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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.
I've saved my progress as The blue stroke.ai. In this exercise we're going to build up a couple of other strokes that are assigned to this layer. So my layer is currently active, as you can see here in the Appearance panel. If you're working along with me and you're not seeing the same thing, go to the layers panel and meatball the snowflake layer to make it active. Then switch back to the Appearance panel, and we're going to create two more strokes. And I'm going to base them on this existing stroke that has all these dynamic effects assigned to it. Add, Offset Path, and Transform. And I'm going to do that by grabbing that stroke and dragging it onto the little Page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel and that will create one duplicate.
Now I'm going to create a second duplicate by dragging it onto the little page icon again. All right, now I'll twirl-closed the top one as soon as Illustrator gets done. Now I should say, we are now officially asking Illustrator to do a lot, because we have these multiple strokes assigned to this layer and each one of the strokes has three dynamic effects and then there is dynamic effects being assigned to the group in the background, all kinds of stuff going on. It's very computationally intensive at this point for Illustrator. So you can expect a few slowdowns here and there. I'm going to twirl-close that first stroke, select the second stroke, and change its line weight to 4 points.
And then I'm going to change the color settings and up here in the Color panel I'm going to change Cyan value to 50%, press Tab. Wait for it to work. It's got to do its thing. It's no use, by the way, switching to the Outline mode. Illustrator will still go ahead and update things in the background, even though you're not seeing the effects. I'll change the Magenta value to 40% and then I'm eventually hopefully going to change that Yellow value, which is no longer active. I'll have to change it manually there to 0, and then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply my modification.
All right, now we need to go through the same thing for this bottom stroke here. I'll change its line weight to 6 points, press the Tab key in order to update my artwork, and then up here in the Color panel a few modifications I need to make. I'm going to change the Magenta value to 80 and press the Tab key and wait for that to apply. And then I'm going to change the Yellow value here to 30%, press the Tab key, wait for it to apply, and then change that K value to 50%, and that's my final color layer in the background. Now the next thing that I need to do is assign some additional offsets and by offset I don't mean Offset Path. Our one point of offset is just fine there.
I mean we need to nudge the strokes a little bit. So I'm going to twirl-open that second stroke and click on Transform in order to bring up the Transform Effect. And don't turn on Preview, because that would just slow things down. Go ahead and change the Horizontal value to -0.5 and the Vertical value to positive +0.5 and then click on the OK button in order to apply that modification. Wait for it to work of course. You'll see that lighter stroke move ever so slightly in the background. Go ahead and twirl that guy close, twirl-open the bottom stroke, click on its Transform, and change the Horizontal Move value to -1 and the Vertical Move to positive 1, and then click OK again in order to assign that modification.
And now notice that we have a lot of weird stroke action in back of this guy's face, and it's just because of these little teeny path outlines that Illustrator is struggling with stroking. So for example, in the brow right here, even though this brow line is pretty big, it's only stroking this far into it. As the strokes get thicker and thicker they kind of pile up toward the center of the guy's brow. And that's kind of a problem and something that I'm interested in covering up. So I'll go ahead and twirl that stroke closed and now what I'm going to do is switch back to my Layers panel, and I want to assign an outer glow to this effect.
And it's actually going to be an outer darkness, an outer shadow, but before I can do it I need to assign this outer glow to the group as opposed to the larger layer. So I'm going to meatball the group there, the big flake group, there in the layers panel and now I'll go up to the Effect menu, I'll choose Stylize and I'll choose Outer Glow. And you can use glows to create shadows as well as the Drop Shadow command to create a glow if you want to. It's just a matter of the colors you select in the blend modes and so forth. The reason you really use Drop Shadow by the way is because it's a directional effect.
So it can be a directional shadow or a directional glow, it doesn't matter. Inner Glow and Outer Glow are unidirectional, so they trace all the way around the path outlines. So I'm going to go ahead and choose Outer Glow and these are the settings I'm going to apply. So Illustrator is remembering what I've done in the past here, but if you're working along with me you'll need to make some modifications. Change Mode to Multiply for starters, and then you want to go ahead and change that color by clicking on that color swatch and dialing in these CMYK values right there, Cyan 100, Magenta 80, Yellow 30, and Black 50.
And that will give you a very dark shade of blue. Click OK. Then the Opacity value should be 100% and the Blur should be 8 points. And you can either turn on the Preview check box to see what it looks like, or you can just click OK in order to apply that modification. You'll see a bunch of progress bars zip by and then things will darken up considerably on the screen. The final thing that I want to do here is rotate that snowflake. And I'm going to apply the rotation to the entire layer. So I'll go ahead and meatball the snowflake layer here inside the Layers panel, and then once again I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and choose the Transform command, or press Ctrl+ E, Command+E on the Mac if you loaded dekekeys.
Change the Angle value to 15 degrees and click OK in order to slightly rotate the snowflake inside of the document. And that is the final effect that I'm looking for. And I think it looks pretty good in so far as it goes, but I think it can look better as well. What I'd like to create is a crystallized snowflake with some beveling attached to it as well, and you can do that kind of stuff inside of Illustrator. It's just that it's so much easier to do in Photoshop, as we will in the next exercise.
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