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Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes

In this movie we'll add a rail along with base plates using a series of seven slightly offset strokes. My path is still selected, so I'll click on the top white stroke in the stack here inside the Appearance panel, and I'll just go ahead and add a new stroke, without anything special going on. I can do that either by clicking on the Add New Stroke icon in the lower left corner of the Appearance panel or pressing its keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+/ or Cmd+Option+/ on the Mac. Then I'll change the color of the stroke to Light Rail, which is a light shade of gray.

Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes

In this movie we'll add a rail along with base plates using a series of seven slightly offset strokes. My path is still selected, so I'll click on the top white stroke in the stack here inside the Appearance panel, and I'll just go ahead and add a new stroke, without anything special going on. I can do that either by clicking on the Add New Stroke icon in the lower left corner of the Appearance panel or pressing its keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+/ or Cmd+Option+/ on the Mac. Then I'll change the color of the stroke to Light Rail, which is a light shade of gray.

And notice that the stroke is coming in with the dash and gap pattern. I don't want that because there's no gaps in a rail. So I'll click on the word Stroke and turn off the Dashed Line checkbox. Then I'll reduce the line weight to 8 points in order to create this effect here. Now, I'll create a copy of the stroke by clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel and I'll click on the rear Stroke to make it active. The idea is I want to create a kind of series of beveled shadows and highlights. So I'll start things off by changing the color to Dark Rail and I'll increase the line weight to 10 points.

That will make that new stroke visible on both sides of the one above it. I don't quite want that. I want to step it down a little bit. So with this stroke selected I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and choose Transform, or press Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on the Mac if you loaded dekeKeys. Then I'll turn on the Preview checkbox and I'll click in the Vertical value and I'll press the Up Arrow Key a couple of times to nudge that stroke down, which is little non-intuitive that I'm pressing the Up Arrow Key in order to nudge the stroke down, but that's the way it works.

Then I'll go ahead and click OK. All right! Now click on the newest stroke right there and click on the little Page icon to make a copy of it and let's change its color to Medium Rail and a line weight value of 10 points is just fine. However, we want to nudge the stroke in the opposite direction. So click on Transform, turn on the Preview checkbox, and enter a negative sign in front of that Vertical value. That will go ahead and move that stroke in the opposite direction. Next click OK. Now I want to create a copy of this most recent stroke at the top of the stack, and the easiest way to do that is to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag that stroke upward like so.

If you do it right you'll see a little plus sign next to your fist cursor and go ahead and drop it into place in order to create a copy of that stroke. Go ahead and twirl it open. Let's change its line weight value this time around to 2 points, and the color of the stroke this time is going to be White. I'm going to move it up a little farther by clicking on the Transform icon, turn on the Preview checkbox, and this time because we want to nudge it upward, go ahead and click inside the Vertical value and press the Down Arrow key a couple of times in order to take that value down to -4 points.

Then click OK, and let's create a copy of this stroke by clicking on it and then clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel. Then, now that you have a copy of the stroke, drop down to the original one, click on its color swatch, and change the color to Shadow Rail. 2 point line weight is going to work out fine. Click on the word Transform in order to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box. Turn on the Preview checkbox and get rid of the minus sign in front of the Vertical value, and then press the Tab key in order to watch that stroke move to this location inside of the document window.

Then click OK. All right! That takes care of the rail, but we need to add some base plates that will attach the rail to the ties, and just so we can see what we're doing, we'll create the plates at the top of the stack. So I'm going to click on that top white stroke and then I'll twirl these two guys closed, just so I have a little more room to work, and I'll create a new stroke just by clicking on the Add New Stroke icon in the bottom left corner of the panel. I'm going to change the color of the stroke to Shadow Rail, and I'm going to increase the line weight value--and this is just through trial and error--to 22 points, so that it's thicker than the rail, which is the way it ought to be.

Obviously the rail should only appear in front of the ties, so we need to add a dash pattern by clicking on the word Stroke, turning on Dashed Line, and in my case that ends up giving me the dash values that I assigned to the ties in the first place. The first dash value should be 0, as it is here. I want the width of these base plates to be 10 points, so I'll dial that in for the second dash value. And then you've got to subtract 10 from 64, which is 54, and divide 54 by 2, and the easiest way to do that is to just enter 54/2 for your first gap value.

That gives me 27 points. So I'll just enter 27 points for the second gap value as well in order to produce this effect here. All right! That's going to be the little shadow line around the base plate. Now let's add the plate itself. So make sure the Stroke is still selected. Then, drop down to the little Page icon: click on it. Go ahead and reduce the line weight value to 20 points, and then change the color to Light Rail to produce that effect there. And because I reduced the line weight from 22 points to 20 points, there is one point on the top and one point at the bottom. So I need to do the same thing on either side of the base plates.

So I'll click on Stroke in order bring up the dash and gap values. I'll take the first gap value up one just by nudging it up one. I'll also nudge the second gap value up one, and I'm doing that pressing the Up Arrow Key, by the way. Then I'll nudge the dash value down two in order to create this effect. Now, of course I need to move the plates below the rails, so I'll click on one, Shift+Click on the other, to select them both, and then drag them below the rail lines, like so. But that's not enough, because notice that we have these hairlines, which means I need to move these dashes below the white cover-up, which is directly below.

So I'll go ahead and select them both and drag them one down. So you can see how the Appearance panel works like a kind of Layers panel. The difference is it accommodates Fills, Strokes, and Dynamic Effects assigned to a single object. So that's how you create the first rail associated with these train tracks. In the next movie we'll duplicate this rail and shift things around to create the second one.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14346 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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