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Blending the grill lines in Illustrator

From: Designs dekeConstructed: Retro-Style Superhero

Video: Blending the grill lines in Illustrator

{QTtext}{width:960}{textColor:65280,65280,65280}{justify:center}{timescale:1000}{backColor:0,0,0}{plain}{font:Verdana}{size:20} In this movie, we'll be blending all of the grill lines here And then go up to the Object menu, choose Blend, and then choose Make.

Blending the grill lines in Illustrator

Notice it does not have a keyboard shortcut. But I'll show you a little trick in a second. In this movie, we'll be blending all of the grill lines here inside Illustrator, with the exception of those that appear in the character's face.

And then very likely, your spacing option will Now, the first thing that you want to do is press Ctrl+A be set to Smooth Color, in which case, when or Cmd+A on a Mac to select all of the paths.

I turn on the Preview check box, I And notice that they've all come in as compound paths. have just one step between my blended path outlines. Which we can tell because we're seeing the words Compound What you want to do is switch this option Path on the far left side of the control panel. to Specified Steps, turn on the Preview check box. We don't want those, so go up to And then just press the up arrow key with this value highlighted, the Object menu, choose Compound Path, and choose in order to add more and more steps between those two path outlines. Release, in order to break up those compound And I came up with the value of 12 for the bicep, and now I'll click OK. paths, so that everybody's a plain old path outline. All right, let's repeat the process for the other bicep. Again, as indicated by the word, Path, on the far left side of the control panel. I'll go ahead and marquee these two path outlines like so, and Now, I'll go ahead and click off the paths, to de-select them.

then I'll press Ctrl+Alt+B and Cmd+Option+B on the Mac to blend 'em. And, I'm going to create a copy of the this I'm ending up with three steps, you may see something different. edges layer, just so I don't mess it up. Here's the trick, that'll allow you to get By going to the Layers panel flyout menu and choosing Duplicate Edges. to the blending options dialog box that much quicker. And we'll create a copy of that layer. Drop down to the blend tool, which has a keyboard shortcut of W. I'll turn off the original and then I'll double-click on an empty I know that it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense, but that is the shortcut. portion of the layer, to bring up the Layer Options dialog box. And, I'll call this layer Blends, and I'll change its color And I may be taking advantage of it, over the course of this movie. to Violet, but of course, you can go your own way there. Now I'll click OK. Creating blends is not very difficult inside And then, with the blend tool selected there, of Illustrator, all you do is marquee go ahead and just press the Enter key a couple of paths with the black arrow tool, in order to select 'em.

