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Blending two objects

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Blending two objects

There are a variety of uses for blends inside of Illustrator and in these examples here for this movie specifically, I want to show you three possible ways that you can actually use blends and also we'll learn how to actually apply blends in the process. Now in this document here called blends. ai I have three specific elements that I want to work with. I have here two strokes in this document. One over here on the left, which is a one point blue stroke, then on the far right over here I have the exact same stroke but this one set to 10 points. Then over here I have two circles at two different shades of green. A smaller one and a larger one and then I have two symbols that I have created. These can actually be found here in the Symbols panel and this symbol over here called Highway symbol. Let me close for that now. Let's take a look at the top tow shapes right over here at these two paths that I have created. I'm going to select both of them. I'm going to go to the Object menu here I'm going to choose, Blend then I'm going to choose Make to create a blend between these two objects.

Blending two objects

There are a variety of uses for blends inside of Illustrator and in these examples here for this movie specifically, I want to show you three possible ways that you can actually use blends and also we'll learn how to actually apply blends in the process. Now in this document here called blends. ai I have three specific elements that I want to work with. I have here two strokes in this document. One over here on the left, which is a one point blue stroke, then on the far right over here I have the exact same stroke but this one set to 10 points. Then over here I have two circles at two different shades of green. A smaller one and a larger one and then I have two symbols that I have created. These can actually be found here in the Symbols panel and this symbol over here called Highway symbol. Let me close for that now. Let's take a look at the top tow shapes right over here at these two paths that I have created. I'm going to select both of them. I'm going to go to the Object menu here I'm going to choose, Blend then I'm going to choose Make to create a blend between these two objects.

Now what Illustrator does is it takes the two objects that I have selected and it morphs the two into each other. They basically have taken out one stroke over here that was a very narrow or had a thin weight and then this stroke over here had a much thicker weight or heavier weight, and now you can see that Illustrator has kind of varied the weight of all the objects in between. Now the important think to realize about a blend inside of Illustrator, you can't really select the objects in the center. It's what refers to as a live blend. I can still use my Direct Selection tool to click on these outer edges or basically what we call the key objects in the blend. I have a start object and have an end object.

The Illustrator creates all the steps in between and we have no way to access those. Illustrator just generates them automatically when working on it. As we'll soon see when we learn more about blends. I have ways to control exactly how those shapes in between are created. But at a very basic level all I need do is simply take two objects and then tell Illustrator to make a blend between them. There are of course many ways to use blends but this is one example of where blends might come in handy instead of having me actually manual create all those shapes on my own, a blend creates them automatically. Now another way that you might use blends is to create realistic shading techniques, for example, let's take a look at these two circles down over here.

I have created one large green circle then I have created smaller green circle and I have positioned that a little bit up into the right over here. So if I wanted this now to become some kind of highlight for that particular circular to give it more of an appearance of a 3D object, what I can do is I could use my Regular Selection tool to select both objects. Then again go to the Object menu choose Blend and then Make blend out of those objects and you will see that Illustrator now automatically blends the two together. Now you may already be familiar with the concept of an Illustrator called Gradients and specifically a radial gradient. This is really not that much different than a radial gradient at least what I have done here with the blend.

However, remember that blends can be made up of any shape at all. So if I wanted to actually have that shape be more of a half-moon shape, for example, to get more of a realistic shadow, I can easily do that. So just to give you an example, I'm going to press Undo for example here. I'm going to take this circle. I'm going to Option drag, or Alt drag it if you are on Windows, to kind of bring it down like this. I am going to select both these shapes right here and then from my Window menu, I'm going to choose to open up the Pathfinder panel and I'll choose the Subtract option here. Notice now if I select both these shapes and I choose Object > Blend and then Make, I get a different type of an effect, maybe some of that's more highlighted towards the outside over here. And as we'll soon there are many ways to control exactly the appearance of a blend to get it to look exactly the way that you wanted to, but again you have more control over the highlights and the shading then you would normally have with the gradient for example. And again you could use shapes that are not necessarily an oval we doing it in a person's face, for example, and you want to show cheek bones or things like that you might be able to use blends to get a more sophisticated air brush effect.

Now another way that you might blend also is to generate what we call tweens or steps that are in between two other shapes that might be necessary to create different frames for an animation. So, for example, I have two symbols here; it's actually two instances of the same symbol and if I select both of them, I have the ability to blend between two symbols as well. So if I go to the Object menu and I choose Blend > Make, I can now see that I have generated steps in between these two shapes. Now again, one of most important things about a blend is the fact that a blend itself is what we refer to as a live blend. So yes of course we might even know that I can't really touch or edit these pieces in the middle, but what I can do is use my Direct Selection tool to continue to edit or work with these objects individually, for example, I can take one of the key objects in this case the end one here and move out it out over here. Notice now that the step that make up tweens of the blend itself automatically update.

I will click on the Start object here, for example, and I can go over here and click on Opacity and change the Opacity of that shape to zero. And notice now that the Opacity blends as well. Well, let's take a look this object in the top. I'm going to use Direct Selection tool to click on just the outside edge or the key object of this particular blend this one stroke that is currently set right now to 10 points, but it's also set to a blue color. Well what I can do is I could change that color because my blend is live. As I change it, my blend will automatically update. So, for example, I'm going to go ahead and open it up our Color panel. I go ahead I'll bring the focus to my stroke itself and I'll change that to maybe to a yellow color and I can see that right now the actual blend itself blends from the blue stroke all the way to this color stroke that I have added right here and the colors, of course, blend as well.

So a blend doesn't just blend the overall shape themselves; it also blends all the attributes of those paths or those objects in the case of symbols. Let me close the Color panel here. I just want to review one important element about working with blends. Blends are made up of several different elements and it's important to understand the terminology so when we refer to working with blends, we know what we referring to. So notice over here I have this entire blend selected. Over here I can see that my blend is targeted. I have a key object over here and a key object over here where we also like to refer to as I start and our end object and by the way, what is the start object and what is an end object is determined by the stacking order. So the object at the bottom of the stacking order is going to be the start object; the object that's at the top of the stacking it will be end object.

You will also notice that right now there is a line that connects the center of these two key objects so we refer to that the spine of my blend. As I move my key objects around, what we refer to at the steps of our blend, we'll always follow along that particular spine of that blend. Now as we are going to learn about blends further on in this particular chapter, we are going to see that there are ways to modify that spine, there are ways to modify the number of steps that are occur on your blend and we could also choose exactly how those steps are defined in the blend itself and now that we understand how to both to create a blend and also the elements that make up a blend, we can learn how to control those elements as well.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 28976 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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