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Another great way to change the appearance of objects that you create is to utilize Illustrator's Effects, and in this movie, I'll be exploring ways that you can apply these effects to change the look and feel of the artwork that you create. The first thing you have to do is target an object on screen. In order to do that, just grab your Selection tool, and click an object. In this case, I'll select this form field right here. I am also going to make sure that I'm working on the fill, because I might make some changes to it down the road. In order to start making effects, you have to first target an object, like I said, and then go up to the Effect menu, and find the effects that you want.
When you look at the Effect menu, you're going to see that there are two separate types of effects. The first are Illustrator effects; the second are what are called Photoshop effects. These top effects here are what we call live effects. They're able to be applied, edited, and reapplied at a moment's notice. These are the Illustrator effects. They might not be as fancy as some of the Photoshop effects, but they do work best, in my opinion, when you are working with vector artwork. The other effects down here are mainly made for raster-based objects, although they can be applied to Illustrator objects as well.
In this case, I am going to start by adding a drop shadow to this particular box. I am going to go to Stylize, and select Drop Shadow. Once I get the Drop Shadow box open, you will notice that I have several different options to choose from. The first option you turn on needs to always be the Preview. That way you can see exactly what's going on at all times. Now that I have this live Preview turned on, I can see the drop shadow as I am creating it. The mode refers to the blend mode that it's currently using to make the drop shadow appear like it is. Currently, it's set to Multiply.
Multiply is a darkening blend mode, meaning that the shadow will be darker than the objects behind it. If I happen to switch that blending mode, you can change the overall appearance of the drop shadow, based on certain criteria, like the hue, saturation, and brightness of the colors that you choose, either for the shadow, or the background. In this case, I am going go leave it on Multiply. I might take the Opacity down a bit, though, so let's select this, and crank it down to about 45%. When I press the Tab key, it's going to automatically update out here on my screen.
Now let's go down to the X Offset. Right now it's currently set to 7 points. Decreasing that moves the shadow closer to the original object. I am actually going to set this to 0. The Y Offset refers to how far it is away from the bottom or top of this object. In this case, I am going to back this down to about 5 points. Finally, you have the Blur. The Blur can be as much or as little as you want it to be. In this case, I am also going to back this down to something like 3 points.
If you want to choose a different color, you can do so here. Right now it's currently set to Black, but I might want to get in here and change it to something, like a darker Blue, so it blends a little bit more evenly with the background. Hitting OK, you're going to see the difference. I may go back in, and actually make it a little darker than that. Hit OK, and there we go. If it's still a little too harsh, you can always back down the Opacity, just like that. Once you're finished setting up your live effect, you hit OK, and it's applied to the artwork you had selected.
If I look inside of the Appearance panel now, I now have this new attribute with an fx icon next to it, indicating that it's a live effect. I can also go right here, and click to edit the drop shadow. All of the settings that I just had are still there, and if I click Preview, I turn on a live preview, so that I can edit this again. So, for instance, I could change the color back to Black, I could change the Opacity back to 45, and as I make these changes, it's updating in real time right there.
I may also increase the Y Offset a little bit, and decrease the Blur; something like that. Any changes I make in here, again, are automatically reflected as I do the work. That's the beauty of the live preview. So any time I make a change, you're going to see it happen in real time. Clicking OK commits to that, and you can go right back to working. As you continue to explore effects inside of Illustrator, you may find the need to reuse different effects. For instance, I might want to apply this drop shadow to this form field, and the button as well.
The easy way to do that would be to simply save this as a graphic style, and I'll teach you how to do that in a future movie. For now, though, I just wanted to let you know exactly how to apply these effects, and how to work with them inside of the Appearance panel. So hopefully by now you understand how to apply live effects, and how to work with them, and how they can help you enhance your artwork.
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