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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 we'll employ the obscure, but sometimes useful Flare tool, to create the reflections inside the shield. We'll go ahead and switch back to the beveled version of the shapes, and I'll click and hold on the Shape tool, and select the Flare tool from the end of the flyout menu. Next thing you want to do is drag from the upper-right ridge of the innermost red circle, down to just inside the star shape, like so. Now, you don't want to get too terribly carried away with following along with me exactly, because it's almost impossible to get the same effect twice with the Flare tool.
And just about any effect you're liable to create should look pretty good. Now, at this point the flare is selected, I just can't see the selection edges because I hid them. So I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to bring them back. So you can see what we've got here is a series of three concentric circles in all, along with a bunch of straight lines emanating from the center. In order to add a few more circles, which is key to creating a Lens Flare Effect, you need to click at another location. And I'm going to click in the lower left region of the outermost circle, like so, in order to create an effect like this one here.
Now, if you're not totally satisfied with the effect, then you can edit it numerically while it's still selected by double- clicking on the Flare tool icon inside the toolbox, and that will bring up this dialog box with way too many numerical options. And I'm being slightly disparaging here, just because even though there are all these options, with this high degree of control over the selected object in the background, even if you enter the exact same values I have here-- so let's say I decide to take the diameter value down to 160 points, which reduces the size of the effect. And I leave all these other options set as you see them on screen. Even if you were to pause the video and make sure that every single one of your numerical settings was exactly the same as mine, you could end up achieving a very different effect than you see here on screen.
So again, don't worry about it too much, but you can fiddle around with these values if you want to. I'm going to click OK in order to accept my change. And then I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide the selection edges so I can focus in on the effect. Now, I want to make sure that everything about the flare is serving as a highlight to the shapes and the back of it. So I'll bring up my Transparency panel, which you can get by choosing Transparency from the Window menu, and then I'll change the Blend mode from Normal to Color Dodge, which is going to create an over-the-top lightning effect as you see here. All right! So we need to blur this effect and we need to contain it and dim it down a little bit as well, and here is how we're going to do that.
So the first thing is with the object still selected, go up to the Effect menu, choose Blur, and then choose Gaussian Blur, which goes ahead and blurs all the selected shapes in both directions--that is inward and outward. I'm going to set the Radius to 3 pixels, and I'll turn on the Preview checkbox in order to see the effect. You may have to wait a moment or two for a progress bar, because you are blurring a bunch of shapes at the same time. But in the end you should end up with an effect something like this. Now go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. Now, make sure that your new drawing layer is twirled opened inside the Layers panel, and then scroll down to the bottom of the list and meatball the bottom Red Path in order to select it.
Again, we can't see the selection edges, but the shape is selected. Now go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command or press Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac. Now scroll back up the list and meatball the Flare Object in order to select it, then return to the Edit menu and choose Paste in Front, or press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac. And that will go ahead and paste that red outermost circle in front of the Flare effect. Now we want to clip the flare inside that circle, so go ahead and Shift+Meatball the Flare Object inside the Layers panel so both the top two objects are selected.
Then go to the Object menu, choose Clipping Mask, and choose Make. Or you can press Ctrl+7 or Command+7 on the Mac. That goes ahead and creates a Clipping Group inside the Layers panel, and it clips the contents of the flare inside of the larger circle, and it also gets rid of the red Fill that was previously assigned to the circle; which is just fine, because we don't need it. However, we do need to change that circle to something different. So go ahead and twirl the Clipping Group open inside the Layers panel once again, and then meatball the item called Clipping Path. It's truncate in my case, but that's what it's called.
And you can confirm that it's the right shape because its thumbnail appears as an empty circle. Now if you're working along with me, go up to the first swatch icon in the Control panel, click on it, and change it to cool gradient, which is a radial gradient that I've created in advance. Just to give you a sense of what it looks like, I'll switch to the Gradient panel, which you can get to also by choosing the Gradient command from the Window menu, and notice that it goes from white to a dark dim shade of blue that's defined by the CMYK values here; and its midpoint right there, that diamond, is set to a Location of 75%, as I can see by expanding the panel. All right! I'm going to go ahead and collapse it again though so I have more room to work.
And then I'm going to switch back to my Transparency panel and change the Blend mode from Normal to Multiply in order to achieve this effect. Now, I'd like to dim the effect further, especially inside the blue circle. So I'm going to scroll down my list inside the Layers panel until I see the blue circle. I'll go ahead and meatball it in order to select it, and then I'll press Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac in order to copy it. I'll go ahead and scroll back up the list, meatball the Clipping Group to select it, and then press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac to paste that circle in front.
Finally, I'll click the Fill icon up here in the Control panel, change it to cool gradient once again, so we end up filling the shape with a radial gradient you see here. And then I'll switch back over to the Transparency panel, change the Blend mode to Multiply, and I'll reduce the Opacity value to 50%. And because I loaded dekeKeys, I can do that by pressing Shift+5. Now, I want to stress the Flare tool is a very random tool, so you're going to get a different effect every time. This time around I ended up achieving the effect you see here; previously I had achieved this effect instead.
So your effect is going to look different; but it should still look great, because great is what you get when you combine the Flare tool along with Gaussian Blur and Blend Modes, here inside Illustrator.
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