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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.
All right, so we've managed to apply a handful of graphic styles and I have saved my progress as Filter gallery effects.ai and if you check out the Layers panel, you'll see that I have the contents of the black layer selected. However, when I go over to Appearance and I checkout Ocean Ripple by clicking on it, I see just this tiny little fragment of my artwork. So what's up with that? Well let me show you. I am going to cancel out, switch back over to layers and twirl-open that black layer so that we can see its entire contents and then scroll to the bottom and you'll see our guy right there. And by the way, it's that little sort of crease at the top of the skull's head.
And here is what's going on, when you have multiple paths selected, the Filter Gallery can only see the rearmost path. So what you want to do is you want to place your most representative path at the back of the stack and I'm going to do that by grabbing this one right here, which is called Compound Path. Notice it's three up from the bottom. Go ahead and grab it and drag it down to the bottom, like so. And that one compound path represents most of the path fragments that are associated with this layer. Now I will go back to the Appearance panel and click on Ocean Ripple and you'll see a much more representative preview.
Now you can go ahead and zoom in on it if you want to. You can press Ctrl+Plus in order to zoom in. That's Command+Plus on the Mac, Ctrl+Minus or Command+Minus to zoom out. You can also use this Hand Cursor in order to move things around. What I'm going to do is reduce my Ripple Magnitude to 3. So not a super big adjustment, but it actually helps settle down the effect a little bit and that's it. Then I will click OK in order to apply that filter and then in a moment you'll see the preview update on-screen. Finally, what I'm going to do with those paths still selected, I'll go to my Transparency panel and change the blend mode from Normal to Multiply in order to darken that effect in.
And we end up with this skull painted on to a brick background effect. I am going to press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode and then I'm going to drag this guy into view and zoom in another click because I want you to notice something. Even though these are some really cool effects, right? And we can learn a thing or two about how to use dynamic effects inside Illustrator from them, when you start zooming in, you'll notice that you start seeing jagged edges. In fact, this is a very, very low resolution image. We have taken this high-resolution vector-based artwork and reduced it to a low resolution image.
What in the world is going on? Well, this is a function of the Document Raster settings and I'll show you how they work and how to modify them in order to achieve better effects in the next exercise.
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