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Assembling sliding graph designs

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Assembling sliding graph designs

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to create what's known as the sliding graph design, so that we can achieve this effect here with these various hummingbirds in flight. Now, notice that each one of the hummingbirds is similarly scaled, so they're all the same size. And they have these gradients, all of which are fading from a solid color to transparency regardless of the length of the gradient. And that's because they are so much scaled as stretched, at a very specific location. Well, let me show you how that works. I'm going to switch over to my progress file, which is called Whole mess of birds.ai, found inside the 27_graphs folder.

Assembling sliding graph designs

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to create what's known as the sliding graph design, so that we can achieve this effect here with these various hummingbirds in flight. Now, notice that each one of the hummingbirds is similarly scaled, so they're all the same size. And they have these gradients, all of which are fading from a solid color to transparency regardless of the length of the gradient. And that's because they are so much scaled as stretched, at a very specific location. Well, let me show you how that works. I'm going to switch over to my progress file, which is called Whole mess of birds.ai, found inside the 27_graphs folder.

I was telling you that the problem with the graph the way it is right now is that it's fairly hard to read these repeating bird patterns. It'd be better if there was at least some sort of filled rectangle in the background. If you want to hand-fill your rectangles, you can do this on the fly if you like. You'd go ahead and grab your Group Selection tool like usual and then click at the point at which it looks like the birds are getting cut off, like there, for example. Then I want you to Shift+Click at the top of the other green birds, so we're just grabbing all the green shapes, and click at the top of this one, too.

So you don't want to grab the birds themselves; you just want to get those rectangular shapes, which are ultimately clipping masks that are at work inside the deepest darkest recesses. I'm going to the Layers panel, and showing you that we're still working inside of this Graph element here. But there inside the graph are some clipping paths, which I've now selected. My fill happens to be active, so I'll go to the Swatches panel, and just click on that light green, like so. Then I'll go ahead and click at the top of the repeating orange birds like so, Shift+Click here and here in order to select those rectangles, and fill them with the lighter orange.

Then I'll click right there where that blue tail is getting cut off, and Shift+Click at this location, and then Shift+Click at the top of that cut wing. And then I'll go ahead and fill that area with the light blue. So, you do have some options available to you, as usual. As soon as you start applying some parametric changes--that is, any automated changes from Illustrator--this will all fall apart of course. But that's okay, because this is not our final goal. I do want you to see that the custom scaling that I applied to the little birds over here in the legend using the Transform command, that's totally fallen away.

So we'll have to reapply that later. But that's no surprise. I don't know why I did in the first place. I must've seen that one coming. All right! I want to show you how to create a scaling design, and here is how it works. What you need is to create yourself some sort of design element that's going to be at the top of your sliding design. In our case, it's going to be one of the bird silhouettes. Then I went ahead and created this object here that's filled with the gradient, and let me show you what the gradient looks like. If I switch over to the Gradient panel, I'll go ahead and double-click on the final color stop in a Gradient, and you can see that it's C 35, M 0, Y 65, K 0, 100% opacity.

All right! Now I'll go ahead and double-click on that first color stop, the exact same CMYK values at work, however 0% opacity. So it's fading to transparency. If we were to check out how it's fading the transparency using the Gradient tool, I'll go ahead and select the Gradient tool here inside the toolbox, you'll see that the gradient is going from absolute transparency down here at the bottom of the shape to absolute opacity right here below the hummingbird feathers. Notice that above that point at which the path becomes 100% opaque, I've got a black line.

This black line has no fill. It just has a stroke right now. Here is what you got to do. We'll have to do it three times because we have three different designs to create. But you go ahead and grab your Group Selection tool. Why not? It works just fine for this purpose. Click on that line to select it. So you just draw a line at the point where the bird should get stretched. So you're saying right here, that's the area that's going to get stretched as far as needed, so that we still have the nice tapering end of the gradient, and we have this solid colored area, and we don't end up stretching any of the bird, including its tail feathers. And so we just stretch this location here, and it's going to look absolutely dynamite.

