What You’ll Be Creating
If you’re a sporty kind of a person or just looking for a motivation to start, this tutorial is for you! Let’s follow the process together and create a realistic set of icons, which will make you willing to start working out. We’ll be using basic shapes together with various effects and functions of Adobe Illustrator, which will allow us to create three-dimensional fitness gear. We’ll be using the 3D effect with Map Art, textures, Blending Modes and more.
In this tutorial we’ll be creating fitness icons, depicting the items which are well-known by both beginners and advanced level athletes. These are a fitball, a dumbbell and weight scales. Let’s make them
one by one, starting with the fitball icon.
1. Make a Green Fitball Icon
Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and let’s start by making a base of our fitball
from a 170 x 170 px circle of bright
green color. Make a copy of the circle (Control-C
> Control-F) and keep it invisible (click the eye icon in the Layers panel), because we’ll need it later.
Take the Scissors Tool (C) and click the top and bottom anchor points to
split the shape apart. Delete the left half.
Now let’s prepare a texture for the ball.
Take the Line Segment Tool (), hold
down Shift and make a horizontal
line of about 232 px width.
and drag the line down, creating a copy and leaving enough free distance between
the lines. Keeping the lines selected, go to Object > Blend > Make. And now let’s adjust the blend group.
Go to Object > Blend > Blend
Options and set the Spacing to Specified Steps with 15 steps value.
You can move the two initial lines inside
the blend group in the Layers panel
in order to make the spacing between the lines bigger or smaller.
Now go to Object > Blend > Expand in order to turn all the elements of
the blend group into separate objects. Drag and drop the group onto the Symbols panel (Window > Symbols), leaving the Symbol Options as default.
Now that we have the texture and base ready,
let’s turn our flat shape into a three-dimensional ball! Select the semi-circle that
we made earlier and go to Effect >
3D > Revolve.
You will see our semi-circle turns into a
nice sphere. Find the Map Art button
in the bottom of the window and click it.
Now that we have the Map Art window opened, let’s apply the created texture! Select our
lines texture in the Symbol drop-down menu
and stretch it all over the map. Tick the Preview checkbox in order to make sure that the texture covers the
When you’re satisfied with the result,
click the OK button to return to the 3D Revolve Options window.
From here, you can rotate the fitball by
rotating the cube icon in the Options
window, setting your objects at the desired angle. I’ve rotated the ball as
shown in the screenshot below, making the concentric circles on top visible to
After you’ve selected the desired position of
the fitball, click OK and Object > Expand Appearance of the
shape to apply the effect. Then find your ball in the Layers panel and delete the sphere, leaving only the stripes texture. You
will probably find the sphere parts inside a Clip Group, so just select the whole
group and delete it.
the base of the fitball visible again (the 170 x 170
px circle, which we made in the very first step). If you don’t have a
copy of the circle left, no problem—just create a new 170 x 170 px circle and Align
it to the stripes.
Select the stripes and apply a
three-colored radial gradient from light green to dark green and to light green
again, positioning it as shown in the screenshot below.
Duplicate the stripes on top (Control-C > Control-F) and fill the
copy with radial gradient from green to black, switching the Blending Mode to Screen, so that the black color becomes transparent, leaving only
the bright highlight spot.
It is actually hard to see any difference
in colors in this step, because the base of the fitball is too bright. Let’s adjust it
Select the circle base and fill it with radial
gradient from light green to darker green, placing the center of the gradient
closer to the top of the fitball.
Duplicate the circle base (Control-C > Control-F) and fill the
copy with three-colored radial gradient from white to green and to white again,
switching to Multiply mode. This
will darken the central part of the ball, giving it more contrast and dimension.
Let’s make another copy of the circle base (Control-C > Control-F) and add a
nice glowing overtone at the edge of it. Fill the copy with a radial gradient
from black to green, moving the black slider almost all the way to the right,
as shown in the picture below. Switch the Blending
Mode to Screen.
Let’s make the ball more glossy and vivid.
Draw a smaller circle on top of the ball and fill with radial gradient from
bright green to black, switching to Screen
mode. Now it looks like a bright highlight.
Finally, the finishing touch! Let’s add an
ambient overtone at the edge of the ball, making it look more true to life.
Make another copy of the basic circle and fill it with dark radial gradient
from black to dark blue, switching to Screen
mode, this way creating a subtle glowing effect.
2. Make a Chrome Dumbbell
Now we’re moving to our second piece of
fitness gear—a dumbbell—and we’ll start by making its weight plates.
Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to make a 10 x 70 px shape. Let’s fill it with a complex linear gradient,
varying the shades of grey in order to create a realistic chrome-looking
Let’s add a couple more shapes to make the
plate more three-dimensional and thick. Make a copy and Paste it in Back (Control-C
> Control-B). Scale it up to 12 x 70 px, set the Blending Mode to Screen
and lower the Opacity to 65% in the Transparency panel to make the shape light and semi-transparent.
Make another copy beneath the previous one (Control-C > Control-B) and increase
its size to 13.5 x 70 px. Apply
exactly the same appearance as we have for the main shape—the chrome linear
gradient in Normal Blending Mode, 100%
Opacity (you can pick it up with the Eyedropper
Let’s add the last copy at the bottom,
extending it to 15 x 70 px size. This
time fill it with a three-colored linear gradient of dark-grey shades, making
the shape darker than the top elements.
Now that we have all pieces of the weight plate ready, go on and Group (Control-G) them.
Hold Alt-Shift and drag the
plate to the right, creating a copy right next to the first group. Press Control-D to repeat the action,
creating another copy. Great, now we have three plates.
Vary the size of the copies, making each
new plate taller than the other.
Let’s form a handle of our dumbbell from a 120 x 10 px rounded rectangle. Fill it
with a complex linear gradient with contrasting shades of grey, giving it a smooth
chrome look. Place the gradient vertically, as shown in the screenshot below.
Let’s add a pair of 35 x 25 px rounded rectangles for the rubber holders. Fill them with dark-grey
linear gradient and Send to Back