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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
In this movie we'll take our first look at working with art brushes, which are easily the most flexible kind of brushes--they're my favorites anyway--inside of Illustrator. So I'll go ahead and click on the baseline of this text to select it, and then with the Appearance panel open I'll go ahead and create a new stroke by clicking on the fill--so I create this new stroke directly above the fill--and then I'll drop down to this Add New Stroke icon and click on it, or you can take advantage of that keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+/ or Command+Option+/ on the Mac.
Now I want this stroke to be a different color, so I'll click on this color swatch there, and I'll change it to the next swatch over OW peach--and you may recall the OW is for Orange Wedges. Go ahead and assign that color to the stroke and then I'll bring up the Brushes panel. And select from really any one of this long list of brushes here. I'm going to apply this one hand drawn brush vector pack 02, and I end up getting this effect here. Now it's a little hard to see, but it's going to work out beautifully in the end, we just need to do a better job of offsetting it from its background.
So the first thing I'm going to do is change the fill color from this bright green to a darker shade of green, C90, M30, Y95, K30. I think that will end up producing a better result. And now I'm going to add yet another calligraphic brushstroke, by once again clicking on the Add New Stroke icon. I'll change the color of that stroke to that same dark shade of green that I just assigned to the fill, and then I'll select a different calligraphic brushstroke--something thicker. For example, I could go with something like hand-drawn brush vector pack 03 in order to produce this radical effect here. But the effect I'm really looking for is something different.
And by the way, once you've assigned any kind of brush to a stroke, you can access all of these brushes from the Appearance panel. So I'll go ahead and hide the Brushes panel at this point. And I'll show you where the line weight used to be, you'll now see this list of brushes. So I could click on that icon and then scroll up the list and select the one I'm really looking for, which is Chalk- Round, in order to apply it. Now this is a more controlled effect obviously, but it's not thick enough. So I'll go ahead and press the Escape key in order to hide that pop-up panel there.
There is a few different ways you can change the thickness of an art brush. One is to bring up the Brushes panel, and I can double-click on Chalk-Round in order to modify both the brush definition and potentially, the brush that's assigned to my text. That ends up bringing up a whopping big huge complex dialog box that we'll take a look at in a future movie-- but that is one option. Or you can apply a local adjustment to just the selected stroke by clicking on this little options icon down here at the bottom of the Brush panel.
And notice that we have the Size option right there, and if I turn on the Preview checkbox I'll be able to see what I'm doing; and I could increase the thickness of that brushstroke like so, just by dragging up that Size value. Let's say I wanted it to be 200% as thick as it is by default; then I'll go ahead and dial in 200%, you also have this proportional checkbox. Now the thing to bear in mind about any given art brush is that it's actually just an elaborate series of path outlines and those path outlines get stretched along the course of the brushstroke.
If you want the stretching to happen not only along the length of the path outline, but you want it stretched widthwise as well, then you turn on the proportional checkbox. Now in our case that's going to give us a ridiculous effect as you can see right here. We end up covering up most of our artwork with this brush. And in order to get anything halfway decent, I would have to take this size value to something below 100%, which does deliver an interesting result, not something I'm looking for however. Where you're going to find proportional more useful is let's say you have a representative graphic, such as say a dolphin and you want to make the dolphin bend across the path outline.
In that case you would turn proportional on, and that way you don't stretch the dolphin, you just bend it. Anyway for our purposes, this isn't what we want. And as it turns out there's an even simpler way to scale a brush, so I'll go ahead and Cancel out of this dialog box. Another way to change the thickness of a brush is to just change line weight value. So if I increase the Line Weight from 1 pt. to 2 pt., then I'm going to increase the thickness of my art brush by 200%. All right, now finally I want to take this calligraphic brush right here at the top of the stack inside the Appearance panel, and I want to make it better match the other brush strokes so it's not quite so uniform and perfect and so forth.
One way to do that would be just to change out the stroke. I could switch it to an art brush instead, such as Charcoal-Varied for example, and that will give me this effect here. So you can see that there's just no end of the kinds of effects you can achieve using these art brushes, and what I just love about them is that you can take plain old everyday text like this set in Myriad Pro--which is available to just about everybody on the planet gets used a ton--and you can turn it into something absolutely unique.
Or, I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to undo that change. I could make this stroke wiggle, so I could take the calligraphic stroke and roughen it up, and I'll do so by making sure that that stroke is selected, and then I'll go up to the Effect menu, I'll choose Distort & Transform, and I'll choose Roughen. And now I'll go ahead and enter a few settings that I came up with in advance here. I'm going to change the Size value to 3; I don't wanted it to be 3%, however, I wanted it to be 3 points, so I'll switch from Relative to Absolute.
I want the Detail value to be 8 per inch, and then I want the Points to be set to Smooth, and if I turn on the Preview checkbox, you see that we end up getting this rougher effect right here. That's applied to just the calligraphic stroke and nothing else. Now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect. And that's how you apply and scale art brushes, as well as roughen up a calligraphic brush here inside Illustrator.
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