Today you will learn how to create a grass background using the Transform & Distort effects and Phantasm CS Halftone. Phantasm CS in combination with other effects allows you quickly create very complex textures. See this yourself by studying the technique described in this tutorial.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle with dark green fill.
This will be the bottom layer of the grass. Copy the rectangle and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C, Cmd / Ctrl + F), replace the fill of this rectangle with light green color, mixing colors in the Color panel.
Keeping the upper rectangle selected, go to Object > Transform & Distort > Roughen… and set the parameters indicated in the figure below.
Open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and move the item with the Roughen effect down, so that it is under the fill.
Keep the object selected and go to Object > Transform & Distort > Tweak…, set the effect parameters indicated in the figure below.
Place the Tweak effect on top of the Roughen effect in the Appearance panel.
Now go to Effect > Phantasm CS > Halftone… and set the parameters for this effect.
Place Phantasm CS Halftone effect on top of the Tweak effect in the Appearance panel.
This already appears more like grass!
All the effects applied can be reconfigured. For example, to adjust the Phantasm CS Halftone effect, click on its name in the Appearance panel which opens a dialog window with the settings of the effect.
So, to adjust the size of a blade of grass you can change the appearance or properties of the “Dot Grain” chart observing the changes.
In order not to repeat the previous steps in the further stages, create a graphic style with all the effects applied. Open the Graphic Styles panel (Window > Graphic Styles) and save the new style.
Copy the bottom rectangle of dark green color and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C, Cmd / Ctrl + F) and place it above all the objects (Shift + Cmd / Ctrl +]).
Now apply the graphic style created in the previous step to this rectangle, and reconfigure the effects using the Appearance panel for this. In particular, change the fill color to another lighter shade of green.
Create another rectangle, apply the graphic style to it, change the fill color to another shade of green. To achieve a better result, I’ve removed the Tweak effect from the Appearance panel for this rectangle.
The grass background is now ready!
Now you can use this technique to create landscapes or sports backgrounds, as I did by adding a vector tennis ball (see previous AG Blog tutorial How to Create a Tennis Ball Using VectorScribe and Adobe Illustrator)
This technique is not just limited to a grass effect. For example, wool texture is also possible.
Phantasm CS allows you to create a variety of effects, some of them can be found in the following publications:
- Vector Halftone Week: free Halftone Graphic Styles
- Vector Halftone Week: free Halftone tool settings
- Halftone settings (also provided in the Phantasm CS 7 day full trial download