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Adobe Illustrator CS3 Web Graphics: Glass Balloons

written by: Amanda Presley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/2/2010

This tutorial will show you how to create glass balloons in Adobe Illustrator CS3. The process is actually very straightforward, and the finished designs can be used for web sites as well as for any of your desktop publishing projects.

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    Adobe Illustrator CS3 Web Graphics - glass balloons - finished This is the first tutorial in the Web Graphics series. In this tutorial I will show you how to create glass balloons. You can add as many balloons as you want. You can create one balloon or you can create a bunch of balloons. I will show you how to create the balloons and then you can take it from there.

    You will need to download a symbol file called Aqua Balls. The symbol file is free to download and it only takes a second to download it. You can click here to visit the page with the download. Go ahead and download and install the symbols and we will get started.

    First, you will need to open the aqua balls that you downloaded. Go to the top of your program and click Window > Symbol Libraries > Other. When the box opens, locate the symbols that you downloaded and unzipped. Click the symbol file and click the Open button. The aqua balls will open in your Illustrator window.

    In the Aqua Balls box, you will see the different balls. We are going to use the balls for the balloons. Grab one of the balls and drag it to your document. The balls will be really large. So, you will need to grab the transform tool and shrink it down some. You can go ahead and add more balls if you want too. To get them to look like they are behind one another, you will need to send some to the back. You can do that by right clicking and click Arrange > Send to Back.

    Now I will show you how to create the string for the balloons. Grab the pencil tool from the toolbar. Using your mouse, quickly draw a curvy line on your document. The reason I say quickly is because if you do it slow, the line will look all scraggly. The faster you do it, the better it looks. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It is a string.

    You can change the color of the string by changing the stroke color. You can also change the size by changing the stroke size. You can also change the style of the stroke by opening different brushes and applying the brushes to the strings. To open more brushes, go to the top of your window and click Window > Brush Libraries > and select a library of brushes to open. Click a brush will apply it to the string.

    You can also apply a drop shadow to the balloons to make them look like they are coming off of the page. To apply a drop shadow, click Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Tick the preview field and play around with the drop shadow to get it like you want it. That’s how you create balloons.