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Applying and editing a calligraphic brush

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Applying and editing a calligraphic brush

In this movie, I'll show you how to both apply and customize a Calligraphic Brush, and we'll be assigning that brush to this line of editable text, which works inside of Illustrator as long as you approach it from the proper angle. So I'll start by clicking on the baseline of the text with the Black Arrow tool to select it, then I'll bring up the Brushes panel, and I'll go ahead and assign this guy right there 5 pt. Oval. Now that's not going to do anything, and the reason that this doesn't work is that Illustrator has nothing to latch the brush onto; you can't brush individual characters of type, in other words.

Applying and editing a calligraphic brush

In this movie, I'll show you how to both apply and customize a Calligraphic Brush, and we'll be assigning that brush to this line of editable text, which works inside of Illustrator as long as you approach it from the proper angle. So I'll start by clicking on the baseline of the text with the Black Arrow tool to select it, then I'll bring up the Brushes panel, and I'll go ahead and assign this guy right there 5 pt. Oval. Now that's not going to do anything, and the reason that this doesn't work is that Illustrator has nothing to latch the brush onto; you can't brush individual characters of type, in other words.

So what you've got to do is switch over to the Appearance panel, and I am going start by double-clicking on the word Characters in order to select the text with the Type tool. What I want to do is get rid of this fill, so I am just going to drag the fill to the Trashcan in order to set it to none. Then I'll double-click on Type No Appearance right there in order to switch back to the text object, and then I'll add a stroke by clicking on the Add New Stroke icon down here in the bottom-left corner of the panel. Now that we have a stroke to work with, I can assign a Calligraphic Brush to it.

So I'll go ahead and once again click on 5 pt. Oval, and we end up getting this effect here. Now let's say you want to go ahead and customize this brush, there's two ways to approach that. One is to double-click on the Calligraphic Brush in order to modify the settings associated with that brush as well as the selected text; and the other option is to apply a local adjustment just to the selected object. And if you want to do that, then you would click on this little icon down here at the bottom of the Brushes panel Options of Selected Object and that brings up the Stroke Options dialog box.

Now notice that we do indeed have a Calligraphic Brush. Calligraphic Brush by the way is a round brush, it can be either perfectly round or elliptical, as you see here. And it gets repeated over the course of a path outline or in a case of this editable text, the character outlines. Now notice that I have the Preview checkbox turned on so I can see the results of my modifications. You can change the Roundness of the brush by dragging on these little handles inside this brush preview, and you can change its angle by dragging on the little arrow.

What I want to do is enter some specific Angle and Roundness values. So I'll set the Angle to -30 degrees for example, and then I'll set this item which is by default set to Fixed; it's set to Random for this specific brush. I want to leave it set to Random so I have some random variation associated with the angle of my brush. And if you're working with a pressure sensitive device, such as a Wacom tablet; then you can go with any of these settings; Pressure through Rotation; depending on your stylus. For that to work however, I would've had to have drawn this path using a pressure sensitive device.

And of course that's impossible when you're working with characters of editable text. Anyway, I am going to set that item to Random and then I'll set the Variation value to 90 degrees. and what that means is the angle can now vary from -30 degrees plus 90 degrees, which would be 60 degrees, or -30 degrees minus 90 degrees, which would be -120 degrees. For the moment here I am going to set the Roundness value to 50%, leave the next item set to Random, and then increase the Variation value to 40%.

And I'll also increase the Size value here to 30 points, so we can see the difference here. And notice these little brush previews right there. The black brush is the -30. 50%, 30 pt. brush. The gray brush over here on the left is one extreme variation; the one over here on the right is another extreme variation. Now notice that the Variation value, in the case of both Roundness and Size, cannot be higher than the base value. So if I reduce the Roundness value to 25% for example, Illustrator goes ahead and automatically resets the Variation value to what it was when I first began modifying this brush.

So I can take it as high as 25% now, but no higher. And then finally, I'm going to set the Size value to 10 pt. for this effect, and I'm going to switch from Fixed to Random once again, and I am going to increase the Variation value to 10 pts. And notice what happens here--now you may get a totally different result by the way. What Illustrator is supposed to be able to do is either increase the Size as much as 10 points, so that it would go to 10 plus 10, 20 pt.; or reduce the Size as much as 10 points which would take it down to 0 pt.

In my case, it's taking the brush stroke only down; in your case, if you're working along with me, it may be merely increasing the brush size. And that's because it's happening randomly, but over the course of the entire character outlines. So it's really actually uniform, it's just that Illustrator is picking a random size on the fly, and we're only going to see one random variation while we're working in this dialog box. So I might go ahead and take the Variation value down to 7 pt. and then just click OK; or you can modify the actual definition of the brush, which gives you a little more flexibility.

Let me show you what I mean. I'll go ahead and cancel out of here and then I'll double-click on that Calligraphic Brush, 5 pt. Oval, in order to modify its definition; and I'll dial in those same values I entered a moment ago. So -30 degree for the Angle value, 90 degree for Variation, I want 25% for the Roundness, I want a Variation of 25% as well. I'll take that Size value up to 10 pt., I'll set it to Random, and then I'll change the Variation value to 10 pt. as well. And I end up getting a totally different effect this time, but it is absolutely random.

And as long as we're here, we might as well go ahead and rename this stroke as well; I'll call it 10 pt. Oval instead of 5, and then I'll click OK. Illustrator will now ask me, do you want to go ahead and apply this modification to the stroke or do you want to leave the stroke alone and just modify the definition of the Calligraphic Brush? Either one is okay, because even if you say Leave Strokes--I'll just go ahead and click Leave Strokes, so that it doesn't change from its previous appearance. Now if I go ahead and click on 10 pt. Oval again in order to reapply it, I'll see the result of my modifications.

And if you don't like this effect by the way because we're applying random strokes, then you can go ahead and click on it again, and again, and again. So every time you click on this brush, your stroke is going to change inside the document. All right! So I'm pretty happy with what I have here. Now I am going to change the color of the stroke, which is entirely acceptable by the way. Calligraphic Brushes do not in and of themselves convey any color. So if you want to change the stroke you do it like you usually do, just click the second swatch up here in the Control panel, and then I am going to select a color I've created in advance which is called OW yellow.

The naming convention is based on the fact that I've got this tile pattern called Orange wedges and I used OW, Orange wedges yellow, inside that pattern. Anyway, I'll go ahead and select it in order to change the color of my brush and then I'll click on the first swatch here in order to change the fill and I'll go ahead and set it to this shade of green right here, C=75 M=0 Y=100 K=0, which is one of the default swatches that's available to you inside of Illustrator. And there you have it. That is how you go about applying and customizing a Calligraphic Brush even to editable text here inside Illustrator.

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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 · 14365 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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