5 steps for drawing complex vector sun rays

This tutorial shows you how you can make sun rays in Adobe Illustrator, I’m using the CS3 version.

Before you start make sure you set your Fill color to None and Stroke color to Black or whatever color you prefer.

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Step 1 Your draw a circle. The one I drew was 100 px in diameter.

Step 2 Select Window>Stoke (Ctr+F10) to bring up the Stroke Panel and click on the Show options to view all the Stroke options.

Step 3 Now increase the Stroke Weight until you get something similar to a circle. For a diameter of 100 pixels a weight of 100 pixels should do it.

Step 4 Now Click of the Dashed Line option and… tadam!!! You have your Vector Sun Rays. But what if you want to spice things up?

Step 5 You play with the Dash/Gap Values!

Let’s try a 3-4-1 setting

Now a 5-3-2-1-12 setting

Make sure that before you use your customs sun rays you expand your circle by using OBJECT>EXPAND from the menu bar.

As you seen you can get some real funky, retro vector sun rays for your backgrounds in less than a minute. Your Vector Sun Rays are ready to be used in your backgrounds. You can easily add a Radial Gradient in Illustrator to add a bit of dept. You now have a cool background for your next illustration .

Keep a close eye on our blog for more Drop-Dead Tutorials.

Do you want to learn more about how to work with Photoshop?

See our Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials. They are all FREE. Also check all Free Vectors Category.

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56 Comments 5 steps for drawing complex vector sun rays

  1. Chris Feb 14, 2010 at 16:58

    Jebus man!!! That was too easy. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Lyrka Mar 16, 2010 at 08:39

    I did Object>Path>Outline Stroke to get the individual rays and that did the trick.

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

  3. CCG Mar 20, 2010 at 04:05

    Thank you so very much!

  4. seba Mar 31, 2010 at 07:46

    great!!!! really easy and fast!! thanks again!!!

  5. cygnusx1 Jul 28, 2010 at 03:14

    wow, it’s so great and detail tutorial…

  6. Abhinav Oct 19, 2010 at 01:24

    very nice technique !! I had been wasting so much of my energy on this lately.

  7. Bonita Nov 8, 2010 at 05:27

    oh wow!! ..and here I was thinking of the most complex ways to try and draw sun rays. I’m really glad I found this tutorial.. Thanks!! :)

  8. mrmr Nov 27, 2010 at 08:49

    thank’s Alot

  9. Purses for cheap Dec 6, 2010 at 15:10

    wassup, im really feeling this post but the other links arent working. You might wanna make sure your site works in IE 7 cuz you know that browser is prone to errors sometimes.

  10. L.H. Mar 1, 2011 at 15:46

    Ugh, this is ridiculously simple, I feel ridiculous for having spent hours trying to do this using masks and star shapes and all kinds of complicated Pathfinder tools. Illustrator is such an awesome tool, but so hard to penetrate sometimes. Thanks for making it this much easier!

  11. eikaT Apr 6, 2011 at 05:47

    sooo simple !!! i’ve thinking about ‘arrays’ and stuffs like that….ha ha ! THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing

  12. Jessica Oct 26, 2011 at 06:57

    I million thanks for your super efficient tutorial. Clean, simple and brilliant! Sure could have saved me
    some time on another recent design project…

  13. bob Oct 27, 2011 at 17:45

    OMG thanks alot!!!! takes seconds and is flexible…

  14. bob Oct 27, 2011 at 17:46

    remember to expand though

  15. oyaoya Dec 1, 2011 at 01:54

    wow, this is way easier to do than the rotate-duplicate method. really cool and super easy steps to follow. thanks!

  16. kate Dec 2, 2011 at 07:53

    luv it
    its gr8
    by the way it is much easier to draw with steps
    thnx u

  17. rudolf Dec 8, 2011 at 05:42


    so simple, so sweat


  18. Lauren Prueter Apr 19, 2012 at 01:59

    Wow this is the quickest way I've seen. You sir are a genius.

  19. Shelby Burns May 23, 2012 at 22:18

    this is genius! simple easy fast! woo

  20. Tim Aug 20, 2012 at 21:17

    Thank you so much! That is genius, and slippery quick. Thanks for sharing.


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