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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
Drawing can be a lot of fun when using Illustrator. But if you have to draw the same thing over-and-over again it can get a little bit tiring. From a pure business perspective it's always great to be more efficient than the work that you do that way you can get more work done, and hopefully make more money. One of the most powerful ways to become more efficient in your work in Illustrator is using graphic styles. In a program like for example QuarkXPress or InDesign where you are working with a lot of text there is a concept of paragraph or character styles. And by using these styles you have the ability to tag certain areas of text. That way when changes need to be made across through entire documents all you have to do is update the style. Since all the text is tagged and knows what it is, it automatically updates as well.
Well, the same concept applies here inside of Illustrator using something called graphic styles. Graphic styles is a way to memorize all the settings that are applied two particular paths, and using graphic styles gives you two specific benefits. First, you can easily apply complex styles with the single-click of a button, and second, once you have gone ahead and you have applied those styles making changes across your entire document is very easy to do. Now in this movie specifically we are going to talk about applying graphic styles. You will find graphic styles in the Graphic Styles panel right here.
We can't find the panel open. Simply go to the Window menu and then choose Graphic Styles. Now I'm going to over here. We have this document that I'm working on. It's called santa_cruz and it's simply a map, but there is only not that much interesting things going on here inside of the map and I want to be able to add some emphasis to certain areas. I want to make it easy to read the map so on and so forth. I actually got this map from Google Maps. I just simply took a screen-shot and I traced over many different areas, the ones that were important to me. This way, for example, I wanted to show certain areas here I can get rid of the detail that may not be important for the people who need to actually view this map.
But you will notice if you look at my graphic styles here in this document I have here something called Main Road, I have something called Train Tracks, and I have a Highway. Then I have certain areas here, for example, Park/Beach, Land and Water. Now by simply defining these styles I can click on any object in my document. Let's say for example this water area here. And I go over to my Appearance panel, I see that right now Illustrator is identifying the target as my path but Illustrator is also telling me that right now I have the Water style that's applied to that path. The Appearance panel can be very helpful in not only telling you information about the path itself but also about what graphic styles have been applied to that path. In fact, if I click on this area here we can see that this one has the Land style applied to it, and this area over here has the Park/Beach style applied to it.
Now I want to point out some important things about how I built this particular document. If I use my Direct Selection tool I can actually click on these, and you can see that these are all individual paths that I have drawn. They are all basically contained with an overall mask that exists here. I use the layer mask so I could actually have some objects here and some of the layers inside of my document. But you can see easily here that the paths themselves are separate, they are connected. What I did do though was I did actually create a group of those paths. So once I have drawn all these areas of these roads, for example, I simply selected them all and after using my regular Selection tool, you will see that I have a group that has now been selected that contains all these. I'm not actually worried about connecting these but in the overall finished product here I do wanted to appear as if all these roads are somewhat connected, and as you will see the way that I should define the style using the Appearance panel by applying a style to group level all the paths will automatically intersect with each other which actually looks really nice.
So here let's start off first of all with just a High way here. I have Highway one that kind of runs right over in this part of Santa Cruz. I already have created a little symbol here to identify that, but what I want to do is I want to apply the graphic style of highway to instantly style this path the way that it should look. So I'm going to go over here to the Graphic Styles or need to do is simply select that path and click once on graphic style to apply it. And you could see that what I have done is I have actually built this using a Complex appearance. It's made up of several different stroke attributes. If I go over here to the Appearance panel I'll see that this path, which now has the Highway style applied to it, has two strokes. It has the 16 point purple stroke, and then a 10 point red stroke that's sitting on top of that. So that gives this appearance here of this particular Highway.
Now this thick line that runs through over here is actually a train track. So I'm actually going to click on that. It's a route that the train uses to go to there. I'm actually going to go to the Graphic Styles panel. I already have a style here that I have created for train tracks I'm going to click on that and now style that to be the look of the train tracks. Now how did I build that style? Well, in the next movie when we talk more about how we define and actually work with graphic styles we'll get a better idea of how we actually create more of these complex styles. But it's really in this particular case, again if I look at the Appearance panel a simple way of me combining three different strokes. The topmost stroke has a dash pattern, which basically allows me to define the train tracks that are there.
So now finally let's go ahead and create a look for the main roads. I'm going to select this group right here, and again, remember I have the group target right now. So that means when I apply a graphic style, the graphic style doesn't go or get applied to the individual objects or paths inside of my group. They actually get applied to the group which is the container for all these paths. In doing so the Appearances will kind of get melted together as if they were one overall shape. So I'm going to go over here. I have this group targeted. I'm going to choose some of the Graphic Styles panel to apply the Main Road style. And now you could see that all the roads kind of connect with each other in this way.
