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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. Now you might remember the two Isotype symbols from last week. Well, Valentine's Day is just two weeks and two days away--a little friendly reminder by the way--and so I figured these two, you just look at them. They have got so much in common. We had to just scoot them together and let the sparks fly. And we are going to do so. We are going to create everything here including the little heart using just Strokes inside of Illustrator. Here, let me show you exactly how it works.
All right, here is the final version of the hand-holding gender symbols, just so you can see them on screen. I'll switch over to the most recent version of my document in which the two symbols are not holding hands, and I am going to turn off that paths layer and I am going to turn on the woman and man layer here inside the Layers panel, and I am going to select all the objects on this layer as well by pressing Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac. Then I am going to create a new layer on top of the paths layer by clicking on it, and then I'll Alt-click or Option-click on the little page icon at the bottom of the layers panel.
Let's name this layer hands, and I'll change the color of the layer to Violet, and then I'll click OK. Now I am going to make copies of the selected objects by Alt-dragging each one of the color squares. So I'll Alt-drag or Option-drag the red square first, and then I'll Alt-drag or Option-drag the blue square second, and you can see that that goes ahead and makes copies of both male and female symbols. Now I'll go ahead and turn off those two bottom layers so that just the hands layer is selected. That's very important, if you don't want to run the risk of messing up the previous paths.
Now I'll go ahead and marquee the left-hand path to select it, and then I'll switch to the Appearance Panel by going to the Window menu and choosing the Appearance command. We just want to edit a couple of strokes here for now, including this 24-point stroke right there which represents the right arm--that is to say his left arm--and we want to make it bend outwards. So I'll go ahead and twirl that stroke open, click on Transform, and dial in a few new values here. I'll increase the Vertical Scale value to 32%, and then I'll change the Horizontal Move value to 64 points, and I'll change the Vertical Move value to -22, and then I'll change the angle to 18 degrees, so it matches the angle of the woman's arm, and I'll turn on the Preview checkbox and you can see we get this effect here.
Now that ends up misaligning it with the other strokes, but we'll take care of that problem in a minute. Go ahead and click OK and then click in the lower of the two 10-point white strokes in order to make it active, and we want to make a copy of it by dropping down to the little page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel and clicking on it and then twirl open the copy and click on its Transform effect and then dial in these values. We want the Vertical Scale to be 60%, we want the Horizontal Move value to be 63 points, the Vertical Move value should be 28 points, and finally, I am going to dial in an Angle value of 18 degrees.
These are all values I came up with through trial and error. Now I'll turn on the Preview checkbox, and you can see we get this nice effect here. Still got a problem with the shoulder, so I'll click OK, twirl all these strokes closed, and then twirl open the 59.5-point stroke which represents the shoulders and click on its Transform effect. The shoulders are tricky, and you are just going to have to feel your way through. So I came up with a Vertical Scale value of 26.7%, which if I turn on the Preview checkbox, you can see that shrinks the shoulders horizontally because it rotated 90 degrees, and now I am going to go ahead and nudge the shoulders over to the left just a little bit by dialing in a Horizontal Move value of -1.5, and we end up with this effect here. Click OK.
Now at this point he's reaching for her, but she's too far away for them to hold hands. So I am going to move both the paths together, and I'll do that by double-clicking on the Black Arrow Tool here inside the toolbox to bring up the Move dialog box, and I'll change the Horizontal Value to 20 points and I'll leave the Vertical value set to zero points, like so. Now click OK. That moves him closer to her, but she's still a little far away. So I'll go ahead and marquee around her in order to select the right-hand half, double-click on the Black Arrow Tool once again to bring up the Move dialog box.
That moves her farther away from the guy, which is not what we're looking for at all. So I'll dial in the Horizontal Move value, this time of -20 points, and that goes ahead and scoots them together. Click OK. We still need to create the heart, and we are going to do so using a bunch of strokes, and I am going to assign those strokes to the guy, so I'll go ahead and marquee the left-hand path and I am going to zoom in on this path as well so that I can get a better idea of what's going on. With the path selected, I'll go ahead and click on the top fill here in the Appearance panel to make it active, and I am going to twirl closed those shoulders there, and now I'll make a copy of that fill by clicking on the little page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel, and I am going to change the color of this fill to red and that gives him a red head.
That's not what we want. We need to move it into a different position and scale it. So I am going to twirl this fill open and click on Ellipse to bring up the Shape Options here. I am going to dial in a Width and Height value of 22 points apiece, Absolute should be turned on, and if so, you'll end up with an effect like this. Then click OK. Now we need to scoot it over. So I'll click on the word Transform there in order to bring up this dialog box, I'll dial in a Vertical Move value of -128, and I'll change the Horizontal value to 65 points.
If I turn on the Preview checkbox, that goes ahead and scoots this shape out here. And now I'll click OK in order to accept that effect. Now we have got a little bit of a problem going on here, because the female path is in front and so that stroke that I am using to cover up the top of the black arrowhead that represents the dress is also covering up a little bit of this incipient heart here. So I need to move him to the front, and I'll do that by right-clicking and choosing Range and then choosing Bring to Front, just the simplest way to make that happen.
