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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'll show you how to create a design inside Illustrator that looks like money, because after all, who doesn't like looking at money? But let me give you a sense of how this works. We're going to take the design from last week and then we're going to add some scalloped edges around that black circle, as well as adding the number 5 of course. And then we'll create this double wavy line pattern around the circle using dynamic effects, and then finally we'll go ahead and sculpt the number 5 so it looks like money.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Here's that money style emblem so you have a chance to see it on screen. I'm going to switch back to this version of the illustration here, and the first thing we want to do is add some scalloping to the edges of this black circle in the background. So I'm going to scroll down my list here inside the Layers panel and click in the upper right corner of the circle 5 layer in order to select that shape. Then, I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and choose Zig Zag, which allows me to create a scalloping pattern, and it really becomes effective once we add the stroke, but we need to approach the fill first.
So I'm going to change the Size value to 6, and I happen to be working in pixels, because this is a web document, and I'm going to take the Ridges per segment number up in just a moment after I turn on the Preview check box so I can see what I'm doing. I don't want to add these corners to my path outline, so I'm going to switch the Points to Smooth, like so, and that gives us this kind of waving edge. And then I'll click inside the Ridges per segment value and I'll press the Up Arrow key in order to take that value up to 9. Then click OK.
Now I want to add some extra ridges that will come in very handy once we add the stroke. So I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and then choose the Transform command. I'll turn on the Preview check box so I can see what I'm doing. I'm going to take the Copies value up to 1, and then I'm going to nudge the Angle value up to 9 degrees, which is the point at which we see even scalloping. All right, now go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. Now I want to apply a stroke, but I want the stroke to appear in front of all the spirograph pattern, so it needs to go to a different layer.
So I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command, or you can press Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac, then switch all the way up to the number 5 layer, turn it on, and click on that layer to make it active. Now I want you to go to the Layers panel flyout menu and turn off this command right here, Paste Remembers Layers. So it should be off for this next step to work. Then you want to click on the 5 in order to select it and go up to the Edit menu and choose Paste in Front or press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac, and you should see that big scallop circle in the foreground.
Now we want to get rid of the fill and replace it with the stroke. So switch over to the Appearance panel and grab the Fill and drag it to the Trash, just to get rid of it. Then click on the Stroke to make it active, and we want this Stroke color to be White, and then I'll take the Line Weight value up to 4 points. I want to add a black edge around that white stroke, so I'll click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel in order to duplicate the Stroke. Then I'll switch to the rear most stroke, change its color to black, and then I'll take the Stroke Weight value up from 4 points to 6 points.
And we end up getting this braided effect, as you can see right here. That might be exactly what you're looking for; in my case it's not. I want to see a continuous white edge that has a black outline behind it, and to achieve that effect you need to grab the Transform effect here inside the Appearance panel and drag it above the Stroke and Fill, directly below Zig Zag, and you'll end up achieving this effect here. Now at this point I decided this white stroke should actually be a kind of pale shade of green, as is the case with American money.
So I went ahead and Shift+Clicked on the white swatch in order to bring up the RGB values here, and I changed the Red value to 230, entered a Green value of 235, and then I took the Blue value down to 200. Now let's take care of this 5 here. I'll click on it to make it active. Notice that I've gone ahead and converted this character to a path outline, so that you're not going to get any kind of font warning. And I'm going to need two Fills; one for the black shadow and another for the interior of the letter. So I'll go ahead and click on the Fill to make it active and then click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel in order to duplicate it.
And I'll Shift+Click on that Fill swatch for the uppermost Fill in order to bring up my RGB values, and I'll dial in those same values as before; that is a Red value of 230, a Green value of 235, and a Blue value of 200. Now I'll click on the black fill in the background there and I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and choose Transform, because I want to move it down and to the right. So I'm going to increase the Horizontal value to 4 pixels and I'll take the Vertical value up to 4 pixels as well, turn on the Preview check box, and you can see that creates a hard edge shadow. Then click OK.
Next, I want to expand the shadow a little. So I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Path, and then choose Offset Path, and I'm going to take that Offset value up to 2 pixels, and then I'll turn on the Preview check box to see how it looks. That's great! Then I'll click OK. Now I want to add a couple of strokes. The first stroke needs to be behind the green fill. With the black fill selected, I'll drop down to this first icon at the bottom of the panel, Add New Stroke and click on it, and that should go ahead and add a black stroke by default.
And then I went ahead and took the Line Weight value up to 4 points, like so. Finally what we want to do is add a little bit of tracing on the inside of the letter. I think that's pretty much what sells this effect. So I'm going to click on the Fill to make it active and then I'll add another Stroke by clicking on that Add New Stroke icon once again. And this time I want the Stroke Weight to be 0.5, and I want to move it inward, and you do that by going up to the Effect menu, choosing Path, and choosing Offset Path again. However, this time I'm going to take the Offset value down to -3 pixels, then I'll turn on the Preview check box and you can see that we end up tracing on the inside of the character.
Now I'll click OK in order to accept that change. The only thing left is to change the color of the spirograph pattern. So I'm going to click anywhere on any one of these path outlines here to select it, and then I'll go up to the Control panel. On the far right side here is this Select Similar Options icon. Go ahead and click on the down pointing arrow head and confirm that All is selected, in which case you then want to click on the icon itself inward to select all of the paths that match those same attributes. Now go over to the left side of the Control panel and Shift+Click on the Stroke swatch right there, and I'm going to dial in those same values again; a Red value of 230, a Green value of 235, and a Blue value of 200, and I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac so I can see what the heck I'm doing.
Notice that we can see a little bit of green out beyond the seal now, and we can mitigate that little by changing the blend mode here in the Transparency panel from Normal to Screen, but it doesn't actually do anything, because there's nothing to mix with in the background. We can't just mix with page white, and we'll take care of that in just a moment. But in the meantime, I'm going to take the Opacity value down to 75%. Let's give those lines something to mix with so that the Screen mode can do its work. I'll switch back to the Layers panel, scroll all the way to the bottom, to the circle 5 layer, and click in its upper right-hand corner, like so, in order to select that shape.
We can't currently see it because I've got my selection edges turned off, so I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to bring them back. And then I'll press Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac to copy that path, and I'll press Ctrl+B or Command+B on the Mac in order to paste it in back. I'll switch back over to the Appearance panel, click on the flyout menu icon in the upper right corner and choose Clear Appearance to get rid of everything that's going on where that path outline is concerned, and then I'll click in the Fill swatch right there and I'll change it to white.
Now we need to make the path larger by double- clicking on the Scale tool here inside the Toolbox. I came up with a uniform value of 120%, then I clicked OK, and you can see that now those faint lines completely disappear. Now if you press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac you'll deselect the artwork. And that's how you turn spirographs into a currency quality emblem here inside Illustrator.
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