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In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
So now that we have an understanding of the differences between something that has a basic appearance and a complex appearance, I want to show you a setting that appears inside of the Appearance panel, which can help you in drawing your artwork. I'll start off by creating a very basic shape. I'm going to take just the regular circle here, and I'm going to crank up the Stroke just a little bit here to make it easier to see, maybe around 6 points. I'm going to apply a Drop Shadow effect to this object. I'm just going to use the basic settings here. We know that the behavior of Illustrator normally is that whenever I draw a shape, the next shape that I draw is going to pick up the appearances that I've used in that shape that I just previously created.
In fact, it really goes one step further than that. When you're using Illustrator, every time you draw an object, Illustrator picks up the settings in the last object that you've had selected. So let me show you a really quick example of that. If I created some rectangles over here, and I give these rectangles different colors, let's say this one right here. Let's give this one a different color like a blue. Then let's create one more here and give this one a red color. So now I have three different rectangles here. So I'm just going to now click on this Yellow one. Now, I'm going to create a new Rectangle.
This new Rectangle is now going to pick up the settings from that Yellow Rectangle. If I now want to create a shape that's going to be Red, I can hold down the Command key to return to my Selection tool, simply click on the Red Rectangle. Now the next time that I draw a shape, that shape is going to be Red. So Illustrator always picks up the settings, or the appearances, from an object that I have selected, then when I create a new object, it starts drawing, basically, that new object using the same Appearance settings from that last object.
However, watch what happens here. I'm going to click on this circle right here. Now I'm going to start creating a new Rectangle now. What would you expect this new Rectangle to be colored with? Well, yes, a white Fill and a black Stroke, but this circle also has a Live Effect applied to it. It has a Drop Shadow applied to it. So when I draw a new shape, is that shape also going to have a Drop Shadow applied to it? Well, let's take a look and see. I'm going to click and drag, and you can see that while the object does have a white Fill and a black Stroke, it does not have a Drop Shadow on it.
The reason for that is that, by default, when I draw new objects, the attributes that Illustrator picks up from previous objects is only a basic appearance. In other words, when I click on an object and I select it, Illustrator only picks up the basic appearance, meaning one Fill and one Stroke and no Effects. So that when I draw a new shape, that new shape only picks up the Basic Appearance settings of the previously selected object. Nine times out of ten, this is probably what you want. I mean after all, when you apply Drop Shadow to a single object, it doesn't mean that you want every new object to also have a Drop Shadow on it.
However, there may be times when you do want that behavior. So let's head over now to the Appearance panel. In the flyout menu of the Appearance panel is an option here called New Art Has Basic Appearance. This setting is checked on, by default, inside of Illustrator. That's the behavior that we've seen until now. Every time I draw a new object, the new object picks up the basic appearance of the previously selected object. But let's say I don't want it. Let's say I want to actually pick up the full complex appearance of my previous object.
Well, in that case, I'm going to uncheck this option right here. Now, I'm going to Command+ Click on this circle right here. I'm just using Command, because I'm currently in my Rectangle tool. So I'm just temporarily switching back using Command or Ctrl on Windows to temporarily access my Selection tool. So I've now selected this circle, which does have a complex appearance on it. Since now I've unchecked that option in the Appearance panel, when I do draw a new shape, that new shape does pick up the Drop Shadow as well.
So when I'm working inside of Illustrator, and I'm drawing a whole bunch of shapes, and I know that let's say, for example, I create an object that has three or four different Stroke attributes applied to it, rather than have to manually add all those additional strokes to every new shape that I create, I could turn off that option inside of the Appearance panel, the setting that says that New Art Has basic appearance, so that now, every time I draw a new object, it'll pick up the full, complex appearance of the previously selected object. For now however, to avoid confusion throughout the rest of the training, I'm going to go back to the flyout menu of the Appearance panel and turn this setting back on.
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