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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. And allow me to be the first talking head here at lynda.com to welcome you to 2014. Which I feel uniquely suited to do, because I have a fun New Year's project waiting for you here. And we're going to go nuts, with dynamic effects, inside of Adobe Illustrator. Here's the idea. We're going to start with these four path outlines and nothing more. And we're going to use a combination of the awesome transform effect, along with transforming inside of a group, along with the Zig Zag effect.
And an opacity mask in order to transform these four path outlines, without any drawing whatsoever, in to this very special, happy new years message. Here, let me show you, exactly, how it works? All right, here's the final affect were going for. I'm going to start off inside this file, that has a few starter elements, including this little group right here. So group of four paths. And I'm going to rotate it around in a circle, by going up to the Effect menu choosing Distort & Transform and choosing the very best dynamic effect there is, the Transform command.
And I'm going to rotate this guy 60 degrees. And I'll turn on the Preview check box, so we can see that's not really what I'm looking for, and that's because the reference point is set wrong. So I'll go ahead and click the bottom point, in this little matrix here. And then, I'll increase the number of Copies to 1, so we restore the original, and then two, three, four, five, in order to finish off that circle, then I'll click OK. Alright, now, let's draw a real circle by switching to the Ellipse Tool. And then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, so that we create the circle from the center outward, and I'll click, in order to bring up the Ellipse dialog box.
And, assuming that you're seeing 100 100, you want to go ahead and turn on the link, and change either one of these values to 366. So that they're both set that way, and then click OK. And you'll create a massive circle that covers up everything we've done. You don't want that of course, so press Shift+X in order to swap the fill and stroke. And hopefully, you've got a white stroke going, which is what we want. Increase the line weight value to 20 points. Then click on the word stroke up here in the control panel and turn on Dashed line.
The settings we're actually looking for are a dash value of 0 and a gap of 32, like so. And you'll see all these little spikes coming off. To turn them into circles, select the round cap, and now you'll have a dotted stroke. And make sure that this option right here Align dashes to corners and path ends is turned on. It's very important for things to work out properly. Now we want to add some spikes. And if you twirl open the wheel layer, here inside the layer's panel, you'll see that there's this object that's called spikes that's turned off.
Go ahead and turn it on. And you might as well as select it by clicking on this little meatball. And then we need to reflect it, we need to create a copy over here on the right hand side. So, return to the Effect menu and choose Transform..., that's probably going to work out best. Go ahead and 0 out the angle values, set Copies to 0 as well. Turn on Reflect x, and then we want the side point to be our reference point. And then turn on the Preview check box, and you'll see that that does indeed reflect things properly.
But, we need a copy to restore the original, so click OK. And then finally we want to rotate this guy around as well and because this group is already rotated. Now go ahead so we can see the names of these objects. I'll go up to the Layers panel flyout menu and I'll choose Panel Options. And, I'll reduce the size of the thumbnails to 55 pixels and click OK. That just gives us a little more room. And the ID here is at the spokes object, which is that group, is already rotated around in a circle.
So all I have to do is grab spikes and drag it and drop it into the group, like so. Not below the group, but into it and you'll end up getting this effect here. So the dynamic effect is applied automatically. Now my spikes aren't lining up properly, so I'll press the A key to switch to the wide arrow tool, I'll click off the spikes to deselect them. I'll click on this point right there, to select it, and notice now that this guy controls a bunch of other spikes. And so if I move it into alignment, with one of the dots there by pressing Shift + down-arrow and then Shift + right-arrow a couple of times, that's going to move all those spikes into alignment.
So the transform effect really automates the process. Now I want to create a pattern for the background. Press Ctrl+Shift+A, or Cmd+Shift+A on a mac to deselect your art. At this point you'll notice that there's a scene right there, or potentially there is a scene in your artwork. It's not really there, if ever you want to test whether your artwork has scenes in it, this goes for patterns or dynamic effects. One option is to print your artwork, just to confirm that it looks okay. But if you don't have a printer handy, or you don't want to waste paper, then just go up to the File menu, and choose Save for Web.
And that's going to show you an immediate real preview of your artwork. And if you want to, you can expand it. I'll set the percent value here to 200%, and press the Tab key. And if that doesn't work for you, which sometimes it doesn't, this is a slightly buggy feature, than just click inside the percent value again and press up arrow. And that will increase the value by some bizarre amount notice it's 200.89, I have no idea why that is. But anyway you can see that there's no seams.
Just Cancel out. And was just confirming things. So now let's fill the background with that pattern. By going up to the Object menu, choosing Pattern and then choosing Make. And that may give you a warning, just telling you that it's created this swatch. If so, click OK. And you'll enter the pattern generator, here inside Illustrator. Inside the pattern options panel, change the width and height values to 56 points. And, I'll go ahead and zoom in, so that we can better see this little area that we're working inside. Next, go up to the View menu and turn on Smart Guides, if they're currently turned off.
