Illustrator MacBook Pro

I cannot stress enough the importance of setting up your work, especially in a program like Adobe Illustrator. Anyone who uses Illustrator over Photoshop will agree that knowing how to achieve what you want logistically before creating is important.For this tutorial we're only creating the file at one angle so this is less daunting. Let's take a look at this photo from here

MacBookProFinal.png

Part 1 - Preparing our Work


I cannot stress enough the importance of setting up your work, especially in a program like Adobe Illustrator. Anyone who uses Illustrator over Photoshop will agree that knowing how to achieve what you want logistically before creating is important.

For this tutorial we're only creating the file at one angle so this is less daunting. Let's take a look at this photo from the apple website.

What do we see? In terms of illustrator work we see a few things:

  • Simple Straight Lines Parallel to each other
  • Curved Edges, nothing very "Sharp"
  • Not many color's, perhaps even grayscale
  • Gradients, rarely just a solid tone throughout

The first three things in that list are a breeze in Illustrator; the last is slightly more complex.

If you haven't done so already, I recommend checking out my Iron man Illustrator Tutorial to get a sense of my gradient "eyedropper copying" techniques, it should prove useful in the final steps of this tutorial.

Another important method you should be prepared to use is contrasting colors, you'll see I work with shapes in ugly and sometimes bizarre color schemes; this is simply to quickly identify what path is connected to what, and to isolate elements that require precision clicking. Using bright and different colors and transparencies eliminates the need for one to work with layers. This file was created on one layer, and this tutorial is written with one layer in mind.

Part 2 - Shaping the Surface

In order to increase speed, work in general shapes, and shape and smoother afterward to achieve higher detail. Those are words of wisdom.

step1.jpg

step1.jpg

Lets start off with the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create it with these settings

step 2.jpg

step 2.jpg

With our rectangle on the art board, we are going to use Effect>3D>Rotate the Object with these settings:

step4.jpg

step4.jpg

This gives us the correct angle of the object, however, you'll notice that Illustrator, for lack of a better term, has destroyed our bottom curves.

Here you can either live with what you have or shape them a bit with some "dividing" from the pathfinder palette The Divide tool is a great way to draw a line with the pen tool, then "divide an object and take off excess paths.

step 6.jpg

step 6.jpg

Since you're going to do this part to your preference I'll let you use my work as reference in case you're looking to follow exactly along.

step 7.jpg

step 7.jpg

You can see here I'm using blue lines against a yellow object to see just where I'm "cutting" my object. You can also see how the path is split once I use the divide tool.

step 9.jpg

step 9.jpg

Once you've shaped your front corner, we can get started on the "meat" of the sandwich, literally! In order to keep things exactly in line with the object we've already made we're going to "Double Stroke" an object. This technique is useful and can be use in tons of situations. It revolves around the "appearance" panel, and the "Stroke" panel.

First make a 4 point stroke around the laptop. I like to make this a few shades darker than the object itself, in order to see the object.

step 11.jpg

step 11.jpg

Now, using the Appearance palette, drag the "Stroke: 4pt Outside" element

step 11c.jpg

step 11c.jpg

into the "new" little paper page icon at the bottom of the panel, this will create a second stroke with the same properties. These strokes are in the order you see them, set the second stroke (the second one down on the list) to be 6pt and darker than the first stroke.

Before we continue I think it's worth explaining what we just did, We took the objects stroke, and made a second stroke, everything you do to an object (color, stroke, effects, etc.) is in this panel and can be copied and deleted as you see fit. The second stroke that we changed to 6pt is "under" the first, as it's literally "under" it on the list. That is a brief explanation of the Appearance palette.

Once you've made these 2 strokes, we're going to expand the object using "Object>Expand Appearance" and use lines to cut off the excess strokes from the sides and top of the laptop. It should look something like what's below.

step 12.jpg

step 12.jpg

Now, using straight lines and the divide tool, cut the sides and top off of the dorners of our "top"

step 12c.jpg

step 12c.jpg

The Finished result looking something like this:

Part 3 - The Body

With all that effort we've only made the top of the laptop, but we've made creating the body a breeze.

