Today we’ll learn how to create lens flare vectors with transparent backgrounds! We’ll do this using simple vector objects, blending modes, and the Flare Tool. Want a simple lens flare for your next illustration? If so, this easy tutorial has you covered. Let’s get started!

lens flare design

Tutorial Details: Realistic Lens Flare Vectors

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS4 – CC
  • Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Topics Covered: Gradient Tool and the Transparency panel
  • Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes

Final Image: Realistic Lens Flare Vectors


Step 1

In order to design our lens flare vectors, we’ll first create a new document (File> New …). We’ll then set the size of our artboard – 600x600px. Click on the Advanced button and set the RGB color mode, if it isn’t installed by default.

Lens Flare Vectors

Step 2

Next up is our semi-transparent background. Images with low-opacity can often provide more options when you’re creating a design or adding elements to an illustration. In order to make your semi-transparent background, create a light gray square using the Rectangle Tool (M). The dimensions of the rectangle should correspond to the size.

Lens Flare Vectors Tutorial

Now, in the top left corner of the artboard, let’s create a dark gray square with dimensions 20x20px.

Lens Flare Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Step 3

Select a dark gray square, then go Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform… and set the Horizontal Move value = 40px and 14 Copies in the dialog box.

Lens Flare tutorial

Apply the Transform effect once again and set the value and select the options shown in the figure below.

How to make lens flare vectors

Through these actions now our background looks like a chess board.

Step 4

Create a new square with the size of our artboard and fill it with a dark blue color, for example R = 5; G = 11; B = 20.

Lens Flare Vectors how to

Duplicate this square (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F). Apply to this object a linear gradient from gray (K = 50) to white.

how to create lens flare vectors

Step 5

Select the two upper squares, and then click on the Make Mask button in the Transparency panel to create an opacity mask.

fake lens flare tutorial

The semi-transparent background is ready. We can begin to create our lens flare vectors.

Step 6

With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L), create a circle in the center of the artboard. Fill the circumference with a radial gradient from gray (K = 30) to black (R = 0; G = 0; B = 0).

make lens flare in adobe

To this object, apply the Color Dodge blending mode in the Transparency panel.

how to design lens flare

Step 7

Duplicate the circle (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F). Fill the top of the circle with a radial gradient from white to black.

lens flare vectors

With the help of the Selection Tool (V) transform the upper circle to an ellipse and rotate it to any angle.

how to make lens flare vectors with transparent background

Step 8

Duplicate the last ellipse couple of times, and turn the copies into other angles. You can also resize and reduce the opacity of some ellipses. As the result, we receive a star similar to the one shown below.

lens flare vectors

how to create lens flare vectors

Step 9

Create a circle with a radial gradient fill from gray (K = 50) to black (R = 0; G = 0; B = 0) and place it in the center of the star.

how to make lens flare adobe

Apply to the circle Screen blending mode in the Transparency panel.

lens flare vectors illustrator how to

Step 10

Take the Flare Tool and click in the center of the top of the circle. In the dialog box, set the parameters similar to the ones shown on the figure below.

lens flare illustration tutorial

Lens flare vectors

I do not think that all objects of flare are needed. Select the Flare object, then go to Object> Expand… and choose only the Object option in the dialog box.

lens flare image tutorial

Step 11

Now we can remove some of the circles, leaving the necessary ones.

lens flare vectors

And edit the color of gradients of any of the circles, which were previously included in Flare object.

lens flare vectors

Note: I desaturated all gradients to flares light, so they can be used on any color background.

And we’re done! You can now quickly create lens flare vectors for your “bright” designs.