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Hey gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to a very special adventure in Deke's Techniques. This week, I'll show you how to create your own personal Chinese seal, which is a kind of stamp that you can use to sign your artwork, also known as a chop. Specifically I'll show you how make this chop right here, now, this is my name, believe it or not. And in case you're wondering, how this amounts to my name and you might find this interesting, if you're trying to distill your name into something resembling Latin characters as well.
Well I started with the word Deke, here, with an underscore. And then I've got an M, that's a kind of Wolverine slash. Followed by two cs, one on top of another. An l, an e, two more ls, and an ampersand which is a-n-d. So that gives us McClelland. For the chop, we've got this red background and then I add the M, two cs. The l and e at an angle, we'll see why in a second. 2 l's and an ampersand. So again we've got McClelland and then I draw the word Deke; that is my first name down like so.
In this movie I'm going to show you how to create your own personal chop, well really my chop, but I like you to work on yours, if you're working along with me. Inside of Illustrator using nothing but uniform strokes. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right here we are inside of illustrator looking at that uniformly stroked vector base chop. We're going to be creating it from scratch by going up to the file menu and choosing the new command or you can press Ctrl+N or Cmd+N on the Mac.
Change your profile won't you? The basic RGB, and then we're looking for a width value, assuming that you're working in points, of 720 points, and then a height value of 500 points. And it's not necessary that you dial in these exact values. They just happen to work well for me here inside the video. Now I'll click OK in order to create that document. And I'm going to zoom in just a little bit here. Now we want to create the square that houses the seal. And I'll do that using the rectangle tool, which you can get by pressing the m key after the rectangular marquee tool inside Photoshop.
And, I'll just go ahead and click some place here inside the document window to bring up the rectangle dialogue box. Assuming that you're seeing the default width and height values, go ahead and lock em in sync with each other by clicking on the chain. Then I'll change the width value to 400 points and the height value will change to 400 as well. Now we want to center this square onscreen, so go up here to the control panel and click on this align icon and switch it to align to artboard, and then select horizontal align center, the second icon in. And then click on vertical align center as well, which is the fifth icon.
And then I'll go ahead and center that square on screen. By default I get a white fill which is just fine, but I want to add a red fill as well. So I'll go up to the window menu and choose the appearance command to bring up the appearance panel. And then I'll drop down to the add new fill icon down here in the lower left corner of the panel and click on it to create a new fill. It really should be behind the strokes so I'll just go ahead and drag it down behind. And now I'll Shift+Click on this white swatch right there in order to bring up my RGB values.
Now if you're not seeing the RGB values click on the fly out menu icon and choose RGB. And then let's change the red value to a 150. You want the green value to be zero and the blue value be zero as well. So we get this nice, deep vibrant red. Now I don't want this fill to be this large, so make sure it's selected here inside the appearance panel and then go up to the Effect menu. Choose distort and transform and choose the transform command, and I'll dial in scale values, both for horizontal and vertical, of 92%.
You can turn on the preview check box if you want to see what that looks like. It'll just make the fill smaller, then click OK. Alright now we need to add a big thick red stroke by clicking on the word stroke here inside the appearance panel. Let's change the line weight to 12 points. And then Shift+click on its little swatch right there. And that should bring up the RGB values. Once again, if you don't see them, go ahead and choose RGB from the fly out menu. And this time, we'll increase the red value to a 150 and leave both the green and blue values set to 0 like so.
And then finally with the stroke still selected, go up the effect menu and choose the second command, transform... which brings up the transform dialogue box complete with our last settings. But we want to change both the horizontal and vertical scale values to a 106% and then click okay, and that will move that stroke outward. Alright, now I want the chop to have round corners. We're going to achieve these round corners using a dynamic effect, but I want to apply the dynamic effect to the entire layer by switching back to the layers panel.
And notice that we've got this dinky little thumbnail here, that's no good. So, I'll click on the layers panel fly out menu and then I'll choose panel options. And, I'm going to select other and increase this value to let's say 65 pixels. That'll work fine. And press the Enter key. Now we have a larger thumbnail as you can see. And I'm going to go ahead and rename this layer chop and then press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac to accept that change. Now target the entire layer by clicking on this circle over here on the right hand side.
