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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 some more Op Art inside Illustrator. We're going to start off with these very basic path outlines, and then we are going to convert them into this wonderful seamlessly repeating tile pattern right here, just the kind of thing that permanently damage your eyesight. After all, isn't that every graphic artist's dream? Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, Here is the final Op Art pattern just so you can see it on screen.
These seams that we're seeing between the tiles are not really there, they are just screen display artifacts. And I will demonstrate by the end of this movie that the result is an absolutely seamless pattern. I will go ahead and switch over to this file here. These are the base objects; I've got a couple of diamonds as you can see. And I also have these waving paths that are just two anchor points apiece that I drew using the Pen tool. And a thing to bear in mind is that one set needs to fit inside of the other like so.
And as long as you do that, then everything is going to work out. I am going to start with these paths. And the first thing that you need to do if you are working along with me, is go ahead and select these upper wavy paths with the Black Arrow tool, and then grab the Reflect tool from the Rotate tool flyout menu, and Alt or Option-click on one of the bottom anchor points in order to bring up the Reflect dialog box. Change the Axis to Horizontal and then click on the Copy button in order to create a copy of those paths.
You also want to grab your Direct Selection tool, and marquee around these two coincident anchor points right there, taking care not to select either of the outer paths. Then go up to the Object menu, choose Path, and choose Join, or as we will be doing in the future, you can just press the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac. And that goes ahead and fuses those two anchor points into one. Now, I am going to marquee these two anchor points here. Once again, they are coincident, one right on top of the other.
And I will press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac to fuse them together as well. Now, I will press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool, and I will marquee these two paths. And you can see that I end up selecting this entire sort of brace like object here. And now, I will switch back to the Reflect tool, and I will press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click on one of these top anchor points. This time I will switch the Axis to Vertical and once again click on the Copy button in order to create a copy.
Now, we are starting to encroach upon these Path outlines here. So I will switch back to the Black Arrow tool, and I will just drag them out of the way for the meantime. And then you want to marquee just partially here, these outer path outlines in order to select both of them; there are two of them one on top of the other, and now press Ctrl+J, or Command+J on the Mac to fuse them into a single path. Then I will click on this guy and Shift-click on this one, the two halves of the inner path, and I will press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac to fuse them together as well.
Now, you want to go ahead and center these three paths including the diamond. So, go ahead and marquee them with the Black Arrow tool, go up to the Align option, and make sure that it's set to Align to Selection, down here in the lower-right corner. Then click on each of the center options; Horizontal Align Center, and then Vertical Align Center in order to center the shapes like so. The next thing you want to do is click off the shapes to deselect them, and then click on the diamond to select it independently.
And now, double-click on the Scale tool icon here inside the Toolbox in order to bring up the Scale dialog box. Tab your way to the Horizontal value, and change it to 150 and then tab to Vertical, and change it to 130% in order to produce this effect here. Then click on the Copy button in order to create a copy of the diamond. Now, I will press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, and select this interior diamond, we need it to be in front. So you can right-click on it, choose Arrange, and then choose Bring to Front, which also has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket or Command+Shift+Right Bracket on the Mac.
I mentioned that because I will be using that in the future as well. Now marquee all four of these paths; notice that they have no fill, but they do have a black stroke. Press Shift+X in order to switch them. And then we want to select the outside paths in case of both this big wavy thing and the central diamond, the outermost of both of them and change them to white. The easiest way to do that is to press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch to the Outline Mode. Click off the shapes to deselect them.
Click on this outer shape to select it, Shift- click on this outer diamond to select it, and go ahead and click on the first swatch up here on the Ctrl Panel, and change it to white. Now, you can press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch back to the Preview Mode, go ahead and marquee these two curving paths in order to select them, then go up to the Object Menu and choose the Group command, or press Ctrl+G or Command+G on the Mac. Then click on the inner diamond Shift-click on the outer one to select both of them, and I will press Ctrl+G or Command+G on the Mac to group those two as well.
So, we've got two groups at work; the big paths, and the little diamonds. Now, once again marquee them in order to select them all, and we are going to blend between the two groups by going up to the Object Menu, choosing Blend, and then choosing Make, which has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+B or Command+Option+B on the Mac. And I know I keep mentioning these shortcuts, but as I say, I am going to use them in the future. Now, we need more steps in this. Right now we just have one step. To change the steps, the easiest way is to double-click on the Blend tool near the bottom of the Toolbox, to bring up the Blend Options dialog box, turn on the Preview check box, change Spacing to Specified Steps.
And let's go ahead and nudge the Steps value up until we get to 6, and we end up with this effect here. Now go ahead and click OK to create the blend. Now, press the V key in order to switch back to my Black Arrow tool, and I am going to drag this guy up and to the left just to get him out of the way. Now, we need to create the other half of the Op Art effect, and we'll do so in much the same way. We'll start with these two paths right there, and we'll flip them by grabbing the Reflect tool, and then I will Alt-click or Option-click on one of these top anchor points, change the Axis once again to Horizontal so that you're flipping the shapes upward like so, and then click on the Copy button to make copies of the paths.
