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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques! This week I'm going to show you how to create a magically updating pattern inside Illustrator. I know you're thinking "What? Does Illustrator seriously now offer magic?" and the answer is yes. And were going to take this ornament and we're going to shrink it down, modify its colors a little bit, and duplicate it over and over again, as you can see here, but there's only one original in the upper-left corner. We make any modifications to that original object right there and Illustrator, just bang, just like that, like magic.
I tell you, updates the pattern on the fly. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. We're going to start things off with this basic flower ornament. Now everything about this flower lives on the flowers layer. If you twirl open the flowers layer here inside the Layers panel, you'll see that we have a couple of groups that represent the petals, and we've got an object called path, which is the central circle, and the compound path, which is the ring around the circle. And that's it. That's all that's going on here. You can go ahead and twirl close flowers layer and target it by clicking on its circular so-called meatball, and then were going to apply a dynamic effect by going up to the Effect menu, choosing Distort and Transform, and choosing the best dynamic effect there is, I swear to you, Transform.
Very basic, seemingly conventional command that is outrageously capable. I want you to go ahead and increase the copies value to 1, turn on the preview check box, and then click inside the Horizontal option and press Shift+Up Arrow in order to begin moving that object to the right. And you'll eventually want to move this object a total of 88 points. So go ahead and enter a Horizontal value of 88 points, and you'll see a clone of this object appear on the right-hand side.
Now I want you increase the copies value until you fill the entire screen. So notice that I am raising the copies value by clicking inside of it and pressing the up arrow key until I arrive at a total of eight copies, so that we have a row of nine ornaments. Then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. Now, if you go to the Appearance panel, you can see that we've got a dynamic Transform effect the we can change anytime we like just by clicking on the word Transform. Then we see the Transform dialog box, complete with the values we just entered right there, waiting for you to change your mind.
All right, so I'm going to cancel out because I'm not going to change my mind. I like what I have. Notice also that we're applying Transform to the entire layer. So if we put any more stuff on this layer, it'll get transformed too. All right, next I'm going to go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort and Transform, and choose the Transform command again. Now, Illustrator is going to produce this message saying, hey, you know this isn't the way you modify your existing transformation; this is going to apply yet another helping of the same effect. Well, that's exactly what I want, so I'll click Apply New Effect in order to bring up the dialog box once again.
I want you to increase that copies value to 1, turn on the Preview checkbox, and now go ahead and click inside the Vertical option and press Shift+Up Arrow in order increase that value and watch a copy of that entire row emerge. I'm going to go ahead and take this value to 88 points as well. So bear in mind that positive Horizontal values move things to the right and positive Vertical values move things down. If you want to move up or to the left, you want to enter a negative value. Now I'm going to increase that copies value by clicking inside of it and pressing the up arrow key.
And all told, I want five copies of this row, so we now have a total of 9x6 of these ornaments, so a total of 54 ornaments in all. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. Now this is were you might look at the document and say, well, why would you do this? I mean this is a tile pattern. You could create a tile pattern and then fill any object with that tile pattern that you like. Yes, but what we're seeing right here is much more flexible, because I can change any piece of this original flower and all the duplicates, all 54 of those replicants, will change along with.
And notice they're all linked to the one. If I press Control+Y, or Command+Y on the Mac, in order to switch to the outline mode, all of those objects disappear, because they are being created dynamically on the fly. All right. I'll press Control+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, in order to switch back to the preview mode. I'm going to click off those objects to deselect them, and let's say I decide to change something about this artwork. For example, I'll go ahead and click-- using my Black Arrow tool--I'll go ahead and click on those inner petals, and I'll click on my fill swatch up here in the control panel. And I've already created a swatch in advance.
It's this pale orange. I'll go ahead and click on it to apply it, and notice that every single one of the clones updates on the fly. That is not something you can do with conventional tile patterns inside of Illustrator. It is something you can do with dynamically transformed patterns like I'm showing you here. All right, I'm going to make a couple of other changes. I'm going to click on this ring right there in order to select it, go back up to the control panel, click on that fill swatch, and select burgundy as my color. And anytime along the way, if you're trying to find out exactly what the CMYK values are, you can see them listed here inside the Color panel.
All right, now I'll go and click off once again, click on that central circle to select it, go back up to the fill swatch and change it to pale green. And so in a manner as seconds I'm able to completely transform my entire document. All right, let's say this isn't really what I want, because if I switch back to the Layers panel, you'll see that I've got a layer called text. If I turn it on, it's that You're Invited text that we saw in the previous movies. It doesn't look right against this busy colored background, and so what I need to do is come up with a more muted effect. Fair enough.
I'm going to go and zoom in on my flowers in the upper left-hand corner of the document, and I'll grab my Rectangle tool, which I can get by pressing the M key. And I'll Alt+Drag or Option+Drag from the center outward, like so. And I'll go ahead and press the Shift key as I do, to create an exact square. And I want the square to be about that big, actually, is going to work out just fine. And notice, because I went ahead and drew that square on the flowers layer, it magically replicates all over the document, and that's because that flowers layer is automatically set up to create 53 copies of whatever it is I draw, because once again, we applied those transform effects to the entire layer.
All right, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in once again. I'll go up to the control panel, click on the fill swatch, and select that final swatch that I created in advanced, terra-cotta. And I'll send this rectangle to the back of the stack by right-clicking inside the illustration window, choosing Arrange, and then choosing Send to Back. Or you can press the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+Left Bracket, Command+Shift+Left Bracket on the Mac. Now I'm going to to apply a dynamic effect to this rectangle, so I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort and Transform, and choose the Roughen command. And the values that I came up with, by the way, were an absolute value--so I'll go ahead and select Absolute there-- an absolute value of 4 points for this size, and if you want to see what you're doing, turn on the preview checkbox.
I'm going to change the detail value to 14 per inch, and I want these to be corner points so that they're nice and jagged. This looks great. Then I'll click OK in order to accept that modification, and notice of course all the other squares change exactly in kind. Then I'll return to my Black Arrow tool and I'll basically select everything that isn't selected on this layer by going out to the Select menu and choosing the Inverse command, or pressing Control+Shift+I, Command+Shift+I on the Mac. Now because my text is turned on, because this layer is active, that goes ahead and selects the text as well.
I'm going to click on the eyeball in order to not only hide the text--we can't see it hide on screen--but that hid the text, and it also deselected it. And now I'm going to change the fill of all these objects by going up to the fill swatch, for the final time in this movie, here in the control panel, and clicking on white. And that goes ahead and makes all of those objects white, as you see them. Now at this point I think I might want to make that square a little bigger, so I'm going to go ahead and marquee around this region in order to select it, because Roughen is another one of these dynamic effects.
The square is still a square, so it's a little hard to locate sometimes. And I'll go and grab the Scale tool here, and I'll drag away from that center point while pressing the Shift key until I get an effect that resembles something like this. It looks good to me. All right, now let's see what we've done. I'll press Control+0, Command+0 on the Mac, in order to zoom out. I'll turn on that text layer so that we can see the text against the new background. I'll press Control+Semicolon, or Command+ Semicolon on the Mac, to hide my guidelines. And that's the final version of the magically updating pattern, thanks in large part to the power of dynamic effects here inside Illustrator.
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