How to create illustration for 40 minutes and save money

Shutterstock is an American stock and editing tools provider headquartered in NY (thx, capt, i hust like typography of this caption)

Now’s the time to pass exam for Shutterstock and save money. Let’s do it together. No, there wouldn’t be any plagiarism. Only lifehacks. You need to have basic knowledge about color, composition and sense of taste for making something your’s. I just wanna you to see an example. So, let’s go. Fix time: 22 p.m.

We need for next scripts: ‘Random Select’ (free), ‘SuperMagicEraser’ (7$), ‘FreeStockMaster’ (free).

1.Create standard Illustrators’s file 1000 x 1000 px with RGB profile, black background and dimension at least 300 dpi.

2. Make a rectangle 100 x 100 px with #4c4c4c fill color. Go to Effect -> 3D -> Exctrude&Bevel. Set ‘Isometric Top’ in field ‘Position’. I will not disturb you with a lot of details in this dialog, just set the settings as on the picture below

3. We need for more isometric buildings, so copy the building with step 140 px (shifting Shift + Left Arrow / Down Arrow 14 times). Select both copies and copy again with step 70 / 40 px (horizontal / vertical). Multiply it over all artboard.

4. Go to Scripts -> Random Select and set 50%. After we need to make all selected objects with +10% Brightness. Choose B-parameter using the HSB model in Color Picker and click ‘Shift’+Up Arrow. Press ‘Ok’. Yes, half of the buildings became brighter.

5. Now we created a template, but there is no need for buildings’ amount like this. Go to Scripts -> Random Select. Set Max amount as about 30% and press Ok. Press ‘Delete’. Repeat with random selection and drag to top selected buildings. Ok, awesome. Repeat and correct last operation till the result will OK for you.

6. Now’s the time to add some simple details like panels, balls and some color. Select a building and replace 300 px on 30 px in ‘Extrude Depth’-parameter (‘3D Extrude&Bevel’ in ‘Appearance’-panel). Here it is, our little panel, just copy 3 times and distribute to some distance. Copy this symbol several times over your artboard. Do the same with the ball (ball needs for some gradient mesh). Give darker color some of the balls and panels.

7. Make a little ball and distribute over artboard but in properly rhythm. There shouldn’t be too many balls. Give blue color to some of them.

8. Next step is to save for Shutterstock in a proper way. I use script ‘SuperMagicEraser’. It deletes everything outside artboard (before using go to Object -> Expand Appearance — it will be useful in any case).

9. Use FreeStockMaster for deleting open paths, empty objects and unuseful colors / symbols, etc. Now our file is ready for saving. Go to Save as -> Choose ‘eps’ format -> Set version of Illustrator like 8 or 10 (there could be noticed with warnings, nothing bad):

10. Also Shutterstock requires jpg-preview at least 600 px with the smallest side, 300 dpi and the same name of the file. Do it!


Done! What time is it? 22.42 p.m. 9 times more and I can publish these pics. After some time my pics will appear in my user profile (or not, and I must fix mistakes made in previous steps or, maybe, my art seems too unique for stocks and inspectors considered it as unsuitable :))

  • By the way: if you will operate with symbols, it will allow you to create quickly different color schemes by editing symbol in one place

Waiting for an update next time. Let’s see how many downloads will bring me this season.

UPD. The next day (!) they sent me the following letter:

Hip hip hurray!!!