Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Applying an effect to a group


Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials

with Mordy Golding

Video: Applying an effect to a group

Applying an effect to a group provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Mordy Golding as part of the Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials
Expand all | Collapse all
  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
  2. 16m 27s
    1. Starting off on the right foot
    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
    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
    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?
    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?
    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
    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
    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

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials
Video Duration: 4m 38s5h 7m Intermediate Feb 25, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

View Course Description

Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials is the first installment in a series of courses designed to show experienced Illustrator users to how master core features and build art more efficiently. Adobe Illustrator has evolved dramatically over the years, and many creative professionals may be missing out on features that have been added to the latest versions. This course takes a fresh approach to core concepts, such as paths, attributes, object hierarchy, groups, and layers. Advanced techniques such as combining multiple effects and customizing textures are also included. Exercise files and a free worksheet are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Targeting individual object attributes
  • Adding multiple stroke and fill attributes
  • Modifying appearances with live effects
  • Applying effects to groups and to layers
  • Understanding both selecting and targeting
  • Copying artwork and appearances from layers
  • Using the Outline Object effect
  • Enhancing performance with the Rasterize effect
  • Creating quick and easy captions and buttons
  • Setting up a meaningful workspace
  • Controlling the pixel resolution of effects
Mordy Golding

Applying an effect to a group

So we know that in Illustrator a group is a container. I have a file opened here called, 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 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.

There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.