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

Blending an envelope into a background


From:

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Blending an envelope into a background

In this final exercise, we are going to blend this horse with its background, so we get some nice rich blacks going, and we are going to do that using a blend mode and an opacity mask from the Transparency panel. I have saved my changes as Horse inside a mesh.ai. It's found, as always, inside the 25_ liquify_envelope folder, and I want you to make sure that your entire mesh object is selected, because as you may recall, in my case, I just have a point somewhere selected in the mesh. And if I go to the Transparency panel, my blend mode is not available, because you can't apply blend modes on a point-by-point basis. And where an envelope-style mesh is concerned, you can't apply opacity values either; you have to do so to the entire object.
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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

Blending an envelope into a background

In this final exercise, we are going to blend this horse with its background, so we get some nice rich blacks going, and we are going to do that using a blend mode and an opacity mask from the Transparency panel. I have saved my changes as Horse inside a mesh.ai. It's found, as always, inside the 25_ liquify_envelope folder, and I want you to make sure that your entire mesh object is selected, because as you may recall, in my case, I just have a point somewhere selected in the mesh. And if I go to the Transparency panel, my blend mode is not available, because you can't apply blend modes on a point-by-point basis. And where an envelope-style mesh is concerned, you can't apply opacity values either; you have to do so to the entire object.

So here inside the Layers panel, I am going to go ahead and meatball my envelope item there inside of the horse layer, and now both my opacity and my blend mode light up inside the Transparency panel, and I'm going to change my mode from Normal to Multiply yet again, in order to burn that horse into the background. And you can see we get some much nicer blacks going this time. However, what I don't like about this effect is his hooves are covering up the letters in Knight Flyer. Now if I had constructed this illustration differently, I might be able to move the letters on top of the hooves and then change their opacity or what have you, if I wanted a little bit of interaction.

However, I can't do that, because the letters are located on this background layer in the background, so behind the horse, of course. If I were to take this envelope item that contains both the text and the grassy hill, if I were to take them and move them in front of the horse, then the hill would be in front of the horse as well. So that's not a solution. Instead, I'm going to take advantage of an opacity mask. So I will go ahead and twirl close that background layer once again, and then I'll expand the Transparency panel by clicking on this double-arrow icon a couple of times in a row. And I will bring up my flyout menu, and then I'll choose Make Opacity Mask. And by default, at least for me, the clip check box is on.

So I am going to turn it off, so that I have a white mask and I can see my horse once again. If you've been working along with me from the previous exercise, then you still have the contents of the clipboard intact. That's what I'm hoping. That is to say, I will go ahead and twirl open background again. Remember that we went ahead and copied this trim size object. If you've lost your clipboard, then you can go ahead and unlock the background and meatball the trim size and copy it, but mine is right ready to go. So I will go ahead and twirl that to close again. I will click in the Opacity Mask thumbnail, here in the Transparency panel, to make it active, and I'll press Ctrl+F, or Command+F on a Mac, to go ahead and paste that object into place.

Now it has no fill and it has no stroke, so it's not doing anything so far. I'm going to add a gradient to it by clicking on gradient, by switching over to the Gradient panel and clicking in that little strip, in order to assign a gradient to that object. And now we have a gradient fade going; it just doesn't happen to be the right fade. So I've got white on one side of the gradient, that's great; I have got black on the other side, that's the problem. So I am going to click on the black swatch, and my color panel is up on screen. So I will just go head and change k value to 50%, so that we have a little less of a fade, as you see here.

Now the gradient is going in the wrong direction; it's going from left to right. I need it to go from bottom to top or top to bottom, I don't know which. But I am going to grab my Gradient tool, and I can get it by pressing the G key, and I want the translucency to be at the bottom of the horse and the Opacity to be up at the top. So my gradient starts white, so I guess I need to drag from about here down, and I'm pressing the Shift key as I drag in order to constrain the angle of my gradient to exactly vertical. And then I will release and I get this effect here, and that's exactly what I wanted.

So you can see that the top portion of the horse continues to blend and grade with the background. You can even see parts of the starbursts through the wings, which I think is awesome, and then we're fading the hooves into the letters, so that the letters remain entirely legible. All right, now I am going to switch out of my opacity mask by going back to my Transparency panel and clicking on the illustration thumbnail. And that takes me back, as you can see here, to my envelope mesh. I am going to press Ctrl+Shift+A, or Command+ Shift+A on a Mac, to deselect the document. I am going to press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, and I'm impressed the F key a couple of times in order to fill my screen with this illustration.

This is the final version of the illustration, thanks to the amazing distortion capabilities of Liquify and Envelope here inside Illustrator CS 5.

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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