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Blending modes in action

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Blending modes in action

In this exercise, we are going to explore a few practical applications for the blend modes inside Illustrator. I've reverted to the saved version of Mishipizheu CS5.ai, found inside the 22_transparency folder, and I am going to start things off actually in the layers panel. I am going to turn off all of the layers except the paint layer in the background. This paint layer, by the way, if you twirl it open, it includes the linked image and this linked image is a variation on this really old acrylic version of this artwork that I painted way back when, and then in back of it, if you turn off the image, you will see this kind of frame effect, I will go ahead and zoom out for a moment, so that you can see that there is this brown fill with this larger green fill applied as well.

Blending modes in action

In this exercise, we are going to explore a few practical applications for the blend modes inside Illustrator. I've reverted to the saved version of Mishipizheu CS5.ai, found inside the 22_transparency folder, and I am going to start things off actually in the layers panel. I am going to turn off all of the layers except the paint layer in the background. This paint layer, by the way, if you twirl it open, it includes the linked image and this linked image is a variation on this really old acrylic version of this artwork that I painted way back when, and then in back of it, if you turn off the image, you will see this kind of frame effect, I will go ahead and zoom out for a moment, so that you can see that there is this brown fill with this larger green fill applied as well.

If I find where that path outline is, I don't even know, I'll press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, in order to switch to the outline mode, there it is. I'll click on it to select it, then I will press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y again, and if you go the Appearance panel, because notice, it's just the path, just one path, making these two different fills. So, if you go to the Appearance panel, you'll see that each one of the Fills is offset, using an Offset Path dynamic effect. So, if you click on Offset Path under the brown fill, you'll see that it's offset just slightly, just 12 points outward, I'll cancel.

For the green fill, which is below it, if you click on that Offset Path item, you'll see that it's offset 100 points in all directions, by the way, and that's just so that we have this kind of framing effect. Anyway, I am going to cancel out. Nothing regarding blend modes there; I just want you to have a sense of how things are put together. I am going to turn on this linked image layer once again and zoom into it, and this image you'll see it actually contain the creature. I had painted them into the background, but after adding them here and then I wanted to blend them with this painting, I decided to essentially clone them away.

So inside Photoshop, I use the Content Aware feature which is new to Photoshop CS5 in order to select them and fill them away from the painting, so that he got sort of automatically erased, and then I use the Healing Brush to fill in some of the details. I didn't do this move, this job of it; there is a lot of patchiness going on here. It's hardly a photorealistic effect, but I actually liked what I came up with. It works for this. So I'm going to go ahead and meatball that image in order to make it active. Then I'll go up to the Transparency panel and I am going to change the Blend mode from Normal to Luminosity and that's going to go ahead and mix once again the brightness information, the detail from this linked image to the colors inside the underlying path.

Because that fill is mostly brown, especially in this area, apparently I sized it to exactly fit the image, we see the image turn brown. So you can apply blend modes and opacity levels and other transparency effects to placed images as well as other objects inside Illustrator. All right, I am going to go ahead and zoom back in and now, I'll twirl this guy close, click on the gradient layer to turn on the gradient mesh and I am going to go ahead and meatball that entire layer this time around, because it's a big huge mesh pattern that's inside of a clipping mask.

I will go up to the Blend mode pop-up menu again, and I am going to change this one to Hard Light. So we get this interaction between the colors in the contrast levels between the gradient mesh in that original acrylic painting, and that pretty much re-infuses the colors back into the acrylic, while we keep the textures as well. So, it's pretty nice effect; it's unlike anything you might otherwise do inside of Illustrator. You'd have to have an image and a gradient working together to achieve this effect, in other words. Now I am going to turn on the strange details layer, and I am going to go ahead and click on the sun in order to select it.

Notice that it's a combination of path outlines to which I've assigned a round corner effect, by the way, as well as a couple of different overlapping strokes. I am going to change the Blend mode this time to Screen, like so, and then I am going to take the Opacity down to 70%, and we end up getting this brightening effect, which is only appropriate because the sun after all should brighten everything beneath it, and then I will click on one of these sort of wavy path outlines in order to select it. I am going to change the Blend mode again to Hard Light because I want to create a kind of contrast effect as we see there and I am going to reduce the Opacity value to 50% this time if only so you can get a sense here that the Blend mode and Opacity value work together hand-in-hand.

Next, I am going to select this guy if I can find it, and the best way is to click the long one of these edges down here at the bottom of the boat, and I am going to press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide the edges, so that I can better see what I'm doing. Now I am going to switch the Blend mode this time to the Difference mode and the reason that I'm going with Difference is because it ends up creating this kind of burnt effect like you get with Etruscan vase art. I'm not sure if you're familiar with that, but it looks really cool, primordial primitive; the whole number that's what I'm going for.

Finally, I am going to turn that beast layer back on, and I am going to meatball that entire layer once again, and we'll apply one of the Blend modes that we saw in the previous exercise, exclusion, and that is the final effect I'm looking for. There is a ton of interaction between the various objects inside of this illustration, thanks to the application of Blend modes here inside Illustrator.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

153 video lessons · 28213 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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