Adding dimension to your characters

When most people hear the words 'vector art' the first things that probably come to mind are flat shapes and solid colours. In the ever-changing world of digital character design, your personal style almost always determines your illustrative technique. While some styles call for a flat approach, others will need a little dimensionality to spice up the composition.

In this tutorial, we show you how to add the illusion of dimension to your vector illustrations by combining the effects of Adobe Illustrator's versatile linear and radial gradients. Along the way we'll also demonstrate how subtle (and believable) accents can be applied to your illustration to increase lasting visual appeal. By working within the basic tools of Illustrator, including Transparency and Pathfinder functions, and combining them with more complex tasks such as clipping masks, you can build a dynamic vector illustration that breaks the stereotype of 'flatness'.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.