The body of the laptop will be 5 parts, all of which are easy to draw.

First we'll do the main part of the body, this will be in 3 parts. Why 3 you ask? When it could be 1? The answer is simple, later on, when we make each side of this body the gradient we saw in our original reference photo, it would be a giant pain in the ass to set that up all in one object.

step 14a.jpg

step 14a.jpg

Lets draw the sides, yes at the same time! Make the first side, roughly 25 - 30 pts high

Copy and paste this object on the other side, and use "Object>Transform>Reflect" to swap the axis of the copy of the object you just made.

step 14b.jpg

step 14b.jpg

Now make a big rectangle connecting the two sides and the main body is complete.

step 14c.jpg

step 14c.jpg

Once you've got the complete, the bottom of the laptop is more simple than ever, follow the curve shown in the reference photo, about 5-6 points tall at it's deepest. And make it dark curve along the bottom of the main body.

step 14d.jpg

step 14d.jpg

The Final Part of the body is the "Scoop" the little button-ish thing in the middle, presumably to help you open the Macbook. I'll keep this as simple as possible.

Once finished with the bottom Create a rounded rectangle with the following parameters:

step 15a.jpg

step 15a.jpg

Place that image in the middle of your Macbook, so that half of it is on the main body and the other half overlaps the "double strokes" like so

step 15b.jpg

step 15b.jpg

Use the divide tool, and re-color the top sections of the rounded rectangle to match the old strokes underneath, you can see an example of this below:

step 15c.jpg

step 15c.jpg

Finally, cut off the rounded edges with the divide tool. Use 2 lines, and make it so it's a rectangle, with 2 small round edges on the side.

step 15e.jpg

step 15e.jpg

The easiest part of this tutorial is the Logo, download this PNG of the Apple logo, place it in your document with File>Place then (using the buttons at the top toolbar) live trace it, expand it,

step 16b=c.jpg

step 16b=c.jpg

Object>Transform>Scale it with these settings:

step 16f.jpg

step 16f.jpg

Now flip the logo and squish it to look more like this:

step 16g.jpg

step 16g.jpg

Part 4 - Coloring the Laptop

In case you've had a hard time following up until this point, or simple want to start learning these techniques and are already comfortable drawing your own MacBook Laptop feel free to download the non-colored MacBook Illustrator File.

Were going to use three methods of coloring our MacBook laptop. For the top we're going to use the blend tool, for the highlight we're going to use a Guassian Blur, and for everything else we'll use plain ol' gradients.

First lets start with the top, we'll need to blend the top, as illustrator does not have a method of doing gradients in this way. Select the top part of your MacBook and Offset the Path (Object>Path>Offset Path) Offset it with the settings below:

step 17.jpg

step 17.jpg

You may need to make the inner path not as wide, and move it to the top, here's a picture of my positioning:

step 17b.jpg

step 17b.jpg

Now it's time to color things correctly, color like you wish, I've used the settings below:

step 17c.jpg

step 17c.jpg

Now, Using the "Blend" tool blend the 2 shapes together remember to use the blend tool, click and drag from one shape to the second shape, then let go, then drag from the second shape back to the first shape:

step 17d.jpg

step 17d.jpg

Now we add a highlight to the top with a white box, that we'll apply a Gaussian blur to. (You also get a good look at the blended first and second shapes here too)

step 18b.jpg

step 18b.jpg

The rest of the laptop is far more simple, as opposed to telling you what colors to use, use what you think is right, make it look like the reference photo, or not, make it your own! Here are some example shots of the rest of the color.

step 19.jpg

step 19.jpg

step 19b.jpg

step 19b.jpg

step 19d.jpg

step 19d.jpg

Part 5 - The Finishing Touches

You should be mostly done at this point. Now use the Direct Select Tool (White Arrow) to copy and paste the "darker" part of the blend we made at the top of the MacBook.

step 20.jpg

step 20.jpg

You can blur this object with the following settings:

step 20b.jpg

step 20b.jpg

Now put it under the MacBook (Ctrl+Shift+{) And have something like what you see here:

step 20c.jpg

step 20c.jpg