or the Return key on the Mac and that will bring up the Blend Options dialog box. Turn on the Preview check box, change the value to 12 Such as those paths around either side of the left bicep. And then go up to the Object menu, choose Blend, and then choose Make. and you will see the change back here in the document window. All right, now go ahead and click OK. Now notice we have a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B on a Mac. We are going to be taking advantage of that shortcut, because otherwise, Now we've got an awful lot of blends ahead we're going to have to choose this command over and over and over again. of us here, so I'm just going to scroll up. So anyway, again Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B on the Mac and then you create a blend. Thing is, we need to create one blend at a time. Now, Illustrator goes ahead and automatically decides how many steps So I'm going to press and hold the Ctrl key, or the Cmd key on occur between the blended paths' outlines, in this case three. the Mac, so that I can get my black arrow tool on the fly. At least for me. I'll marquee these two paths there. But you're going to to want to change that, of course. Release the key, press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B Which is why I've created this guide, for those of on the Mac, in order to blend them. you who have access to the exercise files, that shows you Then I'll go ahead and Ctrl or Cmd+marquee these guys, the number of steps that are at work in every single one of the blends, including those inside of the face. then press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac to blend them. But of course, I'm going to be telling you those numbers throughout this movie. And then I'll press both the Ctrl and Shift keys, or Cmd and Shift on Just wanted you to know that this diagram is here, in case a Mac, and I'll click on this you, you know, just want to work through things a little more quickly. other forearm blend so that they're both selected. I'll release the keys, which takes me back to my blend tool. Without having to watch every single second of the video. And then, I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key Now I'll go ahead and switch back here. So, this bicep needs to have twelve steps. on the Mac to bring up the Blending Options dialog box. And, one way to work is to go up to I just happen to know that I'm looking for ten steps. Turn on the Preview check box and we get this effect here. the Object menu, choose Blend, and then choose Blend Options. Now I'll click OK. Notice it does not have a keyboard shortcut. All right, now let's do that for the shoulders. But I'll show you a little trick in a second. So I'll go ahead and marquee this path. And then very likely, your spacing option will Actually I'm Ctrl+marqueeing, that's a Cmd+marquee on a Mac and now be set to Smooth Color, in which case, when it's a Ctrl+Shift or a Cmd+Shift+marquee to select this path as well. I turn on the Preview check box, I Ctrl+Alt+B to blend them. have just one step between my blended path outlines. Now, that's a problem. What you want to do is switch this option What's happening is Illustrator's getting mixed up. to Specified Steps, turn on the Preview check box. And then just press the up arrow key with this value highlighted, It's blending from this anchor point here to this one up there, and from this one down to this guy, and that, of course, is not what we want. in order to add more and more steps between those two path outlines. And I came up with the value of 12 for the bicep, and now I'll click OK. So, you have to press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo the blend. All right, let's repeat the process for the other bicep. And then, instead of pressing Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac, you click with the blend tool. I'll go ahead and marquee these two path outlines like so, and And, notice, this is the funkiest tool in the world. then I'll press Ctrl+Alt+B and Cmd+Option+B on the Mac to blend 'em. I'm ending up with three steps, you may see something different. Here's the trick, that'll allow you to get Been around forever. to the blending options dialog box that much quicker.

And, the way you use it, is you click one anchor point in the first path. Drop down to the blend tool, which has a keyboard shortcut of W.

And, you'll see a little asterisk next to your cursor. I know that it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense, but that is the shortcut. That's telling you that this is your first click point. And I may be taking advantage of it, over the course of this movie. So, click, and then, as soon as you move over the similar point in the other path. You will see a little plus sign that's telling you that you're adding this path to the blend, then click and things should reconcile quite nicely. Now, Ctrl+drag here or Cmd+drag on the Mac; Ctrl+Shift+drag or Ctrl+Shift+drag on a Mac. I assume we're going to have the same problem. Press Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B, sure enough. And then, with the blend tool selected there, go ahead and just press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and that will bring up the Blend Options dialog box. Turn on the Preview check box, change the value to 12 and you will see the change back here in the document window. All right, now go ahead and click OK.

So, instead, I'll go ahead and undo that change and I'll click here Now we've got an awful lot of blends ahead and then I will click here in order to create a nice blend. of us here, so I'm just going to scroll up. Now, you may ask me, well why don't you just, you know, as long as you got Thing is, we need to create one blend at a time. the blend tool selected, why don't you just So I'm going to press and hold the Ctrl key, or the Cmd key on the Mac, so that I can get my black arrow tool on the fly. I'll marquee these two paths there. Release the key, press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac, in order to blend them. Then I'll go ahead and Ctrl or Cmd+marquee these guys, then press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac to blend them. And then I'll press both the Ctrl and Shift keys, or Cmd and Shift on a Mac, and I'll click on this other forearm blend so that they're both selected. I'll release the keys, which takes me back to my blend tool. And then, I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac to bring up the Blending Options dialog box. I just happen to know that I'm looking for ten steps. Turn on the Preview check box and we get this effect here. Now I'll click OK. All right, now let's do that for the shoulders. So I'll go ahead and marquee this path. click with the blend tool, instead of pressing Ctrl+Alt+B? Actually I'm Ctrl+marqueeing, that's a Cmd+marquee on a Mac and now And the reason is, not a super convenient tool in my it's a Ctrl+Shift or a Cmd+Shift+marquee to select this path as well. Ctrl+Alt+B to blend them. Now, that's a problem. What's happening is Illustrator's getting mixed up. opinion, so I like to try out the keyboard shortcut first. It's blending from this anchor point here to this one up there, and from this one down to this guy, and that, of course, is not what we want. So now I'm going to Ctrl+Shift, or Cmd+Shift+drag around So, you have to press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo the blend. this other blend, so both the shoulders are selected. And then, instead of pressing Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac, you click with the blend tool. And, notice, this is the funkiest tool in the world. And, with my blend tool still selected, as you Been around forever. can see down here toward the bottom of the toolbox. And, the way you use it, is you click one anchor point in the first path.

