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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.
In this movie, I will show you how to create the universal symbol for female, and we will do so just as we did in the previous movie by combining a bunch of strokes on a single path outline. And then we will expand those strokes to create these final path outlines here. We'll go ahead and switch over to the document that contains the male symbol, then I will switch to my Layers panel and turn off the paths layer which contains the expanded version of the paths and then turn on the man layer which is the one that contains the strokes. Now I will marquee this path with the Black Arrow Tool to select it.
Many of these attributes are going to work just as well for the female symbol as they did for the male symbol, including the legs and head and so forth. So it's going to be easiest if we use the male symbol as the starting point. I am going to save off all the attributes by going up to the Window menu and choosing Graphic Styles and then inside the Graphic Styles, you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel. Because you have Alt or Option down, that forces the display of this dialog box, that way I can go ahead and name the style and then click OK.
Now I will select the right-hand path, the one of the woman layer, and I will click on that Graphic Style I just made in order to assign all those attributes. Now I will hide the Graphic Styles Panel. To gain access to the attributes, you go to the Window menu and choose the Appearance command, and now you can see this series of strokes here, so we have got two strokes down at the bottom for the legs, we have got this guy right there, that's the body. A few of these we want to turn off for the moment, especially the arms. So I'm going to go ahead and turn off both the 24-point black strokes as well as the two 10-point white strokes at the top of the stack.
These shoulders are going to work out pretty well, but they need to be a little narrower for the female symbol. So I will twirl open this 59.5-point stroke and then I'll click on Transform in order to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box, and I will reduce the Vertical value to 24 points. And then I will turn on the Preview checkbox, which makes the shoulders a little narrower. Now you may wonder why in the world does the Vertical value affect the horizontal attribute of the stroke, and the reason is because it's rotated 90 degrees. I will go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change.
The next thing we want to do is convert the body here into a dress. And because it's a triangular shape, our best bet is going to be an arrowhead. So I will go ahead and twirl this 66-point stroke open. And then I will change its line weight from 66 points to a mere 4.5 points. So you can see this thin stroke right there. Now I will click on the word Stroke in order to bring up the Stroke panel. I will change its first Arrowhead option to Arrow 7 in order to assign an arrowhead to the top of the stroke.
Now at this point, we can't really see it, and that's because it's hidden by the shoulders. So I will go ahead and temporarily turn off the Transform effect here just so we can see what's going on, and there is the arrowhead right there at the top of the path. Now we want it to be much bigger than this, and we want it to consume the entire stroke. So I will click on the word Stroke once again. Anytime you want an arrowhead to consume its entire stroke so that you're not seeing any line, you want to change the Scale value under that arrowhead to 1000%, and that ends up giving us a very big arrowhead indeed.
Now we are going to transform it using that Transform effect. Of course, I need to turn it back on in order to see it in action. And then I will click on the word Transform to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box. And I will turn on the Preview checkbox just so I can see what I'm doing. And I'll also select this center point inside the reference point matrix, which is located on right side of the dialog box in CS5 and earlier. Now I will change the Horizontal Scale value to 34%, and I'll take the Vertical Scale value down to 60%.
Now we need to scoot this dress shape upward. So I will go ahead and change the Vertical Move value to -108. Now if you look carefully, you'll see that the arrowhead's not quite centered on the path outline, which is why I took the Horizontal value down to -1. With that dress intact, go ahead and click OK. Obviously, it shouldn't exceed all the way into the woman's head here, so we need to cut it off under the shoulders by adding another stroke, and I'll do that by clicking on this 10-point white stroke, which represents the negative space between her legs.
I will click on the little page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel to create a copy of it. Then I will change Line Weight of the lower of the two strokes to 84 points. I'll go ahead and click on Transform in order to bring up the Transform dialog box, turn on the Preview checkbox, and change the Angle value to -90 degrees, also change the Vertical Scale value to 28%. And then finally, I'll change the Vertical Move value to -124. And that goes ahead and places the stroke approximately at this position here, which covers up the top of the arrowhead. Now I'll click Ok.
Now the negative space between the legs extends too far into the dress, so what we want to do is twirl closed this 84-point stroke and twirl open this 10-point stroke and click on its Transform and change the Vertical value to 97 points and then turn on the Preview checkbox and we end up with this effect here. Now go ahead and click OK. The next thing we need to do is create the arms. So this guy right here is the right arm, and this is the space between the right arm and the body. Obviously, we need to rotate both of those paths.
