By Yulia Sokolova

Final product image

What You’ll Be Creating

Do you want to make your flat objects look more intricate and detailed? Follow this tutorial and learn how to create a stylish retro pocket camera, mastering the gradients for lights and shadows and using the built-in Adobe Illustrator swatches for a semi-realistic surface texture!

If you enjoy creating flat-style objects with realistic details and
would like to learn some new techniques about using and modifying basic
shapes, mastering gradients, creating and applying textures, then I invite you to join the Creating Flat Workspace Elements for Advertisements course! From there you will also learn how to make a realistic textured wooden background for your objects.

1. Create the Base of the Camera With Simple Shapes

Step 1

Start forming the base of the camera by making a 165 x 170 px rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M).

it and Paste in Back (Control-C >
. Squash the copy to about 140 px height and make it wider to about 280
thus creating two overlapping rectangles.

form the base of the camera from the rectangle

Step 2

Select both
shapes and Unite them in Pathfinder. Make the corners rounded by
pulling the circle markers of the Live
down to their maximum.

The Live Corners feature is available only
in Adobe Illustrator CC. In case if you’re using earlier versions of the
program, feel free to apply Effect >
Stylize > Round Corners.

unite the shapes in pathfinder and make the corners rounded

Step 3

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a
horizontal stripe across the upper part of the camera. Hold Alt-Shift and drag it down, creating a copy in the bottom part.

Select all
the elements, take the Shape Builder
Tool (Shift-M),
hold the Alt key
and click to delete the unneeded pieces outside the camera.

add stripes to the camera

Step 4

Now let’s
make the most essential part of every camera: the lens!

Start by
making a 150 x 150 px circle using the
Ellipse Tool (L). Place it almost in
the center of the camera, a bit closer to the right.

start making the lens from a circle

Step 5

Let’s add
the shutter button to our camera. Create a 40 x 20
rectangle with the Rectangle Tool
. Make its corners slightly rounded, using the Live Corners function. Create a copy by holding Alt-Shift
and dragging the shape to the left in order to create another button. Make the new
button a bit smaller, setting its width to 30
in the Transform panel on

add buttons to the camera

2. Apply the Colors to the Camera

Step 1

Now we can
apply the colors to our camera and add more details. Fill the base of the
camera with dark-grey linear gradient, placing it vertically.

Fill the base of the camera with dark-grey linear gradient

Step 2

And let’s
make the upper stripe on the camera silver by applying a vertical gradient from
grey to light grey. Apply the same color to the bottom stripe, picking it with
the Eyedropper Tool (I), but placing
the colors upside-down.

make the stripes silver

Step 3

And apply
the same silver color to the buttons as well. Send
the buttons to Back (Control-Shift-

behind the camera.

make the buttons silver and send them to back

Step 4

Now let’s
add more details to the lens. Fill its base with vertical linear gradient from
dark-grey color in the bottom to silver-grey on top.

colors the lens base

And let’s
add another ring to the lens. Go to Object
> Path > Offset Path
. Set the Offset
value to -7 px, creating a smaller
circle inside the first one. Fill it with light-grey gradient.

use offset path to add another ring to the lens 1

Step 5

Let’s use
the Offset Path function again to
add another ring, but this time set the Offset
value to -3 px. Apply a dark-grey
gradient, with a darker shade of grey on top.

use offset path to add another ring to the lens 2

Step 6

repeating the same action and apply a -7
px Offset
to create a new ring with linear gradient of lighter color. Add another shape with -3
Offset value and darker
gradient, which you can pick from one of the previously created rings, using the Eyedropper Tool (I).

adding Offset Paths with the same settings,
varying -7 px and -3 px values and alternating dark and
light gradients, until you have about ten circles in total.

add 10 rings to the lens

Step 7

Now let’s
form the inner part of the lens, its aperture. This time set the Offset value to -15 px, creating a small circle.

At this step we can already delete the outlines, as all the main shapes are colored. Select everything (Control-A) and set the Stroke color to None in the Color panel.

create the aperture from a circle

Step 8

Let’s Сopy the smallest circle and Paste it in Front (Control-C > Control-F). Fill it with linear gradient
from blue to black. Set the Blending
to Screen, making the black
side of the gradient transparent and thus creating an overtone.

You can change
the direction of the gradient, placing it diagonally, using the Gradient Tool (G).

apply a gradient in screen blending mode for the overtone

Step 9

Let’s duplicate
this overtone (Control-C > Control-F)
and make it smaller.

make a smaller copy of the shape

Step 10

Place the
bottom overtone on top of the smaller one by Bringing it
to Front (Control-Shift-]). Keeping
the shape selected, take the Eraser Tool
and draw a line across the highlight, dividing it into two parts.

use the eraser tool to divide the shape

Step 11

For the
upper half of the overtone, let’s change the blue part of the gradient fill to
dark-purple. And apply a red color instead of blue for the bottom half of the overtone.

