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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
In this movie I'll show you how to create the gravel behind the train tracks, as well as add the final shading effects. I'll go ahead and bring up my documents so far and I'll also switch over to the Layers panel and turn off the Tracks layer so that I can introduce another image onto the Tiles layer. So I'll go ahead and select it, of course. Then I'll scroll over to the left side of the document where I placed the grass image, and I'll go up to the File menu and choose the Place command--or if you loaded dekeKeys, you've got a shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+D or Cmd+ Option+D on the Mac--and then select Gravel tile.psd and click on the Place button.
This is yet another pattern that ships along with Photoshop. So I'll go ahead and move it down and then I'll click on the Embed button up there in the Control panel. Make sure that Flatten Layers is turned on and then click OK. Next go up to the Object menu, choose Pattern, and choose Make, or again, if you loaded dekeKeys press Ctrl+M or Cmd+M on the Mac. Click OK if you get an alert message. Change the name of this pattern to Gravel. Press the Enter or Return key to confirm the name, and then press the Esc key in order to return to your artwork and create a new pattern inside the Swatches panel called Gravel. All right! Now let's turn the Tracks layer back on, and I'm going to scroll to the upper right corner of the document, and I'll click on the track outline to select it.
And then I'll switch over to the Appearance panel so we can make some modifications here. Now, I want to add the Gravel Pattern to the very bottom of the stack. So I'll scroll down to the bottom and click on the Fill to make it active. Then I'll click on the Add New Stroke icon in the bottom left corner of the panel, and I'll change the line weight to 150 points. Now, we don't want a dashed line, so click on the word Stroke here and turn off the Dashed Line checkbox. Then finally, we want to change the color of the Stroke from White, in my case, to Gravel, and you end up with this effect here.
Now, naturally those white cover-ups can't be white anymore, because they aren't covering up anything. They're obvious as heck. So we need to change them to Gravel as well. There is one of them, the one that says 140-point Dashed. Go ahead and click on it to make it's active and then change its color from White to Gravel, and notice that the patterns line up exactly. Then go ahead and scroll to the top of the list, click on that topmost white stroke, and change its color from White to Gravel as well, and you end up with this effect here, again, with all three Strokes in perfect alignment. All right! Now let's add a few Drop Shadows, and here is where things start to slow down a little bit, because anytime you're adding shadows with blurs associated with them, then you end up taxing the power of Illustrator. But still, it's worth it for a great-looking effect.
So I'll go ahead and scroll down the list to the second-to-bottommost Stroke, which is this 130-point brown stroke. Click on it to make it active and then go up to the Effect menu, choose Stylize, and choose Drop Shadow. Or if you loaded dekeKeys, I've given you a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+E or Cmd+Option+E on the Mac. Now, I want you to change the mode to Normal this time around. It's just going to work best for us. And click on the Color Swatch and just make sure that the R, G, and B values are dialed down to 0 apiece.
I know we're working inside of a CMYK document, but that's going to give us a nice rich black, as you see over here in the right. Then go ahead and click OK. Next, go ahead and crank the Opacity value up to 100% and then dial in an X Offset value of 2, a Y Offset value of 2, and a Blur value of 2 as well, and turn on the Preview checkbox, and you'll see shadows behind the railroad ties, at least those outside the rails. Inside the rails is a different story and we'll approach that in a moment. But for now just go ahead and click OK in order to apply that effect. All right! Now click the Gravel stroke at the very bottom of the list and reapply that exact same Drop Shadow by going up to the Effect menu and choosing the very first command, Apply Drop Shadow, which in a moment will go ahead and apply that Drop Shadow to the granite.
Notice we're starting to get some slower progress bars now, and that will continue to happen for each effect we add. Now, at this point I also wanted to add a little bit of highlight on the other side of the granite so that we have a kind of bevel effect going on. But if I were to apply another directional effect, which would be another Drop Shadow, because that's all we've got in Illustrator anyway, and I were to set it to White, which is perfectly acceptable, it would trace the white Drop Shadow not on this stroke, but on the edge of the black Drop Shadow, and you'll end up getting a terrible effect.
So what we need to do instead is make a copy of this stroke and modify it, and I think this will make more sense in just a moment. But if you're following along with me, make sure this bottom stroke is selected and then click on Duplicate Selected Item, wait for the progress bars to fly by, and then once they do--which may take a moment or two--then once again go ahead and scroll to the bottom of the list here and notice that we have two Gravel Strokes, click on the Drop Shadow for the second one up there. Make sure the Preview checkbox is turned off so you don't get any progress bars, at least while you're working inside the dialog box.
Go ahead and click on the Color Swatch there and change it to White. This time the RGB value should be 255 apiece. Go ahead and click OK. And then you just want to change the X Offset and Y Offset values to negative versions of their former selves. So just enter minus signs before the 2s and then click OK, and of course wait out the progress bars, which will be coming up any moment now. In time you'll end up achieving this highlight effect along the upper left edge of the granite. All right! Now we need to take care of the fact that we can't see any shadows from the rails on the inside edge- that is, within the rails.
So I'll go ahead and scroll to the top of the list and I'll click on that very topmost stroke in order to make it active. Ideally, I'd like to apply an inner shadow in order to simulate the effect of the Drop Shadow on the outside. Illustrator, however, does not provide an inner shadow effect, so we're going to have to make do with Inner Glow. So go to the Effect menu, choose Stylize, and then choose Inner Glow. Notice that I've set the mode once again to Normal. So change it from Screen to Normal and then click on the Color Swatch and make it black.
So the RGB values should all be 0, as they are here, and then click OK. Next, change the Opacity for the sake of consistency to 100% and change the Blur value to 4 points. Make sure that Edge is selected, not Center, and then turn on the Preview checkbox. And after a flurry of progress bars you'll eventually see a shadow inside of the rails. While it's not exactly consistent with the other shadows, it's good enough. So I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply that effect.
And finally I decided this rail right here should have a shadow, because this one occasionally does. So I went ahead and scrolled down the list to this 90-point gray stroke right there, and then I returned to the Effect menu, chose Stylize, and then chose Drop Shadow. In fact, it's not past tense; I'm doing it right now. I'll change the color from White to Black, and I'm doing that by dragging this little dot around, by the way, to the bottom left corner of the color field. Then click OK, and this time I decided to change all the values; X Offset, Y Offset, and Blur to 1 point.
Now I'll turn on the Preview checkbox, and in time, after a few progress bars, I'll end up seeing that Drop Shadow along the bottom edge of the rail. Once you do as well, go ahead and click OK in order to apply that final effect. Now I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on the Mac in order to deselect what is now the final version of the curving railroad track. Thanks to our addition of a few perfectly aligned seamless gravel patterns and a few applications of Drop Shadow and a dark inner glow, here inside Illustrator.
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