Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background

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In this tutorial, we will show you how to use Tranfuchsian’s Premium light effect brushes to create an abstract audio wave background.  You will learn how to modify a simple line using Adobe Illustrator’s built in Distort Effects and then apply our special light brushes to the lines.

 

Before You Begin:

Purchase and download Transfuchisan’s Premium Light Effect brushes:

lightbrushesdl

Step 1: Set up your artboard (we are using a standard letter size 11 x 8.5 inches for this tutorial).  Create a rectangle set at the size of your artboard and fill it with a full color black background.  I am using:  C: 96 M: 89 Y: 78 K: 77.  If you are planning to use any colors other than blue, you will want to set your colors accordingly.

Step 2: Using the pen tool, you will create a simple white horizontal line across your artboard. To help see the effects in the next step, you may want to increase the stroke size to 2 or 3.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background Step 2

 

Step 3: Select the line you just created and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen.  When the dialogue box opens up, click on the Preview button so that you can see the changes that you are making to the line.  For the first scribble line, we are going to make it tall and spread apart.  I set the size at 15% and the Detail down to 4.  Hit OK when you are happy with your line.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Step 3

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Step 3

 

Step 4: We are going to do this same process so that we have a total of 4 lines that overlap each other.  Create a new layer and draw another horizontal white line.  You will follow the same process to apply the Roughen effect to the new line, but we are going to change the settings a little bit.   I want this line to be a little tighter, so I lower the size to 8% and the detail to 5.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Step 4

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Step 4

 

Step 5: Repeat this process so that you have at least 4 different lines at different heights. Make sure to put each new line on a separate layer to make it easier to apply the stroke effects.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Step 5

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Step 5

 

Step 6: Once you have created all of your lines, we are going to apply Transfuchsian’s Light Brushes to the lines to give them their glow. First thing you will want to do is open up the light brush set with the pointed ends.

Step 7: Here are the settings I used for each line.  Your preferences may differ, but this is how the example image is set up (lines listed from bottom to top):

 

Line 1: On the first line, we are going to use the darker teal colored brush, set the stroke to 2pt, and then set the transparency mode to Color Dodge at 100%

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Line 1

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Line 1

 

Line 2: Same settings as the first line. 3pt stroke with Color Dodge at 100%.  For the brush, I used the lighter blue/gray brush.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Line 2

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Line 2

 

Line 3: Stroke set to 0.75pt, Transparency set to Screen at 100%. Light brush used is the lighter teal brush.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Line 3

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Line 3

 

Line 4: Stroke set to 2 pt, Transparency set to Color Dodge at 63%.  Using the same darker teal brush as in Line 1.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Line 4

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Line 4

 

With each layer turned on, your image should look something like the one below:

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - All Together

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – All Together

 

Step 8: Now we will add two short horizontal lines on top of all of your other layers.  I have set these lines to a 3pt stroke, transparency mode to color dodge.  I am using the lighter blue brush for these.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Step 8

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Step 8

 

These lines will give us the baseline, strike through effect seen below:

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Step 8

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Step 8

 

 

Step 9: Finally, we will use the scatter brushes to add some more glowing texture to the overall design.  The first stroke, we will use the light blue brush (scatter brush 5) and draw a wavy line over the top of the main design area.  This stroke will be set at 1 pt with the transparency mode set to normal.  The second stroke, we will use the same brush, but set the stroke to 3pt and the transparency mode to Screen.

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Step 9

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Step 9

 

Step 10: Make any adjustments to the placement of your strokes and scatter brushes. Add more or less sparkle to it with the scatter brushes and as always, experiment until you get the effects you want. Congratulations, you are done!

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background

 

 

Additional Experimentation:

Since Transfuchsian’s light brushes are so versatile, you can use the same strokes you created to change the colors and layout of the design without having to re-draw everything. Applying different brushes can create a number of different effects using the same lines.

 

Here are some examples of what can be done simply by changing the brushes:

 

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Alternate 1

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Alternate 1

 

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Alternate 2

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Alternate 2

 

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background - Alternate 3

Illustrator Tutorial – How to create an abstract audio wave light effect background – Alternate 3

This tutorial was featured in the following articles:

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