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Combining Screen with 100K Black

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Combining Screen with 100K Black

In this exercise and the next, I'm going to walk you through one of many possible advanced blending scenarios inside of Illustrator. My intention is to help you understand how you can exploit blending in order to achieve any effect you want. However, I'll warn you upfront, this is a little mind bending. It's a little hard to keep up with. So I'll do my best, you do yours. I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Masked layers.ai and you will notice at the top of the Layers palette is this hidden layer called Text items. Go ahead and turn it on, so that we can see its contents and then twirl the Text items layer open. Now this is live editable text. It's set in the font called Nueva Std that ships along with many skews of Creative Suite 4. If you have it, great. If you don't, don't worry too much about it, just watch what I'm doing here inside the video.

Combining Screen with 100K Black

In this exercise and the next, I'm going to walk you through one of many possible advanced blending scenarios inside of Illustrator. My intention is to help you understand how you can exploit blending in order to achieve any effect you want. However, I'll warn you upfront, this is a little mind bending. It's a little hard to keep up with. So I'll do my best, you do yours. I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Masked layers.ai and you will notice at the top of the Layers palette is this hidden layer called Text items. Go ahead and turn it on, so that we can see its contents and then twirl the Text items layer open. Now this is live editable text. It's set in the font called Nueva Std that ships along with many skews of Creative Suite 4. If you have it, great. If you don't, don't worry too much about it, just watch what I'm doing here inside the video.

Notice that the top text is called Pied Pianist. It's just white text and a black background, no special transparency as witnessed by the fact that we have a plain white meatball. Whereas the of Samuelin text obviously has some sort of translucency going on and a drop shadow and we can confirm that we have transparency by the appearance of this volumetric meatball. All right, so go ahead and meatball Samuelin right there and if you switch over to the Transparency palette, you will see Normal, 100%. So no transparency going on whatsoever. Well that just means that I haven't done anything special to the text as a whole. However, there must be something going on.

If you ever need to do some transparency detective work inside of Illustrator, then you switch over to the Appearance palette and you will see, yes, indeed I have a black Fill set to Screen. Okay, that's weird and I'm getting white text. That doesn't even make sense and then I have a drop shadow applied. And what's just totally crazy about this is that if I click on this Fill attribute right there, and then click the Down Pointing Arrow head, and I switch from black, which by the way, when you are talking about the Screen mode which is the opposite of the Multiply mode, right? So I was telling you that Multiply will take all the colors and darken the illustration with the exception of white, which just results in a hole. So white becomes transparent.

So if Screen is indeed the opposite of Multiply, which it is, then it should use all of the colors to lighten an illustration except for black, which of course is the opposite of white which should become transparent. So why isn't our text transparent? Why is it white? And why would white of course result in white like so? Okay, that makes sense. That white set to Screen, it becomes white. It's like black set to Multiply, it becomes black because there is no lighter color than white and there is no darker color than black theoretically, but black becomes white and also all the other colors in between which should create shades in between, they create darker colors than black, like so, like red results in this red text against a darker drop shadow. So we can actually see the drop shadow through the text. This is just peculiar.

So let me show you how this is set up. First thing I'm going to do is click on our Type here and I'm going to just clear away this appearance like so, just going to choose the Clear Appearance command from the Fly-out menu right there. And once you do, you will get this plain black text that we see here, and nothing shows up inside the Appearance palette and that's because the text is selected as an object whereas the attributes are applied to the independent letters with the Type tool. So you would have to double-click on Characters in order to see those Fill and Stroke attributes. I'll tell you what, I'm going to grab that Fill and I'm going to throw it in the Trash so it becomes None, one of many ways to set a Fill or Stroke attribute to None inside of Illustrator, okay great. So now I have completely invisible Type.

All right, now I'll switch back to the Black Arrow tool and sure enough, our text is invisible and sure enough we don't see any Fill or Stroke attributes here inside the Appearance palette because nothing is applied to the text object as a whole. Then what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and add a Fill and I'm going to add a new Fill by clicking on this Add New Fill icon at the bottom of the Appearance palette and that adds a black Fill, sets the Stroke to None because there has to be a corresponding Stroke assigned to the text object as a whole. And now I could go ahead and switch the color of my black Fill.

Currently, it's 0, 0, 0 for Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, and then 100% Black. Well, let's say I want to go with a super-rich black, something that's not printable but we are not going to worry about that for a second. We are just going to change all the values to 100% like so. So Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black are all now 100%. We have this super-rich black text, which looks darker than ever, and we don't have any of those weird halos around the letters that we saw just a moment ago. And now if I were to change the Opacity that's just assigned just to the Fill, I'll go ahead and click on the word Opacity there to bring up the Transparency palette and then I'll change the blend mode from Normal to Screen. Then the text becomes transparent, which makes sense because black drops away when you change it to Screen, but that's because I have this super-rich black selected.

Now let's say I go ahead and reduce some of these other values. Now if I wanted to reveal some of the text inside the Cyan plate, I would reduce the Cyan value. Notice now we are getting white in the Cyan plate. So we can see everything that's going on in Magenta, Yellow, and Black because that's where the text is transparent. If I want to reveal some of the white inside the Magenta plate that is hide some of magenta behind the letters, then I would reduce the magenta value to lighten it up. So anytime you are adding a lightening agent to the ink, you are also helping out the Screen mode so that you are making the text lighter inside of that plate.

And if I wanted to drop away yellow behind the letters so that the text become whiter instead of yellower right there, then you could reduce the yellow value, and if you wanted to drop away some of those gray lines behind the text then you would decrease the K value like so. So the idea is that each one of these inks is screened independently inside of its corresponding plate. So if you want to reveal all the black lines in the background, you want to go with a high K value like we had just a moment ago, and if you wanted to hide all the other colors so that the letters were otherwise white, then you would reduce Yellow and Magenta and Cyan to 0% each like so.

Then I'll go ahead and bring up the Separations Preview palette so we can really, really see what's going on. And you can of course choose Separations Preview from the Window menu if you like. And then I'm going to turn on the Overprint Preview checkbox and I'll turn on an independent plate at a time. So we'll start with just Cyan on and nothing else. So in the Cyan plate, the letters are cutting a hole because we have 0%, that is white in Cyan, and if we add magenta, we are still seeing a hole because we have 0% magenta which is white in the Magenta plate, and if we turn-on yellow, we are still seeing a hole because we have 0% or white in the Yellow plate. However, go ahead and turn everybody off but black, and you will notice that black is invisible because after all, we have 100% black which is black in that plate and therefore set to Screen, it's transparent.

And that's why when we add on these other plates, we are still seeing through to the black stuff inside of the CMYK artwork. All right, I'm going to go ahead and turn-off Overprint Preview and then hide the Separations Preview palette. There you have part one of this advanced blending technique right here. We are using black and only black to create a screen effect that reveals black in the background but otherwise results in white text. Now then, how do we go about creating a drop shadow that shows up properly behind those letters which is a little bit of a trick, as we'll see in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21526 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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