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Applying an effect to a group

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials

Video: Applying an effect to a group

So we know that in Illustrator a group is a container. I have a file opened here called groups.ai, and I have two identical pieces of artwork. On the left side over here, you can see three different flowers, and on the right side, you can also see three different flowers. The only difference between these two groupings here of artwork is that on the left side, each of these objects sit on their own, meaning they are grouped together at all. However, on the right side, all of these elements are simply being grouped together. We can actually see this pretty clearly inside of the Appearance panel, as well.

Applying an effect to a group

So we know that in Illustrator a group is a container. I have a file opened here called groups.ai, and I have two identical pieces of artwork. On the left side over here, you can see three different flowers, and on the right side, you can also see three different flowers. The only difference between these two groupings here of artwork is that on the left side, each of these objects sit on their own, meaning they are grouped together at all. However, on the right side, all of these elements are simply being grouped together. We can actually see this pretty clearly inside of the Appearance panel, as well.

If I were to select these three objects right now, by looking at the Appearance panel it says that my target right now is the path and those paths have mixed appearances because they have different fill attributes. However, if were to select the group here, we can see that now my target says group, so the Appearance panel's giving me some more information here. We'll talk a lot more about targeting in the next movie, but for now I want to focus on this concept that a group is actually a container inside of Illustrator. You see a group actually exists. It's a real object inside of Illustrator. The same way that you draw a path inside of Illustrator, when you create a group, there is now a physical entity, something called a container, that now exists inside of Illustrator.

We just call it a group. However, many of us kind of gloss over that fact, because in our minds a group is just haphazardly taking several objects together and sticking them together. But if we take a closer look here at the Appearance panel, I can clearly see to have a group here, and then inside that group I have contents. The contents of my group are these three shapes. Now, let's think for a minute here. We know that in Illustrator when I have a path, I can apply an attribute to that path. For example, I can apply a fill or stroke, or I can apply a Live Effect, for example, to any path inside of Illustrator.

If a group is just like a path inside of Illustrator, if a group is actually an object inside of Illustrator, can I apply a fill and stroke or an effect to a group? The answer is, absolutely. And when you understand exactly what it means to do that, you start to see a whole level of capabilities of things you can do with Appearance panel. Let's start over here on the left side. I am going to select these three individual objects that have not been grouped, as I see here in the Appearance panel, and I am going to go over to the Effect menu and I am going to choose Stylize, and I am going to choose to add a drop shadow effect.

I am going to use the generic settings here, Opacity, 75, X and Y offset to 7 points, and Blur of 5 points, and I will click OK. And as you can clearly see now on my screen, each of those individual flowers now have their own drop shadow. This flower gets a drop shadow, this flower gets a drop shadow, and this flower gets a drop shadow. Now if I select the entire group over here, I will go back the Effect menu and I will apply that same effect, Apply Drop Shadow. But you notice that the actual appearance, the result of what I see now on my screen, is very different than what I saw here on the left side.

You see now on the right side, because I have applied to drop shadow to the group, each individual flower did not get a drop shadow, but it's as if all those three flowers have kind of been fused, or united together, into one shape, and I now have one large drop shadow that encompasses all the different shapes together. What really happened here is that the actual shapes themselves did not get a drop shadow at all; all the shapes just happened to be inside of a group, and Illustrator applied the drop shadow to that group to that container that we created.

In fact, let me prove that to you. I am actually going to choose to use my Direct Selection tool, and I will select just as yellow flower right here. I am going to press Command+C or Ctrl+C to copy it. I am going to create a brand-new document, Command+N, just choose OK, to select whatever settings were there, and paste. Notice now in this document there is no drop shadow on this flower at all. That's because this flower never had a drop shadow. This flower was living inside of a container, and that container had to drop shadow on it. So let me return back here to the groups.ai file, and we now have a much clearer understanding of exactly what a group is inside of Illustrator.

