Skip to main content

How to Make Semi Flat 3D Icons & UI Design Using Adobe Illustrator CC

Lesson 44 from: Adobe Illustrator Mastery

Daniel Walter Scott

How to Make Semi Flat 3D Icons & UI Design Using Adobe Illustrator CC

Lesson 44 from: Adobe Illustrator Mastery

Daniel Walter Scott

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

44. How to Make Semi Flat 3D Icons & UI Design Using Adobe Illustrator CC


Class Trailer



Class Introduction to Advanced Adobe Illustrator CC


Getting Started with Your Adobe Illustrator Advanced Tutorial




Trick for Redrawing Hand Drawn Images in Adobe Illustrator CC


Curvature Tool vs Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC


Advanced Pen Tool Tricks Using Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Draw Flowing Curves in Adobe Illustrator with the Width Tool


Mastering Corners with Adobe Illustrator CC Corner Widget Effects


The Best Creation Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC the Shape Builder Tool


More Shape Builder Goodness


Using Live Shape Effects in Adobe Illustrator CC


Class Project - Drawing Exercise Using Width, Curvature & Corner Widgets


Drawing - Quiz

Keyboard Shortcuts


Advanced Keyboard Shortcuts for Adobe Illustrator CC


Keyboard Shortcuts - Quiz

Color & Patterns


Advanced Color Tips & Tricks for Adobe Illustrator CC


Using Color Themes in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Color a Real Hand Drawing Using Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Use the Color Guide in Adobe Illustrator


How to Change All the Colors at Once in Adobe Illustrator Recolour Artwork


How to Make Gradients Bend in Adobe Illustrator CC Using Gradient Mesh


How to Make Long Shadows in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Blend Images with the Background Colors in Adobe Illustrator Blend Modes


How to Make Images Black & White in Illustrator & Mix with Color


How Do You Make Anaglyphic Text Using Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Make Gradient Stroke Overlap & Mix Colors in Adobe Illustrator


How to Create a Duotone Image Effect in Adobe Illustrator CC


Advanced Repeating Pattern Swatches in Adobe Illustrator CC


Color & Patterns - Quiz

Workflow Speed


How to Change The Default Font & Swatches in Adobe Illustrator CC


Advanced Workflow Tricks for Adobe Illustrator CC


Shortcuts for Aligning & Distributing in Illustrator CC Using Actions


How to Proof Colors in Adobe Illustrator CC


Adobe Illustrator is Running Slow, How Do I Speed Up Illustrator


How Best to Use Illustrator With Other Adobe CC Software


Workflow Speed - Quiz



Advanced Fonts Tricks & Tips in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Put Text Type into the Shape of a Letter in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Use the Touch Type Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC


Typography - Quiz

Strokes & Lines


How to Multiply Strokes to a Path in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Add a Stroke Line Around the Outside of Text or Shapes in Illustrator


How to Make Multiple Lines Using Offset Path in Adobe Illustrator CC


Depth, Perspective & 3D


Introduction to 3D in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Make Semi Flat 3D Icons & UI Design Using Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Make the Paper Cut Effect in Adobe Illustrator CC


Charts & Graphs


How to Make a Pie Chart Line Graph & Bar Graph in Adobe Illustrator CC


Artboards & Pages


Advanced Artboard & Pages Tricks in Adobe Illustrator CC


Creative Cloud


Advanced CC Libraries Adobe Stock and Adobe Market




Advanced Image Tricks & Tips in Adobe Illustrator CC


Transform, Distort & Blend


How to Distort Bend Shapes & Type in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Make a 3D Ribbon in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Create Lots of Lines that Blend Together in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Make 3D Gradient Lettering Blends in Adobe Illustrator CC


49. How to Make a Linocut Effect in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Use the Puppet Warp Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC


