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Chinese Bamboo

Do you like the bamboo scene on my Flash site? Well, here is

the quick tutorial. This tutorial will show you how to illustrate Chinese bamboo with Illustrator
Symbol Sprayer and Mesh Tool.

Version: Illustrator 10+

Download Source File

1. Draw bamboo body

Create a path like the image shown below with the Pen Tool and fill it with green color. Then,
select Mesh Tool click on the lower left corner of the bamboo body(pt. 1) and pick a lighter
tone color(yellow-green). Then, add another Mesh point at the upper left corner of the
bamboo(pt. 2). Just a little right above pt. 2, add another point(pt. 3). Now, add the final point
beside pt. 2 and select a darker tone green for shadow.

2. Create bamboo stick

Select the bamboo body you’ve created in previous step, hold down the ALT key, drag it up to
make a copy (you can use Copy & Paste if you like). Then shrink the new bamboo body
horizontally with Selection Tool. Send this new bamboo body behind the first bamboo body by
select Object > Arrage > Send Backward or press Ctrl+[. Repeat this step until you get a stack
of 5 or 6.
3. Duplicate bamboo stick

After you’ve finished the first bamboo, make a copy of it by ALT drag or Copy & Paste. Select
the new bamboo stick, apply Filter > Distort > Twist(Angle=3) so that they don’t look

4. Draw a bended bamboo

We want the bamboo look natural, not Copy & Paste, so we need to create a bended bamboo.
Repeat Step 1 & 2 to create a bended bamboo like the image shown below. Now we 3 different
versions of bamboo: straight, bended, and twisted.
5. Duplicate more bamboo

Make more bamboo by ALT + drag. Selectively copy from different version of bamboo, resize
them or flip them around so they don’t look alike.

6. Create bamboo leaves

Create your bamboo leaves like the image on the left(below) and fill it with different tone of
green. Again, use Mesh Tool to create the lighter spot.
7. Make a bamboo leaves Symbol

After you done with the leaves, drag it to the Symbols Pallate to create a new Symbol. If your
Symbols Pallate is not showing, go to Window > Symbols or press Ctrl+Shift+F11.

8. Symbol Sprayer Tool

Create a new layer and lock the bamboo sticks layer(Layer 1). Select Symbol Sprayer Tool and
pick the bamboo leaves Symbol you have created in previous step. Spray it on Layer 2 by
dragging the mouse.
9. Symbol Sizer Tool

Now, we need to create various size of bamboo leaves. Select Symbol Sizer Tool, randomly click
on the bamboo leaves object. Tips: hold down ALT key+click to reduce size.

10. Symbol Spinner Tool

Use Symbol Spinner Tool to rotate/spin Symbols.

11. Symbol Shifter Tool

Use Symbol Shifter Tool to spread(by drag) bamboo leaves out.

12. Symbol Stainer Tool

Select a lighter yellow-green tone color and use Symbol Stainer Tool to stain Symbols (stain
Symbols randomly).
13. Symbol Screener Tool

Use Symbol Screener Tool to reduce bamboo leaves Opacity (selectively click on the leaf
symbols). This will get a see-through effect.

14. Make more leaves behind

After you done with the leaves on Layer 2, make a new layer(Layer 3) and drag it to the bottom
of the layer list. Lock Layer 1 and Layer 2, use Symbol Sprayer Tool to make more bamboo
leaves(refer to Step 8-13) on Layer 3.
15. Add more bamboo sticks

Finally, duplicate more smaller bamboo sticks and send them behind the big bamboo sticks.

16. Final!

Here is the final image.