So just a few clicks of a mouse. I was able to turn what was kind of a simple map now. It is something that's little bit more interesting. More importantly it allows me to now take these particular styles and apply them to other document as well. So that any time I'm working on any type of map for particular project I have these styles with one click, I'm ready to go. There are a few other things that are important to know about graphic styles. Normally when I apply a graphic style it replaces all the contents of the appearance of that particular object that I have selected, let me explain. If I were to go ahead now click on this Highway one, right now if I look at my Appearance panel I see that I have a path which is targeted and I have the Highway Style which is made up of two strokes that are now applied to that particular path.
Now if I wanted to change it for example to the train tracks I can click on the Train Tracks, and what it does that actually now replaces whatever information was on the path before with this new information. So anytime that you apply a graphic style it doesn't add that information to the path. It actually replaces any settings that are on the path now with this new style. So before I had the Highway style applied to it. Now I have this Train Track Style applied to it. And into the settings that were on the path before get blown away. Now in some cases that's good, but there are other times when you may want to apply a style in a purely additive nature. That means I want to be able to add certain effects to a style. I don't want to actually replace them.
Illustrator CS4 now has the capability to allow you to add graphic styles to a path instead of replacing them. Let me show you what I mean. I'm actually going to go ahead and just go back to the Highway setting right here. Let's first go ahead and click on these paths right here. This is now the main roads that appear throughout this area. And you will notice that it also have another graphic style here. This graphic style is called Shadow. In fact one of the really cool things about graphic styles, I'm going to pull out the Appearance panel here so we can take a look at this. I use the Appearance panel and the Graphic Styles panel kind of side-by- side. For me having them both in the same window here, which is the way that it appears in the Essentials workspace, that doesn't really work for me. But I want to show you that with nothing selected at all. See over here, it says No Selection. I can click on any style and the Appearance panel identifies the elements that are basically in that style. So you can see that for the Drop Shadow one there is no fill and no stroke but there is a Drop Shadow effect. Now I have created this space and if you want to think about it, it's just an empty style but has a Drop Shadow.
Now what would I want to just apply Drop Shadow to an object without anything else. The answer is that I may want to apply this to an existing object that already has a style and I want to add to that style. I don't want to necessarily replace the style. So let me show you how I actually do that. Let me click on this particular road right here. Let's say my client decides that they want to have some kind of a soft Drop Shadow on these. After all everybody wants Drop Shadows these days. So I have now you can see my target group and the main road is selected right now. And if I go over here to my Graphic Styles instead of just clicking on the shadow, I have to remove the elements that are applied to that path and apply a Drop Shadow I don't want to kill those yellow areas there. I'm going to press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to Undo. And instead of just click on it I'm going to hold down my Alt key or my Option key on Mac. So again that's Alt on Windows or Option on Mac, and then I'm going to click on the Style. When you do so when you Option or Alt-click on a Style Illustrator adds that style to the existing appearance of that artwork, it doesn't replace it. So now you can see that I have taken my style and I have now added that particular Drop Shadow to it.
Now of course this no longer has any style applied to it. I have removed the fact of this path now has a style on it because I have modified the overall object. So right now there is no more link anymore from this artwork to a style. What I was able to do though was I was actually able to now to add to that existing style, if I wanted to go back to the original style to simply just reapply that original style again. Now I have created a few graphic styles in this document, but in reality Illustrator ships with a whole bunch of graphic styles. If you go here to the pop-up menu, you can actually see that Illustrator ships with things like Textures, Scribble effects, Image effects, even some 3D effects and really, really cool stuff, and I certainly suggest that you kind of go through these and kind of experiment with them. For example we just spoke about the ability to actually apply graphic styles in an additive nature. Meaning I can simply add a Graphic Style to an object without removing its existing attributes.
I am actually going to load this one here called Additive and now you can see if I move this down over here there are a whole bunch of ones here, for example, there is something here called Roughen. Now again, if I were to simply click and apply that style it wouldn't do much, right, I would simply go ahead and blow away everything on this path. But if I want to roughen up this path I can hold down the Option key and add that now, and now I get that kind of rough look to the path there. I feel bad if anybody wants to drive on those roads, and press undo for there. But basically I do suggest you kind of go to the Graphic Styles. Again it's important to know that if I have nothing selected at all I can easily click on a graphic style and see the settings that are applied to it. And the way the Appearance panel works that if I see the Transform I can click on it to actually open up that dialog box and see that this creates 9 copies and it actually rotates them in an angle of 36 degrees.
So it is a really great way to reverse-engineer all these styles that Illustrator ships with, definitely when you have some time kind of go through them, experiment with them and see what you can come up with to save a tremendous amount of time when you are working with graphic styles in Illustrator.
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