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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 we are going to take that single cube that we've created in the previous movie, and we were going to turn it into a cube of cubes. Start things off here by pressing Ctrl+; or Cmd+; on the Mac to bring back my guidelines, and then I am going to zoom out. And what I need just for replacement purposes here is a couple of custom guides. So I'm going to select my Line Tool and click right there at the intersection of the two existing guides. Change the Length value to 400 points and change the angle value to 30 degrees and click OK.
I've got this very long line, as you can see here. Then, I'll grab my Rotate Tool and I'll Alt or Option+Click on that point in line. You want an Angle value of 120 degrees, and then you want to click the Copy button. And now, I've got two lines, can't see them, because they don't have any attributes associated with them. So, I'll switch back to my black arrow tool, then I'll Shift+Click on that line right there to select it. And then you want to go up to the View menu, choose Guides and choose Make Guides, in order to make those guides like so.
And that's just going to help us figure out what's going on as we work inside this document. I'm going to turn off the Squares layer, because, it's going to, just get in our face here. And now, you want to select your three shapes, just by marqueeing them. And we want to group them together, by going up to the Object menu and choosing the Group command Or you can press Ctrl+G, or Cmd+G on the Mac. Now, we want to virtually duplicate this cube, so I'm going to zoom out a little bit, maybe not quite that far out. And, I'll go up to the Effect menu, and I'll choose Distort and Transform, and I'll choose the Transform command. I'm going to turn on the Preview checkbox, and what you want to do is start nudging these values by pressing Shift+Down arrow or Horizontal there. And Shift+Down arrow for Vertical as well, and I'm trying to just match the angle of the line.
Notice there's no angle value associated with the Move options, which is something that would be nice to have actually inside of this program. But anyway, what you have to do is just kind of eyeball it. So I'm going to click inside the Copies value right there and press the Up Arrow key a few times in order to create a total of three copies like so. And then you have to kind of just play with these values and, I ended up with a Horizontal value of negative 59 points, that moves things to the left by the way. And a Vertical value of negative 34 points and that actually moves things upwards.
So negative Vertical values move up, positive values moved down, that looks good. So, I will go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect. And now, I'll switch over to the Appearance panel. Click on that Transform item right there. And let's make a copy of it, by click on little page icon, at the bottom of the Appearance panel. And then click on that duplicated Transform. And you want to change the Horizontal value to positive, leave the Vertical value set to negative. Turn on a Preview check box to see what happens.
We got three copies, it looks great. So just go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. And then we're going to make another duplicate by clicking in a little page icon, like so. Then click on the third occurrence of Transform. Change the Horizontal value to 0, because we're going to go straight down here, and change the Vertical value to 68. That's just another thing that ended up looking right. And turn on the Preview check box and you'll see the cube of cubes materialize. And by the way, notice something very important here. The duplicates appear in back of the original as opposed to in front. So if we had done the standard duplication, they would have appeared in front.
But, in our case, everything appears in back instead. Now I'll click OK in order to accept all my cubes. Switch over to the Layers panel, and with that virtual layer selected right there, go to the Layers panel fly out menu and choose Duplicate Virtual in order to create a copy of it. because we're going to have to break these blocks apart now. And then turn off the original. And let's go ahead and double-click on this guy, and I'll rename this blocks, and I'll change its color to let's say Violet, and then click OK.
Now, what we need to do is bust these guys up, because you can see that they're all colored identically to each other and that's not what we want. We want the blocks to be all different colors as you see here. That means that they can't all be copies of one set of blocks. So, with this block selected here, just the one on the Blocks layer. You go up to the Object menu and you choose Expand Appearance. And that goes ahead and breaks them up into a ton of blocks. And then you want to twirl open the Layers panel here. I'm going to double-click on my Color tab in order to collapse it.
