Hello guys i am learning illustrator, my question is this type of image http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-129229757/stock-vector-modern-spiral-infographics-options-banner-vector-illustration-can-be-used-for-workflow-layout.html?src=rLOI0N-oEQllQwlV1mhO1A-1-0

enter image description here

Can it be done only in Illustrator? It doesn't looks like a typical vector, but I saw shutterstock sell it like a vector.

If no what are the tools? What workflow is used for it?

Thanks and sorry for my bad english :)


2 Answers 2


9 times in 10 a vector image with realistic-looking shading made in Illustrator is made using the very powerful but rather tricky gradient mesh tool. It's not an easy tool to master and takes good judgement and patience to use well, but it's worth investing some time to learn.

The above link is a directory of 20 tutorials that should help give a head start.

enter image description here

As for the grainy texture, these kind of textures can be applied directly to the vector image using effects, which is a good approach as it maintains the vector image scalability - even if it's a raster effect, the effect will be automatically re-calculated at different sizes and resolutions. Here's an example tutorial.

enter image description here

Another alternate approach is to set up the base image in Illustrator then move to Photoshop to apply texture. This approach feels more free and natural, but isn't so good for long term scalability since you're creating a fixed resolution raster image. If you're working to a specified size, it's a good approach.

The designer James White uses this approach really well, and made this animated gif (with writeup) which illustrates it. The first step is the shapes in Illustrator with a a few brushes for basic texture, then the lighting and detail is painted on in Photoshop:

enter image description here


Even if this image doesn't look like a 'flat' vector image, probably it was drawn using a vector editor with some effects (opacity, blur, shadows) and applying some textures or filters (see here for Adobe Illustrator)

You can use Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW or Inkscape (which is free) as well, but you need some basic graphic skills.

I suggest you to start from some tutorials (this is similar, or see here or here - see here for the grainy effect) to create your base image or use an existing files (e.g. this or this) and then proceed by testing and adjusting your drawing by hand until you are satisfied.

  • For me looks like photoshop hand or maybe 3d, how do u make the grany matte texture only in illustrator? Thanks for share his opinions Nov 12, 2013 at 10:47
  • It's surely a vector image with some effects. In Illustrator.... Effect-> Texture-> Grain. In Inkscape you can use the filters. Nov 12, 2013 at 11:57

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