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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
So we have an understanding of what appearances are, and we understand why the Appearance panel itself is important, there are three settings inside of the Appearance panel that are important to know about. You might not use them everyday, but they can come in handy. So let's take a quick look at them. I'm going to start off by showing this on a just a regular blank document, I have no sample file opened right now, just a regular plain file that I've created. I'm going to create a shape, let's start off by just taking the Rectangle tool, clicking and drawing a shape over here, and we'll add some appearances really quickly to this. I want to choose Fill. Let's change the Fill color here, well, yellow is my favorite color, so we'll choose yellow. For the Stroke here, let's go in and crank up the stroke to maybe around 10 point. Let's specify a Dashed Line for this as well. I'm going to use maybe a 24-point dash, but maybe a 10-point gap, something like that.
So we have a lovely little dashed line that we've created for that rectangle. We have a yellow fill that's here. Let's go ahead and add additional attributes as well. Le's go ahead and choose from the Effect menu, let's choose Stylize, Add a Drop Shadow. You got add a Drop Shadow. I'm going to click OK just to have that one there. By the way, I could simply go ahead down here and apply the effect, but you can do that from here as well. In fact, I want to show you something really cool, I adjusted here, because my stroke itself was one that was active, I clicked on it. When I apply the Drop Shadow, the Drop Shadow applied only to the Stroke, and not to the entire object. Remember, we can apply objects to independent attributes.
If I click on the twirl down of the Stroke, I can see the Drop Shadows there. If I decide now that I really want the Drop Shadow to be applied to the entire object, I can take the Drop Shadow, drag it, and then bring it outside to apply to the over object. Now I can see the Drop Shadow applies to the entire object, not just to the Stroke itself. So even though you've applied appearances to a particular shape or an attribute, they can easily be moved to different parts of an object. For example, I could take the Drop Shadow dragging in just to the Fill. Notice when I do so, you see like these little arrows appear on the left and right. That indicates that I would now be moving the Drop Shadow into just the Fill.
But I'm going to leave it here for now. Again, that just allows me to work with the shape in this way. I'm now going to take this shape, and let's add a few more things to it as well. By the way, if you want to now target the entire path, and not just right now the Drop Shadow each Fill or Stroke attribute, click on any blank area down here, or click where it says Path up over here. That will target the path as a whole, not just individual strokes or fills. So we won't have that problem again. Let me go to the Effect menu here, let's do Distort & Transform, and let's do a Twist again like we did before. Lovely little shape that we created there, and we are doing this, just because I want to show you that when you work with these particular effects, we already know that we can expand them. But there may be times when you want to do something else as well.
For example, if I realize you know something -- I just want to get back to a regular basic thing, so there is something inside of Illustrator, when we deal with Appearances called a basic appearance. In fact, there are two types of appearances inside of Illustrator: a basic appearance, and a complex appearance. We'll talk more about this later when we start learning about layers in the Layers panel. But here is understanding of a difference between the two. A basic appearance is an object that has a single fill and a single stroke. Whereas a complex appearance has multiple fills and multiple strokes, or it has effects applied to it. So at a very basic level, if you think about all the versions of Illustrator, like maybe Illustrator 8, Illustrator 8 does not have an Appearance panel. In fact, the Appearance panel first appeared inside of Illustrator 9.
So if you back to the old days when you had Illustrator 8, all you were able to do was apply basic appearances to objects. You can apply single fill and a single stroke, and you had no such thing as Live Effects. As of Illustrator 9, though you had Live Effects and you had the Appearance panel, you were able to apply multiple fills and multiple strokes, and also these live effects. Those are called complex appearances. So when you go over here to the Appearance panel, you'll see that in the flyout menu there is an option here called, Reduce to Basic Appearance. So when I do that, what's going to happen is that, all the effects that I apply to this particular shape, plus any additional fills if I would have any would get removed, and I would be left with the bottommost fill, and the bottommost stroke of my objects.
I'm going to choose Reduce to Basic Appearance, and now you see what happened to my shapes. So very quickly I clear all that information. It's really simple way to just get my shape back to a state where I can work with it again. I'm going to press Undo for a second here. I want to go back to where I was before. Because there is another option in the Appearance panel here, right above Reduce to Basic Appearance, it's called Clear Appearance. Clearing your appearance, clears everything, even the bottommost fill and the bottommost stroke, my result is going to be my underlying path with a stroke of none, a fill of none, and all the effects, and everything removed from it. So I could choose one of those two options. If I'm working with a particular shape and it's got all these effects and everything applied to it.
I can either reduce the basic appearance, which again, reduces it down to a bottommost fill, and a bottommost stroke, and that's it, or I can choose Clear Appearance, which by the way is also accessible here from the bottom of the Appearance panel, called Clear Appearance right here, which basically reduces my object to have a regular path with no fill, and no stroke attribute, no effects right if you're on it whatsoever. So finally, I'm going to press Undo one more time. I want to go back to my original shape here. There is something else that's here as well. This one is called New Art Has Basic Appearance. So now we understand what a basic appearance is. Illustrator has a way of working basically that whenever you have a particular shape selected, and let's say it's filled with a certain color and a certain attribute, the next shape that you create is now filled with that same attribute that you last had selected.
So let me give you an understanding of what I mean. So by default over here I'm going to choose let's say, a new rectangle. This was the last rectangle that I worked with, that I had selected. It has a yellow fill, and a black stroke applied to it as a dashed line. When I click and drag right now, I see that I'm now creating a rectangle that has the yellow fill, and a black dashed line. If I created let's say another shape, for example, maybe I use an Ellipse tool, and I click and drag to draw a particular circle here, again, it picks up on those particular attributes that I have. That's the behavior of Illustrator, but you'll notice that when I started drawing, this particular shape does not have a Twist applied to it. It does not have a Drop Shadow applied to it either, neither does this shape, and that's because the Appearance panel has this setting turned on.
Whenever I create new art, the new art will only pick up the basic appearance of that selected object, not the complex appearance, which would include the effects, and additional fills and strokes that might be applied to it. However, I just want to show you, if I go ahead and I uncheck this option, and I now simply click on this shape right now, so this is the last shape that I have selected. When I draw now a new shape, let's go ahead and maybe draw a star. When I click and drag to draw a star, I'll see now that the new star does have the Twist and the Drop Shadow applied to it, and that's because the Appearance panel has that setting turned off, which means that new art has complex appearance turned on.
So I'm going to reduce this back to basic appearance, because usually that's the case. You don't necessarily want to add Drop Shadows to everything. I mean, some designers do, nut it doesn't mean that you should. So now that I have that particular setting, that's the default setting, when I create new shapes they'll have just the basic appearance of the previous objects, but they won't pick up on the complex appearance that are of that particular object. So those are just a few settings in the Appearance panel when working with Appearances.
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