Intuitive Tools for Digital Artists

How to Create a Media Player User Interface in Adobe Illustrator

Vector media player

This tutorial is the next in the exclusive series covering the topic of user interface design in vector.

In this tutorial we will learn how to create a modern interface using only vector objects. Yes, you can create a shadow and inner glow of the objects without using raster effects. Learn how to do it at the jump.

Step 1

Start with creation of a background. To ensure that all the interface elements look clear in raster file format, choose the Pixel Preview mode (View > Pixel Preview). Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a square of 6 x 6px filled with gray color.

Vector media player

Now create 10 more squares 1 x 1px with a darker gray color fill and place them as shown in the picture below.

Vector media player

Select all the created objects and go to Edit > Define pattern….

Vector media player

Thus, we have created a seamless pattern.

Step 2

Create a rectangle the size of which corresponds with the size of the background, and apply the created seamless pattern to it.

Vector media player

Open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), select the background and create a new fill for it by clicking on the Add New Fill button.

Vector media player

Apply the vertical linear gradient from gray to black and the Overlay Blending mode to a new fill.

Vector media player

Step 3

Create the shape of the media player’s frame; it is a rectangle with rounded corners. I use the Dynamic Shapes Tool (VectorScribe Studio plugin) for these purposes. When you use this tool, you have complete control over the shape parameters and rounding radii of the corners. Apply the same seamless pattern, as with the background, to the object. I decided to make the player’s frame transparent.

Vector media player

It looks like the body as well as the background has a gradient fill.

Vector media player

This is the result of our visual perception, so we need to make some corrections. Using the Appearance panel, add a new shape with a linear gradient to the fill to which also apply the Overlay Blending mode.

Vector media player

Step 4

Create glow on the edges of the player. Copy the rounded rectangle and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F). Remove the top fill in the Appearance panel and fill the bottom one with gray color.

Vector media player

Create a new rounded rectangle and fill it with a vertical linear gradient.

Vector media player

Select both rectangles, go to Object > Blend > Blend Options…, and set the number of specified steps. Now go to Object > Blend > Make.

Vector media player

Set the Overlay Blending mode for the blend object.

Vector media player

Step 5

Now to create a shadow under the player. Create a rounded rectangle with a white fill and place it below all the objects of the player.

Vector media player

The second rounded rectangle has the same shape as the player body and is filled with vertical linear gradient which is composed of two shades of gray color (the visibility of the player is turned off for display purposes).

Vector media player

Create a blend object of these shapes (Object > Blend > Make).

Vector media player

Now apply the Multiply Blending mode for this object.

Vector media player

Vector media player

Step 6

To create glare on the top of the player, duplicate its shape twice and place the copies above all the objects. Move the upper rounded rectangle 1 px down (shapes are filled with different colors for clarity).

Vector media player

Select the red and blue rounded rectangles and click on the Minus Front button in the Pathfinder panel.

Vector media player

Fill the resultant shape with white.

Vector media player

Step 7

With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) create a circle with a radial gradient fill from gray to black.

Vector media player

Transform the circle into an ellipse and apply the Screen Blending mode to it.

Vector media player

Vector media player

Thus, we have created a reflection of light below the player’s frame.

Step 8

Proceed to the creation of recesses for the buttons and a slider in the frame. Create a circle and rounded rectangle, and then combine these shapes by clicking on the Unite in the Pathfinder panel.

Vector media player

Apply the seamless pattern that we applied to the background to the achieved shape.

Vector media player

Step 9

Copy the shape of the recess and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F). Fill the copy with vertical linear gradient which consists of two shades of gray.

Vector media player

Keeping the object selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path… and set the offset value.

Vector media player

Fill the resultant shape with a lighter linear gradient.

Vector media player

Step 10

Select two objects that were created in the previous step and transform them into a blend object (Object > Blend > Make).

Vector media player

Apply the Multiply Blending mode to the blend object.

Vector media player

Copy the shape of the recess and paste it back. Fill the shape with a light-gray color and move it 1 pixel down.

Vector media player

Thus, we have created a glare of light at the edge of the recess. Using this technique, create another deepening in the frame.

Vector media player

Step 11

Using the Rectangle Tool (M) create a shape of the screen, and fill it with the horizontal linear gradient from dark gray to black color.

Vector media player

Copy the rectangle and paste it back. Fill the copy with light gray color and shift it 1 pixel down.

Vector media player

Step 12

With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) create a shape of a button and fill it with a linear gradient from white to gray color.

Vector media player

Create another circle and place it below the button. Fill the circle with a radial gradient from black to white and apply the Multiply Blending mode.

Vector media player

Thus, we have created a shadow of the button. Using the described technique, create the rest of the player’s buttons.

Vector media player

Step 13

Proceed to the creation of a slider. Create a rounded rectangle, and fill it with a linear gradient from dark gray to black color.

Vector media player

Copy the shape of the slider and paste it back. Fill this shape with white color.

Vector media player

Keeping the white shape selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path… and set the offset value in the dialog window.

Vector media player

Fill the new shape with gray color.

Vector media player

Select both shapes and go to Object > Blend > Make, and then set the Multiply Blending node for the object.

Vector media player

Thus, we have created a shadow of the slider inside the glass frame.

Step 14

Copy the shape of the slider and paste it back. Fill the shape with a light gray color and move it 1 pixel down.

Vector media player

Create an active part of the slider. Select the shape of the slider and go to Object > Path > Offset Path… and set the offset value of -1px.

Vector media player

Select the three right points of a new shape with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move them to the left.

Vector media player

Apply a new seamless pattern to this shape; the technique of creation of similar patterns is described in step 1.

Vector media player

Step 15

Add a new gradient fill in the Appearance panel, and apply the Overlay Blending mode to it.

Vector media player

Duplicate one of the previously created buttons with the shadow. Reduce its sizes and place it at the end of the active slider.

Vector media player

Create another circle, and apply the seamless pattern and gradient fills to it.

Vector media player

Step 16

Proceed to the creation of a volume control slider. Create a rounded rectangle with a gray fill. Set 50% opacity for this shape in the Transparency panel.

Vector media player

Copy the shape and paste it back, move it to the left and up at 1px. Fill out this shape with a linear gradient from gray to black color and apply the Screen Blending mode and 100% opacity.

Vector media player

The technique used to create a vertical slider is nothing different from the technique of creation of a horizontal one.

Vector media player

Step 17

Now, using simple geometric shapes, create symbols on the buttons.

Vector media player

Now your work is done. Here is how your final illustration should look.

Vector media player

Download the media player UI original artwork

Click here for the Illustrator CS3/CS4 version…

Click here for the Illustrator CS5 version…

Written by Iaroslav

Iaroslav

Iaroslav Lazunov is a graphic designer from Zhytomyr, Ukraine who has found the job that allows him to share his extensive knowledge and experiments with Adobe Illustrator and plug-ins from Astute Graphics. Iaroslav was also a key author over at Vector Tuts+ as well as his own website Vectorboom

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