I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on And, you'll see a little asterisk next to your cursor. a Mac to bring up the Blend Options dialogue box. That's telling you that this is your first click point. So, click, and then, as soon as you move over the similar point in the other path. You will see a little plus sign that's telling you that you're adding I'll change the Steps value to 15. this path to the blend, then click and things should reconcile quite nicely. Now, Ctrl+drag here or Cmd+drag on the So you want Specified Steps throughout this project, and then click Mac; Ctrl+Shift+drag or Ctrl+Shift+drag on a Mac. I assume we're going to have the same problem. Press Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B, sure enough. OK and now we'll have a bunch of steps inside those shoulders. So, instead, I'll go ahead and undo that change and I'll click here All right now let's start blending inside the chest here. and then I will click here in order to create a nice blend. I'll press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac and marquee those two path outlines. Now, you may ask me, well why don't you just, you know, as long as you got Press Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B, it didn't work. the blend tool selected, why don't you just All right, so undo, click here, in order to specify the click with the blend tool, instead of pressing Ctrl+Alt+B? first point, and then click here to specify the second point. And the reason is, not a super convenient tool in my opinion, so I like to try out the keyboard shortcut first. So now I'm going to Ctrl+Shift, or Cmd+Shift+drag around this other blend, so both the shoulders are selected. I'll Ctrl or Cmd+drag around these two path outlines And, with my blend tool still selected, as you can see down here toward the bottom of the toolbox.

here, and I assume I'm going to have the same problem. Press Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B, it didn't work. All right, so undo, click here, in order to specify the first point, and then click here to specify the second point. So I'm just going to click and click with the blend tool. I'll Ctrl or Cmd+drag around these two path outlines And now let's see whats going to happen with these three paths. Notice that I'm Ctrl or Cmd+dragging around these three paths right here, that have not been blended as of yet. And I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B on a Mac, just see what happens, and obviously that's a big kerfuffle. So I'll press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that change. And I will go back to manual approach, click here then click here, notice we get a plus sign, then click here we get another plus sign.

So you can blend multiple paths inside of Illustrator. And now I"m going to Ctrl+drag around these guys. Might as well just use blend tool. Click here, click here, and click here, and then Ctrl or Cmd+drag around these guys. Click here and click here. The thing is, you just gotta nail those points. That's why I'm not such a big fan of the tool. Ctrl+drag or Cmd+drag around these path outlines. Click and click to blend them, I apparently missed, so we'll try again. Click here, and click here, and this time I got a blend.

All right, now I'm going to press the Ctrl key and click on this central blend. Ctrl+drag or Cmd+drag around these path outlines. Click and click to blend them, I apparently missed, so we'll try again. Click here, and click here, and this time I got a blend. And Shift+Ctrl+click on this central blend. Those would be Cmd+Shift clicks, of course, on the Mac. And now, I'll press the Enter key to bring up the Blend Options dialogue box.