And you can see that we have got a bunch of guides in this layers, some of which are on top of the block, some of which are underneath. I am just going to grab these blocks like so, to go ahead and select them. And then I am going to clear my guides, just because I don't want to see them anymore. So I will go to the View menu and choose Guides and choose Clear Guides, in order to get rid off those guys. Now I'll select these again, just by clicking on them someplace, and notice over here on the far left side of the Control panel it says, Group. So we obviously have a group at work but we really have a group with a bunch of groups inside of it.
And so what we need to do is break up some of these groups, by going up to the Object menu and choosing Ungroup. And that's going to give us four more groups and you could see what they look like over here inside the Layers panel. So go up to the Object menu and choose Ungroup a second time, and now you can see that we've got these rows of blocks. Go up to the Object menu and choose Ungroup a third time, and now we're left with the individual blocks which is what we need. Click off the blocks to deselect them, then you want to click on these inner blocks right here, this group of seven, it looks like. Go ahead and select all those blocks just to get them out of our way for a moment. Go up to the Object menu, choose Hide, and choose Selection. Or you can press Ctrl+3, or Cmd+3 on a Mac.
And we're still left with one more guy, an eighth block that we need to get rid of. So select him, and then I'll press Ctrl+3, or Cmd+3 on the Mac, to get rid of him. Let's twirl this layer closed, turn on the squares layer, 'cuz we need to bring it back. And we're going to be doing a lot of eyedropping here. Grab the eyedropper tool, click in this orange shape right there in order to lift orange as our fill color. Press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click on these dark shades in order to apply this dark shade of orange.
Notice that you have to be pretty careful, because it's easy to make mistakes and hit the wrong blocks, but these are the blocks we're looking for. So, go ahead and fill them up and then, lift this guy just by clicking on this square. Alt+Click on these sides in order to fill them and I'll just keep Alt+Clicking here. That's obviously an Option+Click on the Mac, in order to get these guys all filled. This is, by the way, the most painful set of cubes to work with. And then lift this color right there, the top one, and Alt+Click on the top of the blocks in order to color them with what appears right now to almost be a shade of yellow.
But it is Just a bright shade of orange. And, I think I managed to get every single one of them. Now we have to bring the other blocks back by going up to the Object menu and choosing Show All, and that will show them like so. And then, I'll press the V key to switch my black arrow tool, click off the blocks, click on this forward one. Press Ctrl+3, or Cmd+3 on the MAC in order to get rid of him. And press the I key in order to get the eyedropper again. And now we're going to do what we did before. So click on this shade of yellow right there in the upper corner.
And we want to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the sides of these blocks. And notice what an optical illusion this is, it doesn't even look like the same shade of yellow does it? But it is. If I were to drag this square over to this location it's the exact same shade of yellow. Anyway, I'm going to click on this yellow in order to select it. And then Alt+Click on these guys and it just looks like a blinding bright yellow in the center here. It's just so surprising but it's the same darn thing. And then I'll go ahead and click inside this guy, and Alt+Click on the top of the box.
And I know you're just sitting there looking at this going, no it's not, that is not the same color, I refuse to believe that. Watch this, I'm going to get the black arrow tool. I'm going to select this shape right there, Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on the Mac to copy it. I'll switch to my Blocks layer, select one of these blocks, it doesn't matter which one, really. And then just make sure over here in the Layer's panel, if you're doing this with me, which you don't have to. But, in the layers panel you want to make sure Paste Remembers Layers is turned off. And then you press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on a Mac in order to paste a copy of this guy. Now he looks the same as this guy right there, right, he's the exact same color, and then... I drag him over here and he becomes a different color (LAUGH), it's just the darndest thing.
I don't know why that is, we'll just hit Backspace, get rid of that guy. And then I'll go back to the Object menu, choose Show All to bring, or final block back. Click off the block to deselect it cause you don't want anything selected here, and press the eye key to switch back to the eyedropper. Lift this purple, and then Alt+Click in order to apply it, Option+Click on a Mac. Lift this guy, Alt or Option+Click, lift this guy, Alt or Option+Click, and we get this effect here. And now I'm going to turn off the squares, because we don't need it anymore. And that, friends, is how you create the ever popular cube of differently colored cubes, here inside Illustrator.
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