Sunburst in Illustrator

Sunburst in Illustrator
In the last article, we discussed the sunburst background image that I used in the YouTubeTM channel art for Mygrafico. In this tutorial, we will create that sunburst graphic in IllustratorR.

The image will be used to fill an area that is 2560 x 1440 pixels. But since this is a vector image, we can draw it once and resize it to fit any purpose.

  1. First, we need to draw a circle in Illustrator, with the Stroke set to any color and the Fill set to null.

    We will us the Dash Line option in the Appearance panel to create the sunburst rays.

  2. With the circle selected, open the Appearance panel and click the Stroke layer. In the dialog box, set the Stroke Weight to 400 pts. This number may vary depending on the size of your circle. But we want the stroke large enough to "fill" our circle except for a small center.

  3. To create the rays, check the box for Dashed Line. Set the point size in the first dash box to about 20 pts. The number of points will determine the number and thickness of the rays. To get fewer but thicker rays, use a higher number of points.

  4. To space the rays equal distance apart, click the second box on the right.

    Now, we will use the Expand Appearance option to convert each ray into a separate shape.

  5. With the entire sunburst selected, click Object - Expand Appearance. Next, click Object - Expand to open the dialog box. Check both the Fill and Stroke and click OK. You will see a path appear around each ray.

    To close the inner hole, we will use the Average option.

  6. Use the Direct Selection tool to select all of the anchor points of the inner circle. Click Object - Path - Average. In the dialog box, check both Horizontal and Vertical Axis.

    At this point, we can set the stroke and fill as needed. But what if you want to use only the top half of the sunburst, as in the Mygrafico banners. We can remove the unwanted part of the sunburst using the Intersect option in the Pathfinder.

  7. First we need to draw a rectangle over the area we wish to keep. In my case, I want to keep the top half of the sunburst.

  8. Select both the rectangle and the sunburst. In the Pathfinder panel, click the Intersect icon. Everything that you wish to remove should disappear.

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This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.