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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.
This next project is a kind of laboratory of dynamic effects. In all we have 36 effects working together with each other, some of which are applied to strokes, others to fills, some to path outlines or text objects. I've even assigned a couple of dynamic effects to entire layers. And as a result we have an extremely flexible design that we can change anytime we like. For example, I'll switch over to the Layers panel and Alt+Click or Option+Click on the i in front of the bottom layer in the stack. And it appears as if we have three circles, this Byzantine Spirograph Pattern, and then these scalloped edges; but as I'm sure it will not come as a huge surprise by now, if I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on a Mac in order to switch to the outline mode, I have in fact just one circle and nothing more. And yet it imparts this much visual information.
So in this movie, I'm going to start things off by showing you how to create that red spirograph pattern. I'll go ahead and switch over to my base document here, which features the font Hobo Standard, as you can see. Now you may or may not have Hobo installed on your system. If not, then you can try out this document right here, it's called Text outlines.ai, which contains the text converted to outlines. The only difference in your experience if you follow along with me will be that you can't modify this text at the very end of the project.
Anyway I'm going to switchover to the version of the document that contains the editable text, and then I'll turn off this top layer Stars & Text, and I'll click on a circle in order to select it. And I'll create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Alt+L or Command+Option+L on a Mac. That brings up the dialog box and creates the layer below the active one. And I'll go ahead and call those guy another circle and then I'll click OK. And now I'll duplicate the circle onto this letter by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and dragging that little orange square until it becomes a green square on the bottom layer in the stack. And then I'll go ahead and turn off the circle & bar layer so I can focus it on what I'm doing. And I might as well zoom in on the document as well.
All right, so step number 1 is to switch over to the Appearance panel, which is where you apply all your dynamic effects inside of Illustrator, and then click on the Add New Stroke icon down here on the bottom left corner of the panel or you can press Ctrl+Alt+/ or Command+Option+/ on the Mac. And I'm going to change the Line Weight to 1 pt. and then I'll change the color of the stroke to red. And then I will create a thin red stroke nested inside the black stroke. That's not where I wanted however, so, I'll go up to the Effect menu choose Distort and Transform and then choose the Transform command, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+E or Command+E on the Mac.
Next, I'll go ahead and dial in Horizontal and Vertical scale values of 97% and I'll turn on the Preview checkbox just to make sure that I like what I'm doing. And by the way, you want the center point selected inside these little reference point matrix, and you want to turn Scale Strokes & Effects off this time around. Transform Object should be turned on, Transform Patterns doesn't matter. Then go ahead and click OK to apply that effect. All right, now I'll click on a new stroke that I just created in order to make it active, and I'll drop down to little page icon and click on it in order to create a copy of that stroke.
Now I want the start of this stroke to be the same size, so I'll leave this Transform Effect in place; but I also want to go ahead and apply some additional transforms. So, make sure the stroke is active, as it is for me. Then go to the Effect menu and choose the second command, or you can press that keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E or Command+Shift+ Option+E on the Mac in order to reapply the filter. If you haven't set Don't Show Again to this warning, which I suggest you don't, then you'll see this alert message. And that's a good thing, because it means you've the stroke selected.
You want to click on Apply New Effect in order to apply another variation on the Transform Effect, and this time you want the Horizontal value to be 10 and you want the Vertical value to be 100. Go ahead turn on the Preview checkbox so you can see that creates an ellipse, which is exactly what we want. So go ahead and click OK in order to accept that transform. Now notice, if I were to return to the Effect menu and choose Transform again, then I don't get the warning this time around. Which tells me that something is goofed up and in fact, my stroke is no longer active. So you have to click on that stroke over and over again.
Anyway, I'll cancel out, because that's not what I want, and then I'll go ahead and click on that stroke in order to select it once again. Then when you go to the Effect menu and choose Transform, you get the warning, which is a good sign. Click Apply New Effect. And then you want to change the Angle value-- for this specific spirograph technique, you can go your own way--but in my case I'm going to change it to 9 degrees, and it should be a value that could be divided out of 180 degrees. And in our case, of course, 180 divided by 9 is 20, which will become important in just a moment.
Anyway, I'm going to turn on the Preview checkbox and that goes ahead and rotates that guy and scales him. I don't want to scale, so I'll go ahead and set the Horizontal value back to 100%. And now I'll drop to the Copies value, and I'll press the Up Arrow key in order to do this number here. And what we want is to go ahead and fill out the entire effect with these rotated ellipses, and that happens at 19 copies. The reason being, 180 degrees divided by 9 degree is 20, we have one original, we add that to the 19 copies and once again we get 20.
All right, so click OK in order to accept that effect. And you may wonder, well, couldn't have we done this more efficiently using a single application of transform? And the answer is no, there's really no way to pull that off. The first one up here at the top goes ahead and establishes the base size, so it makes it a little smaller so that it fits inside of the stroke below it. And then the next one establishes the first ellipse, without which we're not going to get anywhere; and then of course, the third application of transform duplicates the ellipse to create the pattern.
All right, so that's the base spirograph pattern. In the next movie I'll show you how to build on the pattern to create this more elaborate design.
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