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The fourth in a series by industry-pro Deke McClelland on the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, this course shows you how to become a more efficient, exact, and creative designer with the advanced tools in Illustrator. Maximize your productivity with tools such as Smart Guides to precisely align your artwork, symbols that help you reuse it, and pattern brushes that allow you to tile it across the screen. Plus, learn how to add special creative touches to designs with the Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects; the Liquify and Envelope tools; the layered transparency you can achieve with opacity masks; and 3D effects like live, editable 3D type.
In this movie, I'll show you how to manually assign rows and columns to a gradient mesh, so that you have as much control over the process as possible. As I was saying in a previous movie, I want to specifically add more column lines around the outer edges of the shape as this volumetric object is declining away from us. And you do that using the mesh tool. So go ahead and select the mesh tool, either by clicking on this icon, or pressing the U key. Next to add a new column line you want to click on an existing row line because you always end up adding a line perpendicular to the one that you click on. So I'll go ahead and click right there in order to add this kind of column tour and then I'll go ahead and click over here in order to add a column line at that location and I want to add another one right here. Now, if you need more row lines, then you click on an existing column line. For example, I'm going to create a new row line right about there and one up here as well.
Now, at some point, you may want to move an existing line around. For example, I want this column line to be farther over to the left. Now armed with the Mesh tool you can drag points around, and with a great deal of control too. Notice that I can drag this point right here, and if you press the shift key as you drag, then you drag the column, in this case, along the existing row. So the row's not affected, or if I were to drag up and down I could drag the row and leave the column uneffected which is very useful. Problem is in this to my way of thinking is just nuts. You can't select multiple points at a time.
You can with wide arrow tool if you press the a key to switch to the wide arrow tool and then shift click on a bunch of point like so. You can end up selecting the entire column, as you see me doing right now. However, the problem is, there's no way to constrain your drag, so you don't mess up all the row lines. Which is what I'm looking to do. And if I were to undo that move. Press the u key to switch back to the mesh tool. And now drag these guys while pressing the Shift key. You you can see that Illustrator goes ahead, and deselects all those points. So the point of my diatribe is this.
It's easier if you want to move an existing line to just delete it and then click where you want it to be. So delete the bad line, add a new good line. And to delete a line, what you do is you press the Alt key while using the Mesh tool and then notice if you click on a point, you're going to delete both the column and the row that were associated With that point. I don't want that to happen, so I'll press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac. Instead what you do is press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click on an existing line segment like so. And that'll just go ahead and delete that entire column. Now I'll create a new column right here, by clicking on that point on the row line.
Now I want to delete this column line as well, so press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and click on it, and then I'll click right here to create a new column line. So basically what I'm doing is moving these columns around. I also want to move this row line right here so I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac And click on a line segment associated with that row, and then I'll click on the column line right about here, to add a new row like so. All right now I want to adjust the contour of these two rows right here so that they decline around this sort of spherical area of the pepper here. And so I'll go ahead and drag this line while pressing the shift key, and that will constrain the edge so it doesn't get all messed up And I'll drag this guy down a little bit while pressing the Shift key as well. Notice that these points right here are sort of double smooth points, that is to say, in all they have four control handles, two of which at any given time are symmetrical to each other.
So if I drag this control handle down, The opposite one raises up, but I don't affect the top and bottom handles. If I wanted to affect all four handles at the same time, when using the mesh tool, then I would press the Shift key while dragging any one of these control handles around. I also want to drag this guy up, so I'll just go ahead and drag the control handle upward like so, and I might need to drag this guy up a little bit as well. Then I'll take this point, and I'll Shift-drag it to this location right here. Shift-drag this one a little bit down as well, go ahead and adjust this control handle as well as this one, in order to create this final effect here.
And that's how you both add and delete rows and columns inside of a gradient mesh, as well as adjust the positions of specific anchor points and control handles.
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