Make the
grey circle beneath the highlight a bit darker.

change the colors of the overtone

Step 12

Let’s Group (Control-G) the elements of the aperture and
make them a bit larger.

You can edit the colors of the lens a bit, making our gradients
darker in order to add more contrast to the shapes.

make the elements of the camera  a bit darker

3. Add More Details to the Camera

Step 1

Now let’s
make our camera more realistic and three-dimensional by adding minor details. First
of all, let’s add the shadow from the lens.

Select the
biggest bottom circle of the lens, Copy
it and Paste in Back (Control-C >
. Make the shape a bit larger and fill it with linear
gradient from grey to white. Make the gradient go diagonally to the right.
Switch to Multiply Blending Mode,
thus making the white side of the gradient transparent.

add a shadow from the lens 1

Step 2

Let’s delete
the lower part of the shadow with the Shape
Builder Tool (Shift-M).
Select both the shadow and the base of the camera,
hold down Alt and click the unneeded
part of the shadow outside the camera to delete it.

add a shadow from the lens 2

Step 3

Now let’s form
the camera grip at the left side of the camera to make it more true-to-life.
Draw a rectangle the same height as our camera. Fill the shape with vertical gradient
from dark-grey to black and switch the Blending
to Screen, making the black
part transparent and forming a highlight.

form a camera grip in screen mode

Step 4

the rectangle (Control-C > Control-F) and drag it to the right, attaching the created copy next to the first rectangle and making it much narrower.

Use the Eyedropper
Tool (I)
to pick the appearance from the shadow under the lens, applying a
dark-grey gradient in Multiply Blending
to the newly created rectangle. Put the gradient horizontally, making
a subtle shadow from the camera grip.

make a shadow from the camera grip

Step 5

Let’s add
more details, such as the flash and indicators, to the top part of our camera.

Make a 50 x 30 px rectangle and place it in the
top right corner of the camera. Make it slightly rounded, using the Live Corners function, and apply a
dark-grey vertical gradient, picking the color from the base of our camera with
the Eyedropper Tool (I).

make a flash from rectangle 1

Step 6

Apply the Offset Path with -10 px Offset value and make the shape rounded. Fill the created shape with a light-grey
vertical gradient, forming the flash.

make a flash from rectangle 2

Step 7

Make another
rectangle of 30 x 10 px size. Make its
corners fully rounded and fill it with a bright-yellow linear gradient.

add a yellow rounded rectangle

Step 8

Make a 20 x 20 px circle and place it by the
left side of the lens. Apply a silver linear gradient. Make
another circle of 10 x 10 px next to
the first one and fill it with bright-yellow linear gradient.

add two circles for the indicators

4. Create a Leather Texture Effect

Step 1

Make the
base of the camera a bit darker. Copy
it and Paste in Front (Control-C >

copy the base of the camera

Step 2

And now
let’s make the base of the camera textured, using the built-in patterns of
Adobe Illustrator!

Open the Swatches panel in Window > Swatches. Go to the Swatches Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures.

go the the swatches library

Step 3

Here we have
some nice realistic textures, which can create a detailed and fancy look. Let’s
find something that imitates a leather surface. For example, the swatch called USGS 21 Intricate Surface. Click to
apply the texture to the selected shape.

apply the texture

Step 4

Let’s tweak
our texture a bit, using some of the tools, which allow us to work with the
applied swatches and patterns.

Keeping the textured shape selected, double-click
the Scale Tool (S) in the Tools panel to open the Scale options window. Here, uncheck all
the options except the Transform
box. And set the Uniform
value to 90%, making the
elements of the texture slightly smaller.

scale down the texture with the scale tool

Step 5

And let’s change
the direction of our pattern a bit. Keeping the textured selected, double-click the
Rotate Tool (R). Check the Transform Patterns box and set the Angle to 30 degrees.

use the rotate tool to rotate the texture

Step 6

switch the Blending Mode of the
pattern shape to Multiply and
decrease its Opacity to 30% in the Transparency panel, making it blend with the dark base, so that it
fits the camera.

switch the Blending Mode of the pattern shape to Multiply

Say Cheese!

And here we
have it! Our semi-realistic flat camera with textured surface is ready! I hope
you’ve enjoyed following this tutorial and discovered some new tips and tricks
about modifying basic shapes and applying patterns to make a flat object look
more detailed.

Keep making creative things, and let the inspiration guide you!

semi-realistic flat camera with textured surface is ready

Read more here:: How to Create a Stylised, Textured Flat Camera in Adobe Illustrator