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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
So we have discussed that when it comes to Warps inside of Illustrator, those are applied as live effects, but envelopes themselves are actually defined by a mesh. In Illustrator, we know that we can start to create an envelope by first taking a Warp and converting it to a mesh, but if we know that we want to go ahead and we want to modify an object anyway using a mesh, we can get started by creating an envelope right with a mesh when they get go. So let's see how we do that. I'm going to start off in this document here called make_envelope. I'll click on this Groundswell logo right here. I'll use my regular Selection tool to select the entire group. I'm going to go over here to the Object menu, I'll choose Envelope Distort and then I'll choose Make with Mesh.
So here the Envelope Mesh dialog box appears asking me how many rows or columns I want in my mesh. Obviously, the more rows and columns I create, the more control I'll have, but I mean I need all that control. It just simply adds complexity. I'm always going to start off with something very simple. I can always use my Mesh tool later to add points as needed. So I'm just going to start here with 4 Rows and 4 Columns. You can click on the Preview button to actually see where that's going to be added and I'll click OK. Now I have my mesh points already here, my artwork hasn't changed, but that's because the mesh points itself hasn't defined any type of distortion for my artwork.
So now I can use my regular Direct Selection tool here and I can click on individual aspects here, these individual anchor points inside of my mesh, what we call mesh points. I actually move those around to start adding a distortion to my artwork. Now these are actually Bezier curves. They work the same way that they do inside of Gradient Mesh. So I have the ability to really go ahead and modify how the artwork itself is going to be distorted inside of this mesh. Now I could also, by the way, click on the outside objects, you can choose to stretch these in anyway. It doesn't mean they have to be confined to a regular box. In fact, you will notice that I have some artwork here on the right side, three regular rectangles. There is no reason why you will need to apply a mesh to complex artwork. You could use very, very simple artwork and then use envelope meshes to actually create some very interesting artwork.
So for example, I'll use these three particular shapes that are right over here. I'll select them and I'll choose Object > Envelope Distort and I'll choose once again to Make with Mesh. I'll leave it set to 4 Rows and 4 Columns, click OK. Now what I can simply do is select some of these areas here. I'll begin to go ahead and start to go ahead and modify these shapes. Now what I'm simply doing here is I'm adjusting the distortion here of the artwork inside of it. I have the ability to create some really cool artwork, but I don't have to start off with really complex artwork. I can do this with very simple and basic shapes inside of Illustrator.
So starting off with the Warp doesn't make sense for you because you know that you need to go into some wild or create a distortion as you see here. Then getting started by creating an envelope using the Make with Mesh command, you can jump right into creating the distortion as necessary.
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