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Infographic Elements from Scratch in Illustrator

Lesson 17 of 25

How to Create a Slip Shadow

Jason Hoppe

Infographic Elements from Scratch in Illustrator

Jason Hoppe

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Lesson Info

17. How to Create a Slip Shadow


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:06:47
2 Basic Shapes Overview Duration:05:55
3 Start Creating Basic Shapes Duration:13:36
4 Edit Basic Shapes Duration:07:58
5 How to Use Corner Widgets Duration:16:39
6 Get Creative with Shapes Duration:15:32
7 Add Lines to Shapes Duration:05:57
8 Shapes with Offset Path Duration:06:38
9 Create Custom Lines Duration:06:01
10 Add Curves Into Shapes Duration:21:49
11 Curvature Tool Duration:08:35
12 Width Shape Tool Duration:14:25
13 How to Create a Dotted Line Duration:06:00
14 How to Segment a Circle Duration:05:50
17 How to Create a Slip Shadow Duration:08:50
18 Tips & Tricks for Chart Tools Duration:12:34
19 Combine Shapes Together Duration:19:27
20 Create Perspective in Shapes Duration:11:34
23 Create Implied Shading Duration:17:02
24 How to Make Graphics 3D Duration:16:29
25 Q & A Duration:05:02

Lesson Info

How to Create a Slip Shadow

I'll show you what we do here. I'm gonna select all these and I'm just gonna copy these off ever so slightly to the edge here and then I'm going to make something darker or lighter with that. And when you look at that, it actually gives the feeling that there is actually a little bit dimension to it. And it's just what we call just a slip shadow. You can create a slip shadow on anything. It can look really cool just to have it kind of going off but I'll show you how to create a really cool slip shadow that's pretty awesome. And I have this on my website as well. I have just a basic shape here. Sometimes I do this with type. Got a basic shape and I've got it filled with a color. I would like to go in and create something interesting like say I've got a star inside here. There's my star and I'm gonna make this a bright star. There it is. I would love to go in and create a slip shadow here that gives me kind of like this star casting a shadow all the way down. And you've seen this and it ...

