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Applying Live Effects

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Applying Live Effects

Until now, we've been discussing two different types of attributes that you can apply as an appearance to an object; those have been a Fill and a Stroke. However, there is another kind of appearance attribute, something called an Effect. In fact, in Illustrator, we refer to them as Live Effects, because once you have applied an effect, you're still to make changes to that effect. For example, let's say I want to apply a soft Drop Shadow to this object. Well, I can click on it to select it, and then I can go over here to the Effect menu, choose Stylize and then Drop Shadow, and I'll just apply the default settings here and click OK.

Applying Live Effects

Until now, we've been discussing two different types of attributes that you can apply as an appearance to an object; those have been a Fill and a Stroke. However, there is another kind of appearance attribute, something called an Effect. In fact, in Illustrator, we refer to them as Live Effects, because once you have applied an effect, you're still to make changes to that effect. For example, let's say I want to apply a soft Drop Shadow to this object. Well, I can click on it to select it, and then I can go over here to the Effect menu, choose Stylize and then Drop Shadow, and I'll just apply the default settings here and click OK.

Now, you can see that my object has a soft Drop Shadow applied to it. More importantly, however, if we look at the Appearance panel I now see that the Drop Shadow appears listed here as one of the attributes applied to this object. Now, remember everything in the Appearance panel always comes down to the stacking order in which they're applied. So, again, we read from the bottom. Illustrator first applied Opacity, then it created the Drop Shadow and then the Fill and the Stroke. Obviously, we want the Drop Shadow to be at the bottommost part of the object to give it its correct appearance.

Now, as I've said before, it is called a Live Effect because I can click on the word Drop Shadow here and then bring up that same dialog box and change some of its settings. For example, right now, I may feel the Drop Shadow is a bit too strong. So I may want to reduce that Opacity to around 40% instead of 75. I'll click OK, and now I can see that that Drop Shadow has been updated on the object itself. Another reason why we call this a Live Effect is because if my shape changes, that Drop Shadow also adjusts to fit the new shape.

So if I switch, for example, here to my direct Selection tool and I click on this anchor point right here and I click and drag, when I do so, the Drop Shadow also updates on that object. But I'll press Undo here to go back to its original shape, and I'll select the entire object again using the regular Selection tool. Now, when I apply the Drop Shadow I went up here to the Effect menu, and as you can see, there are many other effects that Illustrator has also. So, Drop Shadow is just one of almost a hundred effects that you can apply inside of Illustrator.

A shortcut, or another way to get this Effect menu, is directly through the Appearance panel. Notice the bottom here this little icon that says fx, and if I click on it I get the exact same menu that I saw above. It's important to remember that all the concepts that we've spoken about so far in regards to appearances applies, likewise, to fx. Remember how we were able to apply an Opacity value to only the fill of an object, but not the stroke of an object? Well, we can do similar things like apply effects to only one part of an object.

Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to take this black stroke right now, which is set to 20 points, and I'm going to change this color to like this color right here. Next, I'm going to create a duplicate of that stroke. In the past, we've used this button over here to add a new stroke, but I just want to show you if you already have an attribute selected, in this case here at this stroke, I can click on this button to duplicate it, meaning make a copy of it. I'll change the color of this to maybe this color right here, and I'll reduce its Stroke Weight to around 7 points.

Now, I may want to apply some kind of a rounded appearance to the thicker stroke here so I don't see it come exactly to a point here, but I don't want to apply that soft appearance to this stroke on top. So, what I can do is I can target the 20-point stroke, then choose to apply an Effect, and I'll go back to Stylize here, and I will choose Round Corners. There is a Preview button here, and if I choose a value of about 2%, I see that I've kind of rounded off, or blunted, basically, those corners on that stroke. But it hasn't affected any of the other attributes of this object.

If I click OK and I click on the twirl down now for this Stroke, I can see that a Rounded Corners effect has been applied specifically to just this Stroke. If I decide later I really want this Round Corners effect to be applied to all the attributes of my object, I can click on this right here and drag it out so that it appears above all the others. Now, it gets applied uniformly across all the attributes. Why? Because, again, if we read from the bottom up over here - let me close the Stroke here - Illustrator first applies the Default Opacity, it then paints the Drop Shadow, then it applies the Fill, the two Strokes, and then afterwards it applies around that Corners effect everything beneath it.

So, that's how Live Effects work inside of Illustrator. Now, as I said before, there are a tremendous amount of effects that apply here inside of Illustrator. We have things like 3D. We have Distort & Transform Effects. We have Rasterize Effects and a whole range of Photoshop effects, things like Gaussian Blur, and things like Mezzotint Effects. There is plenty here to experiment with, but as I said, the important thing to realize here about Live Effects is that they aren't necessarily applied to an overall object. You can apply them individually to different attributes within an object as well.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 82082 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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