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50 Excellent Adobe Illustrator Video Tutorials


Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard when it comes to the creation of vector graphics. Though a very robust tool – the learning curve involved in mastering it can be high. Thankfully, there are abundant resources on the web that allows you to “learn by doing”.

Video tutorials (in general) enable the learner to witness – step-by-step – how a particular technique works. We often learn best by seeing how things are done and following along with the instructor (much like in a classroom environment).

In this article, we present to you 50 excellent Adobe Illustrator video tutorials. We’ve broken down the video tutorials into several categories that include creating objects, effects, and general tips and techniques.

So fire up Illustrator, watch a few of these videos, and hopefully you will have learned a tip or two by the end of your adventures into these Illustrator video tutorials!

General Tips and Techniques Link

Patterns and Shapes in Adobe Illustrator1
This tutorial is based on an advertisement that uses patterns and shapes to create a unique design effect.

Importing and Manipulating Images in Illustrator - screen shot.2

Importing and Manipulating Images in Illustrator3
Learn the concepts of importing and manipulating external images in Illustrator.

Importing and Manipulating Images in Illustrator - screen shot.4

Creative Masking Techniques5
See a method for using complex masking techniques in Illustrator.

Creative Masking Techniques - screen shot.6

Making a Custom Art Brush7
Create your own custom Art Brush that you can re-use in multiple projects via this Illustrator video tutorial.

Making a Custom Art Brush - screen shot.8

Using Kuler with Illustrator9
This tutorial walks you through the process of interfacing with kuler10 (a community website for sharing color themes) via Illustrator so that you can easily select your color pallete.

Using Kuler with Illustrator - screen shot.11

Live Color in Illustrator CS312
Learn about the Live Color option in Illustrator.

Live Color in Illustrator CS3 - screen shot.13

Complete Guide to the Pen Tool14
Master the Pen tool (one of the most used and complex features in Illustrator) in this video tutorial.

Complete Guide to the Pen Tool - screen shot.15

All about Masking16
Learn the concepts of masking in Illustrator in this video tutorial.

All about Masking - screen shot.17

Adobe Illustrator Masking Tutorial18
This short and sweet tutorial will cover the basics of masking in Adobe Illustrator.

Adobe Illustrator Masking Tutorial - screen shot.19

Opacity Mask20
You’ll learn about a technique for performing opacity masking (usually done in Photoshop) in Adobe Illustrator creative selecting with the Marquee tool.

Opacity Mask - screen shot.21

Clipping Masks22
Learn about clipping masks to streamline the creation of complex objects in this excellent Illustrator video tutorial.

Clipping Masks - screen shot.23

Vespa Speed Trace24
In this video, you’ll see a method for speed tracing a stock image (in this particular case, a Vespa scooter25 is used as the reference image).

Vespa Speed Trace - screen shot.26

Offset Path tool27
Master the Offset Path tool by following along this video tutorial.

Offset Path tool - screen shot.28

Using the Paintbrush Tool29
You’ll discover the powers of the Paintbrush tool in Illustrator in this excellent video tutorial.

Using the Paintbrush Tool - screen shot.30

Working with Layers and Groups31
Understanding layers and groups in Illustrator (which is slightly different in Photoshop) can be a daunting task – but not so if you watch this video tutorial.

Working with Layers and Groups - screen shot.32

Working with Gradients and Blends33
Learn the concepts and techniques behind utilizing gradients and blends to add graduated colors onto your Illustrator objects.

Working with Gradients and Blends - screen shot.34

Select Objects Faster and More Efficiently35
Maximize your workflow by learning how to select different objects on your Illustrator document in this video tutorial.

Select Objects Faster and More Efficiently - screen shot.36

Creating Objects Link

Creating an iPod37
In this video tutorial, you’ll see the process involved in rendering an iPod Nano38 from scratch using the 3D Effect tool (among other tools and techniques) in Illustrator.

Creating an iPod screen shot.39

Creating 3D Shapes in Illustrator40
Utilize the Revolve tool in Illustrator to create a great-looking 3-dimensional shape.

Create a 3D Background Using the Revolve Tool - screen shot.41

Draw Fluffy Clouds42
Create an illustrated cloud using the Pencil tool in Adobe Illustrator via this video tutorial.

Draw Fluffy Clouds screen shot.43

How to Draw an Eye44
In this video tutorial, you’ll learn the process of drawing an eye in Illustrator.

