How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

A good designer knows that a good mastery in designing cool text effects is really important in many situations. There are a lot of design works that need a good text effect to be really professional, so in the following tutorial I’ll show you how to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator. We’ll learn some simple techniques to enhance our types giving them gloss and shine.

Preview:

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

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Step 1

Create a 700 by 300px document. Let’s start with the background. In the following images you can see three different backgrounds that you can use. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 700 by 300px shape and fill it with R=5 G=135 B=141. Select this shape, go to the Appearace panel, open the flyout menu and click on Add New Fill. A new fill should appear in the Appearance panel. Select it, lower its opacity to 70% and add the first radial gradient sown below. Take a closer look at the gradient. The yellow text stands for Opacity and the white text stands for Location. Reselect the rectangle and add a third fill. Use the second radial gradient and lower its opacity to 70%. Now, the background is done. If you liked some other background, you can easly replace the existing colors with the ones shown below. Finally, lock this rectangle to make sure that you don’t select/move it accidentally.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 2

Now, let’s get to the text. Pick the Type Tool (T) click o your Artboard and use the Myriad Pro font to add a single character (I use the V). Select it and go to Object > Expand. Ungrop the resulting shape and fill it with R=204 G=204 B=204. Reselect this “V” shape and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude&Bevel. Enter the data shown below, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance. You’ll get a group of new shapes.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 3

Let’s focus on the group made in the previous step. First, go to the Layers panel and ungroup all the shapes. Some of these groups may include a Clipping Path. Remove it. Select the top “V” shape and make it invisible (for the moment). Next, you need to unite some of these shapes. Select the shapes shown in image #3 and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel then select the shapes shown in iamge #5 and click again on the Unite button.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 4

Now, you need to organize and label each shape. It will be easier for you to find them when I nominate them during the tutorial. Turn the top “V” shape back to visible and name it “Top” then select the bottom “V” shape and name it “Bottom.” Let’s continue with the rest of the shapes. In the image below I filled them with green and blue so that you can distinguish them easier. Name the green shapes from “1″ to “5″ and the blue shapes from “A” to “C.” Let’s make a quick recap. Righ now in your Layers panel you should have ten shapes (excluding the background): “Top,” “Bottom,” “1,” “2,” “3,” “4,” “5,” “A,” “B” and “C.” Fill them with none then group them (Ctrl + G). Double click on this group (in the Layer panel) and name it “V.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 5

Create a copy of the “V” group and move it below the original group. Now, let’s focus on this new group. Select all the shapes and add a 0,2px, white stroke. Also, open the Stroke Panel and click on the Round Join button. Select shapes “1,” “2,” “3,” “4″ and “5″ and lower their opacity to 50%. Reselect the entire group, lower its opacity to 30% then lock it.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 6

Let’s return to the original “V” group. Select “Bottom” shape and fill it with R=153 G=153 B=153. Lower its opacity to 20% then add a 6px Gaussian Blur effect.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 7

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter “1″ in the “Keyboard Increment” box. Make two copies of the “Bottom” shape (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F). Select the top copy and hit the Right Arrow and the Down arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfidner panel. Use the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) to remove the highlighted anchor points.Overall your shapes should have a sharper look. Fill them with white, lower their opacity to 10% then lock them.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 8

Use the linear gradient shown below to fill shapes “1,” “2,” “3,” “4″ and “5.” Lower their opacity to 20%. Save this gradient in the Swatches panel and name it “Gradient 01.” You’ll need it for the rest of the letters.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 9

Use the linear gradient sown below to fill shapes “A,” “B,” and “C.” Lower their opacity to 40%. Save this gradient in the Swatches panel and name it “Gradient 02.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 10

Use the linear gradient sown below to fill “Top” shape. Lower its opacity to 40%. Save this gradient in the Swatches panel and name it “Gradient 03.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 11