just is like a darker version of this. It's like a little bit darker orange to do just to kind of create that. This is what I do to create a slip shadow. I take my object. I'm gonna take it over here and I'm gonna copy it here. Actually, I'm just gonna show you how to do a slip shadow with a basic shape then I'll show you how to do it with a star. I take my basic shape and I wanna create basically a stream to create a constant shadow going out. I'm not gonna go in and I'm not gonna draw 'cause I don't wanna go in with my pen tool and draw a shape here showing me that the shadow is doing. I do this, I call this my cheater method. I don't want this to have my grid turned on or my snap to grid. What I do is I go and I copy this ever so slightly. It's barely perceptible here. I copied a little bit. Then I just hit Command + D and I keep duplicating it over and over and over again. I just hold down Command + D. I just wait for it and it just keeps duplicating and duplicating, duplicating. It takes a little bit. Right there like so and it just grows and grows and grows. Then I take all these shapes and I just merge them all right together. When I merge them altogether, that is my shape that I could then go back with my normal square right here that I had and I can create kind of this cool slip shadow on this object as it goes. In this case, what I would do with this star, I'm gonna pull this star over here and I'm gonna create a copy of it. And I'm going to fill this with a slightly darker color orange here so that I get my slip shadow going across because a shadow is just a darker version of that color. Using that same method, I'm going to option click and drag just a little bit here just so I get a little bit of an offset. And then I'm gonna do my Command + D as I go and watch it go. Now I do this with a very slight offset here. I would probably wanna do a little bit less offset because you can see each and every individual step. But I would do this and keep going at a much smaller increment. And I just keep duplicating this. Going, going, going, going, going. It goes and goes and goes and goes. I'm gonna select all those and I'm gonna make it into one solid shape. It takes awhile 'cause you got all these millions of points. But I'm gonna turn this into just a singular shape. It's just gonna end up being a block. That's all. And then I'm gonna have that color made up of all those slip shadows right there. I could take my shape and with this shape I could move that over there. Then I could go and divide, un-group. Have my slip shadow, put that right over the top of this right here. Bring it to the front and now I've got that cool slip shadow. Check okay. But even better, what happens if you wanna do a shadow that's actually laying over on something? I'm gonna take this leaf that I have and I would love to take this leaf and create a shadow from this. I'm gonna grab this. I'm gonna rotate this right there. I wanna create a shadow going off into the distance. I'm gonna take this and I'm gonna copy or duplicate this right here. I'm gonna reset my bounding box so it's straight again. Then, I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna distort this and I want to lay it down and off to the side to create a shadow going off to the upper right. Under my effect here, I've got the distort and transform which allows me to freely distort any object. And when I distort this object, it basically shows me what I'm doing here and I need to group this together. I'm not actually merging these together I just have these two shapes together. So I'm gonna do this, distort, free distort. There we go. Now I'm gonna take this and I'm going to lay this right down to create my drop shadow. There's my drop shadow going off at an angle. Yes? Okay. It's gonna go off at an angle. I do that. There's my drop shadow. Now you'll notice this is an effect. Under preview mode it looks like that but the effect looks like this. I could then go up to my opacity and cut that back if I want to. And drag this over, put it behind, and then I have my what looks like a drop shadow. That could be kind of cool. I know! Who'd of thought? That's another fun way of doing something. First of all, when we're dealing with any sort of chart here, a lot of times we have something that happens over time. I'm gonna start with just a normal bar like so and I would love to go in with this bar and I just wanna show you over time how something happens. I'm gonna hot dog the ends, or just round the ends right there. And I would like to show you what happens over a certain amount of time. I would like a little bar to be a lighter green inside here but matching that shape. I'm gonna go in to my object and I'm going to go under path, offset path, and I'm going to reduce the size of that right there so I get a shape inside. Grab a different color green so it's a little bit nicer, a little bit brighter. There's my shape inside. And now if I'd like to control the length of that, I could go in here and just grab the end and control the length and I can just show distance over something like this. I could do this for a thermometer, I could do this for a test tube, I could do all sorts of things. In fact, if I was going to do this for a test tube, wouldn't it be fun to go ahead and create one? I think so. If I wanna show something bubbly, I'm going to start off with my rounded rectangle and I'm going to un-round the top edges. I'm gonna round the bottom edges right there. And I'm also going to take off the top. I don't want the top in here 'cause I want it to be open. I'm not gonna fill it with a color here so I have the top that's open. Now I wanna have little fingers on here as well so I'm just actually gonna go in and I'm just gonna draw a line on each side. I'm gonna copy that line so it lines up. And then I'm going to select those ans do my join. My object, path, I'm gonna join those together so that these join together 'cause this is just a freeform line but I want it to join with this one. I'm gonna join those together. There's my little test tube or whatever it may be. I can then put little lines going in here if I want, and I can fill it with something and have little bubbles coming out of it. All these great things. But if I wanted to create something here, I could put something in here. Or if I wanted lines I could very easily go in and just draw some lines, hot dog the ends, change the color of it. So I get some lines going in there. I could send that to the back, and have those lines, duplicate that, look at that. Let's move this down a bit so that line doesn't peek out there. Much better.

Class Description

Infographics are an effective way to provide a visual representation of information. In this beginner-friendly class, Jason Hoppe will take you through image-making techniques in Illustrator to use when building Infographics.  

You'll learn about:
  • Common icons used in infographics and how to create them 
  • Creating patterns and effects 
  • Using the shape builder tool 
You’ll then use the elements you created in a simple info graphic that is flexible enough to use in multiple ways. This class comes with an Illustrator file containing all the graphics created in the class. A great bonus that you can customize and use in your projects, in addition to what you create on your own. Get started today!

Software Used: Adobe Illustrator CC 2015


Patricia Green

This class is so much fun! I gobbled it up because I enjoyed every minute. It begins my journey into infographics, something I intend to put in my portfolio. Jason Hoppe is a great instructor who really knows his stuff. If you want to have fun with Illustrator, this is the class for you!


I bought the first version of the course of Infographics and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to use Illustrator. Exactly as he explains in the video, this is not a course just to learn how to make graphics. At the end of the course you will be able to develop just about anything in Illustrator. Really! All the knowledge I have today of this tool, started from this course of Infographics to which he refers. Not only the content is comprehensive, but Jason is a great teacher, explaining everything very, very simply. I'm looking forward to watching this update.


Jason, you ROCK! I learned a lot of things during this class. Thank you for being such a great teacher and taking time to share your knowledge. Will continue to purchase your classes. Sandra