Quick Tip: Creating Grunge Brushes in Adobe Illustrator

Quick Tip: Creating Grunge Brushes in Adobe Illustrator

Add grunge specs to your vector artwork

Adding grunge specs and scratches in Adobe Illustrator is essential in creating a hand made or roughened look to your vector artwork. Doing so is easier than you think when you incorporate custom scatter brushes into your work flow. Below I'll explain my process for creating these brushes.

Step 1 - Find a good subtle grunge texture

First up, find a good subtle grunge texture. You can download the one I'm using here. Open the texture in Photoshop. Desaturate the image by pressing Cmd+Shift+U. Now select Image | Adjust | Threshold and using a setting around 200. This converts the texture to just black and white removing all gray tones from the image. create a grunge brush in adobe illustrator for your vector artwork Now select a square section anywhere on the image, and press Cmd+C to copy it to the clipboard. Open Adobe Illustrator and press Cmd+V to paste the selection onto a new document. create a grunge brush in adobe illustrator for your vector artwork

Step 2 - Auto trace in Illustrator

Now that you're in Illustrator, select the newly pasted texture portion and click Object | Live Trace | Tracing Options. In the Tracing Options panel be sure to click "Ignore White" then click Trace. create a grunge brush in adobe illustrator for your vector artwork Not that the image is traced, click Object | Expand so that the grunge is selectable as a vector object. create a grunge brush in adobe illustrator for your vector artwork

Step 3 - Create a custom scatter brush

Now open the brushes panel by clicking Windows | Brushes. Then click and drag the vector grunge over to the brushes panel. In the window that opens choose "Scatter Brush". create a grunge brush in adobe illustrator for your vector artwork For the scatter brush options choose something similar to what I have below. create a grunge brush in adobe illustrator for your vector artwork Now with your newly created scatter brush selected on the brush panel, draw some random paths and watch the magic happen. create a grunge brush in adobe illustrator for your vector artwork Once you the amount of grunge you're looking for, select the paths and click Object | Expand again to get vector shapes from the scatter brush strokes you created. Simple as that!

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