Chrome, silver, gold, leather and glass are all textures that can make up a watch. Creating a photo realistic vector watch is my current project in Adobe Illustrator. I began by looking at several different styles of watches to decide which direction I would go. There were so many to choose from that I could tell it would be hard to decide.
After sketching several different watches from photos I had researched. After drawing the different parts of a watch I tried to design some watches of my own. I tried all different shapes of watch faces and bands. By carefully drawing the different elements of a watch it was kind of fun to put together different possibilities with the various items. Now it was time to head to Adobe Illustrator and start my draft.
As you can see from my draft, there is a lot of repetition in a watch. Using the rotate tool is essential when creating the minute and hour marks. I used the gradient tool to create the rings around the watch face and the Gaussian blur effect for some of the highlights and shadows in the watch face.
Here you can see a close up of the hour mark with the highlights and shadows. They move around the watch face depending on the direction of the light source with the lighter highlight facing the light and the shadow in the opposite direction.
This is a close up of the minute, hour and second hands. The shadows add contrast to the design to help add depth to the overall realistic look of the watch.
One of my biggest challenges was creating a mother-of-peal texture for my watch face. I used the gradient mesh tool, lots of color and tons of patience to get this texture. I was very pleased with the final outcome. I masked it with a circle and placed it in the watch.
I added glass to the front, gradients and shadows to the bands for a leather look and gradients to the gold portions of the band depending on the light source. This has been a truly difficult challenge but one I’m grateful to have tackled. Creating a photo realistic vector watch has taught me to not only look, but to really see all of the subtle shapes that exist in our world.
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