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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
Enveloping in Illustrator is an extremely powerful feature and as such there are many different settings that are kind of buried deep inside of the feature and depending on the type of artwork that you are using you may find it necessary to explore some of these settings. So let's take a closer look. I'm working in this file called edit_envelope. I'm going to select both of these elements right here. This object is currently set to the top of the stacking order. So I'm going to use the Make with Top Object command in order to turn this particular element into an envelope. So I'm going to go to the Object menu here.
I'm going to choose Envelope Distort. I'm now going to choose Make with Top Object. So great. I have my envelope that I have created, but now I want to go ahead and I want to modify some of the settings for that envelope. Now you will notice that over here at sometimes you will see some of the distortion that appears maybe here in the S or the U. It may not be perfect and you may look at that envelope and say, "well, Illustrator didn't do such a good job" and look elsewhere. But in reality Illustrator has many different settings for this particular envelope feature and some of them are set for performance reasons to not always give you the best results. I know it's kind of funny, right, but if you take a look you will see that specially with complex artwork sometimes modifying those paths with an envelope and applying to those distortions can go ahead and have some kind of performances.
So let's take a look at how to modify these settings. With my envelope selected I can either go to the Object menu and I can choose Envelope Distort and then choose Envelope Options or I can just simply look right here inside of the control panel and click on this icon here called Envelope Options. So I'm going to click on that button that opens up the Envelope Options dialog box and I'll click on the Preview button. So I could see what these settings actually do when they are applied. Now first of all I had and so far this example here only been using the vector artwork inside of my envelopes, however you could of course take rasterize content such as place Photoshop images and have those be enveloped as well.
When doing so you can choose whether or not to Anti-Alias that artwork and you can also choose whether or not you want to Preserve the Shape Using a Clipping Mask or if you want use the Transparency. But by far the most important setting in this dialog box is this one here called Fidelity. Right now it's set to 50 and the slider goes from 0 all the way up to 100. Now again because of performance reasons Illustrator leaves to the Fidelity settings set at 50. Kind of at the midpoint over there. And in many cases this is just fine when you are performing your distortions using envelopes, but you have complex artwork or if you are seeing some kind of distortion that you are not happy with, you can go ahead and increase that Fidelity setting knowing that it may go ahead and has some kind of performances. Although in this with you the case here, it won't at all, it's a very simple example.
So I'm going to take your slide here and since I have the Preview button on you will actually be able to see what happens when I increase the Fidelity. If I go all the way to 100 here you can see that part of the U here looks little bit more smoother and other areas as well. If I'll go down all the way to zero for example, you can see that the R and the U make some adjustments there. Same thing with the sides of here at the F. So I can adjust the Fidelity settings as necessary to really get a much better or cleaner looking distortion then I might otherwise get. In fact, you can see over here that the S has a much cleaner shape than it does down over here.
So by modifying this particular slider you can go ahead and you can choose to get better results with your envelopes. Additionally, the envelope feature does allow you to the store appearances of the objects meaning drop shadows or other kinds of effects that you apply through the Effect menu inside of Illustrator and you could also choose to Distort Linear Gradients and Pattern Fills. But you need to have these checkboxes turned on in order for that to happen. So if you do have artwork that has a linear gradient or a pattern inside of it by default, when you distort them inside of an envelope those elements do not get distorted. In order for you to have those elements also take on the distortion of the envelope, you need to go ahead and choose Envelope Options I can do right over here and check these options here, either Distort Linear Gradients or Distort the Pattern Fills. Once you go ahead and apply these settings you can click OK and then apply to those particular shapes.
Now it's important to realize the options here on a per object basis or I should say a per envelope basis. So if you have three or four different envelopes in your file you can have different settings for each of those envelopes.
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