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Applying precise finishing touches

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Applying precise finishing touches

All right, I have gone ahead and done yet more work on this document and I have saved it out as Near-final gradients.ai. And you'll notice if you twirl open the backdrop layer and then twirl open the Group right there. That there is the Clipping Path with two Meshes inside of it. So one is turned on, the other is turned off currently. The one that's active is the mesh that we just got through in the previous exercise. So that one that I was able to achieve thanks to some very broad applications of the Warp and Pucker tools. And it does give us a pretty cool effect, but it's not exactly what I wanted.

Applying precise finishing touches

All right, I have gone ahead and done yet more work on this document and I have saved it out as Near-final gradients.ai. And you'll notice if you twirl open the backdrop layer and then twirl open the Group right there. That there is the Clipping Path with two Meshes inside of it. So one is turned on, the other is turned off currently. The one that's active is the mesh that we just got through in the previous exercise. So that one that I was able to achieve thanks to some very broad applications of the Warp and Pucker tools. And it does give us a pretty cool effect, but it's not exactly what I wanted.

So I spent some time, I kind of went backward and I spent some time massaging that gradient mesh that we saw at the outset of the previous exercise and I came up with this effect right there. Which I think is more appealing, but did require more work I should tell you. It took me about 20 minutes to create here. And I'll go ahead and select that Mesh so you can see what's going on. Now it's not exactly what I want it to be, but I want you to see some of the decisions that I made here. For example, I'll go ahead and click off the Mesh for a moment to deselect it and then I'll click right there to select that little point. And notice what I'm doing here. If I had just allowed this line to be a little bit smooth, sort of nice and gentle like it would normally if I were trying to draw a path with the Pen tool, then we would get a gentle transition between this light green and this dark red right there.

But by virtue of the fact that I create this big hump like this, I'm able to achieve a faster transition right at this location, which is what I want, because that still has some softness in it, but it creates the appearance of a brush stroke having gone by, which I quite like. And you know there are some other places I might want to do the same thing. Like right here, I would really like this paint to bunch up. So I'm going to go ahead and click on this segment in order to see its control handles and I'm going to do this number here, bring this guy over. Now you have to be careful if you are going to try these rapid transitions. Because if you go too far, like if I take it like that, you might end up seeing some just completely weird aberrant colors. I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac, and notice that where you have this kind of little flag of color that's waving right at that location. I don't want that. So I'll go ahead and back off a little bit. I'll press Ctrl+H or Command +H again, so that I can see my segments and handles, and then I'll drag things just a little apart from each other, maybe drag this down a little bit, and see if I can get a bit of a pucker at this location. But I don't want any kind of weird crinkle, and that looks pretty darn good. Actually that looks great.

All right, so Ctrl+H or Command+H once again to see what I'm doing. Here is another place that I think could benefit from a more rapid transition. This little band of colors that we're seeing right here from yellow to gold, to green, and if I just go ahead and move this guy closer like so, then we are going to get a more rapid transition. And I could even press the Shift key if I wanted to. Actually not with that tool though. I forgot that Shift key trick only works when you have the Mesh tool active.

So I'll go ahead and grab that Mesh tool and then I'll try to find the point, which where is the point? Oh there it is, all right. Let's grab that point right there and I'll press the Shift key as I move this line over like so. And now we are going to get a nice swift transition at this point. And I might actually back it off a little bit and bring the yellow out like so. That's pretty nice. I have got the Shift key down as I'm making these modifications. All right, experiment, try different things, see what's going to work for you in terms of the kinds of transitions that you are trying to get and then notice something else about this. If I press Ctrl+H or Command+H again, just so I can see things a little better. Notice that I have got this area of red up here and I have got this green that goes like that and then there is this green river going upward. But as I recall I had some more green in this location and then if I Ctrl-click or Command-click on the eyeball in front of the backdrop layer, I'll see that I have got this little bit of green that's just kind of going off like this.

So there is this green sort of limb going off this direction. One that's going straight up more or less, and then one that's going off at angle. All right, how do we solve that problem? I'll Ctrl -click or Command-click once again on that eyeball in order to show the gradient mesh. I'll press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac, in order to again view my points and segments. And now I'll switch to the White Arrow tool by pressing the A key and I'll click and Shift-click and Shift-click on these three points, because they are going in more or less the right direction. This is not an exact match by the way.

But it's pretty darn good. Then I'll get my Eyedropper tool and then I'll go ahead and Shift-click at this location in order to add this bright vivid green going up and over to the left here. And if you wanted to flare things out a little bit, you could. You could go ahead and integrate this guy as well. So if I Ctrl-click or Command-click on this point to select it and then once again Shift-click on the screen right there, I'm going to add more green, so that it flares out ever so slightly. And if I want to make it not so slight, then I could go ahead and drag this point out like so. So that we have a more of a flare going on and let's take this upward a little and this point over a little as well. And then I'll press Ctrl+H to see the final effect. So there you have it, our final gradient mesh effect. If it's not what you want, you can keep working by all means. If you have been working along steadily inside that Mish again.ai file, more the power to you. I haven't made it easy to keep up, but after all I want you to feel free to experiment and achieve your own effect, by gum.

In the next two exercises we are going to talk about special applications of gradients. Nothing really to do with gradient mesh. It's actually all about gradients, but we are going to be sticking inside of this same sample document, join me.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21601 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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