How to Draw an Eye screen shot.45

Drawing Face46
Witness a process for creating a vectorized face using a reference photo.

Drawing Face - screen shot.47

Create a Gear48
You’ll witness the creation of a complex gear object in this Illustrator video tutorial that involves a variety of techniques and tools like the Pathfinder tool.

Create a Gear screen shot.49

Drawing a Gel Progress Bar50
Learn how to create a stylish progress bar (inspired by the iPod progress bar) using a combination of techniques including the use of gradients and masking techniques.

Drawing a Gel Progress Bar screen shot.51

Create Swirling Rainbows with Ease52
Create the popular swirling rainbows graphic in Adobe Illustrator by following along this video tutorial.

Make a Fully Vector Metal Help Icon/Button screen shot.53

Make a Fully Vector Metal Help Icon/Button54
Make a metallic, shiny vector (and thus flexible in scale) icon via this Illustrator video tutorial.

Create Swirling Rainbows with Ease screen shot.55

3D Brochure56
Add a bit of flare onto your print design mock-ups by making them 3-dimensional. This video tutorial shows you how to do it with a brochure, but it can easily be adapted to CD labels, software boxes, and other print design objects.

3D Brochure screen shot.57

Learn how to render a watermelon in Adobe Illustrator via this excellent video tutorial.

Watermelon screen shot.59

Vector Drawing: “Dog”60
In this fast-paced video, you’ll witness the steps involved in drawing a dog in Illustrator.

Vector Drawing: "Dog" screen shot.61

Creating Vector Swirls and Swooshes62
This tutorial shows you how to create trendy swirls and swooshes using the Pen tool.

Creating Vector Swirls and Swooshes screen shot.63

Roundtrip Logo from Illustrator to Photoshop64
Find out the methods of an effective workflow that utilizes the power of Illustrator and Photoshop to create a grungy logo design.

Roundtrip Logo from Illustrator to Photoshop screen shot.65

Batman Logo66
Create the Batman logo via this tutorial that shows you the true powers of the Illustrator’s Pathfinder tool.

Batman Logo screen shot.67

Feynman Diagrams68
Create a Feynman diagram69 in Illustrator for presentations and reports.

Feynman Diagrams screen shot.70

Create 3D Pyramid71
This Illustrator video tutorial will walk you through the creation of a 3-dimensional pyramid.

Create 3D Pyramid - screen shot.72

Drawing a Nice Vector Golden Badge Award73
In this video tutorial, you’ll be using a variety of Illustrator techniques including masking and working with the Pen tool to create a gold badge.

Drawing a Nice Vector Golden Badge Award screen shot.74

Vectoring an EyeBall75
Learn to vectorize a human eye using a reference photo.

Vectoring an EyeBall - screen shot.76

Creating Seamless Pattern77
You’ll be creating a seamless floral pattern in this Illustrator video tutorial.

Creating Seamless Pattern - screen shot.78

Tribal Sun Vector79
Create a tribal Sun illustration by following along this excellent video tutorial.

Tribal Sun Vector - screen shot.80

Effects Link

Simple Silhouettes in Illustrator CS481
Apply silhouettes onto objects by utilizing the Gradient Mesh tool.

Simple Silhouettes in Illustrator CS4 - screen shot.82

Create Wood Effect Using Gradients83
Create a wood texture in Illustrator by using the Gradients tool.

Create Wood Effect Using Gradients - screen shot.84

Creating a “Firebrush” Logo85
Make a fiery, fierce abstract logo design in Adobe Illustrator video tutorial.

Creating a "Firebrush" Logo - screen shot.86

Brushed Metal Effect87
Give objects scalable “brushed metal” (also known as “brushed aluminum”) texture by following along this Illustrator video tutorial.

Brushed Metal Effect - screen shot.88

Vector Grunge Patterns and Distressed Text89
Give text a distressed/worn effect via this Illustrator video tutorial.

Vector Grunge Patterns and Distressed Text - screen snot.90

Creating Glass, Shining, Reflective, and Vector Text91
Go Web 2.0 in Illustrator by creating this sleek, shiny, glossy text effect.

Creating Glass, Shining, Reflective, and Vector Text - screen shot.92

Creating Comic Book Style Text93
Give your text a comic book look-and-feel by following along this video tutorial.

