Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by Richard Downs

Applying and scaling an art brush


Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Applying and scaling an art brush

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.
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  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Deke McClelland

Applying and scaling an art brush

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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