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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, we are going to begin work on the eyes. I am zoomed in on the final Gradient cat.ai file, and each one of the eyes contains a total of four gradients. So there is one gradient on top of the pupil that represents the highlight, and then in back of the pupil, there is three gradients working together inside of a single shape. One of the gradients starts light on the inside, works its way toward darkness on the outside, and you can even see each one of these gradients listed right now here inside the Appearance panel. So the base gradient looks like this, white on the inside, dark on the outside. The next gradient up is dark on the inside, and light on the outside, so they are working in opposite directions of each other.
And then finally, we have a linear gradient that starts here at the brow, and works its way downward. As a result, we get something of a volumetric form out of this eye. All right, I am going to go ahead and switch over to the file in progress, which I have called Radial grad background.ai, and I am zoomed in on the right eye, for what that's worth, and I am going to go ahead and select this eye with the Black Arrow tool. Let's start things out with the base radial gradient, again, bright on the inside, dark on the outside. So the first color is going to be white, but the second color is going to be a shade of brown, and I am going to go ahead and dial in that brown here in the Color panel by setting the Cyan value to 0, the Magenta value to 50, 100 for Yellow, and then 50 for Black, and then I will press the Enter key or the Return key in the Mac in order to accept that color.
Now then I'll take this brown color swatch and I will drag it down into the Gradient panel and drop it at the final position here, so it will replace black. So we have a white to black gradient, as you can see. By default, it's going to come in as a Linear gradient so I am going to change it to Radial. Then I am going to make some adjustments using my Gradient tool. So I'll press the G key to get the Gradient tool like so, and then I'll drag the center of that gradient to right there in the middle of the pupil, so that the pupil represents the center of the eye, which is the way it works actually, even if that's not quite the center of the shape.
Then I am going to change the angle value here to 45 degrees, and I will press the Return key or the Enter key in the Mac, and I am going to drag this guy outward, just a little bit. The only reason I'm rotating this circle is so that I can see exactly where this terminus point here aligns to the outline of the eye. And then finally, I am going to select this guy right here, the midpoint skew, is what this little diamond at the top of the gradient is known as, and it appears not only above the gradient in the Gradient panel, but it also appears at the top of the gradient annotator, when you hover over it.
What this represents is the midpoint between any two color stops. So we only have two color stops that work in this gradient, white and brown, and this is the middle point between them. Now the reason this control exists is so that you can adjust the speed of the gradient. So in other words, it could fade very quickly at the beginning and then very slowly after the midpoint, or the exact opposite. It could fade very slowly at the beginning, giving us a big, huge, bright area in the center of the eye, and then fade very quickly at the end.
And I want to set the location of that midpoint skew, so you can see that that diamond is selected. I want to set it to exactly 80%, just so that you can match my values here. Now, I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to apply that change. All right, so that represents the first gradient inside of our shape. In the next exercise, we'll create two more gradients and assign Blend modes in order to create a gradient interaction.
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