Transform, Distort & Blend Quiz

Web UI design


How to Use Adobe Illustrator for Web & UI Design




How to Make an Animated GIF Using Adobe Illustrator CC




What Next After Your Illustrator Advanced Course


Final Quiz


Final Quiz

Lesson Info

How to Make Semi Flat 3D Icons & UI Design Using Adobe Illustrator CC

Hey there in this video. We are going to use illustrator to make this kind of like semi flat design. We use these icons on the left to get started then we'll do some more interesting things with the app design on the right. Let's go and learn how to do that now in adobe illustrator. Alright. First up open up the icons document in your exercise files. And what we're gonna do is we're not going to these icons here, we're not going to kind of three D. Rotate them at the same time as these guys. We want these to have an extra depth but we don't we want these guys just to kind of plaster to the top. Okay, so first of all, I'm going to select all these circles so I can hold shift and keep clicking. Ok, so I'm going to do that all selected because what we're going to decide now is the effect that you want. Okay. So if I go to effect three D. And go to extrude and bevel when they're not grouped to improve you on, what ends up happening is these guys rotate but kind of irrespective of the kind ...

of total group. Okay. Um let's have a little look around. So they're just kind of doing their own thing. So I'm gonna do a little screenshot here so that you can see what I mean because if I cancel and say I'm gonna group them first and go to effect. Actually I'll bring in that graphic was my screenshot. We could use the magic of editing dan. No, I must do it all here. Okay, so I've got this background, I've grouped it. So the difference is if I go to three D and I go to extrude and bevel and I do the exact same thing to preview on. Can you see They are? Now there's more of an isometric group. Okay, if I rotate you around, you see the kind of know each other are in the world, whereas these are old individual, hopefully get the idea. Cool. And so decide where you want to do it. Okay, where you want these things to lay down, decide on the depth. Okay, I'm gonna have mine quite thin and trying to avoid looking at all the random circles everywhere. Kind of try and stare through them. So once you've once you've got it kind of how you want you can decide as well. At the moment I'm going for this kind of like linear, flat semi flats um isometric kind of drawing. Okay, where there's no perspective. So you could go into here and say actually I want perspective and crank it up. So there's this kind of like fold depth, you can play around with the lighting as well and how this works. But at the moment I'm going to turn off the perspective. Okay and having like this come I'm with my right back to the top. Great. So we're kind of there now, we need to do the same thing with the icons but the icons use a different mode. Okay so not using extrude but what we do need to do is remember these angles so I'm going to take a screenshot of this again. Using my if you're on a Mac it's command shift and four you can drag a box around it and it ends up on your desktop on pc. I think it's just print screen, you can just paste it into illustrator either way let's click. Ok. And we need to make sure that these guys are grouped as well. Okay. If you've grouped the background. Okay. So we've grouped the circles so we also need a group the icons which have already done for you. So the slight different effect is effect three D. We're gonna use rotate to improve you on. Okay. And all we need to do is match what we had before and I didn't bring in that extra screenshot. Let's go screenshot come You affect three d. Revel rotate. Come put you on and just type out these this one is 36 minus Meeting if you had perspective which we don't you can match that as well. I'm gonna click OK. You can see now they match the background stuff we might have to do is just a little adjustment to get them right in the center there. Cool. That's how to do semi flat icons. Now what I'll quickly do though is we'll do a shadow on it and then we'll get into that thing you saw at the beginning with the application. So skip ahead if you don't want to learn how to do a shadow. So what we're gonna do is I just want the circles. I'm gonna make a duplicate of it because I don't want we're gonna we're gonna fake a shadow. Okay you could use a drop shadow tool and I find that I never get good success with that. Um So affect stylized shadow if you want to do that. What I'm gonna do is first of all expand these because the they're driving me mad. So object expanded parents and now I want to join them all up and to join them all up. We need to make sure they're not group. So I'm gonna click off in the background and you are all grouped. Right click on group grouped. These guys are grouped them all. I agree with them. Again, what