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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
I've saved my progress as Rear circles. ai, so-called because we're now going to get to work on these two circles that are at the back of the pepper shapes. And circles are actually some of the easiest things to mesh inside of Illustrator, because basically just imagine that you're taking a globe and you're adding latitude and longitude lines and that's it. That's what's going on with gradient mesh inside circles. So let me show you how it works. I'm going to go back to my layers panel, twirl open that mesh peppers layer, and I'm going to lock down a couple of things.
I'm going to lock down that stem after all, because otherwise we're not going to be able to get to that circle that's currently selected there. And then I'm also going to lock down the mesh that's midway down. So basically the first four shapes are now locked. All right! I've got the rearmost circle selected right now, so I might as well begin work on it. I'm going to click near the top right there in order to just create a vertical line right down the center of the shape, and that would be my first longitude line, if you will. And then I'll click right there and a little farther over, like so, in order to set a couple of other longitude lines.
Now let's take care of the latitude lines by clicking very close to the top, because that's going to be a little sort of highlight ledge right there and then just a little farther down for the shadow. And now go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Command key on a Mac, which in my case is giving me the Black Arrow tool, because that's the last Arrow tool I used. And I'll click right about there and then just a little bit right of center and then finally at this location here. And then I'll click very close to the top to add the latitude line and just a little farther down to add another one.
If this was the globe, we're really focusing our attention on the North Pole. Now, I'm going to grab my White Arrow tool and I'm going to click and Shift+Click along these three points in order to make them active. And if you can't select them, if you're having problems, go ahead and zoom in. And then I'll go ahead and press the I key to get my Eyedropper and Shift+Click in some region of highlight. And that didn't work for me, because my stroke is active. So I'll switch to the fill and then I'll Shift+Click again in order to make that highlight appear. And I'm going to raise my Brightness value to just about its maximum there and then I'm going to take the saturation value down a little bit, so that it's not quite so oversaturated.
Actually, let's back off of the Brightness just a little bit as well. Then I'll Ctrl+Click on the background shape there, the big background circle, and Ctrl+Click. Oh, I missed it! Okay, so let's try again. Ctrl+Click, I missed it again. That's a real pain in the neck. So I guess I'll just go ahead and switch to the White Arrow tool to make it active. Click here to see if that helps. Shift+Click and then Shift+Click. That time I got the points. And now I'll go ahead and press the I key to return to the Eyedropper and Shift+Click in some other region of highlight right there.
Maybe increase that brightness value a little bit. The saturation value looks fine to me. Finally, what we need to do, because that's really about all we need to do to the circles. You could go after this forward circle here and you can grab your White Arrow tool again and click and Shift+Click in these points, these three points in that lower latitude line, and you could darken them up a little bit if you wanted to. I won't go too far with the darkening effect. You might just add a little bit of darkness, but it might help with the volumetric form, because we really do want to make it look like a lobe that's rising up and catching the highlight in the background. All right! Now, I'll grab my Black Arrow tool and I'll just go ahead and marquee these two shapes, because after all that guy didn't get selected. Don't know why.
But anyway, I'll go ahead and Shift+ Click on it, but I want to select both of those circles, because after all they both need strokes. So I'll switch to my Appearance panel. Make sure mesh is active, it is, drop down to the lower left icon, Add New Stroke, click on it, or press that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+Slash, Command+Option+Slash on the Mac. And we end up with this effect right here. So everything is looking pretty darn good, I would say, where the red fruity portion of the pepper is concerned. Now we've got to take on the stem and a stem presents a special challenge, because unlike the other paths that we've seen so far, it hooks around on itself, which means that this trunk right here starts off being a vertical element at least in so far as gradient mesh is concerned.
Illustrator is going to read it that way. So Illustrator is going to want to trace a bunch of row lines around it, but once we get toward the top of the stem, it all of a sudden becomes a horizontal element, which means that Illustrator is going to want to trace columns around it and then it twists back into something of a vertical element. And as you'll see that presents a very, very interesting challenge that we'll get to in the very next exercise.
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