And then, go up to Effect menu, choose Stylize and choose Round Corners. And I'm looking for a radius value of 12 pixels. Turn on the preview check box and you can see that goes ahead and rounds of the square. And it's going to round off every other object that's on this layer. Including one that isn't going to work too well. You'll see and it's coming up here. I'll go ahead and click OK. Now what we want to do is create the m. And I'm going to do that by switching to the wide arrow tool, the so called direct selection tool.
Which you can get by pressing the A key for arrow of course. And then I'll go ahead and marquee this left hand side and I'll press Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F. That's Cmd+C Cmd+F on a Mac, in order to copy that segment and paste it independently as we're seeing right here. Then go ahead and press the D key in order to assign the default colors so that we don't have that double fill effect And change the fill up here in the control panel from white to none. And then change the stroke by shift-clicking on its swatch.
And I'll dial in a red value once again of a 150, the green and blue values should both be set to zero. And now I want to move this line over 40 points. And I'm going to do that by pressing the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. And because one of these arrow tools is selected here, at the top of the tool box, I get the move dialogue box. I'll change the horizontal value to 40, make sure the vertical value is set to 0, and then go ahead and click OK. I now notice that I forgot to do something here. I forgot to establish actually a white stroke, not a red stroke, made a mistake there.
So I'll go ahead and click on this stroke icon once again and change it to white. Didn't need to laboriously dial in the wrong value, and I'll change the line weight to 12 points, and we end up with something that makes a lot more sense. I also want you to click on the word stroke and both the cap and the corner should be round. Now that I'm actually with the program here I remember that too. We want to go ahead and select this top point and move it down a little bit. So with the white arrow tool still selected, I'm going to Shift+Click on the bottom most anchor point to turn it off.
Go ahead and de-select it and then assuming that you've got you're default keyboard increments which we should all check just to make sure we're all on the same page including me. So, I'll press Ctrl+K or Cmd+K on the Mac to bring out the preferences dialogue box. Notice the keyboard increment value is set to one, that's what you want so go ahead and click Cancel. If so, or if not, change it to one and then click OK. And now press Shift+down arrow four times in a row; one, two, there, four in order to produce this effect here. And you might want to raise this bottom point as well. Go ahead and select it by clicking on it and pressing Shift+up arrow.
Just to raise it up like that. Now I'm going to press the v key to switch to the black arrow tool and then I'll click on this line to select it. And now I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to bring up the move dialogue box once again. We do not want a vertical value of negative 10, so change that to zero. And then change the horizontal value to 40, once again, and click on the Copy button. In order to create a copy, and now press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac to duplicate that last transformation to produce this effect here.
All right, now press the A key to switch back to the white arrow tool. I'll click on this top point right there in the left hand line, and then I'll Shift+Click on the top point in the right hand line. And now we want to join the two together by going up to the object menu, choosing path and choosing join, or of course you could press keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J or Cmd+J on the mac. And now notice because we applied that round corners effect to the entire layer, the corners of the M are rounded as well. Alright, now we need to create the C. And the C is going to be based on a circle, so go ahead and select the ellipse tool from the rectangle tool fly out menu, and click someplace inside this red field here in order to bring up the ellipse dialogue box.
Link the two values together, change the width value to 140, the height value will change as well. Click okay and I only know that this value works through trial and error. And speaking of error, check this out, I'm going to go up to the object menu. I need to add some anchor points one point per segment. So I'll go up to the object menu, choose path and choose the add anchor points command. And notice that gives us these new points but it also makes the path nice and lumpy. And that's an unfortunate bug I guess that exists right now inside of the software.
And what's happening here is that instead of sticking with the smooth points that were at work in the original circle Illustrators converted the original four points to kus points and it's added kus points as well. And to show you what it looks like I'll press the A key to switch to the wide arrow tool, and I'll click off one of these anchor points. And now I'll click on one in order to select it and notice that the control handles are no longer in alignment with each other. And thanks ro the fact that we applied the round corner effect ironically we're taking these smooth points here.
