I am new in Adobe Illustrator. I need to know how can I create an effect that is close to the one in the picture (rose gold sand) in Adobe Illustrator?

Sand, grains effect

Any guide to right direction would be great

I tried ready made rose golde texture, but it gave me clear 2D effect, not the 3D effect as the one

  • That looks more like a raster image, not vector. I'd use Photoshop or a similar raster tool instead of Illustrator TBH.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 1 at 11:49
  • This could possibly be done in Illustrator, but it'll take some work... the ring is easy, it's the background that is pretty tough in a vector app. If you use a bunch of raster effects, like blurs, glows, and grain .. eventually you could possibly get something close - but then you need to start stacking objects with effects to flesh out that background. Here -- waiting for AI to redraw, then redraw, then redraw, then redraw is terrible. But as proof of concept, it may be possible. But it certainly won't be easy.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 3 at 3:20
  • Hello chilz. I took the liberty to edit the title of your question to be a bit more descriptive. Do note you can re-edit things if you don't agree.
    – Vincent
    Commented Feb 1 at 10:20

2 Answers 2


An artistic illustration of a black hole or solar eclipse, I guess.

Forget making it in Illustrator. If the small grains were vectors the work would have say 80000 paths and 400000 anchor points. Such mass would make everything slow like swimming in tar. A little less heavy way would be to use noisy glow effects, but they are finally raster images. As well you could use Photoshop or some other raster image painting program.

Photoshop would make it all easier because there you could use paint brushes to get some nice strokes (assuming your eyes, hands and the grey matter between your ears are up to the task).

The metallic like ring is especially trivial in Photoshop. It's a ring filled with a vertical gradient and the edge glow is Bevel&Emboss layer style. But the grainy cloud is tricky. It may use layer blending mode Dissolve to make the grain, Or it may be painted by having the brush in Dissolve mode. Or the grain is generated by using glow layer styles with noise. Impossible to say. But replicating it exactly from scratch succeeds only if one is a skilled painter in digital media. I'm not one, so I drew only a couple of random strokes. The grain is by Dissolve. It transfers partial transparency to grain.

enter image description here

Note that in the original there's also a shadow painted below the ring. The dots which resemble stars in astronomical photos are only dots. I skipped them, too.


Tens of thousands of dots as separate vector shapes probably is too much, as already said in the earlier answer.

Illustrator might survive better if the dots were generated in rendering by some noise, grain or halftone dithering effect. Noise or grain is already tried in a comment (by Scott). But it's not a ready to use method, it's shown only as an idea where the right method might be found.

The earlier answer makes a noise (Dissolve is a way to add noise) based raster image in Photoshop. Making tens of thousands of paths is avoided and noise in Photoshop is not worse than Illustrator's noise, which also is a raster image. So there's written and it sounds reasonable. Unfortunately the image in the question has much trickier dot cloud than what's shown in Scott's comment and in the answer.

We can try to make it better in GIMP. Grain & noise effects depend there on the used image pixel dimensions. Having too big image in pixels can cause problems, because pixels must be combined to display the image. We start from 500 px wide image. All of its pixels can be easily shown on normal screens without scaling down and combining pixels. Resampling to larger size is not as harmful.

At first we paint a 500 px wide single layer image which contains white and greyshades on solid black. We want to have white, black and smooth gradients between them. This one presents nothing, it has only some random strokes:

enter image description here

At frst we try to make the dots with noise. The layer is duplicated and the duplicate gets some noise. It's possible to reduce full white noise noise dots on black and full black noise dots on white with parameter "dulling". We use it. We do not add color:

enter image description here

This has still too much light dots on black, but it can be reduced by using the original as "light" with blending mode multiply or soft light. Here's the latter:

enter image description here

It can be colored for ex. with a gradient map or more simply by adding a colored layer with blending mode multiply. This one has only single colorizing layer. The hue is 15 degrees, saturation is 50% and the value (its brightness in Photoshop) is 100%:

enter image description here

The result clearly is rough too randomly. The image in the question has a pattern - not anything simple, but the dots seem to follow some rule. We can get somethig in a complex way regular with Floyd-Steinberg dithering (diffusion dithering in Photoshop) which is a half-toning method to present greyshades with black and white dots.

The original must be copied to a new image. By changing the color mode to "Indexed" and selecting pure 1 bit version with Floyd-Steinberg dithering gives this:

enter image description here

It can be copied and pasted to the RGB version as a new layer. If one has G'MIC filter pack installed he can get the same dithering as an effect without making a temporary new image.

The dithered version has only black and white dots. We must use the original with blending mode multiply to have brightness variations. The result in color (the previous dots by noise layer is disabled):

enter image description here

It's not the same as the wanted one, but it can be useful. The dots are not in any regular grid, but they may still look too mechanical. Some roughness can be added by mixing the noised version and the dithered version with transparency. In the next image the noised layer is above the dithered layer with about 50% opacity:

enter image description here

The next variation uses the original in blending mode soft light. The noised version can have much less transparency. The effect spreads to wider area and looks brighter:

enter image description here

Combining the dots by noise and dithered dots versions look somehow less mechanical, but that's only an opinion.

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