Then, switch to the Rectangle Tool and you want to draw a rectangle that exactly fills that box like so, so it's going to measure 56 by 56 points as well. And, we want to fill that guy with a dark shade of purple. So go ahead and select this swatch, but it needs to be a little darker than that. So, Shift+click on the fill swatch up here in the control panel, and the values we're looking for are cyan 75, magenta 100, yellow needs to be 0. And then I'm going to take the black value up to 25%, and we end up with this purple, here.
Alright, now, we want to draw a line. So, go ahead and grab the line tool. And draw a line from the top right corner to the bottom left corner, like so. And let's go ahead and enter a line weight of 2 points. And I'll also change the color to this guy right here, which is C 50, M 100, Y and K 0. And you'll notice that there's a little break right there, it shouldn't be there, but we're not going to worry about it right now. It'll take care of itself in just a moment.
What you want to do, at this point, is double-click on the black arrow tool, up here at the top of the toolbox. And enter both Horizontal and Vertical values of 3.5 points. And then turn on the Preview check box and you see, that just scoots that guy over a little bit. Click the Copy button, in order to make a copy of that line. And then press Ctrl+D, or Cmd+D on the Mac, for duplicate, one, two, three, four, five, six times, in order to create a bunch of lines, like so. And then go up to the control panel and, make sure Select Similar Objects is set to all, and then click on it in order to select all those lines you made.
Then go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and chose Zig Zag. And we are looking for a size value of two and I want smooth lines, so I'll turn on the Preview check box to see what we got. Things aren't lining up properly, so what we need to do is click in this Ridges per segment field right there, and press the up arrow key, in order to raise that value until things line up magically. Which happens at 7. Then go ahead and click OK, and you can see everything's resolving just fine now.
I'm going to change the name of this pattern to Dark waves. And then press the Enter key to accept that name. And then press the Esc key, to go ahead and save your pattern. You are going to get an alert message that's telling you that the dynamic zigzag effect is going to be rendered out. It's going to be expanded to regular wiggly lines. That's okay, there's nothing to do about that, so, just click on the OK button in order to accept that message. I'll press Ctrl + 0, or Cmd + 0 on the Mac, to zoom out. Click on that background, someplace in order to select it, and then go up to the Fill Item in the Control Panel and select Dark Waves as your pattern and you'll end up with this effect here.
All right, finally we've got a couple of text objects to work with here. Go ahead and turn on the text layer if you're working along with me. And then select Happy New Year and change it to whatever font you want. I came up with Onkey Italic, which is a font that is available for free online, by the way. And it happens to look great inside this particular illustration. But we do have one little issue which is this point is coming down too far close to the text. Least of my way of thinking. So I'll go ahead and select these rotated object's group called spokes, and then I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and choose the Transform command once again.
Illustrator will possibly bark at you and ask you if you really want to apply new effect and the answer is yes, so click this button. And then the angle value we're looking for is half of the rotation. So you may recall we rotated it 60 degrees in the first place, so this time we want 30 degrees, turn on the Preview check box and you can see that works out beautifully. Then click OK. Now finally, go ahead and select this text right here which is set in rosewood, which is probably available on your system, if not you can change it to some other font.
And I want to use this text, by the way, these numbers here to cut holes in these spokes Which means I need to place them inside an opacity mask. So, go ahead and select them, they're all grouped together, and press Ctrl+X or Cmd+X on the Mac, in order to cut them. And then select the spokes shapes. Go over here to the Transparency panel, and if it's not expanded, open, then go ahead and do so. And if you're not seeing a Transparency panel, you go up to the Window menu and choose Transparency. And then, you want to click on the Make Mask button.
That's going to hide anything by default. Go ahead and turn off the Clip checkbox. And then click inside the thumbnail for the opacity mask and press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on a Mac, in order to paste those letters in place. And now you want to click on this white thumbnail on the left-hand side of the Transparency panel, in order to return to your illustration. Now I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A, or Cmd+Shift+A on the Mac, in order to deselect my artwork. And that's how you use dynamic effects, as well as a seamlessly repeating tile pattern and, of course, an opacity mask to create a cheerful, Happy New Year ornament here inside Illustrator.
Alright now I thought that was pretty awesome if I do say so myself, but I've got a follow up movie for you. If your a member of the lynda.com online training library and the reason is I started looking at this and I was dissatisfied, by the fact that the lines are just going in a consistent direction. I want them to emanate out in every direction And I still want to be able to use a repeating tile pattern, because I don't want to draw everything. And then I want to create this rays that are filled with a similar pattern that's also radiating outward, which is of course impossible.
And I want to go ahead and create these little pattern dots that are rotating around. The patterns are actually rotating. How in the world do you do that? Well, you assign dynamic effects. Inside of Illustrator to independent fills and strokes. It's totally amazing. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, this is something I've been wanting to show how to do for awhile? We're going to take a photograph, of an actual person, and we're going to turn her into a cartoon avatar. That you can use on your Facebooks, in your Twitters, and all your social media stuff.
And everybody's going to look at it and go, Oh my gosh, you've got the best avatar I've every seen. These techniques, each and every week. Keep watching.
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