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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustration by John Hersey

Applying and scaling art brushes


From:

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Applying and scaling art brushes

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to apply a couple of art brushes, and also show you how to vary the thickness of those brushes on the fly. I've saved my modifications as Calligraphic brushstroke.ai. My text is still selected, as you can see, and rather than switching out my existing stroke, which is set to that custom calligraphic brush, I am going to add a new stroke, by clicking on the fill item here in the Appearance panel to make it active and then dropping down to the lower-left corner and clicking on Add New Stroke or taking advantage of that keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+Slash, or Command+Option+Slash on the Mac.
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
      45s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
      58s
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
      33s
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Applying and scaling art brushes

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to apply a couple of art brushes, and also show you how to vary the thickness of those brushes on the fly. I've saved my modifications as Calligraphic brushstroke.ai. My text is still selected, as you can see, and rather than switching out my existing stroke, which is set to that custom calligraphic brush, I am going to add a new stroke, by clicking on the fill item here in the Appearance panel to make it active and then dropping down to the lower-left corner and clicking on Add New Stroke or taking advantage of that keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+Slash, or Command+Option+Slash on the Mac.

The advantage of clicking on Fill is that the new stroke comes in below the old stroke, like so. It's sandwiched between the stroke and the fill. Now I'm going to switch out the stroke color, and notice it becomes active automatically inside the Swatches panel, for example, and in the Color panel and so forth, because I just created it. I'm going to switch the color to OW peach, and you may recall that OW stands for the Orange wedges tile pattern, which contains these three colors: OW yellow, OW peach, and OW orange. I will click on OW peach in order to make it active, and then, inside the Brushes panel, I am going to drop down to this item right there. It's called hand drawn brush vector pack 02.

Now, you can apply any brushstroke you like, by the way, but this is the one I'm going to go with. I will click on hand drawn brush vector pack 02, and notice it creates a scribbly stroke all the way around the letters. And the stroke kind of jumps away from the letterforms and back into it and so forth. Now, that's great. I really like the way it looks, believe it or not, and it's going to turn out just fantastic. But we need to have some kind of background to set it apart, because just having the strokes sort of overlap the letter sometimes and then go away doesn't look right. But it will look right if we create a thicker stroke in the background in order to show it off.

I am going to do that by, once again, clicking on Fill here in the Appearance panel and again clicking on the Add New Stroke icon, or pressing that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+Slash, Command+Option+Slash on the Mac. I am going to change this stroke this time to that same dark green, so that we match the fill color, and that's C=90 M=30 Y=95 K=30 here in the Swatches panel. I am now going to apply Chalk Round, although again, you can experiment. You can try out Big Chalk if you want to, in which case you get these very rough letterforms. And what I love about applying these art brushes to point text in particular is you can take a plain, boring font--in our case Myriad Pro, something that everybody's got, everybody uses all the time--and really turn it into something quite unusual that has sort of a grunge edge to it.

So you can try Chalk Scribble in order to get this effect; you can try something like Charcoal in order to get a different effect still; you can drop down to these guys like hand drawn brush vector pack 03, in order to get something quite extreme. Anyway, the one I want to apply is Chalk Round in order to get this effect here. And you can see that that sets off the calligraphic brushstroke pretty nicely, and it helps to set off that other art brush, that peach art brush that we just created a moment ago. But it doesn't go far enough. I want to make it thicker. Well, there's a few different ways to work. One is of course you can modify the settings associated with that art brush, by double-clicking on the art brush, and that will bring up a big, whopping dialog box. We will come back to it later, but that would affect the brush, not only as it's assigned to the selected letters, but also the core definition of that brush.

I'm not interested in doing that. So I could drop down to that Options of Selected Object icon, click on it, and then I could do something like increase the Scale value. So I could take the Scale value up to, let's say, I want it to be twice as thick as it is now, so I take the Scale value up to 200%. You also have the option of turning on Proportional. And what that means, just imagine that you're taking this piece of artwork, which is what this Chalk brush is--it's just a kind of a scribbly piece of very long artwork--and you're stretching it along the path outline.

Well, as you stretch it, you not only want to make it wider, which is what happens by default, but you want to make it thicker as well. And if you turn on Proportional, it is going to grow pretty darn massive, because we have the Width value cranked up to 200%. We now have to follow up by taking the Width value down to 100%, or even thinner, maybe down to 50%, in order to compensate for that ridiculous modification. I don't recommend Proportional under most circumstances, unless you're taking a representative piece of artwork. Like, let's say you took a silhouette of a dolphin and assigned that as a brush.

I am going to go ahead and save that off as a brush, and I will show you how that works later. And then you assign the dolphin to a slight, sort of curving path outline. Well, you might want to maintain its proportions under those conditions; otherwise leave Proportional turned off. Anyway, I could take this up to 200% and then just say, okay. So that's one way to work. An easier way to work though--I am going to cancel out of there--is to just increase the line weight. So go up to the Stroke value here in the control panel and change it from 1 to 2, and that's going to make the brush two times as thick. All right! Now let's say you're looking at this oval brush and you're thinking, okay, we have all this sensational action, all these scribbles going around our letters here, but that calligraphic brush doesn't have any movement associated with it whatsoever.

Maybe I should click on it and switch it now, which I can now. Notice that if I click on this option that says 5 pt. Oval, I can click on the down-pointing arrowhead and I get a pop-up version of the Brushes panel, and I can scroll down this list and switch it out with some other crazy art brush, such his Charcoal Varied, let's say, in order to produce that effect. Or, I will go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to undo that modification, let's say I want to stick with a calligraphic brush, I just want to give it some movement. Then click on the stroke to make it active, go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and try out one of the Path Wigglers.

For example, I am going to choose Roughen; and I'm going to switch to Absolute; I am going to raise the Size value to 3 points; I am going to change that Detail value to 8 per inch; and I am going to set my Points to Smooth, so that I have some nice continuous arcs. I will turn on the Preview check box to see what that looks like, and now I have this more-or-less rough-and-tumble calligraphic brushstroke mixing in with the rough-and-tumble art brushes. All right! Now I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. In the next exercise, we're going to traumatize our text further by adding a scatter brush.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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