We need to go ahead and fuse the anchor points together, so get your White Arrow tool, which you can get by pressing the A key, and then I will Ctrl+Spacebar-drag around this area, that's a Command+Spacebar-drag on the Mac just to zoom in. And I will go ahead and marquee these two anchor points right there, and press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac to join them. You can see they're joined because now we've got a miter corner right there. And then I will marquee these two guys and press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac to join them as well.
Now, let's go ahead and zoom out, which I am doing by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac, and I will press the V key in order to get my Black Arrow tool and I will just go ahead and select these guys and move them down like so. With them selected, switch back to the Reflect tool, and Alt-click, or Option-click on one of the left-hand anchor points here, change the Axis to Vertical this time around, click on the Copy button, then press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, partially marquee the tops of these paths, press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac to fuse them into one, click on this guy, Shift-click on this one to select them, and then press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac to fuse them together as well.
All right, now let's grab all three of these paths here including the diamond. Let's center them by going up to the Align option, clicking on it up here in the Control Panel, and then clicking on Horizontal Align Center, and then Vertical Align Center, so that they are in alignment with each other, click off the shapes, and click on the diamond to select it, double-click on the Scale tool in order to bring up the Scale dialog box. And this time, you want to change the Uniform value to 190% and click on the Copy button in order to select it.
All right, I will switch back to the Black Arrow tool, click on the central diamond, it needs to be in front of the one we just created. So, I am going to press Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket or Command+Shift+Right Bracket on the Mac in order to bring it to front. And now for the coloring and blending, I am going to go ahead and marquee all these shapes like so, press Shift+X in order to fill them all with black, and get rid of their strokes. Then I will press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch to the Outline Mode, Shift-click on this inner path to deselect it, Shift-click on the inner diamond to deselect it as well, go up to the Control Panel and click on the first swatch and change it to white.
And now press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch back to the Preview Mode. Now we need to group them in pairs. So, marquee these two paths, just partially to select them, and press Ctrl+G or Command+G on the Mac to group them. Click on the central diamond, Shift-click on the white one, and then press Ctrl+G or Command+G on the Mac to group them together as well. Now, marquee both groups to select them, and press Ctrl+Alt+B, Command+Option+B on the Mac to blend them. Now, you can see we get one step by default. I am not going to change the steps yet because I want to change the shape of this blend just a little bit.
If I switch over to the final version of the Illustration, and zoom in just a little bit here, you can see that the diamond blends to a larger diamond, and then to the curving shape. So, I need to create that larger diamond first, and I can create it inside the existing blend like so. Switch back to my document in progress. Press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. Go ahead and click off the path outlines to deselect them, and then Alt-click or Option-click twice on that central diamond to select the entire diamond group, so you should have both diamonds selected.
And then you want to copy them just by pressing Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac. Now, I am going to click off the shapes to deselect them, and you want to make sure to Alt-click or Option-click to select that entire white diamond, and then double-click on the Scale tool in order to bring up the Scale dialog box here, and this time we are going to apply some very large non-uniform values. The Horizontal value should be 540%, and the Vertical value should be 507% in order to create this effect here. Just click OK.
Now, you want to press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac to temporarily get to White Arrow tool, press and hold the Alt key as well, or the Option key on the Mac, and click on the that central black diamond. Then release the keys in your back to the Scale tool. Double-click on the Scale tool to bring up the Scale dialog box, change the Horizontal value to a whopping 940%, and then change the Vertical value to 870% to get this effect here. Then click OK. Now, press the A key to switch back to your White Arrow tool, and Alt-click or Option-click on that selected central black diamond in order to step up the hierarchy, and select the entire diamond group.
And then go up to the Edit Menu and choose the Paste in Front command, or you can press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac, and that goes ahead and pastes the little diamond group inside of the same blend, which is why we get another step at this location right here. Now, press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool. Go ahead and marquee some portion of the blend to select the entire thing. We need to add a few steps, so double-click on the Blend tool to bring up the Blend Options dialog box, turn on the Preview check box, change the Spacing value to Specified Steps, press the up-arrow key a couple of times in a row to increase the value to 3, and we end up with this effect here. Now click OK. Now, let's align and duplicate our objects here.
I am going to get my Black Arrow tool, grab this guy, and just move him down, so he is in a more reasonable location. I will marquee this guy, the newest one, and I am going to zoom way in here, and press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch to the Outline Mode. And I'll go ahead and drag this anchor point until it snaps into alignment with the bottom of the inner or curvy shape right there. Then I will drag that anchor point again so it snaps into alignment with the other bottom point. That's what I want to do is split the difference.
So now I will double-click on the Black Arrow tool, which records my last changes, and apparently, the position is off just slightly horizontally, but I don't care about that. So I will change the Horizontal value to 0, and I will change the Vertical value to a negative version of half of its current state, which is -1 and then I will press the Tab key and I end up splitting the difference, as you can see here. Now, I will click OK in order to accept that change. Let's go ahead and zoom out here, and get the Black Arrow tool, go ahead and marquee both these guys and drag them down a little bit.
