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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
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Blending anchor points


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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

with Mordy Golding

Video: Blending anchor points

Now I know the artwork in this file is not the most exciting thing to look at, but it really will illustrate well, the next point that I want to make about blends. Till now, we have been discussing, creating a blend by using a command in the Object menu, called Blend, and then Make. However, there is another way to make a blend inside of Illustrator, and that's to use the Specific Blend tool, which you can find here inside of the Tools panel. So I'm actually going to select the Blend tool, the keyboard shortcut for that is just the W key. So what we have been doing so far is we have been selecting two objects, and telling Illustrator to automatically blend between them. Now in reality, when you work with objects that have the same number of anchor points, Illustrator is really trying to convert those anchor points and create the steps of that blend, using those particular anchor points.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
9h 42m Intermediate Apr 03, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing artwork both automatically and manually
  • Mapping artwork to complex 3D surfaces
  • Using pressure-sensitive distortion tools
  • Recoloring artwork across a document
  • Using Excel data to create charts and graphs
  • Understanding how transparency really works
  • Creating high-quality, press-ready PDFs
  • Building efficient files with graphic styles
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Blending anchor points

Now I know the artwork in this file is not the most exciting thing to look at, but it really will illustrate well, the next point that I want to make about blends. Till now, we have been discussing, creating a blend by using a command in the Object menu, called Blend, and then Make. However, there is another way to make a blend inside of Illustrator, and that's to use the Specific Blend tool, which you can find here inside of the Tools panel. So I'm actually going to select the Blend tool, the keyboard shortcut for that is just the W key. So what we have been doing so far is we have been selecting two objects, and telling Illustrator to automatically blend between them. Now in reality, when you work with objects that have the same number of anchor points, Illustrator is really trying to convert those anchor points and create the steps of that blend, using those particular anchor points.

However, when we use the Blend tool, we could tell Illustrator specifically which anchor points to blend into other anchor points. For example, let's take this object, right over here, I have a stroke over here, and a stroke over here, two separate objects, they both have the same attributes. They have a 1 point weight, and they are set to black. I don't have to have anything selected by the way; the Blend tool just allows me to click on objects as I want to. Notice that if you look at the icon right now, it has a little hollow box there, but as I mouse over an object that has an anchor point, you can see that right there's a little X and a little black square. It kind of takes over the cursor that's over there. That indicates that I can actually click on that area to define a step for a blend.

So by using the Blend tool itself, I have the ability to tell Illustrator specifically, what I want to use as the start point, or the first key object, and the end point or the second key object in my blend, and I can do so on an anchor point basis, not necessarily on an object basis. So this gives us lot of control, and I'll explain to you, why. If I start on this particular anchor point, and I click over here to define, this is my start point and I'm going to move my cursor over and identify the second points or the second key objects in my blend to have Illustrator create a blend. If I choose this anchor point, over here on this top of the path, Illustrator will now basically create a blend across all these. Choose Object, I'm going to choose Blend > Blend Options, and we could actually change that from Smooth Color to Specified Steps. In fact, let's cancel out of that completely. I'm going to press Undo and these are my regular Selection tools.

Just click on any blank area. I have nothing selected anymore. I can now go to the Object menu and I can choose Blend > Blend Options, even though I have no object selected. So now, the settings that I define now will take effect for all new blends that I create inside of Illustrator. You can think of this as me setting to default for what the properties of the Blend tool will now take into account. So I'm going to click on the Blend Options setting here, instead of choosing Smooth Color, which is Illustrator's default, I'm going to use Specified Steps, and I'll type in a value, like maybe, I don't know 15 steps for now, click OK. Notice by the way the Preview checkbox is turned off, because I have no object selected right now, so I'm going to click OK. What this means is that now, whenever I create a blend, the Illustrator is automatically going to use the Specified Steps setting, with a value of 15. So now I'm actually going to go back to my Blend tool, I'll type the W key on my keyboard. I'll click on this anchor point over here, and then click on this one, so you can see the blend that was created. That's what we have kind of seen until now.

I am going to press Undo though. I'm going to start off by clicking on this anchor point right here. That's my first point. Now I'm going to come down to the anchor point on the bottom of the path. So what I'm basically telling Illustrator to do is not to blend my object from this anchor point to this anchor point, which has given me the straight lines over here. But by going from this anchor point to this one down over here, and now I'll click on this one, Illustrator blends it two by combining these two anchor points. In order for Illustrator to get from this anchor point to this one, it has to flip that path over again, so I'm kind of getting this path, twisting its ways, and its blend to this one, which is actually pretty cool. In fact, you can create tons of special effects this way. We know that blends are live. I can still modify these shapes. So for example, let's go ahead and adjust the number of steps in this blend, maybe you want a few more steps here. I'm going to switch to my regular Selection tool, select the entire blend, go to the Object menu, and I can choose Blend, again Blend Options here, and I can change my Specified Steps around, we'll just try 30 steps. Now we have that many more lines that appear in between these two key objects.

So now I'm going to actually go back to my regular Direct Selection tool here. I'm simply going to deselect my artwork. I'm going to click just on one anchor point right over here, and adjust this anchor point to be something this like this. Now you can see the blend that's taking place over here, remember if I would have had just a regular plain blend, I would have kind of gotten straight lines. But you can clearly see that Illustrator here is blending this by actually flipping the path, as it goes across the spine of that particular blend. In fact, you can get some really cool effects, by just simply modifying the blends here in this way. So I get kind of this loopy kind of effect, really, really cool, and get some really cool 3D or perspective type of grids here, again all working with the blends, but by blending by the anchor points instead of the objects in general.

Let me show you, you can actually apply this to whole objects as well. So I'm going to take this artwork here, and let's go ahead, and just delete that for now. Let's take a look at these two stars, again they are two identical stars, have the same number of anchor points. But I can again tell Illustrator, exactly how I want that particular blend to be created, by using the Blend tool. I will type the W key to select my Blend tool. I'll click on the top anchor point of this star, and the top anchor point of this star to see, how that actually gets created. And now I'm going to click on the Undo button, Command+Z, or Ctrl+Z on Windows, and I'll click on the top anchor point of this star, and now I'll click on this anchor point over here. And you can see that in the process, Illustrator kind of rotates the star, and almost puts a little bit of an arc, to make it appear as if that star is rotating as it's creating the blend steps.

So now we can see that, we really have a lot more control of our blends, we can control the number of steps inside of our blend, and by using the Blend tool specifically, we can also adjust exactly how those steps are created between the two key objects. One of the thing to note also with the Blend tool is that you can always simply go over to any particular anchor point, and hold down the Option or the Alt key, and then double -click. Doing so brings up the Blend Options dialog box for that particular blend.

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