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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Assigning a gradient fill


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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Assigning a gradient fill

Now, as you know, the topic of this chapter is gradients, and we're going to be assigning gradients to this illustration. It's called Raw cat head.ai. So called, by the way, because it contains all of the raw elements we need, all of the path outlines we need to build the final illustration. And the final illustration is also opened, it's right here, it's called Gradient cat.ai and the only difference between these two illustrations, with the exception of the text, which is there, but just hidden in the Raw cat head file. The only other difference is a few drop shadows and a whole lot of gradients. And so those gradient fills, as you can see, make a tremendous contribution to the overall illustration. They really allow you to very quickly and easily create the appearance of depth. Now that's all pretty straightforward stuff as you'll see. Gradients aren't super complicated inside of Illustrator. There is just a whole bunch of different ways to apply them and manipulate them and so on. However, I do have some extra stuff going on inside the eyes. So there are actually multiple gradients assigned to each of the eyes that are blending together, and we'll see what that looks like shortly. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and switch over to Raw cat head here, and we're going to start things off by working on this forehead shape. Now I should say, because there are so few shapes inside of this illustration, and just to make it very easy to navigate, if you twirl open the black cat layer here inside the layers panel, you'll find that every single one of the items is labeled for you. So cheek L is the left cheek and cheek R is right cheek and so on, so that you can quickly and easily navigate your way through this illustration. Anyway, I've got the forehead selected, and notice up here in the Control panel, you can see that it's got a black fill. This actually happens to be a rich black fill, and then we've got a red stroke. Well, the only reason the stroke is there is just to help you find the path in the first place. We don't want that red stroke. So let's go ahead and get rid of it by clicking on the Stroke icon and setting it to None. Then what I'm going to do is assign a gradient. Now there are few different ways to assign gradients inside of Illustrator. I don't find the process to be all that intuitive. That's not to say it's hard, it's just not necessarily the kind of thing you're going to find very easily when you're first struggling inside the program. I'll go ahead and expand my toolbox so I can see the bottom of it. You can see down here that there are three Fill icons. One is color, and that would be a solid color, by the way, that you could apply from the Color panel. You also have, next-door, Gradient and then you have None. And notice that they also have keyboard shortcuts that are right in a row on your keyboard in the lower right-hand corner of the keyboard, that is to say, and they appear as Less Than and then Greater Than. They are really Comma, Period, and then finally Slash. So if you hit the Period key or click on this icon, you're going to assign a gradient, and it's going to be either the default gradient, if you haven't applied one so far, or it's going to be the last gradient you assigned. In our case, it's the default gradient, which goes from white to black. And that's a weak black. I'll come back to that in a second. We'll need to fix that. Anyway, that's one way to work. I'm going to Undo the application of that gradient. I'm also going to restore my toolbox to the single column display there, and I'm going to move over to the Gradient panel, which you can get, by the way, by going to the Window menu and choosing the Gradient command. You have also got a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+F9, Cmd+F9 on the Mac, and when you first bring up the panel, it will appear as just a sliver, and if you click on that sliver, why then you'll apply the gradient to the shape. Another way to work, I'll go ahead and expand the Gradient panel by clicking on this Up-Down icon a couple of times. If I press Ctrl+Z, Cmd+Z on the Mac, you've also got this little icon right there. You can click on it in order to apply the default gradient or you can choose one of the predefined gradients from this pop-up menu, and these are the gradients that appear in a new print document inside of Illustrator, so you can apply one of those as well. Here's the problem, though, in my mind. None of these gradients have rich blacks. Every single one of them includes a weak black, if it includes black at all, and I don't want that. That's going to look weird against my rich black background, because everything else inside this illustration is filled with rich black. So what do you do if you've already got a color set up, and you want to integrate it into your new gradient? Why then, you go ahead and drag the color swatch from the Color panel and you drop it into the Gradient panel, like so. I'll go ahead and grab this Fill Swatch, and I'll drag it down here into the gradient, and if I drop it at this location, it'll become a new color-stop in the gradient. If I want to replace white, I would drag to the beginning of the gradient. If I want to replace black, which is what I do want to do, then I drop it at the end of the gradient, like so. And now we have a white-to-rich black gradient, which is a lot more satisfactory. I'm also going to change the angle of my gradient here to -90 degrees so that the gradient is going from the top downwards. Now I could just as easily set it to 90 degrees if I wanted to, because I want the white to appear on top, notice that. I could change the angle to 90 degrees and then I could click on the Reverse button in order to reverse the order of the colors, and that would work for me too. You also have the option of changing the location of your color-stops if you like. So let's say I want to nudge the black up a little bit. Since it's my first color, I'll go ahead and click on it to select it, and then I could change its Location value to 10%, 10% of the way into the path outline, that is, and now we'll go ahead and nudge black upward. You also have the option of changing a color by double-clicking on it and that will bring up this pop-up panel. You can switch between your color sliders and your swatches, so you can work either way there. You also have control over Opacity, so you can change the Opacity of the color-stop, and we'll see a lot of these options later on, by the way. Here's another thing you can do, I just want you to know this up front, you can duplicate a color-stop by pressing the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and dragging like so, and that will create an exact duplicate of that color. If you want to get rid of a color-stop, you can select it and click on the Trashcan icon, but that's kind of a waste of time, when all you have to do is grab it and drag down, and that will basically rip the color-stop off of the gradient. And that's it, that is our first look at gradients inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise, I'll introduce you to the Gradient tool.
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  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What's old is new again
      39s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
      44s
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling CS's new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
14h 53m Intermediate Nov 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Assigning a gradient fill

