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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise I am going to show you how to change the settings associated with any of the Liquify tools. Specifically, however, we're interested in modifying the behavior of the Warp tool so that it doesn't deliver those overly smooth, blobby results. I have saved my progress as Ready to warp.ai and if nothing else, that provides us with a safeguard. So if you make a big mess of your horse, you can revert to this file without having to recopy the tracing object and then re-expand it and so forth. Now you can see that my horse is selected. Make sure yours is as well if you're working along with me.
And then I'll go up to my Warp tool up here in this little tear-off strip and I'll double-click on it, and that brings up the Warp Tool Options dialog box, which is a little bit deceptive because most of its options affect all of the Liquify tools in kind. Every one of these values inside this Global Brush Dimensions area will affect the behavior of each and every one of those seven Liquify tools. So you can change the width and height of the brush independently, and that way you can create elliptical brushes if you like and then you can rotate those brushes using the angle value. I am going to show you a shortcut for modifying the width and height of our brush on the fly by the way, And then we have this Intensity value, which controls how much of an impact the tool has as you paint.
Now, 50% works great for warp; however, it's way too much for some of the other tools, specifically for Pinch and Bloat and we'll see what's going on with them later. But for now, what I want you to do, don't worry about any of the Global Brush Dimension options; I want you to the drop down here to Warp Options. The Detail option controls how much detail you retain as you paint. 2 is actually just fine for our purposes. But you can raise that if you want more detail. My sense is if you go too high with this Detail value then it becomes very difficult later on down the line to edit that path outline.
Simplify is our problem. Simplify is the option that goes in there and rounds off all the corners. Now at 50% it's rounding like crazy. You can take this value down way low, down to like 2, or something, and it's still going to simplify the heck out of your path outlines. So what I suggest you do, at least where this specific example is concerned, is just turn off that check box so we're not simplifying at all. We do want to see the brush size, so leave that check box on. If you ever want to restore the original settings--that is, everything we saw when I first opened this dialog box with Simplify set to 50--then you click on the Reset button.
Anyway, all I want to do is turn Simplify off and click OK, and now let's go ahead and zoom in on the illustration, so that we can work a little more closely here. I'm going to drag up on the legs, as you see me doing right now. And now notice that as I drag on these areas here that I'm not overly simplifying. I'm not dropping anchor points, for one thing, and I'm not losing definition like I was before. Now, of course I am not working on a face. We will be working on a face in a moment. But I think I need a smaller brush for that. So I am just lifting up some of these details, moving the thighs out.
Notice I'm primarily interested in thickening up the horse and lengthening its legs a little bit and tucking its tummy and doing all the stuff that will make this horse look that much more powerful. Now, you're not necessarily going to be able to thicken up the legs as much as you'd like using this fairly large brush, especially over here in the hind legs. But you can get a fair amount of work done pretty quickly using this tool. It is going to take several brushstrokes; you are going to be brushing like 10, 20, 30, 40, 100 times in order to get this horse looking the way that I had it looking anyway, where my guide is concerned for example.
I am going to go ahead and drag some of the hair up--that is, the hair in the mane--drag that quite a bit upward, and I want to take it easy on the ears because I don't want to lose the ears. Horses don't have super-big ears, at least in silhouette. However, if I'm not careful, I could end up losing a lot there. I'll go ahead and drag up those wings as well, like so, and you know this is just fairly routine stuff at this point, just a lot of brushwork involved, and you can do as much or as little as you like. Now, I am going to pass along a tip in just a moment as soon as I do a little bit more work. And you know what? I think I'll pass along that tip right now.
Let's say you want a bigger brush. Well, one way to change the brush size is to go to the Warp tool and double-click on it again and then dial in a new brush size and click OK and brush a little, and then you have to change it again. If you want to change the brush size on the fly, then you press the Alt key--or the Option key on the Mac--and you drag. So if you drag to the right, you're going to make the brush wider; if you drag to left, you're going to make it skinnier; if you drag down, you're going to make the brush shorter; and if you drag up, you're going to make it taller. However, what I recommend you do--and once again I have the Alt or Option key down as I am dragging around on screen.
What I recommend you do, if you want a round brush, anyway, is you press the Shift key as well, and then if you drag up-right you are going to make your brush bigger, and if you drag down-left you are going to make it smaller. For purposes of the wing, I want a bigger brush, so I will go ahead and drag up-right as I was--that is Shift+Alt+Drag, or Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac--and then I'll drag some of these feathers into place like so. Don't expect to get exactly the same results I did in the guide; it's just a guide after all. It's just there to provide you with guidance in case you've never heard the term "guide" before.
All right, I am just making fun of myself at this point because you know I've got a lot of brushing to do and I just feel compelled to keep talking. Anyway, I am going to move this tail out, and let's get that way out there, I think. I might even need a bigger brush in order to pull that off. So I will Shift+Option+Drag up-right in order to do that and then drag some of these details down like so, and I'm actually doing some pretty good work, with the exception of the head, which so far I've totally ignored. So I'll just go ahead and lift the head, but if I do, notice I give him a very droopy face, which I don't think suits anybody, least of all our super powerful horse.
So instead I'm going to undo that modification by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and I'm going to Shift+Alt+ Drag down-left, like so--that would be a Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac--in order to reduce the size of my cursor, and you are going to kind of make a mess of things as you drag this horse's face upward. But eventually, you'll get him to more or less match the horse outline there. And honestly, we could have started with a chipmunk face and gone ahead and liquified it into a horse face the way I am working, but you know, it's one approach.
Anyway, this does give us a fair amount of fine-tune control here. Oh! That's nice. Now he's got buck teeth. I will go ahead and lift this up some more. Eventually I think I'm going to get there. I'm feeling very optimistic, don't you know? All right, we want him to have a nice jaw line there, so I'll leave that jaw in there; in fact I might want to make it more pronounced by dragging down a little bit there. Then I am going to drag the neck up, and this portion of the neck--I guess that's his chest area--downward and in. And then finally what you need to do in order to check your work, you're going to need to go over to your Layers panel, Twirl+Open guides & eye-- this is the way I recommend you work anyway--and turn off this item that's called Liquify, because later we'll still need the guides, so that's why I am not having you turn off guides globally. Just turn off Liquify for now, and that is that Liquify guide, and then press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide the selection edges.
So you can see really what you've managed to accomplish so far, which won't necessarily be good. I don't want you thinking that you're going to just have this glorious result because this is looking pretty dreadful in a few areas. I'm going to reduce the size of my cursor once again by pressing Shift+Alt and dragging down-left-- that would be Shift+Option+Down-left on the Mac--and then make a few modifications there. Here is I think sort of the scary area. He is now looking so powerful so much as that he wants a big kiss. So let's go ahead and get rid of those strange horse lips, tuck them in a little like so, and you know if worse comes to worst, you could always get out the White Arrow tool and make some manual modifications.
But by golly, I am bound and determined to do all of my work with the Warp tool. All right! I am going to Shift+Alt+Drag up-left, in order to increase the size of my cursor drag down there a little bit. I kind of like the bump on the ridge of his nose, but he definitely needs a deep brow. And you see that eye up here by the way as you are working. I should have mentioned that earlier. That's a path that's contained on the guides & eye layer that I created for you in advance, and that's what we're trying to match, so that he has got these wonderfully deep, sort of scary eyes going. I just don't seem to be able to get rid of those lips at all, but you know what? I'm unconcerned because we have some other Warp tools to check out, including Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat, and we'll see how to use those tools in the next exercise.
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