A group really does exist. When I apply drop shadow, that drop shadow is not being applied to the objects; that drop shadow is being applied to the group itself. Now as we have learn a lot more about how groups work and also how layers work inside of Illustrator, we will actually be able to see this happening inside of Illustrator in a much more intuitive manner. But before we go there, we are going to spend a few minutes and really understanding exactly what we are seeing here inside of Illustrator. But the first thing we will need to cover is a good understanding of exactly what the difference between targeting and selecting is inside of Illustrator, something we are going to cover in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials
 
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  1. 8m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 15s
    2. Exploring the Illustrator Timeline
      5m 12s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      25s
  2. 16m 27s
    1. Starting off on the right foot
      27s
    2. Knowing the difference between structure and presentation
      4m 38s
    3. Understanding paths and attributes
      4m 56s
    4. Distributing stroke weight along a path
      2m 25s
    5. Bottoms up: Object hierarchy and stacking order
      4m 1s
  3. 51m 9s
    1. The all-important Appearance panel
      37s
    2. Understanding attribute stacking order
      6m 45s
    3. Targeting individual object attributes
      7m 32s
    4. Adding multiple attributes to a single object
      9m 31s
    5. Modifying appearances with Live Effects
      7m 11s
    6. Using multiple strokes to create a border design
      4m 36s
    7. Using multiple strokes to create a map
      5m 52s
    8. Using multiple fills to mix spot colors
      4m 59s
    9. Using multiple fills to create textures
      4m 6s
  4. 46m 2s
    1. Learning to live with appearances
      30s
    2. Basic appearance vs. complex appearance
      4m 27s
    3. Clearing or expanding an appearance
      10m 52s
    4. Controlling the appearance of newly drawn art
      5m 11s
    5. Saving appearances with graphic styles
      6m 54s
    6. Changing artwork by modifying a graphic style
      7m 39s
    7. Uncovering a treasure trove of graphic styles
      5m 1s
    8. Copying appearances with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 28s
  5. 33m 28s
    1. Why do we create groups?
      1m 48s
    2. Applying an effect to a group
      4m 38s
    3. Understanding the difference between targeting and selecting
      4m 44s
    4. Knowing the dangers of ungrouping artwork
      2m 21s
    5. Using Isolation mode to preserve group structure
      6m 59s
    6. Adding a stroke to a group
      6m 13s
    7. Adding a 3D effect to a group
      3m 36s
    8. Extending the concept of groups to type objects
      3m 9s
  6. 46m 34s
    1. Are you a layers person?
      33s
    2. Learning to use the Layers and Objects panel
      9m 27s
    3. Making selections and editing stacking order
      6m 38s
    4. Reading and using the target circles
      8m 43s
    5. Copying artwork and appearances
      5m 37s
    6. Adding effects to layers
      9m 56s
    7. Getting the most out of the Layers panel
      5m 40s
  7. 47m 19s
    1. It's more than just a drop shadow?
      48s
    2. Adding basic texture with Mezzotint
      7m 50s
    3. Generating custom textures with Texturizer
      12m 22s
    4. Adding a stroke to an image with Outline Object
      5m 54s
    5. Aligning text precisely with Outline Object
      6m 31s
    6. Adding callout numbers with Convert to Shape
      4m 36s
    7. Enhancing performance with Rasterize
      2m 30s
    8. Avoiding pitfalls when using effects
      6m 48s
  8. 31m 59s
    1. Asking yourself the "what if?" question
      33s
    2. Outlining artwork with Offset Path and Pathfinder Add
      5m 36s
    3. Adding captions with Convert to Shape and Transform
      7m 1s
    4. Creating a crosshatch effect with Scribble
      5m 44s
    5. Creating buttons with Round Corners and Transform
      13m 5s
  9. 25m 21s
    1. Working with other people's files
      36s
    2. Setting up a workspace that makes sense
      9m 43s
    3. Learning to "read" an Illustrator file
      5m 48s
    4. Controlling pixel resolution
      9m 14s
  10. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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