# Create a Glowing Vector Lightsaber

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a vector lightsaber. You will use some simple shapes, blends, and gradients in this intermediate tutorial. Also, if you want to learn more about all sorts of light weapons then check out wookieepedia, there is a page on the Lightsaber there.

### Final Image Preview

To start off, let’s take a look at the final illustration below.

### Step 1

Create a new letter sized document. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle 36 px wide by 216 px tall.

### Step 2

With the rectangle selected go to Filter > Stylize > Round Corner to bring up the Round Corners dialog. Change the Radius to 11 px.

### Step 3

For this step we’re going to create the top lip of the lightsaber. With the Ellipse Tool (L) draw a ellipse that is 30 px wide by 70 px tall. Place the ellipse so the center of the ellipse is on the right edge of the rectangle and the top fourth of the ellipse is above the rectangle.

### Step 4

Select the rectangle with the Selection Tool (V), hold down Alt + Shift and drag a copy upwards until it encompass the ellipse.

### Step 5

Select the copied rectangle and the ellipse, press the Intersect Shape Areas button from the Pathfinder Panel, and then press the Expand button.

### Step 6

Select the main rectangle and the intersected ellipse, press the Add To Shape Areas button from the Pathfinder Panel , and press the Expand button.

### Step 7

With the body of the lightsaber selected, create a Linear Gradient from the Gradient Panel. Add two more swatches to the gradient by clicking right below the Gradient Slider two times. Change the first swatch to a 38% black, the second swatch to a 18% black, the third swatch to a 67% black, and the fourth swatch to a 11% black. Now it’s time to change the location of the swatch on the Gradient Slider, which can be changed in the Gradient Panel above the Gradient Slider. Change the first swatch’s location to 5, the second to 18, the third to 67, and the fourth to 100.

### Step 8

Use the Ellipse Tool and create a ellipse that is 25 px wide by 14 px tall. Fill the ellispe with the same gradient as the lightsaber body, but change the Location of the darker swatch in the gradient to 50. Place the ellipse behind the lightsaber body so half of it sticks out from the bottom.

### Step 9

With the Rectangle Tool (M) create a rectangle that is 25 px by 25 px and fill it with the same gradient as the previous ellipse. Place this ellipse behind the lightsaber body so it sticks out at the top of the lightsaber.

### Step 10

Create an ellipse that is 10 px by 10 px, fill it with the previous gradient, and place it over the lightsaber body around the top-left curve.

### Step 11

Create a rectangle that is 20 px wide by 65 px tall. Fill it with a Linear Gradient and change the first swatch to a 90% black and the second swatch to a 100% black. Use the Gradient Tool (G), click the bottom of the rectangle, and drag to the top. The darkest part of the gradient should now be at the top of the rectangle.

### Step 12

Copy (Command + C) the new rectangle and Paste it in Front (Command + F). Create an ellipse that is 43 px by 43 px and place it over the rectangle about one third the way down. Select the copied rectangle and the ellipse, then press the Intersect Shape Areas button from the Pathfinder Panel. Change the fill of the intersected ellipse to a Linear Gradient, change the first swatch to a 70% black, change the second swatch to a 90% black, and adjust the gradient so the lighter swatch is at the top of the intersected ellipse.

### Step 13

Place the rectangle and intersected ellipse over the lightsaber body slightly above the bottom of the body.

### Step 14

Create a rectangle 10 px wide by 65 px tall to the left of the previous rectangle over the the lightsaber body. Fill the new rectangle with the darkest gradient from the previous rectangle. Adjust the gradient so the darkest part of the gradient is on the left side of the rectangle.

### Step 15

Copy (Command + C) the new rectangle and Paste it in Front (Command + F). With the Selection Tool, squish the rectangle from right to left about half the width of the original rectangle. Change the gradient to the lighter gradient of the intersected rectangle in step 12.

### Step 16

Copy (Command + C) the new rectangles, Paste it in Front (Command + F), choose Vertical from the pop-up menu of the Transform Panel and place the copied rectangle to the right of the wider rectangle.

### Step 17

Create a new rectangle that is 36 px wide by 60 px tall. Fill the rectangle with a three swatch Linear Gradient. Change the first swatch to a 70% black, the second swatch to a 100% black, and the third swatch to a 90% black. Select the middle 100% black and change the location to 35 and adjust the gradient so the lightest black is on the right side. Next, place the rectangle over the middle of the lightsaber body.

### Step 18

Draw a 100% black stroke line with the Line Segment Tool (\) that is 36 px wide at a 1pt stroke. Place the line on top of the previous step’s rectangle slightly above the bottom. Select the line with the Selection Tool (V) and drag a copy to the top of the rectangle.

### Step 19

Select both lines and create a blend by going Object > Blend > Make. Right now there are too many steps in the blend. To fix this go Object > Blend > Blend Options and select Specified Steps from the drop-down menu. Change the option to 20.

### Step 20

Create an ellipse that is 14 px wide by 25 px tall. Create a two swatch Linear Gradient with the first swatch a 12% black and the second swatch a 90% black. Adjust the gradient so the lighter part is on the left. Place the ellipse behind the lightsaber body towards the top-left. Let half of the ellipse peak out from behind the lightsaber body.

### Step 21

Create a 9 px by 46 px rectangle and fill it with a two swatch linear gradient. Change the first swatch to a 80% black and the second to a 100% black, then adjust the gradient so the lightest part is on the right. Place the rectangle at the top-right side behind the lightsaber body.

### Step 22

Create an ellipse that is 30 px wide by 15 px tall. Fill the ellipse with the same gradient as in Step 20 but this time make the lightest part the right of the ellipse. Place the ellipse to the top-right behind the lightsaber body.

