Halftone Pattern and Zig Zag in Adobe Illustrator

Hello, dekeKittens. In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke finishes up the detail on what may (or may not, bwah-ha-ha) be his Halloween cat eye.

Regardless of whatever this Halloween creature might become (we do have the even scarier Election Day next week, after all), this week it’s all about the power of dynamic effects in Illustrator. That means, these details can be created entirely from the Appearance panel and by filling in dialog boxes, without ever having to actually draw anything. I think that’s spooky. And cool.

So here’s where we left off last week, which already features five fills in the Appearance panel just to get this far:

A cat's eye traced in Illustrator and the Appearance panel showing all the effects applied so far


Deke begins by duplicating the iris features he made in last week’s exclusive movie and altering the gradient a bit:

A green and yellow cat eye


Next he applies a halftone effect (yep, the same one you get in Photoshop’s filter gallery) to the iris:

The cateye with a halftone effect applied and Halftone dialog box


Then he creates a new fill layer that starts life solid green:

Cat eye shape filled with solid dark green


But immediately gets turned into an ellipse and moved into place using the Convert to Shape and Distort and Transform features:

A cat eye with a green oval behind the pupil


Next, Deke applies the Zig Zag effect to start giving character to the shape:

Green oval inside cat eye with Zigzag effect in Illustrator


And the Roughen feature roughens up the zig zags (I know!):

Zigzags with Roughen filter applied in Adobe Illustrator


Applying a Feather effect blurs the shape without sacrificing detail:

Effect is blurred by applying a feather


And finally (“finally” for this movie), setting the blend mode to Multiply deepens the color:

Effect with the Multiply blend mode applied


If you’re a member of LinkedIn Learning, then Deke’s got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he creates the dynamic highlight effect that you see on the image up top today.

If you’d like to experiment with Deke’s sample files, you can download them below.

Deke’s Techniques, hoping Halloween is the scariest day in the week ahead.

Related downloads

  • Exercise Files for Deke's Techniques Episode 938
  • Exercise Files for Deke's Techniques Episode 939

Next entry:Blending Reptile-Like Scales in Illustrator (Election Day Edition)

Previous entry:Creating a Halloween Cat’s Eye in Adobe Illustrator

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