are we left with? Okay. And now it's kind of testing so they're all in grouped. I know this is probably not going to work. Um So grab my shape builder tool and drag a box around the mall and it meant to join them all if it doesn't do that it just means some of the parts like this guy here is right click release clipping mask. There's some three d ends up with some artifacts. Okay so I've got all these guys, you if you're doing it with squares I tested this before. It didn't have this problem, just release clipping mask. You might have to do some um grouping, releasing clipping mask. Okay, now I've got them all. She built it all fill color. I'm gonna pick black, hold the shift key down and just drags over them all and hopefully it's gonna stand them into one giant thing. Cool. So now I'm gonna do, I'm gonna group them just for no good reason, grab the right tool. Okay, the black arrow. I'm gonna put them just underneath. This is what I'm doing for shadows and and with them selected effect, I'm going to go to blue. I'm gonna go to calcium blue to improve you on and just adjust this radius until you feel happy. It's gonna be too dark to start with. I want a kind of a light one there and you can either play with the fill color or the opacity and just turn it down so it mixes with the background. What you also might do is play around with under opacity. Under these lamb modes, you might find one of these that works better with the thing underneath ours is gonna work just fine under normal because we have a really flat background color. How much do we like those? Who? I'm not sure. I'm gonna try to find these guys. You don't mind. I just want to get on to the next, but let's get on to the next one. Okay. And the next one is I've made an outboard. I've kept it quite far apart from the first one. Just because when we're flipping things around we need a bit of extra room. We're going to bring in the ap mock ups. Now. I mock these up in a program called adobe XD. Okay you can lock them up in illustrator or Photoshop. It doesn't matter but I've done this job now. I want to kind of make this isometric. Lay down things. I'm gonna bring in all four images. It's in your exercise files under X. T mock up, bring them in, click once, twice, three times four times now. Black arrow takeoff want you? I'll use him later on. And these three guys I would like to lay out now use my shortcut. Remember selecting all of these command function. F 12 is my distribute the centers. Um And yeah cool. So to get started I want to group these because I want them to be kind of operating together. I'm going to go to effect three D. Extrude and bevel to the preview one. Now this is because we're using images now and not just vector. It is going to freak out your computer a bit. So if you're finding it really slow, you might have to go and close down every program you can to kind of try and facilitate this. So I'm rotating around a little bit of perspective in this one. How much because in there just using my up arrow little bit perspective. See it's taking us while to catch up because it is it's going to type it in. I'm trying to record using a screen capture software as well which is stressing everything out three D. It's all going nuts so that's all I really want to do. A little bit of perspective um and get the angles how you want them. I'm not sure I'm happy with them yet. Yeah it looks good. I don't want more perspective. Alright so let's click. Ok so next thing to do is either drop shadows. Well might as well do the drop shadows now before we do this thing essentially the same as this first stop. I'll show you a couple of extra tricks as we go. Um Yeah so we're hanging around for so I'm gonna do is I'm gonna duplicate these guys. Okay so make sorry duplicate these guys so I've got an extra copy, get that guy out of the way. Um and we're gonna remember that exactly like we did before we're gonna go to object expand appearance so they're no longer editable three D. And what we'll also do is right click and group because we want to use the same trick as we did before I'm right clicking and grouping. There's probably going to be some tricks we need to do Ivan group them a few times. Let's give it a give it a well let's go to shape builder tool, hold shift and say all of you fellas join up And all of them did except for the one I didn't select. Okay awesome. All right so they're all this I'm going to give them all fill color of black and what we're going to do is there are some bits underneath. It's kind of weird when you're working three D. There's all sorts of clipping masks and that's going on. I don't need you just want you three. I'm going to group them and then I'm going to go to my cheap drop shadow trick effect blur calcium blair review. Yeah, it works for me and I'm gonna stick them underneath. And what I'll do is I'll lower the opacity in a second once we get the other image