However, we've got to explain this to Illustrator in a very strange, arcane way. So you go ahead and draw your line. Then you go to the View menu, choose Guides, and choose the Make Guides command. Or press Ctrl+5, Command+5 on the Mac, and that converts that line to a guide. Now, it's very important. Go to the View menu again, choose Guides, and make sure that Lock Guides is turned off. So if it's got a check mark in front of it, you go ahead and choose a command that turn it off, or you can press Ctrl+Alt+Semicolon, Command+Option+Semicolon on a Mac. The reason is because now what you've got to do is you've got to take that line that's now a guide-- I'll click off it, so you can see it's a guideline, I'll click on it again to select it again--and then you right-click, and you choose Arrange, and you choose Send to Back. Or press Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket, Command+Shift+Left Bracket on a Mac.

It's got to be at the bottom of the stack is the thing. Now go ahead and marquee these objects like so, and then you go up to the Object menu and choose Group. I know this is a lot to remember, which is why we're going to do it more than once. So you choose the Group command. Press Ctrl+G, Command+G on a Mac. Now, it's ready to go. Now, you go up to the Object menu, you choose Graph, and then you choose Design. Let's go ahead and call this one-- I'll click New Design of course, and then click Rename, because that's what you always have to do-- I'll call this slider 1 green, and I'll click OK, click OK.

Now we need to repeat the steps for these guys, so go ahead and click on this black line and Shift+Click on the other one--might as well make them both guides at once. Go to the View menu, choose Guides and choose Make Guides, or press Ctrl+5. Go ahead and send them the back by right-clicking and choosing Arrange, and choosing Send to Back, or pressing Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket. And then I'm going to go ahead and marquee these objects here, go up to the Object menu, choose the Group command Ctrl+G, then go to the Object menu, choose Graph, and choose Design. No keyboard shortcut whatsoever.

Click on New Design, click Rename. Let's call this one slider 2 orange, and then click OK. Click OK. Grab the next group of objects, like so, marquee them using the Group Selection tool, go up to the Object menu, choose Group command--very important. Then go to the Object menu, choose Graph, and choose Design, and we'll create our final design by clicking on New Design and renaming it, and I'll call it "slider 3 blue" this time. Click OK, click OK. Now, let's try applying those guys to our existing graph.

I'll go back to the artboard, and I'm going to click as many times as it takes to select everything,= but this little legend item. So I clicked too many times. So I'll click off again, click, click, click. That's enough. So I guess its three clicks on the rectangular outline to the screen column. Then I'll go up to the Object menu, I'll choose Graph, I'll choose Column, and this time I'm going to apply, I'll go ahead and scroll to the end of list, and I'll choose slider 1 green. And instead of repeating it, I'm going to say I want a sliding design, and that's all I need.

I don't want Rotate Legend Design on. I just want to set Column Type to Sliding. That's it. Click OK, cross fingers, and hope for the best, and actually that worked out brilliantly. You can see these little guide elements. Notice that horizontal guideline there and there and there, and that is where the design is ultimately stretching. All right! I'm next going to go ahead and grab these orange birds. So click, click, click, and that goes ahead, three click ends up selecting all of these orange bird columns. Go up to the Object menu, choose Graph, and then choose Column.

Now, I'll scroll to the bottom of the list, select slider 2 orange, change Column Type from Repeating to Sliding, click OK. We get that effect there, and then click off in order to deselect. Click on that column once, twice, and then three times in order to select all three blue columns. Go to the Object menu, choose Graph, and then choose Column once again. Then I'm going to scroll to the bottom of the list, select slider 3 blue, change Column Type from Repeating to Sliding, and click OK.

I end up getting this effect there, and that actually looks pretty darn good. Now, I think I might want to end up scaling my birds, and I definitely want to scale the birds inside the legend. But of course, I want to do that after I've made sure that I'm done with all of the parametric modifications. I'm done with the Type command. I'm done with the Design command. I'm done with the Column command. I'm done with the Data command. I don't want to ever see any of those commands where this chart is concerned again, and that's exactly the way things are going to be when we insert this graph into its final illustration in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

134 video lessons · 28267 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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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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