### Step 23

Create a 36 px wide .5 pt line over the lightsaber body and change the stroke to a 70% black. Drag out a copy and place it about 7 px higher then the first. Next, create a blend with 2 Specified Steps.

### Step 24

That does it for the handle of the lightsaber. Now we can start looking at the glowing spear of the sword! First, create a rectangle that is 14 px wide by 556 px tall. Go to Filter > Stylize > Round Corners and change the radius to 15 px.

### Step 25

Change the long rectangle to have a white fill with no stroke. Next go to Object > Path > Offset and change the Offset to 10 px. Change the offset path to a light green.

### Step 26

Select the green offset path and offset it again. This time change the Offset to 15 px. Change the color of the new offset to a 85% black and set the Opacity to 0 from the Transparency Panel. I change the color of this offset to a color that is close the eventual background color. If I was going to keep the background white, then I would of changed the color to white. The blend will pick up some of the color even though the opacity is set to 0.

### Step 27

Select all three shapes and create a blend. Place the blend behind the lightsaber handle.

### Step 28

The lightsaber is done, but lets add some finishing touch like a background and shadows. Start by creating a rectangle the size of your document. Fill the rectangle with a Radial Gradient with the first swatch a 60% black and the second swatch a 85% black. Place the background behind all other artwork.

### Step 29

Create a 140 px by 140 px ellipse. Fill it with a Radial Gradient with the first swatch a 100% black and the second swatch white. Squish the ellipse to one third it’s original size, then choose multiply for the Blending Mode from the Transparency Panel. Place the bottom of the lightsaber.

### Step 30

Create a 35 px by 35 px ellipse and create an offset at 20. Change the color of the offset to an 8% yellow and change the opacity to 0. Select both ellipse and create a blend. Squish the blend slightly and set it to Overlay from the drop-down menu of the Transparency Panel. Place over the lightsaber where the spear and handle join. and your done!

### Final Image

Below is the final image again. Try changing the colors of the sword and background to create different results.

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• Ali

The force is strong…

• nice 1

• Folk

Wow, amazing!

• http://www.liberatocreative.com Mau

Simple but very effective outcome! nice!

• Clemson

Very Cool.

• http://designshard.com Max | Design Shard

Love this website, so useful, good work and tut

• http://manuelressel.com Manuel

May the force be with you! :)
Nice Tut!

• http://coolvectors.com Vector Graphics

Good tutorial. Thank you VectorTuts :)

• http://www.studiografiko.com Grafiko

very nice one

• http://www.flickr.com/photos/24471966@N04/ Brent Nelson

Great tips.

• Brian

Very nice and very simple to follow. Thanks for your hardwork

• http://www.colorburned.com Grant Friedman

You’re a true Jedi Master Ryan!

• http://www.freshclickmedia.com Shane

I’ll leave the Star Wars puns to the other guys :)

Fantastic stuff – great end result – thanks for sharing.

• daniel

Fantastic! may the force be with you! very nice tutorial, thanks a lot.

• http://ifohdesigns.com Matt

Awesome tutorial and great results, thanks!

• http://virtualstaffroom.blogspot.com/ tarak_br

Nice Tutorial. Many thanks for the thorough explanation and for making it look so easy :)

• Viridian

Very nice article. I’ve just found this site and I like what I’m seeing.

• http://www.atgraphics.it andrea

that’s AMAZING! i’ve done it but red because i’ve decided to join the dark side :)
ehehehehe

great tutorial!

• http://na T-man

I like the the way you used the different shades of grey against each other to add depth
to the frame…it’s almost 3D…

• Pankaj Rai

like it plz some more tuts…………

• Basha

Great practice for great people who want to explores there skills in graphics

Hey, thanks for this wonderful tutorial.

Question: step 25 said to “Change the offset path to a light green.” But I only see the option of setting a stroke color, not fill. What am I missing in this instruction?

Thanks!

I figured it out :) Thanks!!

• http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/e9ea8b68f9fea35ba0c4b281b7600962?s=80 den
• george

It’s a very good tutorial. But how do you give a percentage to the colors? (Step 12)

• Will

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

• talha

i like this tutorial!!

• Paul

step 25

When I did go Object > Path > Offset all corners be straight!!! Why?

• http://tuts.cgbaran.com CgBaran Tuts

Great tutorial thanks

• AK

BRILLIANT TUT… BUT I THINK MINE LOOK’S BETTER THAN YOUR’S :)

[IMG]http://i28.tinypic.com/fxfku8.jpg[/IMG]

• blabla

man ur the best very cool outcome

• ihateu

hate it

• http://brawka Brawka

NERDS! Weird, but easy tut. NERDS NERDS NERF!!!

• vientoamares

an amazing tutorial! thanks a lot! i am trying to follow your steps using AI CS5 and in the very first steps when we make the handle and intersect the 1st 2 rectangulars with the ellipse… i keep losing round corners of the rectangle! could you help me out with this? once again – thank you!

• http://bucketothought.com/loungekat/blog/ LoungeKat

Make a rounded corner rectangle with the tool in the tools panel (in the same tab as rectangle), if you option + click on the canvas you can change the corner radius from there.

• Zumbi

Very nice tutorial, and thank you.

Here is my result

[img]http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/224/lightsabers.jpg[/img]

• http://bucketothought.com/loungekat/blog/ LoungeKat

Great work!

• http://ducsu.com ducsu

In step 7, how do I change the black to different percentage? I tried using the greyscale and adjust it with the given percentage but it doesn’t look like the tutorial.