They're basically still smooth transitions even though they're not locked together, but it's taking those and it's lumping them. So, what do you do? Well, we'll go in and press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that change. In a perfect world, you'd be able to click on this smooth point option, up here in the control panel. But in our case, that doesn't work. It does work if I move the control handle out of alignment with the other one, and then click on this icon, but that's not the effect I'm looking for. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on a Mac, a couple of times to back out.
Here's what we're going to do. This is the work around. Go ahead and drop down to the little page icon at the bottom of the layer's panel and Alt+Click on it. That's an Opt+Click on the Mac. And let's go ahead and call this new layer, not round, and then I'll change its color just because we're working with red already. I'll change the color to gold and I'll click OK. And now, with some portion of this lumpy circle selected, here inside the document, go ahead and drag the little blue square from the top layer up to the not round layer and drop it in the place and notice all the lumps go away.
By the way, I am looking into why this problem exists, but I don't currently know I'm afraid. So that's our work around. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and switch back to my black aero tool and I'll click on the path outline to select it. I'll also go up to the view menu and choose smart guides, or you can press Ctrl+U or Cmd+U on the Mac to turn them on, is what I'm looking to do here. And now go ahead and drag this anchor point, the left hand anchor point, so it snaps into alignment right there. With the middle of the and it's very important if you want work this way that your bounding box is turned off.
So under the view menu if you have a bounding box you need to choose hide bounding box to get rid of it. And also go ahead and drag this top point upward like so, while pressing Shift key so it snaps into alignment with the top of M. Next what we want to do, press Shift+Down arrow, three times. One, two, three. In order to scoot the circle down, 30 points, and of course it shouldn't be a circle, it should be a C, so press the A key to switch back to the white arrow tool. Click off the shape to deselect it, and click on this right hand point right there, in order to select it, and press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac in order to get rid of that point.
So we now have a c. Now drag this top anchor point. All the anchor points should be selected now, so drop the top one down and press the Shift+Alt keys as you do, Shift+Option on the Mac, and that way as soon as you release, not only will you have snapped everything in alignment, but you will also have created a duplicate of the c. Alright, now we're going to add some more L's. So press the V key to switch to the black arrow tool, click on this middle line, here in the M, in order to select it. And press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to bring up the move dialog box.
Let's set that vertical value to zero. And then we want to set the horizontal value to a 120, and turn on the preview check box just to make sure that works. So, the line should now appear on the right hand side of the C's and go ahead and click the Copy button to create a Copy of that line like so. All right, now press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac to once again bring up the move dialog box and this time change the value to 80, and click the Copy button. And then finally go ahead and press the Enter key, or Return key on a Mac, in order to once again bring up the Move Dialogue box and change the value to 40.
So do you see what we've been able to do? I'll click on the Copy button here, in order to create yet another copy. Each one of these lines is 40 points away from the other. But, this guy needs to be 120 from the first one, three times 40. And then this next one needs to be twice as much, two times 40, which is why we did 80 and then the final one needs to be right next door, again, at 40. All right. Now, we want the top c to be a little smaller. So, I'll click on it to select it. And then I'll go up to the effect menu and choose to store it and transform.
And then choose to transform command once again. It's easier to work dynamically where some of these operations are concerned because that way you can go back and change your mind very easily. You also know exactly what you've done in the past. All right, I'm going to change the scale, both the scale values, to 66%, like so. Turn on the preview check box. That goes ahead and scales to see with respect to its center, which is not what we want. We want it to be scaled with respect to its right hand side. So, go ahead and select. This right hand, middle point inside this tiny little reference point matrix? That moves things over too far.
So, go ahead and click inside the horizontal move value, and press the down arrow key a couple of times in order to scoot that C over to the left two points. So, you should have a horizontal value of negative two points. Then click OK in order to accept that change. Alright, now we need to make the E, and we're going to do that, once again, using the ellipse tool. So go ahead and select it, click some place inside the red field here. These values are the same. You should see those values of 140 point each, that's what we want, so click OK. And now I'm going to move this guy up using my black arrow tool, just a little bit here.