Now let's make a copy of that red circle by clicking on the Red fill at the top of the Appearance panel, and I'll click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel to make a copy of it. I'll twirl the copy closed, I'll twirl open the original, click on transform in order to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box, and I'll just change this one value, Horizontal Move value to 87 points and turn on the Preview checkbox, and we end up with two circles. Now I'll click OK. Now we need to create the triangular bottom to the heart using an arrowhead.
So I'll go ahead and twirl closed the Red fill. I'll click in the Black fill to make it active, then I'll just click on this Add New Stroke icon in the bottom left corner of the Appearance panel, and I'll dial in a Line Weight value of 4 points, and I'll go ahead and change the color of the stroke to red once again, because it's part of the heart, and then I'll click on the word Stroke, and I'll change the end arrowhead so the second arrowhead option to Arrow 1, which has a little bit of curvature as you can see. That will work well for a heart.
The arrowhead is way at the bottom of the guy here, but because I want the arrowhead to consume the entire stroke, I'm going to change its Scale value, that is the second value here to 1000%, and we end up with this ginormous arrowhead, and now you can click off to hide the panel. We need to make it smaller, so I'll go the Effect Menu, choose Distort & Transform, and choose the Transform effect, and then I'll dial in Horizontal and Vertical Scale values of 19% and 12% apiece and I'll turn on the Preview checkbox so you can see what kind of difference that makes, and now I'll change the Horizontal Move value to 76 points, and I'll change the Vertical Move value to -77.6-- ends up working best here--and then I'll press the Tab key in order to invoke that change.
And we end up with an arrowhead that more than consumes the space that we are devoting to the heart. So we'll need to use another stroke in order to crop this area away. Go ahead and click OK to accept that arrowhead and then click on one of the red fills in order to make it active and click on the little page icon in order to create a copy of it, then click on the bottommost of these fills and change the color from Red to White, and you also want to go ahead and twirl the fill open and click on the word Ellipse there. We are not going to want an Ellipse this time, instead we are going to want to switch it to a Rectangle, so go ahead and choose Rectangle from the Shape pop-up menu, and then the values we want are a Width of 82 points and a Height of 28 point, and we end up with this effect here.
Now click OK. Now to move it into a better position, click on Transform in order to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box and change the Horizontal Move value to 76 and the Vertical Move value to -134. Then I'll turn on the Preview checkbox, and you can see that that does a nice job of cropping away the extra portion of the arrowhead, but we are left with a little bit of a hole between the circles. So go ahead and click OK and click on the white fill to make it active and then go ahead and click on the little Page icon at the bottom of the panel to make a copy it, exchange the color of this fill to Red this time around.
Obviously, we've got some work to do here, so I'll click on the word Rectangle in order to bring up the Shape Options dialog box. I'll change the width value to 26 points, and I'll change the Height value to 12 points. Then click OK. And now click on the word Transform in order to bring up the Transform Panel for the final time, and we are okay with the Horizontal Move value of 76 points, but we want to change the Vertical Move value to -122 points and then turn on the Preview checkbox in order to see the results of that change.
Now click OK in order to accept the effect, and we now have a heart created entirely from fill and stroke attributes. Just to play it safe, I am going to go ahead and bring up my Graphic Styles panel by going to the Window menu and choosing Graphic Styles, and I'll Alt-click or Option-click on the little page icon to bring up this dialog box, and I'll go ahead and call this guy Hand holder and then I'll click OK and now we can apply these attributes to any other path outline we like. Now, of course, things are going to fall apart with this part if I were to rotate it.
For example, if I press the R key to switch to the Rotate Tool and then drag, you can see that everything goes haywire. So if I want to keep things more flexible, I'll need to expand the effect. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that change, switch back over to the Layers panel, and make a copy of the hands layer by dragging it and dropping it onto the little page icon at the bottom of the panel, and now I'll double-click somewhere inside this layer and I'll go ahead and rename it love, and then I'll change the color from Violet to Gold, then I'll click OK.
Now I'll turn off the original hands layer so that we are protecting the original paths, and I'll press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac to select all of my artwork, press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow Tool, and I'll go up to the Object menu and choose Expand Appearance. Now we need to convert all these strokes to filled path outlines. So go up to the object menu, choose Path, and then choose Outline Stroke. Now we want to go ahead and merge all the paths according their colors. So go to the Window menu, choose Pathfinder, and then inside the Pathfinder panel you want to click on the Merge icon in order to produce this effect here.
Now we need to get rid of the extra garbage. So go up the Object menu and choose the Ungroup command, and finally, you just want to marquee around one of these white shapes like so to select it. If I go up to the Select Similar Objects icon on the right side of the Control Panel, click the down-pointing arrowhead, change it to Fill Color, and then click on the icon in order to select all the shapes that are filled with white and press the Backspace or Delete key to get rid of them, and now if you twirl open the love layer, you will see that you have got a heart on top, two black circular heads, and then look, they are so in love their two bodies are merged together as a single path out.
Now we do have some garbagy paths down here, as you can see, these three lowest paths. If you want to get rid of them, just meatball one and Shift+meatball the other two--that is to say click on their circles to select them and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of those as well--and that's it, folks. That's how you create two gender symbols in love. All right, so much for the Isotype couple. I wish them the very best. Love can be a dangerous game, even for a pictogram.
Next week we'll take up with a couple of other universal symbols, namely woman and man, and we'll combine them into a series of Andy Warhol-like silkscreen treatments, a lot of cool stuff going on here. Deke's Techniques, each and every week, keep watching.
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