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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
All right we are now going to transition from the Paintbrush tool and the Blob brush and all that jazz and calligraphic brushes as well. We are going to transition to art brushes, which are the most interesting brushes I think at work inside of Illustrator, but I just wanted you to see what I came up with here. This is my final version of this cartoon that I have drawn here. It's called Horse of plenty.ai. Nothing that you need to do with it except for just basking Edwardo's glory here. He is quite the horse. But he is kind of full of himself, which is why Eunice still loves Bob. Gosh! Bob's well drawn.
All right, I'm going to go ahead and switch over to this other illustration. I would like you to open it. It's called Eyeliner.ai and it's found inside of the 19_blobs_brushes folder and it's that Eye of Horus that we drew way back when we were taking a look at the Line tools back in the fundamentals portion of the series. We are going to gussy this thing up by the way. It's now an album cover for a group called Horus in their breakout CD Eyeliner as if bands have CDs anymore. What we are going to do is we are going to doll it up a little by adding some art brushes. So I'm going to start off by clicking on this eyebrow shape right there. And then I'm going to switch over to the Brushes palette.
Now none of these shapes as you may recall were drawn with the Paintbrush tool or the Blob brush, or have received any kind of treatment from any of the other tools we have look at inside of this chapter. They were all drawn with the Line tools, or in the case of the eyebrow and the eye, they were drawn with the Pen tool. But we can still modify them using brushes here inside the Brushes palette. These brushes right here are the Calligraphic brushes, but then we have got the art brushes from Rough Charcoal down here to Fude. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to click on Rough Charcoal in order to apply that effect, and I'll show you how to create an art brush but basically the idea is it's an elongated shape that stretches over the course of an entire line.
So it describes the stroke of the line, but then you can modify it if you want to. You don't have to accept the way that the art brush stroke is aligned by default. Notice by the way that it went ahead and adopted the stroke color just automatically. So even though the original color of Rough Charcoal was black, the new color is that red that was assigned to the eyebrow in the first place. All right now let's say you want to edit how the art brush is applied. You could double-click on Rough Charcoal in order to modify it, but that would not only change its appearance on this eyebrow here but it would change the fundamental nature of that art brush, and that's not something that I think we want to do. So go ahead and cancel.
Instead if you just want to modify the art brush on this specific path, then you drop down to that second icon at the bottom of the palette and if you hover over it, notice it says Options of Selected Object. Go ahead and give it a click and you will bring up this dialog box right here. At this point in time, you can go ahead and change the size of that art brush with respect to the path. So first things first, go ahead and turn-on the Preview checkbox and then you might as well try Proportional to see what it looks like. We'll go ahead and scale the art brush so it fits the path proportionately, but that's not the effect I want, and I have a little bit of hard time believing that's true because that art brush is really long, whereas it's getting really thick and chunky here on the path.
But in any case, that's what Illustrator has decided to do. I'm going to say no, thank you very much. I get better control if I just modify the Width value here. So I'm going to go ahead and take this Width value up for starters to 400%, which isn't quite enough. It's getting there though. It looks pretty darn and thick, but I want it to be a nice bushy eyebrow. So I'm going to now press Shift+Up arrow and I can see that art brush growing on the fly. I'm ultimately going to take it up until I get to 500%, which looks right to me.
Now you have two Flip options that you can choose from. And notice that they have this pretty darn and helpful icon tight here. So Flip Along is going to go ahead and flip this art brush across the length of the path. So what was formerly on the right side of the path is going to flip to the left side of the path and what was formerly on the left side is going to flip to the right side, so across the length of the path, whereas Flip Across is going to flip across the width of the path here. So what was on top is going to go to the bottom, but it's not strictly the difference between Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical because the path might be vertical instead of horizontal, which would change the equation. But just keep your eye in the icons, or even better just try them out.
So I'll try out Flip Along and that definitely does the trick. We have got more of an angry horse going because we have the thick part of the eyebrow over here on the nose side of the eye, or if you prefer, the beak side of the eye since he is after all a horse. We can also try out Flip Across but that doesn't do what I'm looking for at all. So Flip Across off, Flip Along on. We'll take a look at Colorization later. Go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect. Now having applied the art brush to this path outline, I can edit the path outline. I could scale it, for example. So let's go ahead and grab that Scale tool right there, and I'm going to click right about there in order to set the origin point, just above that pupil outline there.
And then I'm going to drag up and out while pressing the Shift key in order to perform a proportional resizing like so. And the art brush grows in kind. So it's constantly feeding that path, and it even works if you go ahead and reshape the path using the White Arrow tool. So I'm going to click off the path outline, click on that first point like so. I want to make the horse pretty angry here. So I'm going to move down this first point like this, and then I'm going to move this up. I'm going to actually bring up this control handle, so that we get a nice arch associated with the eyebrow.
And I want to cover up just a little bit of the R, not too much, and I might actually go ahead and nudge the point from the keyboard using the Arrow keys. Then I'll bring this guy up just a little bit, knock it down with the control handle in order to create more of an arch and we get this final effect here. Actually, let's move U over a little bit. Move U down and over as well. This is the effect I think I'm looking for. We now have an angry horse with the fluffy eyebrow. Thanks to the application of this Rough Charcoal art brush here inside Illustrator.
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