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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 show you how to adjust the color scheme of our circle pattern from the shades of green to these warm colors here. It involves a little-known command that allows you to blend colors inside of Illustrator. Works great in so far as I've been able to test it inside of CS5 and earlier, little problematic in CS6, but I've got some workarounds up my sleeve. So we will start off in this document here. Because we're working inside of groups, you are going to want to switch to the White Arrow tool, which you get by pressing the A key.
It's the second tool down in the Toolbox, and then Alt-click or Option-click on this outermost chartreuse circle in the upper left corner, and then go over to this Select Similar Objects icon, click on the down-pointing arrowhead and choose Fill Color, and that should go ahead and select both the chartreuse circles. Now let's change their color inside the Swatches panel. Bear in mind that my Fill is active and so I will just click on CMYK yellow to recolor those circles, and you can see that Illustrator automatically redraws the blend vertically, because it is a blend vertically, but it does not automatically redraw the blend horizontally, because that's a fixed group. We will come back to that in a moment.
Then I'll Alt-click or Option-click on this lower left circle, go back up to my Select Similar Objects icon, click on it on the far right side of the Control panel to select a total of four circles, these two down here, and these two in the upper right corner as well, and let's change them to this default shade of orange which is C=0, M=35, Y=85, K=0, in order to achieve this effect here. Again, the blends are updating vertically but not horizontally, and then Alt-click or Option-click on this lower right circle and revisit the Select Similar Objects icon and click on it, and that will select those two circles down there, and then let's go ahead and change the color of these circles to this swatch, which is C=0, M=90, Y=85, K=0, and we end up with this effect here.
Now to blend the color of the static shapes, using your White Arrow tool you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and draw a very slim marquee across the top of these circles. Notice that I'm not extending down into the white circle on the far left side here. You want to keep your marquee up like that, and then release and you should select just the colored circles across the top. And because it's a pain in the neck to select these circles, what I recommend you do is go up to the Select menu and choose the Save Selection command, and then go ahead and name these guys Big top or something along those lines, because they are the big top row circles and click OK, and that way you can reselect those circles anytime you like.
This is a great function here, by going out to the Select menu and choosing Big top and this selection will be saved along with the document. Now I am going to go up to the Edit menu, choose Edit Colors, and choose this command right there, Blend Horizontally, which is going to blend between the horizontal extremes, and it should work brilliantly, especially in CS5 and earlier. However, here inside CS6 it doesn't work at all. So here is the workaround.
What we need to do is recolor all the green circles. Alt-click or Option-click on any white circle, then go over to the Select Similar Objects and click on it to select all the white circles. Then go up to the Select menu and choose Inverse to select all the non-white circles and then Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click on every single circle that's not green, so that's going to be two circles apiece in each of the corners of your document.
We also want to deselect the spine, which is the path of the blend in the center of the document. So Shift+Alt-click on it as well, and you should end up with just the green circles selected, and now let's change your Fill color to anything you want. Any old swatch will do. I am going to go ahead and assign this purple just so that we can see it very clearly, and then I will click off the circles to deselect them. Now let's try the blend again by going up to the Select menu and choosing Big top, so we select all the big top circles. Then go to the Edit menu, choose Edit Colors and choose Blend Horizontally, and this time we ought to get the desired effect. Now we need to select the inner circles here.
Again, the easiest way I found to select them at this point is to Alt-click or Option-click on any one of them in the top row here. Click on Select Similar Objects, and that will select all the purple circles up at the top and down here at the bottom. Then what you want to do is switch to the Lasso tool--which we probably don't use very often inside Illustrator, but it can be handy-- press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac in order to deselect an area, and then drag around the circles like so, and you want to completely encompass them in order to completely deselect those circles down there at the bottom of the screen.
Now I will switch back to the White Arrow tool and Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click on the Mac on each of the small circles that are yellow over here on the left inside and orange over on the right-hand side. Go up to the Select menu and choose Save Selection, and let's go ahead and call this selection Small top this time around, and now let's see if we can blend these guys. So go up to the Edit menu, choose Edit Colors, and choose Blend Horizontally and that ends up working up brilliantly, very nice! Now I am going to select all the bottom circles here by pressing the Alt key or the Option key of the Mac and drawing a slim selection like so, and that will go ahead and select all those guys.
Let's go ahead and save them off by going to the Select menu and choosing Save Selection, and I'm going to call this one Big bottom and click OK, and now we want to blend them by going up to the Edit menu, choosing Edit Colors, and choosing Blend Horizontally. Incidentally, Blend Front to Back should work just as well. We should end up getting the same effect. The only thing left to do is to blend those little circles at the bottom. You are still armed with your White Arrow tool, Alt-click or Option-click on any one of the purple circles, any one of the real ones, not the ones in the blend, and then go up to Select Similar Objects in the far right side of the Control panel and click on it.
Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click on this orange circle, as well as this tiny red circle right there in order to select it. Let's go ahead and Save off the selection by going up to the Select menu, choose Save Selection. We will call this one Small bottom and click OK. And for the last time, go up to be Edit menu, choose Edit Colors, and your choice either Blend Front to Back or Blend Horizontally, in order to produce this effect here. Now I will press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect my artwork.
And that, friends, is how you change out a blended color scheme using the Blend Colors commands which are available under the Edit Colors submenu in the Edit menu.
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