Now, as you know, the topic of this chapter is gradients, and we're going to be assigning gradients to this illustration. It's called Raw cat head.ai. So called, by the way, because it contains all of the raw elements we need, all of the path outlines we need to build the final illustration. And the final illustration is also opened, it's right here, it's called Gradient cat.ai and the only difference between these two illustrations, with the exception of the text, which is there, but just hidden in the Raw cat head file. The only other difference is a few drop shadows and a whole lot of gradients. And so those gradient fills, as you can see, make a tremendous contribution to the overall illustration. They really allow you to very quickly and easily create the appearance of depth. Now that's all pretty straightforward stuff as you'll see. Gradients aren't super complicated inside of Illustrator. There is just a whole bunch of different ways to apply them and manipulate them and so on. However, I do have some extra stuff going on inside the eyes. So there are actually multiple gradients assigned to each of the eyes that are blending together, and we'll see what that looks like shortly. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and switch over to Raw cat head here, and we're going to start things off by working on this forehead shape. Now I should say, because there are so few shapes inside of this illustration, and just to make it very easy to navigate, if you twirl open the black cat layer here inside the layers panel, you'll find that every single one of the items is labeled for you. So cheek L is the left cheek and cheek R is right cheek and so on, so that you can quickly and easily navigate your way through this illustration. Anyway, I've got the forehead selected, and notice up here in the Control panel, you can see that it's got a black fill. This actually happens to be a rich black fill, and then we've got a red stroke. Well, the only reason the stroke is there is just to help you find the path in the first place. We don't want that red stroke. So let's go ahead and get rid of it by clicking on the Stroke icon and setting it to None. Then what I'm going to do is assign a gradient. Now there are few different ways to assign gradients inside of Illustrator. I don't find the process to be all that intuitive. That's not to say it's hard, it's just not necessarily the kind of thing you're going to find very easily when you're first struggling inside the program. I'll go ahead and expand my toolbox so I can see the bottom of it. You can see down here that there are three Fill icons. One is color, and that would be a solid color, by the way, that you could apply from the Color panel. You also have, next-door, Gradient and then you have None. And notice that they also have keyboard shortcuts that are right in a row on your keyboard in the lower right-hand corner of the keyboard, that is to say, and they appear as Less Than and then Greater Than. They are really Comma, Period, and then finally Slash. So if you hit the Period key or click on this icon, you're going to assign a gradient, and it's going to be either the default gradient, if you haven't applied one so far, or it's going to be the last gradient you assigned. In our case, it's the default gradient, which goes from white to black. And that's a weak black. I'll come back to that in a second. We'll need to fix that. Anyway, that's one way to work. I'm going to Undo the application of that gradient. I'm also going to restore my toolbox to the single column display there, and I'm going to move over to the Gradient panel, which you can get, by the way, by going to the Window menu and choosing the Gradient command. You have also got a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+F9, Cmd+F9 on the Mac, and when you first bring up the panel, it will appear as just a sliver, and if you click on that sliver, why then you'll apply the gradient to the shape. Another way to work, I'll go ahead and expand the Gradient panel by clicking on this Up-Down icon a couple of times. If I press Ctrl+Z, Cmd+Z on the Mac, you've also got this little icon right there. You can click on it in order to apply the default gradient or you can choose one of the predefined gradients from this pop-up menu, and these are the gradients that appear in a new print document inside of Illustrator, so you can apply one of those as well. Here's the problem, though, in my mind. None of these gradients have rich blacks. Every single one of them includes a weak black, if it includes black at all, and I don't want that. That's going to look weird against my rich black background, because everything else inside this illustration is filled with rich black. So what do you do if you've already got a color set up, and you want to integrate it into your new gradient? Why then, you go ahead and drag the color swatch from the Color panel and you drop it into the Gradient panel, like so. I'll go ahead and grab this Fill Swatch, and I'll drag it down here into the gradient, and if I drop it at this location, it'll become a new color-stop in the gradient. If I want to replace white, I would drag to the beginning of the gradient. If I want to replace black, which is what I do want to do, then I drop it at the end of the gradient, like so. And now we have a white-to-rich black gradient, which is a lot more satisfactory. I'm also going to change the angle of my gradient here to -90 degrees so that the gradient is going from the top downwards. Now I could just as easily set it to 90 degrees if I wanted to, because I want the white to appear on top, notice that. I could change the angle to 90 degrees and then I could click on the Reverse button in order to reverse the order of the colors, and that would work for me too. You also have the option of changing the location of your color-stops if you like. So let's say I want to nudge the black up a little bit. Since it's my first color, I'll go ahead and click on it to select it, and then I could change its Location value to 10%, 10% of the way into the path outline, that is, and now we'll go ahead and nudge black upward. You also have the option of changing a color by double-clicking on it and that will bring up this pop-up panel. You can switch between your color sliders and your swatches, so you can work either way there. You also have control over Opacity, so you can change the Opacity of the color-stop, and we'll see a lot of these options later on, by the way. Here's another thing you can do, I just want you to know this up front, you can duplicate a color-stop by pressing the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and dragging like so, and that will create an exact duplicate of that color. If you want to get rid of a color-stop, you can select it and click on the Trashcan icon, but that's kind of a waste of time, when all you have to do is grab it and drag down, and that will basically rip the color-stop off of the gradient. And that's it, that is our first look at gradients inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise, I'll introduce you to the Gradient tool.

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


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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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