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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
Over the course of this chapter, we're going to take this document. It's called Poster type.ai, very simple construction associated with this document. We have a big rectangle filled with a gradient in the background. Then we have three lines of point type, all of which are set in fonts that you should have installed on your system, fonts that ship along with the Creative Suite and these include Caslon Pro for the top and bottom lines of type. This bottom line of type is a little bit difficult to read, because it's yellow against yellow. But that will come in handy later. Then this big gradient type is set in Myriad Pro.
Then we have got these three star shapes that are all combined into a single compound path. Now if I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on a Mac, the document looks like this. This is the Outline mode, so these are the primitive paths in the background here. We've got three lines of point text, all of which are live editable text objects by the way. Then we've got our star shapes, so no surprise there. What's going to be surprising is one I show you in just a moment. So I just want you to bear this in mind. I'll press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to switch back to the Preview mode. This is where we're going with the project.
The name of this document, should you decide to open it. I don't recommend you do at this point, but it's called Hurpadurp final after our lead character here. Now what's remarkable about this document is this almost no different from the document we saw just a moment ago. The basic underlying paths and text objects are almost exactly the same. Let me show you what I mean. If I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch this document to the Outline mode, this is what it looks like. Three lines of point type, all of which are absolutely horizontal, and then we've got our three original star shapes.
So those haven't changed at all. There are some small differences associated with the top and bottom lines of type, because of some OpenType modifications I made, and we'll see those over the course of this chapter, but otherwise, everything that we're seeing here inside the Preview mode. So I'll press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y again. Everything is a combination of fill and stroke attributes working together with dynamic effects. We're going to be seeing all kinds of dynamic effects in future chapters. In fact, I've got an entire chapter devoted to the topic in the mastery portion of this series.
But Dynamic Effects are particularly well suited to live editable type as we'll see. All right, I'm going to switch back to our Poster type.ai file. Let's start off with one of the most basic dynamic effects you can apply, offset path. So the idea is this. I'm looking at this gradient type right here and the letters are too thin. If I go ahead and click on the type, I'll notice that I have got the Character set in Myriad Pro Bold Condensed, which is as bold as it gets, at least sets the boldest version of the font I have installed on this system.
However, I'd like to make the letters bolder still. Well, one thing you could do is you could go up to the Object menu, choose Path, and then choose Offset Path, or at least you could if you were working with static path outlines, because I have text selected, Offset Path is dimmed. So if I want to use this command, what I've got to do is I've got to switch over to the Type menu here, and choose Create Outlines in order to convert those letters to path outlines. Now I've got static path outlines however. I can't do anything to this text. In other words, I can't edit the text if I want to.
But I can go up to the Object menu, choose Path, and choose Offset Path. Then I could enter whatever value I want. In my case, I decide on 4 points. I'll click in the Preview option, just to make sure that I've got what I want and I'll click OK. Now the screwy thing about this command is now I've got a second group of these path outlines. So I've got the thick ones, and the original thin ones. But by original, I don't mean editable text, it just mean the original path outlines I had a moment ago. So this is no good is the problem.
So I'll press Ctrl+Z three times in a row in fact, until I get back to my editable type. That's Command+Z on the Mac. The solution is to apply a dynamic effect, the exact same command just in a different menu. You go up to the Effect menu, you choose Path, and then you choose Offset Path. So the exact same command, and yet this time around the command isn't deemed and it works. If you enter 4 points for example, and click on Preview, then it happens on the fly. That's the beauty of these dynamic effects, as they are not really applied to the path outlines.
There is no permanent modification to the underlying path outlines. Instead, these are temporary modifications that are applied on the fly. So you go ahead and click OK. This command by the way is very useful when working with text. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply it. Now what you do is you switch over to the Appearance panel. So, go ahead and click on the Appearance tab, or you can go up to the Window menu, and choose the Appearance command. The Appearance panel shows you every dynamic effect that's assigned to an active object. So in this case, I can see Offset Path.
If I wanted to modify Offset Path, I would click on that link to bring up the dialog box once again, and I could say you know what, I just want two points of offset. I can change my mind anytime I like. Is this dynamic effect applicable to path outlines? Yes it is. It's applicable to anything. What you need to bear in mind though, is it is temporary. It does require Illustrator to compute this effect on the fly. So the more of these we heap on, the more and more complicated the document becomes, which is why this final version of the document takes so long to open.
Anyway, I'm going to Cancel out there. You can also turn off the Effect if you want to. You can turn off the eyeball. That is the saved attribute of the file. So I were to save the file now, I'd still have this effect applied here. However, it would be turned off. Anyway, I'm going to turn it back on, because I want to keep that effect. That's our first most basic example of a dynamic effect applied to live type in Illustrator, in future exercises, we'll see many more.
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