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Photoshop has so many resources and filters to add retro light leak effects to raster images. Sometimes when working with vectors, you get tired of looking at those clean, flat colors all the time, but don’t really have the same options as Photoshop. Sure, you can open your final vector in Photoshop and add the filters there, but what if you need to maintain the integrity of your vector and want to avoid any bitmaps or raster effects?

In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to use Adobe Illustrator to create a purely vector light leak effect for use in your designs. You can use the following technique to create a light leak to overlay on any vector image you want to add some extra flair to.

As always, you can purchase our light leak effect set, which includes 6 pre-made vector effects.  Click the button below to go to our product page.

Vector Light Leak Effects

Step 1: Set up your artboard. For our tutorial, we are using an art board set at 463 x 665 pt. I have placed a basic black rectangle for the background set at 96% C,M,Y,K. We aren’t going to use the black background when we overlay the light leaks onto our designs; it just helps to see the effects as you draw them out.

Step 2: Before we get started, you will want to set up your Blend Options. Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Set the Spacing to “Specified Steps” and the number at around 35+.

Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

Step 3: I am going to start by drawing out a free form shape, making sure to cut off any edges that fall off the art board (or you can just crop them with a clipping mask). This first shape is going to have a color of #C95628 with the Transparency set to Normal at 0%. Draw another blob that is smaller than the first using the same color, but this one will be set at 37% transparency.

Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

Step 4: With both of the shapes selected, go to Object > Blend > Make (Alt + Ctrl + B). Set the Transparency of the blend to Screen at 100%.

Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

We are going to use steps 3 to 4 to create some more blends with different colors the settings for the Transparency are the same for all blends:
Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

Colors set to #90C854
Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

#F15E40
Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

#5F9ED3
Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

#FFFFFF
Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

#FCB977

And… that’s it. Take your Light Leak and paste it on top of any vector image you would like.

 

Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

Vector light leak illustrator tutorial

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