Click off the shapes to deselect them, click on this guy to select him, and notice my bounding box is turned off. This is very important. If you go to the View Menu and you see Hide Bounding Box, then you want to go ahead and choose the command to get rid of the darn thing. Go ahead and click on this guy to select to drag from the left-hand anchor point until it snaps into alignment right there. And if you can see, we are forming a kind of diamond in the center, and now press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac in order to create a duplicate. Now, we want to scroll up just a little bit, so we can see the bottom of this guy, click on him to select him, drag the bottom anchor point until it snaps into alignment right there, and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac in order to create a duplicate of it.
So, you can see that there is this diamond shape overlap of all four of these objects. Now, I will go ahead and zoom out by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac. And if I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch to the Preview Mode, you can see this wild thing that we've created. Now we need to turn it into a pattern. Easiest way to do that, and this is going to work in either CS5 or CS6, it doesn't hinge on the new pattern-making feature. I am going to marquee this guy and Shift- marquee this guy, so that they are both selected.
Then go up to the Object Menu, choose Hide, and choose Selection, which will go ahead and hide those two objects. Then press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch back to the Outline Mode. Go ahead and get your Rectangle tool, and I will zoom in just a little bit here, so I have a little more clarity. You want to go to the View Menu and make sure your Smart Guides are turned on. They aren't in my case, so I will go ahead and choose the command to turn them on. And you want to drag from here, this outermost left-hand anchor point right there, down to this right-hand anchor point in the second occurrence of this object in order to create this rectangular shape right there. It's still selected.
So, go up to the Control Panel and change the first swatch to None and make sure the second swatch is set to None as well. The easiest way to send the shape to the back of the stack, which is where it needs to be, is to press Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket, that's Command+Shift+Left Bracket on the Mac. Now go up to the Object menu and choose Show All so that you can see those hidden objects, and then press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on a Mac to switch back to the Preview Mode, press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac to select everything in the Illustration at this point.
Press the V key to switch to your Black Arrow tool, and just drag any one of the path outlines like so, and drop it into the Swatches Panel. Then press Ctrl+Shift+A, very important, Command+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect your objects. Click on that little tile pattern right there, go up to the Swatches Panel flyout menu, and choose Swatch Options. That's just the easiest way to rename it, and then just call it Op Art or whatever you want to, and then click OK. Now turn off the Blends layer. We have made the pattern, and now turn on the Pattern layer, press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom out.
I have already drawn a rectangle for you in advance, so just go ahead and select it. It covers the entire artboard. And then go up to the first swatch in the Control Panel and fill the shape with Op Art, and we end up with this effect here. If you ask me, it's a little too big, and it's not centered, and all this other stuff, so here is how you center the pattern and scale it. Double-click on the Black Arrow tool in order to bring up the Move dialog box, and change both of these values to 0, so that we're not creating any movement at first, and then turn off Transform Objects, turn off that check box, and that will automatically turn on transform pattern, so that we are transforming the pattern independently of the object itself.
And now you can increase the Horizontal value to 10 points, looks good to me. I am just trying to make sure that the pattern is centered on that center point of the rectangle. I will change the Vertical value to let's say -48. Now, click OK. To scale the pattern inside the shape, double- click on the Scale tool, and you should see Transform Objects is still turned off, Transform Patterns in turned on. You want Scale, Stokes, and Effects to be turned off by the way.
Go ahead and change Uniform value to 50% and we end up with this effect here. Now, click OK. As I mentioned at the outset, you may see outlines around your tiles. We don't want to see your tiles, this should be a seamless pattern. So, press Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+Shift+A on the Mac in order to deselect the artwork. You have one of two options. One is to print the artwork, and gauge whether you are seeing any patterns, you shouldn't, it should print just fine. The other, just so you can see here on screen how well it's going to work, is to go to the File menu, choose Export, and then change the File format to TIFF, and then go ahead and save the file as anything you like.
Notice I've created a file called Rasterized op art. I will go ahead and click on the Save button, however. You want the Color Model to be Grayscale because we don't have any color going on inside this document. So, there is no sense in going with CMYK, which is going to make your file way bigger. The Resolution should presumably be high; Anti- aliasing is set to Art Optimized by default, that's fine. You want LZW Compression to be turned on, as lossless compression is really a good thing. I've already done this in advance. So I will just show you what it looks like by going up to the File menu and choosing Browse in Bridge, and then assuming that you're looking at today's Exercise Files folder, you'll see if I will call Rasterized op art.tif, just go ahead and double-click on it to open it inside of Photoshop, and as you can see, there is not a seam inside.
I will just go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen Mode, so you can see the entire thing. I realize it's a little difficult to look at, but you have to admit, it's an extraordinary Op Art pattern that you can really only create inside Adobe Illustrator. Ow, ow, ow. If you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, then I have a follow-up movie in which I show you how to take this collection of circles inside Adobe Illustrator and turn it into this full on classic Bridget Riley effect right here; Op Art, it's wicked cool stuff.
If you're waiting for next week's movies, I am going to show you how to develop the perfect castle photograph including not only how it should have looked, but how it could have looked. I captured this image. I don't pretend to be a photographer. This is a reflection of the immense power of Camera Raw. Deke's Techniques, each and every week, keep watching!
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