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Create a Camera Lens in Illustrator CS6

Prior to Illustrator CS6, layering multiple objects with different fills and gradients was required to convey depth and texture (see Create An Aperture Style Camera Lens Icon). The long‑awaited 'Gradient on Strokes' feature delivers the choice of applying a linear or radial gradient—within, along or across the stroke—with complete control over gradient placement and opacity.

In this tutorial, we'll create a camera lens (below) by applying multiple strokes to a single object, and then we'll add some reflection and glare objects to finish it off.

Final Image

Lens Object Fill

Step One

Create a new RGB document measuring 254 by 254pt. Draw a circle 205 by 205pt and give it a 0 degree Radial gradient. Set the fill of the 0% Color Stop to #FFFFFF and the fill of the 100% Color Stop to #333333. Add another stop at 20% and set its fill to #CCCCCC. Set the Midpoint between the first and second color stops to 75%, and the Midpoint between the second and third stops to 20%.

Step One - Circle With Radial Gradient

Lens Object Strokes

Step Two - Gradient Within Stroke

Add a 24pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Outside' from the Stoke panel. With the stroke active, open the Gradient panel and apply a -45 degree Linear gradient. Select 'Apply gradient within stroke' as the Stroke Gradient Type. Move the 0% Color Stop to 20% and set the fill to #999999. Set the fill of the 100% Color Stop to #333333. Set the Midpoint to 25%.

Illustrator CS6 Gradient on Strokes, Step Two - Gradient Within Stroke

Step Three - Gradient Within Stroke

Add a 21pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Outside' from the Stoke panel. Apply a -45 degree Linear gradient. Select 'Apply gradient within stroke' as the Stroke Gradient Type. Set the fill of the 0% Color Stop to #999999 and the fill of the 100% Color Stop to #333333. Set the Midpoint to 20%.

Step Three

Step Four - Gradient Within Stroke

Add a 3pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Outside' from the Stoke panel. Apply a -45 degree Linear gradient. Select 'Apply gradient within stroke' as the Stroke Gradient Type. Set the fill of the 0% Color Stop to #333333 and the fill of the 100% Color Stop to #999999. Set the Midpoint to 80%.

Step Four

Step Five - Gradient Within Stroke

Add a 25pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Inside' from the Stoke panel. Apply a -45 degree Linear gradient. Select 'Apply gradient within stroke' as the Stroke Gradient Type. Set the fill of the 0% Color Stop to #333333 and the fill of the 100% Color Stop to #999999. Set the Midpoint to 50%.

Step Five

Step Six - Solid Fill Stroke

Add a 22pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Inside' from the Stoke panel. Set its fill color to #666666.

Step Six

Step Seven - Solid Fill Stroke

Add a 10pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Inside' from the Stoke panel. Set its fill color to #999999.

Step Seven

Step Eight - Solid Fill Stroke

Add a 7pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Inside' from the Stoke panel. Set its fill color to #333333.

Step Eight

Step Nine - Solid Fill Stroke

Add a 6pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Inside' from the Stoke panel. Set its fill color to #999999.

Step Nine

Step Ten - Solid Fill Stroke

Add a 4pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Inside' from the Stoke panel. Set its fill color to #333333.

Step Ten

Step Eleven - Solid Fill Stroke

Add a 3pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Inside' from the Stoke panel. Set its fill color to #999999.

Step Eleven

Lens Reflection and Glare Objects

Step Twelve

Using the Arc tool, draw a 68 by 68pt arc. Add a 36pt stroke, and select 'Align Stroke to Center' from the Stoke panel. Select 'Dashed Line' and specify a dash sequence by entering a length of 72pt for the dash and 8pt for the gap. Set its fill color to #FFFFFF with an Opacity of 30%.

Step Twelve

Step Thirteen

Using the Elipse tool, draw a 138 by 98pt oval and rotate it 45 degrees. Set its fill color to #FFFFFF with an Opacity of 30%.

Step Thirteen

Step Fourteen

Draw a couple of ovals with the Ellipse tool, making them 50% smaller as you go (approximately 36 by 24pt, and 18 by 12pt). Rotate them 45 degrees, and arrange them on a diagonal line with the smallest oval towards the center. Set their fill color to #FFFFFF with an Opacity of 30%.

Step Fourteen

Step Fifteen

Draw two more ovals with the Ellipse tool, making them 50% smaller as you go (approximately 26 by 18pt, and 13 by 9pt). Rotate them 45 degrees, and arrange them on a diagonal line with the smallest oval towards the center. Set their fill color to #FFFFFF with an Opacity of 30%.

Step Fifteen

Where to Go for More Information

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