Creating Comic Book Style Text - screen shot.94

Creative Background Effects95
In this video tutorial, you’ll learn how to create abstract backgrounds/textures in Illustrator.

Creative Background Effects - screen shot.96

Abstract Vector Background97
Create a stylish vector background by viewing this excellent Illustrator video tutorial.

Abstract Vector Background - screen shot.98

Adding Texture99
You’ll learn how to give your vector objects some texture in this video tutorial.

Adding Texture - screen shot.100

Create Intricate Patterns101
Learn to create complex patterns in Illustrator via this detailed and highly-involved video tutorial.

Create Intricate Patterns - screen shot.102

Creating Vectorized Shining and Sparkling Heart Artwork and Icons103
Make a vector heart piece by following along this wonderful Illustrator video tutorial.

Creating Vectorized Shining and Sparkling Heart Artwork and Icons - screen shot.104

Footnotes Link

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Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions, a web publication for web developers and designers, and the Deputy Editor of Design Instruct, a web magazine for designers and digital artists. He has over seven years of experience as professional web developer and web designer and has written a book on JavaScript.

  1. 1

    Great start of 2009, thanks SM!

  2. 2

    Nice…Illustrator is my sweet spot! Without it I would perish!

  3. 3

    Thank you SmashingMagazine, at a quick glance these will surely help!

  4. 4

    I really appreciate the effort. This post is really helpful

  5. 5

    Nice Collection Jacob, one of the really helpful post around.

    Thank you,
    DKumar M.

  6. 6

    Yessss! Exactly what I needed! I suck at Illustrator…
    Thanks a lot!

  7. 7

    Great stuff. Let me say, I don’t have to search around for Illustrator tuts now. Almost everything I need I’ve just found in here.

    Thanks a lot…

  8. 8

    Thanks dude …
    That’s really what I’m looking for.
    Great to you for that.. ^_^

  9. 9

    Oh, just what I’ve been wanting!

  10. 10

    I’ve used Illustrator quite a bit, and the more I use it, the more I realize I have barely scratched the surface! Thanks for the tips. Great site!

  11. 11

    Expected a more wonderful beginning for Year 2009. :-( .. Thanks for this listing

  12. 12

    I found this one really useful too

  13. 13

    Excellent post…

  14. 14

    great post! very usefull

  15. 15

    Thank for good video collection.

  16. 16

    Very good post.

    I also suck at illustrator and certainly this will help me a lot.

    Thank you SM.

  17. 17

    wow…i like this post..tnx SM!

  18. 18

    Thanks, Illustrator is very great.
    I´ll try with some tutorials now.

  19. 19

    Great work… thanks

  20. 20

    Thanks for the post but considering this is for the great Smashing Magazine you could select just the best examples. There are no more than 10 that are interesting tutorials…

  21. 21

    January 9, 2009 2:50 pm

    Gracias, personalmente me viene mu bien para empezar a utilizar el illustrator (llevo un año intenando ponerme a aprender a utilizarlo) y dejar de lado el freehand que ya toca!
    Gracias por compartir la información.
    Un saludo

  22. 22

    very useful, thanks!

  23. 23

    Sorry guys. The pen tutorial (the one with the guitar…) totally sucks! It doesn’t play and they want you to buy it first. I love SM, so please find a better one. Thanks.

  24. 24

    very nice

  25. 25

    @Ron Evans: The guitar tutorial *does* play and it doesn’t ask me to pay. Make sure you have Quicktime installed.

    Thanks for the list of tutorials! Some of them are pretty good, especially the last one with the hearts. :)

  26. 26

    Thank you tuotorials help me lot

  27. 27

    Excellent and helpful post!

  28. 28

    A note on Abstract Logo Design

    Various factors that needs to be considered when selecting an identity; the company’s image and target audience are high on the list. Features of a logo design are pensiveness, font type, colors and illustration. Abstract logo designs are good, but overly abstract logos are not suitable for business. Viewers may not associate your company with your services if the identity is too theoretical. Simple, conceptual designs are attractive and they promote your business’ attributes and style.

    A conceptual logo has to be simple, yet complicated. Simplicity of an abstract logo designs makes a logo easy to reproduce and its complicated aspect makes it easy for customers to recognize. Use limited colors in your business identity, avoiding muddy colors and consider contrasts when thinking designing your corporate identity.

  29. 29

    I m with you guys awesome art work!!!

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