Step 1: Create a new document, it doesn’t matter what size, because you can resize vector graphics to any size you want without losing quality.

You can adjust your gradient in the gradient palette (if you don’t see it go to Window > Gradient of press F9). Make a gradient similar to the one I created on the right. It doesn’t matter which colors you use, as long as you have the light one on the left and the darker one on the right. Slide the little diamond all the way to the right, this way the darker color will only be visible on the outside of your circle.


Step 2:

Make a gradient from top to bottom with white on top and black on the bottom. In the next step we’ll work our magic and create the

transparent gradient.

Step 3: Select both ellipses you just created by holding

CTRL and clicking on the small small circles in the layers palette. If you did it right there will now be two blue squares in you layers palette.

Now go to your Transparency palette and click on the little arrow on the top right and choose

Make Opacity Mask.

If you can’t find your transparency palette go to Window > Transparency or press Shift+F9.

NB.  If you are using a Mac, replace the CTRL key with OPT.

Step 4: Step 4??? There is no

step 4! You’re done! And, if you did it right, you should end up with

something that resembles my example on the left.

Of course, you can use this with any shape possible but you will have to be more creative with the highlights.

The underlying technique will be the same for all of them.