In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to use envelope distort to create an old TV glitch effect in adobe illustrator.
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Step 1: Start by creating a new document and setting up your artboard. My image size is 625 x 550Start by filling the artboard with a shape and set the color to black. We are going to be using RGB for some of the effects, so make sure your color is set properly. To do this open your color window (F6) click on the menu and click on RGB.
Step 2: Lock this background layer and create a new layer above it. Type out your text. The font I am using here is called Antonio and can be found on Font Squirrel CLICK HERE
Step 3: Draw out a rectangle the size of your text.
Step 4: With the rectangle still selected to go Object > Create Gradient Mesh. You will get a pop up window. Set the rows to 5 and columns to 2 with the appearance set to Flat. Hit OK.
Step 5: With both your text and the Gradient Mesh selected, go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with top object.
Step 6: This is going to allow you to warp the text. You can play around with the nodes to see what moving around the mesh does to the text. Using the direct select tool (A) I am going to select the three nodes on the third line down. Hold Shift as you click each node to select more than one.
Step 7: With the three nodes selected, use your arrow key to nudge them over a few points (I hit the left arrow key on my keyboard 6 times).
Step 8: Select the three nodes on the line below and nudge those up a few and to the right a little.
Step 9: Select the bottom row of nodes and drag them down and to the left.
Again, feel free to experiment for different effects
Step 10: Draw out a rectangle starting at around halfway through the height of your letters. Make sure it covers up all the way across the letters.
Step 11: Select the letters and the box you drew out and create a clipping mask (Object > Clipping Mask > Make)
Step 12: Make a copy of your text layer. Lock the original text layer. Double click the clipping mask on the new layer so you can edit the bounds of the clipping mask. You may have to click around to find the original rectangle you used to make the clipping mask.
Step 13: Reposition the rectangle so that the rectangle is framing the top part of the letters. The easiest way to do this is to grab the “Selection Tool” V and hover over the bottom middle node until you get the little up/down arrow icon, then just click and drag up.
Step 14: Double click anywhere outside the artboard to exit isolation mode. Select the top letters and nudge them over to the left a little.
Step 15: Unlock the original letter layer. Select both sets of letters and lower the Opacity to around 80%. With both sets of letters still selected, make a copy (Ctrl+C), create a new layer UNDER the main letters and paste in back (Ctrl +B) onto the new layer.
Step 16: We are going to change the color of the letters and move them around a bit. Before you do this though, you will want to expand the envelope distort for these color layers. To do this simply select the letters and go to Object > Expand. You will get a pop-up, select Object and hit OK.
Step 17: Double click the top letters and change the color to Red. Do the same for the bottom letters.
Step 18: Nudge the letters a little to the left and down. Change the Transparency mode to Screen and lower the Opacity to around 50%.
Step 19: Make two copies of this layer and name one of them Green and change the letter color to green. Name the other layer Blue and change the letters to blue. Move these layers around randomly like you did with the red letters. Nothing exact here, you just want them to be offset from one another so it looks a little blurry.
Step 20: Create a new layer on top of all the other layers. Using the Pen tool draw a horizontal line at the top of your art board, set the stroke weight to 0.5pt and stroke color to white. Make a copy of this line and place it at the bottom of the art board.
Step 21: With both your lines selected, go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Set the spacing to “Specified Steps” and the number to 100. Hit OK.
Step 22: Go to Object > Blend > Make. This should draw out a bunch of lines for you. If there aren’t enough, or to many, go back to Blend Options and adjust the number.
Step 23: Once you are happy with the blend go to Object > Blend > Expand. Then, expand the strokes on the lines (Object > Expand – select “Stroke” and hit OK). Lower the Opacity to around 50% on the lines. Hit Ctrl + H to hide Illustrator’s bounding box so you can see the effects of the next step.
Step 24: Go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Make sure Preview is clicked on so you can see the effect. Make sure you have “horizontal” selected and adjust the bend to around 20% or whatever looks best with your sizing.
Step 25: Create a new layer. You are going to do steps 20 to 24 again, but change the stroke weight in Step 20 to 2 and change the blend in Step 21 to have less lines (I made mine 50 steps). Apply the same Bulge effect (your settings should still be the same). I also lowered the Opacity to 25% for these lines and went back to the smaller lines layer and also lowered it to 25%.
Step 26: Make a copy of the thicker line layer on top of all the other layers. Open the Appearance Panel and delete the Bulge effect.
Step 27: This should give a nice Moire texture. Go ahead and change the color of these lines to red, set the Transparency to Screen and Opacity to around 15%. Make two copies of this layer and change one to blue and the other to green.
I’m going to stop here, but you can keep playing around adding more lines, etc.
Note: because I’m a little lazy, the text “An Illustrator Tutorial” in the featured image was created with one of the Graphic Styles from Transfuchsian’s Text Effect styles v.2. Click the button below to see them all: