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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustration by John Hersey

Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush


From:

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush

In his final exercise, I am going to walk through the numerical settings that are associated with the bristle brush, so that you can customize a brush to get exactly the results you're looking for. And the thing to bear in mind here is you're really controlling the quality of the hair--that is, the hair that makes up that paintbrush. So with that in mind, I have saved my modified document as Round fan brushstroke.ai. It's found inside the 26_brushstrokes folder. I want you to once again press Ctrl+Shift+A, or Command+Shift+A on the Mac, to make sure nothing is selected inside of your illustration.
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
      45s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
      58s
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
      33s
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush

In his final exercise, I am going to walk through the numerical settings that are associated with the bristle brush, so that you can customize a brush to get exactly the results you're looking for. And the thing to bear in mind here is you're really controlling the quality of the hair--that is, the hair that makes up that paintbrush. So with that in mind, I have saved my modified document as Round fan brushstroke.ai. It's found inside the 26_brushstrokes folder. I want you to once again press Ctrl+Shift+A, or Command+Shift+A on the Mac, to make sure nothing is selected inside of your illustration.

Then bring up the Brushes panel and go ahead and scroll your way to the very bottom here until you find your 8mm round fan brush, if you've been working along with me. Double-click on it in order to bring up the Bristle Brush Options dialog box, and notice this time you've got a Preview check box, so that you can preview the effects of your modifications out here in the larger illustration window, and Illustrator will go ahead and update all of the stroked path outlines on the fly. Now, we're going to start near the bottom, because that's the easiest way to understand things. First of all, Paint Opacity, that couldn't be easier.

I am going to go ahead and change that value to 100%, so that we get some very opaque brushstrokes. But here's the thing to bear in mind: what you're really changing is the opacity of many different brushstrokes that are being laid down at once, because each one of the hairs on this fanned brush is laying down its own independent path outline, potentially, and so those various outlines might be translucent, in which case they're going to blend in with each other, as you see here inside this little brush preview. It's not so easy to see out here in the illustration window. But once you crank it up to Opaque, it really starts looking good out here inside the larger illustration, and that's the effect I'm looking for.

All right, now I'll pop back to the top of the list. You know how Size works. You're just going to make the brush bigger or smaller using this option. Bristle Length, that's the length of the hairs--that is to say at some point the hairs are actually attached to that stick that is the brushstroke, and then how long are the hairs? Well, that's what you're controlling with this option. The question, of course, is what difference does it make if you're using short hairs or long hairs? Well, think about when you're actually painting, if you've done much of that. When you paint with a long hair brush, you're going to get big, lopy brush- strokes, so you're going to be painting with a lot of brush at the same time, and the brush isn't necessarily super carefully following your movement, so it sort of flops back and forth, almost like a mop. Think of it that way.

If you want a lot of control, then you want to back off this setting. I want a fair amount of control here. I am going to go ahead and take it down to 50%. Next, you have Bristle Density, how many bristles are packed on that brush. Are there just three or four hairs hanging off the brush, or are they super-packed in there? And if you go with a very high density, why then of course you're going to get a much thicker effect, as you see here, and you're going to get less individual hair interaction. If you want sort of spikier brush results so that you see a lot of little brush- strokes, then you want to go ahead and decrease the Bristle Density, and you'll get this kind of effect here.

The value that I am looking for for this particular illustration is 30. So I'll go ahead and change that value to 30%. Bristle Thickness, how thick are those individual hairs? And that's going to make a difference in terms of how these various bristles interact as well. If you want to see a lot of bristle action, then you want to crank down that Thickness value so you have these tiny wispy details. And then if you don't want the wispy details, well, then you want to go with some nice coarse hairs. In my case, I am going to crank that down to 10%.

And then finally, Stiffness. So think of that brush, you're pressing down on the brush. How much does it give? Is it super flexible, in which case it's going to smush back and forth. Go back to that mop metaphor and think about a floppy mop, and that's what you're creating with a very flexible-- that is a low--Stiffness value. And so your brush is going to waver back and forth and your hairs are going to mix in fairly sloppily with each other. That may be a great effect; that may be what you're looking for. If you want some very controlled results, then you want to go with a more rigid brush, that has some sort of wax built into it essentially.

I am going to crank this Rigid value all the way up to 100%, so that I end up with this effect here. So we can see the actual tendrils of that brushstroke interacting with each other. This looks absolutely great to me. But remember, that's how those values work. I don't want you to be frightened of them. They are fairly easy to modify. I think over time you will become familiar with how they work. And as long as you've got the Preview check box on and you've got something painted there in the illustration window, then you can see your changes on the fly. All right, go ahead and click OK in order to apply that modification. And of course Illustrator has got to ask us, "Do you want to apply your changes to the current strokes or leave the strokes alone?" and you know what, I am going to show you a tip. Instead of clicking apply, which you have to do every single time, because that's usually what you want do, go ahead and press the A key.

So you'd press A for apply, you'd press L if you want to for leave, and of course Escape for cancel. And we end up getting this effect here. And this is the final version of the artwork folks. I am going to go ahead and press the F key in order to switch to the Full Screen mode. Actually, I'll press the F key a couple of times, and we end up with this effect here. This is the final version of our large format garment tag, created using the dynamic--and I have to say, once again, powerful--Brushes panel, here inside Illustrator CS5.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
 
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