underneath. So now this guy, I need to work out what angle to put him on. I didn't take a screenshot so I can go back in select it, click on three D. Extrude and bevel now screenshot I'll place their screenshots, you're thinking it better be worth me hanging around because it's the same thing over kind of there's a there's a gem at the end I promise. Let's get to the end. Okay so we're gonna go to effect, we're gonna go to not that one affect three D. And we're gonna go to rotate. And in here I've got a copy 59 -268. And the perspective was 25 live preview off. Stop it freaking out. Someone is trying to adjust it alright, you have done your job and you should be the same perspective as the stuff. What I might do is just scale it up so I kind of I'm going to crop it at the end scaling it up, freaks it out okay. Um All right, if you're wondering how to speed up if you're doing a lot of this, okay, there's a whole video series on how to speed up illustrator in this case it's going to be effect rust arised settings that will At the moment we're doing it too high at 300 d. p. I. But I'm just dealing with it and all right, I'm gonna push this to the back. Okay. What I might do with this is I'm going to crop it all out in a second, there's a couple of things I wanna do, one is I want to move these guys so they kind of just off screen so you plus it's a little hard to grab so you fellas want to be a little bit bigger, prepare for freaking out. Scaling is the worst offender when it comes off. It's really even hard to see my art board now this kind of effect you saw at the beginning. Oh my shadows. Okay so a couple of things, we didn't do one was in my shadows here, I just left so I'm trying to get a hold of my shadows underneath There. They are. So I'm gonna lower the opacity or you can go because there's something underneath it now we can go to opacity and have a look at some of the blending modes. Okay. Soft lights. Probably gonna work well maybe not what I wanted. Overlay dan. You should have practiced this first. I'm going to go back to normal and just in the opacity down. Yeah that looks good. Cool. So you're waiting for the secret trick. Okay so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to draw a big rectangle out the back here. I'm gonna lower the opacity because I want um I want this background image to be not as strong as these. So I'm going to send it backwards until yeah kind of maybe it's a bit too dark now if I've lost you with this three D mess here, it's okay, I'm a little lost myself but basically I wanted this gray box to make this big shape of the background just a bit darker so that these apps which are the kind of focus seem a bit more in focus will speed this up moving hates it. So the trick that I've was holding out to the end here is a kind of a nice trick when you've got really busy stuff here, we're all confused what's masked what's not, I want to just clip it down to the outboard, there's a cool trick in illustrator if I draw a box the same shape as my art board. Okay, it was pretty close. And if we go to our layers panel, what we'll do is we'll select everything on this output here and we'll put it on its own layer. So I'm gonna make a new layer. I'm gonna drag this little blue dot to the green dot and now they're on layer three. Let's lock this old layer. Okay, that's these guys that were working on over here. Now if I twirl down this layer and I make sure that new rectangle I drew is on the top here. He is Okay, he's on the top. If he's not just drag him up. And the cool thing about it is if you click the word layer three, you don't click anything else. Click layer three. And there's an option here that says make clipping mask. This is a cool thing where it makes everything on that layer. It takes the first object and turns it into a clipping mask. Okay, my box wasn't quite um really there, but this might be something it's quite a useful because you might have seen this in, you know? Well, what's really nice is like they're all still kind of individual in there so I can grab the shadows in the background here, I'm not gonna move because that thing that takes takes forever to move around, but they're all kind of just hiding through this window rather than having to do it for every shape. If you're like me in the past you would have just drawn like you would have five boxes and then clipping mask all the separate parts. So this way it's just a nice little extra trick worth waiting for. I hope so we're here anyway. Cool. So I'm not super happy with my layout but you're watching me the whole time so I kind of don't get a chance to kind of stick the tongue and go a bit more of this and the patients with the three D revolve I guess because we're videoing, I'm blaming that. Anyway that's it for this one. Let's look at the let's go onto the next video.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Exercise Files
6 Completed Files