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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.
When we apply a Warp effect inside of Illustrator, we are actually applying a live effect that appears inside of the Appearance panel. However, these effects that you apply by the Warp command are one of these preset effects and you can choose between a variety of 15 different types of distortions. However, you may want to create your own kind of your distortion. You may want to go outside of the box, you might say beyond some of these 15 different types of distortions that are there. So to do so, you need to use the feature inside of Illustrator called an envelope. Now an envelope is simply a way for you to take a particular area and define what we call a mesh. Each of the points in that mesh allow you to define the distortion for the objects that appear inside of that envelope. Now one of the easiest ways to apply an envelope inside of Illustrator is to actually start off by defining a warp. Once you have defined your Warp, you can then go ahead and you can continue to modify distortion as necessary. So let's see how that works.
I am going to start in this document here called make_envelope. I'm going to select this piece of artwork here on top. It's a group. It's this logo here, which is called Fearless. I'm going to go to the Object menu. I'm going to choose Envelope Distort. Then I'm going o choose an option here called Make with Warp. Now when I do so, the same dialog box that we have seen before in the live effect appears. It's the Warp Options dialog. It gives me the ability to apply any of these 15 different types of distortions, but basically, we are not actually going to be applying this type of live effect here. We are going to start over this live effect and then Illustrator is going to convert this type of distortion, which was before a live effect, into an envelope mesh, which we can then continue to distort as needed.
So it's just the matter of getting started kind of choosing a starting point for you want your distortion to go, knowing that you can then later on choose to tweak and adjust your distortion as necessary. So I'm going to click on the Preview button and I'm going to choose, let's say this one right here, it's called Arc. Let's do a pretty simple one here. We'll do a Horizontal one. We'll set the Bend to maybe around 25 or a little bit less. Notice that over here I have this mesh that's being created for me. I'm going to click OK. Now I have the ability to choose to modify that particular mesh by either using my regular Direct Selection tool. Here I can click on, let's say, one of these points here and modify this and stretch it; or press Undo for a second. I'll go now and choose my Mesh tool, it appears here inside of my Tools panel, and I'll click to add additional mesh points.
Now the more mesh points that I add, the more control of my distortion I'll have. So for example, I did want to stretch this l down just a little bit more. I might add a few mesh points around this particular area. Now using my regular Direct Selection tool, I can click over here and drag this down where it's to provide that type of distortion. So this method is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is start off by defining a warp, which then gets turned into a mesh that you can continue to modify on your own.
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