And we want once again to add some anchor points. So go up to the object menu, choose path, and then choose add anchor points. And you should see a nice, smooth circle still, and that's because we're working on the not round player of this side. If we were working on a chop layer, it would be all lumpy again. Now I'm going to press the A key, in order to get my white arrow tool, click off the path to deselect it, and click on this segment right here, lower right segment. Now, not on the anchor point, just on the segment, to select this one right there, and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac, to get rid of it.
Now we want the pen tool. And you want to click on this anchor point on the far right hand side in order to light it up, and then Shift+Click over on this anchor point on the left hand side in order to draw a horizontal segment. So we now have an e. Now, switch back to the black arrow tool, click on the shape in order to select it. And we need this guy to be centered, by the way, between these two vertical lines right here. So what I'm going to do is drag it by its center points so it snaps into alignment with the top of this l, and then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac to bring up the move dialogue box.
You want the horizontal value to be negative 40 so we're moving the shape to the left. And, you want the vertical value to be zero. And, assuming you have the Preview check box on, you'll be able to see it's new position. Then, change the vertical value to a 130 points. And, that'll move the e downward, as well, to, the location that I came up with in advance. And then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. Now, we don't want the e to be this big, and we also want it to be a little rotated. So it's kind of splitting the difference between a vertical read for what will be my first name, Deke, and a horizontal read for the last name, McClelland.
So go up to the affects menu, and choose transform, dot, dot, dot. And that will bring up the transform effect dialogue box, complete with our last applied settings, this time. Again I just figured this out through trial and error, I'll change the horizontal value to 57%. I'll change the vertical value to 57% as well. And I'll change the move value to zero. Then select the center point from the reference point matrix down here near the bottom left corner of the dialogue box and turn on the preview check box, and we get an E that fits in between the two Ls.
Now I wanted it to be a little bit rotated once again, so I'll change the rotate value to negative 30 and we end up with this effect here. Now click OK in order to accept that change. Now to draw the k, go ahead and get the line tool which you can get from this fly out menu right here. And then just go ahead and drag with your smart guides on from this l, the first l, over to the second l and press the Shift key as you do, so that you create a horizontal line. And now we want to move that line into the right location, by pressing the V key to get the black arrow tool.
I'm going to go ahead and drag from roughly the center of the line up, until it snaps into alignment with the bottom of the e. And I've got the Shift key down as well, just to make sure that I'm constraining the direction of my drag. And then I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, to bring up the Move dialog box. I want to leave the horizontal values set to zero, but I want to change the vertical value to 22 points. And then I'll click OK in order to move that K. Now we need to create the K part of the K. So go ahead and copy that line by pressing Ctrl+C, or Cmd+C on a Mac.
And paste it in front by pressing Ctrl+F, or Cmd+F on a Mac. Go up to the object menu, choose path, and choose add anchor points yet again, in order to add an anchor point right there at the center. Then press the A key to switch to the wide arrow tool, and Shift+Click on that anchor or point to turn it off. That's center anchor point, so that both the right-hand and left-hand anchor points are still active, and then press Shift+Down arrow six times. One, two, three, four, five, six, in order to create that effect right there. Alright, now press the V key to switch back to the black arrow tool.
And try to locate that big E right there, and click on it to select it. We want to create a copy of it, so just go ahead and drag it downwards. And then press the Shift and Alt keys, or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac, in order to drag it down and create a copy of it like so. And at this point it's a little inconvenient for this e to be rendered as a dynamic effect because, after all, we already know the settings from the other e. We don't need two dynamic effects going on. So, to change it to a static path outline, go to the Object Menu and choose Expand Appearance, and now it is what it looks like it is.
I'm going to drag this guy up while pressing the Shift key, so it snaps into alignment with the K, the top bar of the K since it's on it's side. And then we will press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac in order to bring up the move dialog box and I'll change the vertical value to 50 in order to space the e away from the k like so. Click OK in order to accept that change. Now we're going to create the D and I'm going to start the D as a circle. So, I'll go ahead and select the ellipse tool from the toolbox. I'll click right there at that top anchor point in the first L in order to bring up the ellipse dialogue box and I'll just change both of these values to 80 points.