And it's going to be easier to create the left arm based on those rotated paths, so I am going to go ahead and take the two strokes that remain hidden, this top one and then I'll Ctrl-click or Command-click on this 24-point stroke to select it as well, and I am going to get rid of them by clicking on the little trash icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel. Now with this 24-point stroke twirled open, I will go ahead and click on its Transform effect to once again visit the Transform Effect dialog box. I will change the Vertical Scale value to 32%, and then I'll change the Horizontal and Vertical Move values to 61.5 and -22 respectively.
Then finally, I am going to change the Angle value to 18 degrees. These are just settings I came up with through trial and error. Now I will turn on the Preview checkbox, and you can see that we end up with this rotated arm. So assuming you have the same effect I do, go ahead and click OK. Now we want to twirl open this top 10-point white stroke, click on its Transform Effect, and change the Vertical value to 60% and then change the Horizontal and Vertical Move values to 60 points and 28 points apiece.
And now I will go ahead and turn on the Preview checkbox so we can see what we've got. It's a vertical line at this point, we want it to be angled. So I will go and change the Angle value to that same angle that we used for the arm, which is 18 degrees. And we end up with this effect here. Now click OK. Now we need to make a copy of both those paths in order to create the left arm. So go ahead and click on the 24-point black stroke in order to select it and then Ctrl-click or Command-click on the 10-point white stroke at the top of the stack and then press the Alt key or Option key and the Mac and drag this guy all the way up the top of the list like so.
And you will go ahead and make a copy of both of those strokes as you see here. Let's twirl some of these guys closed, so things are a little less confusing. I will drag this 24-point stroke so that's sitting directly on top of the other one. And then I will twirl it open because I need to change its Settings, click on Transform in order to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box. And all you need to do in order to convert the right arm into a left arm is change the Horizontal Move value to negative and change the Angle value to negative as well and then turn on the Preview checkbox and you can see that we end up with a left arm that's exactly symmetrical to the right one.
Now click OK and we will do pretty much the same thing for the white 10-point stroke at the top here, click on its Transform, change its Horizontal Move value from positive to negative, and change its Angle value from positive to negative as well, turn on the Preview checkbox so we end up with this effect here, then click OK. Now that we have finished off the effect, we might as well save it off as another graphic style. We will go back to the Window menu, choose the Graphic Styles command, and then I will Alt-click or Option-click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel and go ahead and name this new style Female and click OK.
Just as with the male style, this thing falls apart if you rotate the path. And just to show you what I mean, I will go ahead and select the Rotate Tool and drag around inside the window and everything completely falls apart. So if you want something that's going to hold up better, you want to convert these strokes to filled paths. So I will go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that change. Then I will switch back to the Layers panel. I will turn on the paths layer and I will Alt-drag or Option-drag this little blue square up onto the paths layer like so, and that will go ahead and make a duplicate of the female symbol.
Now I will turn off both the woman and man layers below. Now to convert these strokes to paths, you start by going to the Object menu and choosing Expand Appearance. That gives you a bunch of different strokes path outlines, as you can see here. Then you convert those strokes to filled paths by going back to the Object menu, choosing Path and then choosing Outline Stroke. The next step is to merge all these path outlines with each other according to their colors by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Pathfinder command.
And then inside the Pathfinder panel, you want to click on this icon right here, Merge. That will go ahead and produce this effect here. Now you want to ungroup the paths so that you can get rid of the excess white path outlines. You do that, of course, by going up to the Object menu and choosing the Ungroup command. Go ahead and press the V key to switch back to your Black Arrow tool, and click off the paths to deselect them. Just marquee around this general area here in order to select this path around the woman's head, and now you want to go up to the Select Similar Objects icon on the far right side of the Control Panel, click on the down- pointing arrowhead next to it, and choose Fill Color.
If it's already selected, as it is in my case, then go ahead and click on the icon in order to select all the white paths and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of them. Now we have got just these two path outlines here, one for the body, and one for the head, and at this point we might as well go ahead and group them together by going to the Object menu and choosing the Group command. Now of course, if I was to switch back to my Rotate Tool by pressing the R key and drag around inside the illustration, you can see that I am rotating this symbol without having it fall apart.
I want to leave it up right though, so I will just go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac and then I will press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A in order to deselect my artwork. And that's how you create the universal symbol for female by building up a bunch of strokes on a single path outline including an arrowhead for the dress here inside Illustrator.
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