Pirate Flag in Illustrator CS5
Ahoy! Looking for a great flag graphic? Look no further. Aye, in this tutorial I am going to explain to you step-by-step how to create a pirate flag; consequently, you will gain knowledge of how to create any flag. I will show you how to create a pirate flag by using the pen tool, 3D effects, and the pathfinder palette. For those who are in love with pirates, this tutorial is for you. Yo-ho-ho.
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Open a New Illustrator Document (File > New) with a size of 500px by 400px.
NOTE: This step requires basic pen tool expertise.
The first thing we are going to do is to create the pirate skull for our flag. Select the Pen Tool (P) with a black 1pt stroke, and a white fill and draw a skull with two crossed swords similar to the following image:
Select all (Mac: Command + A / PC: Control + A) and go to Object > Group.
Select all the objects and drag them to the SYMBOLS palette (Window > Symbols). A Symbol Options dialog box will appear enter a Name and change the Type to Graphic.
Notice that now our object appears as a symbol at the SYMBOLS palette:
Now that our object was saved as a symbol we can delete the one that we have on our canvas.
Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw a 400px, black curved line:
With the line selected go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel and enter the following settings:
You should obtain the following 3D curved object:
Select the 3D object we created and at the APPEARANCE palette (Window > Appearance) click the 3D Extrude & Bevel link to open the 3D Extrude & Bevel Options dialog box again.
At the 3D Extrude & Bevel Options dialog box click the Map Art button. A Map Art dialog box will appear, at the Symbol drop-down menu select the symbol that you saved, and at the Surface option select an area that covers a big part of the 3D curved object.
Select the 3D object and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select just the black shape, go to the PATHFINDER palette and click Unite to convert the lines into a single shape.
Then, at the GRADIENT palette (Window > Gradient) select a Linear gradient Type like this one:
Now we are going to create a ragged flag effect. With the Pen Tool (P) or Pencil Tool (N) draw a shape with ragged edges like this one:
With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the black shape and move it to a side.
Notice that the skull and the curved line we drew at the beginning of this tutorial were left behind. We don’t need the curved line anymore, delete it.
Place the ragged shape on top of the flag like shown below:
Select the black part of the flag and the ragged shape, go to the PATHFINDER palette (Window > Pathfinder), and click Minus Front.
This will cut out the ragged shape out of the black flag.
Place the skull on top like it was before:
As a final touch, let’s make a pole.
Draw a brown pole like shown below. I used the Rectangular Tool (M) and the Ellipse Tool (L) to create it, and then I went to the PATHFINDER palette and clicked Unite.
With the pole selected go to Effect > 3D > Revolve. Leave the default settings and click OK.
Place the pole behind the flag.
Here is my final result:
Enhance your pirate flag as you like. For example, I added a drop shadow effect and a red border.
Me hearty, practice what you learned in this tutorial by creating more flags. Remember, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi. Arrgh! See Ya Chum!