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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.
You know, often times we think about blends as working specifically with two objects. You have two key objects, and you are generating steps in between those objects. But in reality Illustrator doesn't have any limitation of only working with two objects in a blend. You can use three or even more objects inside of a blend, and really that comes to the play when you have different colors or different attributes that you want to blend in between. For example, I have three arrows in this file. It's called multiple objects and maybe I want to create some kind of a gradation that starts off with, let's say red, goes to yellow, and then it goes to blue at the end. Well I can use a blend to create these steps, and basically define something more dynamic than just a regular blend itself.
So I'm going to select these three objects right here, I'm going to go over here to the Object menu, choose Blend, and then I'll choose to Make a blend. By the way, the keyboard shortcut to create a blend is Command+Option+B if you are on a Mac, or Ctrl+Alt+B if you are on Windows. I'm going to choose over here to make this blend, and you can see that, Illustrator starts to blend off by going from red to yellow, and then to blue, and generating all of the colors, like orange, for example, and green in between where necessary. In fact in this case, I might want to have more of a smoother type of blend. So I'll go over here to the Object menu, choose Blend, and then Blend Options, and I'll set the setting here to Smooth Color. In doing so, I get a really nice gradation. I get a color that goes from to red to yellow to blue, with all the colors in between, using the shapes that I have defined.
Now again, this can be important, depending on the type of shading I'm trying to create, but remember that blends are always live. So I could use my regular Direct Selection tool. Select one of these shapes, and adjust where they are. And notice that I have kind of created some kind of a bend that's over here. In fact if I highlight the entire blend completely, I can see that the spine is now changed. When using multiple objects inside of a blend, every single object that you have as a key object in that blend, turns into a different anchor point on that particular spine of the blend. Now in reality, it might be really cool if I could actually create this to be curved, so I get this blend or this gradient that goes on a curve. Now you might know that, for example, Linear Gradients cannot be curved.
However, a blend can follow a curve. That's something we'll discuss next, when we talk about, how to actually replace or work with a spine of the blend.
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