Illustrator/ Photoshop question!

select the outside square.

now right click (PC) ctrl click (mac) on the path layer when you have the path you want selected and choose make selection. you will have the opportunity to feather the selection. for this first fill, im not going to feather it. you will be left with the exact selection. imagine…this could be a really complex shape.

Picture 23.png

i have filled this with a medium grey…but forgot to screen shot it up…

that fill was on a layer…now im gonna make an edge chamfer and put it on a sep layer. I keep this sep. because i dont want to affect the initial fill…especially if i have already added some shadding for depth or something.
Picture 26.png

now we havent unselected the shape of the grey rectangle…so we are going to do the right click (PC) ctrl click (mac) on the path layer when we select the inner path with the path selection tool. we will subtract from selection here.
Picture 28.png

i use white and black to add shaddow/highlight, but I would use a darker red and lighter red if rendering red for example. i dont like black and white on colors becasue i think it muddies the render up. gross. i think it is important to use white and black (or darker red and lighter red) with the opacity down way low…here i am showing 3%…to really build the shaddow. i think this creates a really clean look.
Picture 31.png
Picture 30.png
Picture 29.png

but because when i did the “subtract from selection” and kept the feather at 0 the edges are really hard…so what if this is a lycra or something…just type in a value for the feather option.
Picture 32.png

and using the same painting technique…i have really nice soft edges…all depends on the design intent of course…

i added some sketch lines just for the heck of it.

here is an image with the paths on top of a finished render. you can imagine how each selection was made, then filled, then rendered all by making a selection then subtracting away a shape inside of it.

a detail shot. you can see i have added a strong highlight around the bottom right of the scroll wheel.

and this from kg.

the top “lycra” has a highlight that you can see has been painted in gradually. it is stronger in the middle…just because i thought it shouldnt be quite so perfect across the top.

but yea. pretty much everything can be broken down to fills (the orange sole) and subtracted selections (the top orange highlight and bottom orange shaddow) to create form.

Thanks for this tutorial. Super helpful

no prob.

thats great to hear. i think it is amazing what we can learn from each other.


Nice! Thanks a lot D. REALLY appreciate you taking the time to do all of that. I’ll give this a try.


Thanks, looks like it could be very helpful to many people. Wether they help me or not, I always enjoy a good tutorial.

I love coming across this stuff, especially when I have the same questions! thanks for posting. super helpful

sharing is caring!

Cool rendering, I really like it!!!

Could you tell me how you made the sketch strokes, did you use a Tablet or did you stroke a path. Since I don’t have a Tablet it would be nice if you could tell us how to do it with a path


one way you can try to mimic that is to just stroke a path and use the eraser tool to get rid of the parts you dont want and feather out the ends. its not quite as good as an actual tablet… but it works in a pinch.