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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
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Blending groups and adjusting the speed


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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Blending groups and adjusting the speed

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to blend between two groups of paths inside of Illustrator. This is a very powerful feature, very little known, as well, what I'm about to show you. And then I will also show you another little known powerful feature where you can change the speed of a blend using the control handles that are associated with the path of the blend. And if this all sounds like so much gibberish, well, check it out, it's actually really, really great, what we are about to do, very simple as well. I have saved my progress as Nested clipping masks.ai and I am going to scroll down toward the bottom of the sarcophagus where I have this little fence motif set up here.
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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 was 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 the 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

Blending groups and adjusting the speed

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to blend between two groups of paths inside of Illustrator. This is a very powerful feature, very little known, as well, what I'm about to show you. And then I will also show you another little known powerful feature where you can change the speed of a blend using the control handles that are associated with the path of the blend. And if this all sounds like so much gibberish, well, check it out, it's actually really, really great, what we are about to do, very simple as well. I have saved my progress as Nested clipping masks.ai and I am going to scroll down toward the bottom of the sarcophagus where I have this little fence motif set up here.

And I what I want to do is take these two posts over here on the left hand and the right hand side and blend between them to create some more posts. And I'm going to do that first of all by unlocking this low fence layer. So if you're working along with me, you need to unlock it as well. So click the lock icon in front of low fence, now I can gain access to these objects. And I will go ahead and zoom in a little more, center my zoom as well. And I will click on one of these posts. Now notice when I clicked with the Black Arrow tool, I selected both the top ball and the post itself, because they're part of a group.

So I am going to twirl open layers panel just so we can inspect these groups, and I will twirl this guy open so we can see it's a post with a ball in back of it, that's all it is. So a very simple group, you could work with more complex groups if you wanted to. And then same goes for this post over here on the left hand side. It's this group up top, and if I were to twirl it open, we've also got a post on top and a ball below it. So whenever you're blending between two different groups, you just need to make sure those groups contain similar paths inside of them.

So the same number of paths, the same construction and so on. Now I want you to see that even though this is a cartoon rendering that it does subscribe to real perspective. So if I were to grab this post over here on the right hand side and then Alt+Drag or Option+Drag it in order to create a duplicate. And I drag it all the way over to left hand side; you can see it's at the wrong angel. So I need the post in between to gradually step up so that they get straighter and straighter and straighter, that is more up and down, more vertical as we go from the right hand post over to the left hand one.

And that's something that a Blend can do. So I will Backspace that clone group, because I don't need it. And I will select the first group over here on the right hand side and I will Shift+Click on the left hand group, so that they're both selected. And notice that both of the group's are meatballed here inside the Layers panel. I am going to go ahead and twirl them closed, so that we have a little less confusion going on. And then I'll go up to the Object menu. I will choose Blend and I will choose Make or press Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B on the Mac, and because these two groups are formulated in the same way, they blend together beautifully.

So again, you can have as many paths inside of these groups as you want, just so long as the groups are constructed in the same way. Now, I have got a ton of posts at this point. Illustrator's seen fit to give me lots this time around, as well as the path of the blend in between, which is quite handy, because I will need it in just a moment. All right, let's change the number of posts first by double-clicking on the Blend tool to bring up the Blending Options dialog box. I will change spacing from Smooth Color, which is meaningless in this case, to specified steps. It's telling me that it went ahead and created 15 steps form me, I only want 5.

So I'll enter 5 and press the Tab Key. And things are looking pretty darn good. Except for, here is the problem, because the spacing between the posts is absolutely uniform, that defies the rules of perspective drawing. We ought to see bigger spaces over here on the left hand side and smaller spaces as the posts decline away from us. And so what we need to be able to do is change the speed of the blend, and there are no numerical options for doing that. However, there is a way by modifying the path of the blend.

You have to change the control handles, as we'll see. So I will click OK to accept the modification, and then I am going to go to my Pen tool, click and hold, to bring up the flyout menu and choose Convert Anchor Point. And now I will drag from this first anchor point inside the path of the blend in order to draw out a control handle. Now I don't want to introduce any curvature in my path, because then I'd end up getting this kind of effect here. I want to keep the path straight, but I need the control handle to determine how quickly the blend occurs. So if you have got a long control handle, it's a slow transition.

And if you have a very short control handle or no control handle at all, you have a very rapid transition. So the posts are spaced far from each other where we have the control handle. They are spaced very closely to each other where we don't have a control handle. So I am going to eventually back this guy off, but first I'm going introduce another control handle over here on the right hand side by dragging to the right, because I've established a clockwise direction in this case, I need to continue in this direction, so I will drag off to the right like so in order top peel these posts apart from each other.

Then in order to continue modifying those control handles, because the Convert Pont tool is really just useful for creating the control handles in the first place, where this particular exercise is concerned. So I will press the A key in order to get my White Arrow tool, and then I can modify those control handles that I have created. And the whole time, I am taking care to make sure that I am dragging the control handle along the path outline. So the path outline is fundamentally straight. It might have a little curvature at this point, so I might bend it down a little bit. Or, at this point it might be introducing some curvature.

I don't want that, I just want to change the speed of things. So just monkey around with those control handles until you get the speed of those posts exactly the way you want them. And then in my case, I would say I am done. So I will go head and click off that path outline in order to deselect it. Actually it's looking to me like these two guys are spaced a little too closely together. I'm having problems finding my path of the blend. There it is, all right, and I will go ahead and click on it and then go ahead and move that control handle over just a little bit more. All right, I like that. So that gives you a sense of how you can blend between two groups of shapes, two equivalent groups of shapes inside of Illustrator, as well as modify the speed of your blend using the control handles that are associated with the path of the blend.

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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