The blend tool in Adobe Illustrator is often used to create abstract wave graphics, but I’ve been experimenting with some additional adjustments and discovered some handy tricks to create sci-fi inspired digital particle waves. This kind of imagery perfectly complements hi-tech interface designs with colourful data visualisation effects, or it could be used to create abstract art in its own right. We’ll create the initial effect in Adobe Illustrator, where I’ll show you a few options for randomising the result, then switch over to Adobe Photoshop for some extra colour enhancements to really boost the vibrancy.
The artwork we’ll be creating as part of this tutorial is an abstract array of particles that flow in various directions. Bright colours that transition across the waves and subtle glow effects add to the sci-fi appearance. The complexity of the final result all depends on the number of adjustments you make to the vector paths. You could create chaotic pieces with particles flowing in all directions, or carefully draw paths to replicate a graph or soundwave.
Begin by opening Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. These effects work best against a dark background, so draw a rectangle to cover the artboard, then give it a black fill. Lock the shape in place to avoid accidentally selecting it by using the CMD+2 shortcut, or Object > Lock > Selection menu.