Make two copies of the “Top” shape (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F). Select the top copy and hit the Left Arrow and the Up Arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfidner panel. Use the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) to remove the highlighted anchor points. Overall your shapes should have a sharper look. Fill them with the linear gradient, lower their opacity to 50% then lock them. Save this gradient in the Swatches panel and name it “Gradient 04.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 12

Make another two copies of the “Top” shape (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F). Select the top copy and hit the Right Arrow and the Down Arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfidner panel. Use the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) to remove the highlighted anchor points. Fill them with Gradient 04, lower their opacity to 50% then lock them.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 13

Create a copy of the “Top” shape and Bring it to Front (Shift + Ctrl + ]). Fill it with black, add the Inner Glow effect then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Keep the masked shape and delete the other one. Change its blending mode to Overlay, lower its opacity to 20% then lock it.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 14

Let make another quick recap and add by adding the same effect and techniques for a different character. First the strokes.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Next, the “Bottom” shape.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

The thin, sharp shapes for the “Bottom” shape.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

The shapes filled with “Gradient 01.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

The shapes filled with “Gradient 02.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

The shape filled with “Gradient 03.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

The shapes filled with “Gradient 04.”

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

And the expanded Inner Glow effect.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 15

Finally, let’s add some effects for the entire text. In the example below I used the “vectors” word. Duplicate all the “Bottom” shapes then select these copies and go to Object > Path > Compound Path. Select the resulting shape, Send it to Back (Shift + Ctrl + [) then hit the Right Arrow once and the Down Arrow twice. Fill it with black, lower its opacity to 10% then add a 3px Gaussian Blur effect.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 16

Duplicate all the "Top" shapes then select these copies and go to Object > Path > Compound Path. Fill the resulting shapes with white then pick the Ellipse Tool(L) and make a squeezed shapes as shown in image #2. Select this oval shape add the Zig Zag effect (Effect > Distort&Transform > Zig Zag) then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape along with the white shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the newly created shapes and go to Object > Path > Compound Path. Fill the resulting path with the linear gradient, lower its opacity to 25% and change its blending mode to Overlay.

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 17

Pick the Star Tool, click&drag on your Artboard and don't release the mouse button. Press the down arrow to subtract sides then hold Ctrl to control the Inner Radius. Try to make it look like in the image below (20 by 20px). Fill it with the white, lower its opacity to 20% then add a 3,5px Gaussian Blur effect. Duplicate this start shape (Shift + C > Shift + F). Select the copy, remove the Gaussian Blur effect and lower its opacity to 10%. Select both star shapes and group them. Make some copies of this group and place them above the rest of the text (image #3).

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Step 18

Reselect the Star Tool and create another star shape (10 by 10px). Fill it with white, lower its opacity to 20% then add a 2px Gaussian Blur effect. Duplicate this start shape (Shift + C > Shift + F). Select the copy, remove the Gaussian Blur effect and lower its opacity to 15%. Select these two star shapes and group them. Make some copies of this group and place them above the rest of the text (image #3).

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

Final:

How to create a glassy text effect in Illustrator

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Andrei Marius

Andrei Marius is a a relatively newcomer illustrator who loves to share his knowledge with the design community through detailed Illustrator tutorials. You can see more of his work on vforvectors.

10 Comments

(+add yours)
  1. Really helpful tut, thanks!

  2. Luigi Greco

    Awesome text effect and detailed tutorial.

  3. Simple but awesome. Like this!

  4. Love the outcome. Tutorial is really well written with details.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thank you for the tutorial. Really nice job !

  6. Thanks for this great text effect tuts. This is a nice tuts. I like it.

  7. thanks! like this

  8. Brandon Sanders

    No, this tutorial sucks!

  9. Tuan Anh

    for this kind of tutorial, a video tut is better imo. I get confused and stuck right in the very first steps. There is alot of information, may be I not the type of bunky-text learner :(
    your text a great outcome though!

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