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Applying attributes in the Appearance panel

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Applying attributes in the Appearance panel

In this movie I'll show you how to combine a pixel-based tile pattern along with a couple of strokes along a single path outline inside the Appearance panel. So here's my final train running along the train tracks, and just about everything that you're seeing here was built inside the Appearance panel using strokes. We're going to start things off by creating this top horizontal train track effect that's found on the first artboard, and we're going do so inside of this base file right there. So these are all the path outlines I'm giving you.

Applying attributes in the Appearance panel

In this movie I'll show you how to combine a pixel-based tile pattern along with a couple of strokes along a single path outline inside the Appearance panel. So here's my final train running along the train tracks, and just about everything that you're seeing here was built inside the Appearance panel using strokes. We're going to start things off by creating this top horizontal train track effect that's found on the first artboard, and we're going do so inside of this base file right there. So these are all the path outlines I'm giving you.

This thing is going to be the train. This thing is going to be the big train track around the enclosed artboard, and so forth. So you'll be doing all of the work yourself. All right! I'm going to press Shift+Page Up in order to zoom in on the first artboard and I'll go ahead and select this top horizontal line to make it active. Then go to the Window menu and choose the Appearance command in order to bring up the Appearance panel, which is where we're going to be spending about 99% of our time in this chapter. Now, notice we've got a Stroke and no Fill. I might as well just build on that existing stroke.

I'm going to change its line weight to 130 points, and these are just some values that I came up with. Then I'll click on the word Stroke in order to bring up the panel, and I'll turn on Dashed Line, because I want to create those railroad ties. Now, I want each tie to be 24 points wide and I want the distance between the ties to be 40 points. So we've got a total of 64 points in all. And once you make that determination, you've got to stick with it. But here's the problem, if I go ahead and hide the panel for a moment, you can see that we end up with half a dash at each endpoint, and I don't want that.

I want every single one of my dashes to be complete. So I'll click on Stroke again and I'll change the first dash value to 0 and then I'll change the first gap value to half of 40, which is 20, change the dash value to 24 points, and then I'll change the second gap value to the other half of the gap, which is 20, and we end up with this effect here. The unfortunate part is, even though I ordered up a 0-point dash, I end up getting this little sliver of a hairline, which will show up when you print the document.

So we'll take care of that in a moment. Now, the next thing I want to do is introduce a wood grain pattern into these ties. So I'm going to go ahead and scoot over to this empty region to the right of the first artboard and I'll go ahead and click in it to make the second artboard active. I'll switch back to the Layers panel and click on the Tiles layer to make it active. Then go up to the File menu and choose the Place command. If you have access to my Exercise Files, then go to the 29_appearance folder in which you'll find this file called Wood Grain.psd that I created inside Photoshop.

Then go ahead and click the Place button in order to place it into the illustration. Now, this image happens to look best at the 300% view size. That's when you can see each and every pixel. This is a seamlessly repeating pattern tile by the way. If you're a Photoshop user and you're interested in how I created it, I'll show you in the final movie of this chapter. But in the meantime, let's turn it into a tile pattern by going up to the Object menu, choosing Pattern, and then choosing the Make command, or if you loaded dekeKeys back in Chapter 22, you can press Ctrl+M or Cmd+M on the Mac.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work. The problem is that patterns don't support linked images. You've got to embed them first. So, fair enough. I'll go ahead and click OK and then click the Embed button up here in the Control panel, and that brings up the Photoshop Import Options dialog bo. Just make sure Flatten Layers is selected and then click OK in order to embed that image. Now I'll press Ctrl+M or Cmd+M on the Mac in order to switch to the Pattern Edit mode. If you get an alert message, just go ahead and click OK.

Notice that in addition to seeing the pattern repeat seamlessly, that Illustrator has sized the tile to the exact perimeter of the image, so all you have to do is go ahead and name your new pattern. I'll call mine Wood Grain, and press the Enter or Return key to accept that name and press the Esc key in order to exit the Pattern Edit mode and add a new pattern swatch here to the Swatches panel. Now, I'll press Shift+Page Up in order to return to my first artboard. I'll go ahead and click on this line to select it.

It's a little hard to find. So you might just want to go ahead and marquee it, like so. Then return to the Appearance panel. Go ahead and click on that color swatch right there and change it to Wood Grain, and you end up with your wooden ties, like so. Now let's go ahead and eliminate these hairlines between the ties by adding another stroke. So I'll go ahead and click on the little Page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel in order to duplicate this stroke. For now, let's change it to black, just so we can easily keep track of it.

I'm going to make it slightly thicker than the other stroke, just so it entirely covers up everything. And then I'll click on the word Stroke, and we need to come up with some new dash and gap values. Now, these hairlines appear at the endpoints, so I don't need this second pair of dash and gap values. So I'll just go ahead and delete them like so, and then press the Tab key. And that makes a fair mess of things, as you can see here, but we'll take care of that by entering a dash value of 8. That should be more than enough to cover up that hairline.

Then I'll change the gap value to 64 minus 8, because remember we're working with 24-point thick ties that are separated by 40-point gaps. So these two numbers or however many numbers you use always have to add up to 64. So I'll go ahead and change this guy to 64 minus 8, which is 56, and we end up with this effect here. So now that I've successfully managed to cover up all those hairlines with these thick black strokes, I'm going to change the color of the stroke from black to white in order to match the background.

Then if I set it against some other background, I'd have to match its color instead. That's how you combine a seamlessly repeating pixel-based tile pattern along with a couple of strokes along a single path outline. In the next movie we'll give our wooden ties some depth by adding still more strokes.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14774 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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