Tutorial: Create a Colorful Ribbon Flag in Adobe Illustrator + Photoshop

by Ainsley Bevis

Ainsley Bevis BloomWebDesign.netfinished_retro_vector_flag_ribbon_t Moving into spring, the colors are coming out, and our friend Ainsley Bevis from BloomWebDesign.net is on a roll with this great Adobe Illustrator -plus- Photoshop tutorial! You'll enjoy some tricks for illustrating the shapes of a waving flag with stripes, and then the whole piece drops into Photoshop for shadows and highlights, and finishing!

Ainsley writes . . .

Quoting  begins Learn how to create a Retro Wavy Ribbon from scratch using Illustrator & Photoshop! We'll be using Adobe Illustrator, Envelope Distort and Mesh effects and Gradients to create this authentic looking flag. Quoting  ends

Ainsley continues . . .


1. Create a new document in Illustrator, using the Rectangle Tool draw a thin rectangle using the colour your choice. Duplicate the rectangle by selecting it & pull it out while holding down the ALT key, change the second rectangle to a different colour.. Do this until you have 5 coloured rows like below.

Rectangle Tool

2. Select all of the rectangles, then go to Object > Envelope Distort and Make with Mesh.

Rectangle Tool

3. At this stage you can rotate the shape any way you like, I've decided I want it going down diagonally.

4. Using the Direct Select Tool, select a Mesh Row of Anchor Point while holding down the shift key (to select multiple).

Rotate Tool

5. With the anchor points selected, select the Scale Tool, click on an Anchor Point & Enlarge the chosen Mesh while holding down the shift key.

Scale Tool

6. Repeat step 4 and select the 3rd Mesh Row Anchor Points. This time we want to create ripples in the Ribbon, select the Rotate Tool, click on an anchor point and move to create the ripples effect.

7.Repeat the processes to the other Mesh Rows, I've using the Rotate method for the 3rd Mesh Row & the Scale Tool for the Last Mesh Row.

Rotate Tool

8. You should end up with a nice wavy ribbon. Illustrator wavy ribbon

NEXT we take the whole piece into Photoshop for shading and finishing touches

... continues on the next page!

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