And I'll change the steps value to 7. Those would be Cmd+Shift clicks, of course, on the Mac. And now, I'll press the Enter key to bring up the Blend Options dialogue box. Turn on the Preview check box and you can see things look better. And now I'll go ahead and Ctrl+drag around this guy, Shift+Ctrl+drag to select it as well. Press the Enter key to bring up the Blend Options dialogue box, take the spacing value down to 12 and click OK. And then control drag around this guy. Shift+Ctrl+drag around the one around the left side. Press the Enter key to bring up the Blend Options dialogue box and I think this time I want ten steps.

dialogue box and I think this time I want ten steps. I do. And now, I'll just click OK, in order to see that occur. All right, and finally, let's go ahead and Ctrl+drag, or Cmd+drag around these three central abdomen paths. And I'll just press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac, and it worked this time. No blend tool necessary. Although of course the blend tool is still selected, here in the tool box, which means I can press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac to bring up the Blend Options dialogue box. I'll turn on the Preview check box, and I'll press the up arrow key, so I'll click inside the value and press the up arrow key until I get a total of 18 steps.

inside the value and press the up arrow key until I get a total of 18 steps. Which looks like this, at which point I will click OK. All right, so if we zoom out a little bit, it can see that that takes care of the upper body and the arms. We have left, however, the legs and the neck, and they're going to pose a little bit of a special problem, which is why we'll address them in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for Designs dekeConstructed: Retro-Style Superhero
Designs dekeConstructed: Retro-Style Superhero

43 video lessons · 1610 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 41s
    1. Welcome
      41s
  2. 13m 6s
    1. Masking a person from a white background
      8m 20s
    2. Smoothing out the edges of a jagged mask
      4m 46s
  3. 28m 52s
    1. Adding power and motion with Liquify
      8m 21s
    2. Puppet warping the legs closer together
      6m 36s
    3. Applying a perspective-style transformation
      5m 34s
    4. Smoothing and removing details with Liquify
      8m 21s
  4. 28m 34s
    1. Filling and stroking the silhouette
      3m 47s
    2. Drawing with the Pen and Brush tools
      7m 56s
    3. Hand-painting the face
      8m 56s
    4. Refining brushstrokes with Median and Minimum
      7m 55s
  5. 39m 2s
    1. Adding complementary colored clouds
      5m 28s
    2. Drawing a handful of spikes in Illustrator
      8m 34s
    3. Creating a burst pattern with Transform
      9m 36s
    4. Adjusting the spikes for a better effect
      7m 20s
    5. Bringing the burst pattern into Photoshop
      8m 4s
  6. 51m 4s
    1. Creating the extreme paths for the grill lines
      7m 31s
    2. Blending the grill lines in Illustrator
      9m 42s
    3. Correcting potential blending problems
      9m 58s
    4. Bringing the blended paths into Photoshop
      8m 27s
    5. Simulating pressure when stroking paths
      5m 35s
    6. Contouring the grill lines onto the face
      9m 51s
  7. 23m 47s
    1. Drawing a hand with the Pen tool
      9m 29s
    2. Converting the hand path to a shape layer
      6m 2s
    3. Finishing off the hands and gloves
      8m 16s
  8. 28m 49s
    1. Blend, scale, and rotate photographic flames
      6m 17s
    2. Filling in gaps with symmetrical flames
      7m 15s
    3. Shooting flames out of the hero's hands
      7m 34s
    4. Stroking the composite flames
      7m 43s
  9. 19m 13s
    1. Drawing cartoon flames as a shape layer
      5m 56s
    2. Enhancing the flames with layer effects
      5m 32s
    3. Adjusting Puppet Warp and Expansion
      7m 45s
  10. 16m 56s
    1. Installing a free comic-lettering font
      3m 59s
    2. Formatting the monologue text
      5m 43s
    3. Drawing the talk balloons (a.k.a. speech bubbles)
      7m 14s
  11. 43m 10s
    1. Selecting a font-creation software
      5m 17s
    2. Drawing consistently rendered letterforms
      9m 10s
    3. Pasting the letters into Glyphs Mini (Mac only)
      8m 11s
    4. Copying capitals into lowercase positions (Mac only)
      6m 45s
    5. Generating an OpenType font (Mac only)
      7m 56s
    6. Stylizing the custom font in Photoshop
      5m 51s
  12. 4m 24s
    1. Time lapse of the retro superhero
      3m 4s
    2. Until next time
      1m 20s

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