode in the Transparency palette (refer to Step6B) to Overlay. Hide the guides to see our new One-Star Dragonball!!!

Fig.8 One-Star Dragonball

Now, that wasn’t very hard

© Dragonball by Akira Toriyama