And since the link is on changing one, changes the other automatically, and I'll click OK. And I've got myself a circle. Now I'll switch back to the white arrow tool. Click up the shape to deselect it. Click on this top anchor point to select it. Press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the mac to get rid of it. And then press Ctrl+J, or Cmd+J on a Mac to join those two lines with a straight segment. Press the V key to switch to the black arrow tool. Go ahead and drag this anchor point there up until it snaps into alignment with the top of the l and then press Shift+Down arrow in order to scoot the d down ten points.
That D is too narrow or if you like not long enough since it's on its side. So let's make it bigger, once again using a dynamic effect. I don't want to start from the last settings I applied, so I'll just drop down to distort and transform and I'll choose the Transform command. And I will change the vertical value to 140 points. Leave the horizontal value set to a 100. Turn on the Preview check box. It's going up and down which is not what we want, so select the top point in this tiny reference point matrix in order to produce this effect here and click OK.
Alright, now for the ampersand. Go ahead and select the big E right there by clicking on it with the black arrow tool. And we want to create a copy of this guy, so just go ahead and Shift+Alt drag or Shift+Option drag it over to the right like so. And I want to get rid of one of its dynamic effects, specifically, I don't want it to be rotated. So I'll switch over to the Appearance panel, which lives next door to my Layers panel, but if you can't find yours, then choose Appearance from the Window menu. Click on the word Transform right there.
And reduce the angle value to zero. And then click OK. And you end up with an upright e. Let's go ahead and render that out by going up to the object menu and choosing expand appearance, so that we have a real path outlined. This is where things get a little tricky as I recall. I'm going to press the A key to switch to the white arrow tool. I'll click on this point right there and you'd think that would be the last point where you created which was the bar, but it's not, it's the opposite. So press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on the Mac to switch to the outline mode and marquee these two points right there to select both of them.
And then Shift+Click in order to turn the top one off. And press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of the bar. Now we also need to get rid of more points. So click off to deselect the path, Click here and Shift+Click here. So we're selecting both of the end points and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of them. Now press Ctrl+Y, Cmd+Y on the Mac to switch back to the preview mode. And go ahead and drag this left hand anchor point while pressing the Shift key, over to the left slightly in my case, so that it snaps in to alignment with a third L.
And we end up with this effect here. Now we want to flip a copy of this path outline. So go ahead and click and hold on the rotate tool, and select the reflect tool from the fly out menu, and Alt+Click or Opt+Click on the bottom most anchor point to bring up the reflect dialogue box. Set the axis to horizontal, like so, and if you've got the preview check box on you'll be able to see what you're doing. Then click on the Copy button, in order to create a copy of that path, and now, press the A key in order to switch to the wide arrow tool.
Press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on the Mac to switch back to the outline mode. That way you can easily marquee these two anchor points right there. Just select them, and press Ctrl+J or Cmd+J on the Mac to fuse them together. Then press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on a Mac to switch back to the preview mode. The only thing left is to add the stems at the top and the bottom of the ampersand, and we're going to do that using the line tool, so just go ahead and select that line segment tool from the tool box. And then click someplace in the red field here, just so we can see what we're doing. Change the length to 40 points and you want the angle value to be 90 degrees so that you end up with a vertical line and then click OK and we end up with this line right there.
Now press the V key to switch to the black arrow tool and drag its bottom point, so it snaps into alignment with the top of the ampersand. And we can confirm that's the case, just by clicking on it; sure enough everything is where it needs to be. And now go ahead and drag the top anchor point in this line downward, while pressing the Shift and Alt keys, or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac, and drop that one into place. And we end up with a copy of that vertical line at the bottom of the art work. And that friends is well, the longest movie I've ever recorded for Lynda.com and also one way at least, to create an Eastern style, vector based chop, entirely from scratch here, Inside Illustrator.
All right. So, I figure that's enough for this week. After all, how much more can I give you? Or more importantly, how much more can you take? Next week, I'll have three much shorter videos devoted to the following topics. First, we'll add these naturalistic brush strokes inside of Illustrator and then we'll create this kind of organic paper texture inside of Photoshop and then finally we'll create this black on red variation.
Deke's Technique's each and every week. Keep watching.
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