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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 I'll show you how to modify the shape of this triangle to fill in this central area and because the triangle is subject to a dynamic effect, all the other triangles will update automatically in kind. And we'll ultimately end up with these curving sides that you see right here as well as the smooth spiral all the way around the nautilus shell. Now, the first step is to press the A key to access the White Arrow tool. Even though the triangle's inside of a group, we can just as easily access its anchor points as we did before.
Now we need to take these two straight sides and convert them into curving segments. And the most official way to do that is just to marquee these two anchor points down here at the bottom and click on this Smooth Point icon in order to convert them to smooth points. That ruined some of the work we did earlier, but again this is most streamlined approach. And then I'll go ahead and marquee the top anchor point and convert it to a smooth point as well. Now that ends up delivering a pretty interesting result, but it's not the result I want. So I'll click and hold on the Pen tool icon and select the Convert Anchor Point tool from the bottom of the flyout menu.
Now I'm going to zoom in so I can get a better sense of what I'm doing here. And I'll press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac to temporarily access the White Arrow tool, and then I'll click on that segment. Release the Ctrl or Cmd key, and then go ahead and drag directly on that control handle, and drag on this control handle as well. Now if you end up getting this warning, it's because you've slightly missed the control handle. You don't actually have to drag directly on an anchor point. Anyway, I'll click OK and try to do a better job this time. And then scroll up to the top here, Ctrl+ Click or Cmd+Click on this left-hand segment like so, and then drag this control handle down.
All right, that's all the work you want to do with the Convert Point tool. So, go ahead and press the A key in order to switch back to the white Arrow. Now go ahead and drag the control handles around until you get this kind of curvature going right here. So I want both of the segments to curve over to the right like so, and then we want this guy to come back up a little bit as well. Now if you want a little bit of help figuring out exactly how these segments need to bend, then you can twirl open the Nautilus layer here inside the Layers panel and you'll see this hidden item, Curves, three items down.
Go ahead and turn it on and you'll see this guideline right here and over here as well. And so I'm doing pretty good over here in the right-hand side, but I'm doing very badly over here on the left-hand side. So I'll go ahead and drag this guy over to this position and drag this one up as well. You don't have to perfectly match my guide, by the way. It's just one solution I came up with. You can go your own way, of course. And ultimately what I'm looking for as I drag these around- I'm trying to make sure that I'm getting smooth transitions over here in the other corners.
Because any weird transitions I see going on here are going to be magnified later on when we increase the number of copies to create the full nautilus. So I'm doing okay so far, but I'm going to have to do better. So I'll keep dragging these guys around. Now one of the things you might find helpful is nudging the anchor points from the keyboard. But right now if I click on an anchor point and I press an Up Arrow key, that's a big nudge inside of this document as you can see, even though I have my keyboard increment value set to 0.2 points.
So I'm going to press Ctrl+K or Cmd+K on the Mac in order to bring up the Preferences dialog box and I'm going to change that keyboard increment to 0.02 points and I'll click OK. All right, now I'll try nudging this guy around and you can see at this point I'm getting much greater control. So you know, I'm not getting much done at any given moment here. That is to say, each press of the Arrow key is moving the point a very, very small distance, but that's kind of the idea. All right, so I'll go ahead and nudge this guy up and it looks like I'm getting some good smooth edges as I peruse around what is currently this little shrimp shell.
Everything looks pretty good. Oh! I should check out the center though as well. And the best way to confirm the appearance of the center is to zoom in as far as you can which is 6400% here. And then bring up your Stroke panel and change the line weight to 0.1 point and you'll get a sense here of whether everything is lining up the way you want it to. And if you get those guides out of the way just press Ctrl+; or Cmd+; on the Mac, and then I'll click on that top anchor point right there and I'll press the Right Arrow key to nudge it over to the right like so, and you can see I'm opening up a gap.
I don't want that so I'll go ahead and press the Left Arrow key in order to try to get rid of that gap and that's looking pretty darn good to me. That black by the way in the outside of the stroke is a function of the fact that I've set my stroke to the inside of the path outline and we have such a thin stroke to boot. So in other words, a gradient fill is showing through in the background. The solution is to just go ahead and select some portion of the triangle and then take the line weight back up to 1 point, like so. All right, I'm going to zoom out by pressing Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on the Mac.
It might not want to go out that far necessarily. And I'll go ahead and switch over to the Appearance panel so that I could see what's going on. And all I see is my path at this point with a 1-point stroke and the two fills, but notice that the Group has an FX icon next to it which shows me that I have some sort of Dynamic Effect applied to it. So I'll just go ahead and click on the word Group in order to select the entire group and gain access to the Transform effect. Then I'll click on the word Transform, turn on the Preview checkbox, click inside the Copies value and I can press the Up Arrow key in order to add more shapes to the nautilus shell. And you can even press and hold the Up Arrow key if you want to in order to fill up the entire screen like so.
Now I've found that I wanted a total of 69 copies in order to create the shell effect. The reason it looks like I've got too many at this point is because I'm too far zoomed in, but this is going to work out great. So go ahead and click the OK button in order to update the effect and then press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on the Mac in order to zoom out so that you can take in the entire shell. So the amazing thing is not only can you repeat a complex sequence of transformations including Rotating, Scaling and Duplicating but you can also update the effect any time you like.
Thanks to the power of the Transform effect here inside Illustrator.
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