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Does anyone know how to create this in Illustrator? I contacted the person who made it but the gave me a very vague answer like a bunch of selections but they never gave me an idea of how to actually create something like this. I tried searching for tutorials but all I found was simplistic versions that didn't get the look I was going for.

Does anyone know how to create this?

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Update by Ryan:

I don't have the exact one Lulu asked about but here's some screen grabs of the one I do have so people will stop saying its not vector:

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    The background image of the "ink in water" is probably a photograph. Are you sure someone made this instead of taking a photograph? – AndrewH Aug 3 '16 at 19:40
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    It's vector @AndrewH -- I'm not seeing this exact one but shutterstock.com/g/Markovka/sets/1950216 ..... Lulu, I know I made the mistake of buying one of these to use in a client's ad. It worked for sure but its not nearly as nice as you think from the images on Shutterstock. Probably would've been better off purchasing an isolated JPG/TIFF instead unless you absolutely need a ridiculously large size. As for how it was made, not sure. I can check the file again this evening though and see - may have just been auto traced. – Ryan Aug 3 '16 at 20:02
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I just tried it on a random image of ink in water from Alberto Seveso's high speed ink in water and to me it looks like what the people on Shutterstock are probably doing is either taking a high speed photograph or purchasing one and then using Adobe Illustrator Autotrace:

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If you have the camera or could hire someone especially with like a Medium Format and then experiment with the technique yourself you could get better results from a photograph for sure, its just a matter of having the ability to take the high speed photo and with a camera high enough resolution for whatever size you need

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With some insane amount of work could be done in ilustrator, with some real life photos for reference.

Here is a first attempt using a Mesh fill on Corel. But as you can see this will become extremely complex...

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But they are a heck more easily done taking a photo... you guessed... Ink on a water tank.

https://www.google.com/search?q=ink+on+a+tank+photo+tutorial

They also can be done in 3D with a specialized particle generator and render engine: https://www.afterworks.com/FumeFX/Overview.asp

or try blender

I really would not waste time doing it natively in Illustrator. Of course, you can vectorize it or trace it after you have a base image. But... That is cheating :o).

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I would create it in Photoshop, not Illustrator. Obviously, Photoshop won't give you vector art, but the transparency effects shown aren't really suited to vector output.

Search for custom Photoshop brushes. These brushes look like they might do what you're looking for

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