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Learn what it takes to design and create your own custom silver-age superhero. Join Deke as he starts by tracing a photo to create the hero's body and then jumps into Illustrator for the creation of the final effects. Finally, Deke takes us through the steps to lay out our own custom type to complete the comic.
Want more of Designs dekeConstructed, the series that breaks down popular graphic designs so you can re-create them on your own? Check out Deke's page.
In this movie, will blend the grill lines in the legs, in the neck. And I'll show how to do a little bit of blending and problem solving as well. So I'm going to go ahead and scroll down here to the pelvis and I'll mark this two path with my black arrow tool. And then I'll press control alt B, or command option B in the Mac. That's obviously wrong, so press control Z, command Z on the Mac, in order to undo and then I'll go ahead and switch to the blend tool, which I can get by pressing the W key.
And then I'll click on the bottom anchor point, in the left hand path. And now click on the bottom anchor point in the right hand path to blend between them. Alright, now I'm going to control or command drag around these two path outlines, and the whole reason I keep pressing the control key or the command key on the Mac is so that I can access my arrow tool on the fly. And leave my blend tool selected. Then, I know this is going to go wrong, so click here, and then I'll click right there. And now control drag or command drag around these paths outlines and I will press control B, command option B on the Mac, and that worked this time. Now I'm going to press the enter key, or the return key on the Mac, to bring up the blend options dialog box. Turn on the preview check box and take the specified steps value up to nine. Like so, and then click Okay. All right, now what we want to do is blend the shins. And the reason I'm moving down here to the shins is because they require the same number of steps as the pelvis so, I'm going to press the control key of the command key on a Mac and marquee. These three paths right there. And then I 'll press control alt B or command option B on the Mac and it works beautifully. And then I 'll go ahead and control or command marquee these pass and then I'll press control alt B or command option B in the Mac.
In order to blend them. Alright now. Control shift or command shift click on this left hand blend. And then go ahead and select each side of the pelvis as well. You don't need to select this central section, because we already took care of it. Press the enter key, or the return key in a Mac to bring up the board options dialog box. Turn on the preview check box, click inside the numerical value and press the down arrow key. To reduce the number of steps to six. Right now we'll go and click okay and I'll control drag around these guys and press control alt B to blend them.
Control drag around these guys, that command drag on a Mac. Control alt B or command option B on a Mac to blend them. Let's do the same thing for the knees. Let's do the same thing for the left knee and now I will do. The right knee like so. Now, I'm going to control drag or command drag around the thighs and I'll press the enter key or the return key on the Mac to bring up the control blend option dialog box. And I'm just going to just change this value to 15 and click okay. And now, I'll control drag or command drag through the knees. And I'll press the enter key or the return key on the Mac, to bring up the blend options dialog box and I'll dial in 12. And press the enter key, or the return key on a Mac, in order to apply that change.
Now, here's our first problem. It's not a big problem. But I just think there's too much of a gap between the knees, here. And the shins and the thighs as well. So, I'm going to press the a key, to select the white arrow tool. So called Direct Selection Tool. And then I'll marquee these bottom anchor points like so, in order to select them independently from the top points. So make sure all four of these anchor points are selected. And press control K or command K on the Mac to bring out the Preferences dialogue box. Make sure you Keyboard Increment is set to one point as by default. I'm just going to cancel out because everything is fine for me and then just press the down arrow key in order to move those anchor points down just a little bit. And I think I also want this anchor point to come up so, I'll select and press the up arrow key. And, you know, you can modify some other anchor points as well. The beauty of this is that, of course, everything updates dynamically, because blends were one of the very first dynamic features to be introduced in Illustrator. All right, now I'm going to press the V key to switch from my black arrow tool, and I'll marquee these shin paths, and I'll press control alt B.
Or command option B on the Mac, failure, so I'll press control Z or command Z on the Mac, to undo, then I'll switch to the blend tool again, and you can get it by pressing the W key, and then I'll go ahead and click here and click here and click here, we're getting a lot of steps this time around, then I'll control drag or command drag around these paths and I'll click here. Here, and, oops, that didn't work at all. Let's try that again, or press control Z or command Z on the Mac, to undo. Click here, click here, and click here. So, you have to be pretty careful with your clicks. Now, I'll control drag, or command drag around these two path outlines. Press control alt B to blend. Control dragged, command dragged around this alt B or command option B on the Mac. And the same for the toes. I guess I don't need to narrow it the single thing I'm doing here anymore.
All right, now what I am going to do is control drag or command drag around all of these foot path and I'll press the enter key or the return key on the mac to bring up the blend options dialog box, and I'm going to take the specified stake values down to three. And you can see that does a great job, when I turn on the preview check box, of accommodating the shins. It's not so good for the feet. So I'll click okay and I'll just control drag or command drag around the feet paths and press the enter key, or the return key on a Mac, to bring up the blend options dialogue box. And I'll change this guy to eight and click okay. Not. And that works great for the central portion of the feet.
But I think the toes need one less step. So I'm going to control drag or command drag around the toes. Press the enter key or the return key on the Mac. Turn on the preview check box. Click inside the numerical value and press the down arrow key. And you can see that takes one step out of play. And now I'll click okay. All right, so that takes care of the legs. Which is just dandy. But, if I scroll up here you can see that we still have the neck left over and the neck, I just happen to know, is going to present us with a special problem. So I'm going to put it on it's own layer by pressing the B key to switch back over to the black arrow tool and I'll just go ahead and marquee these path outlines right there, all five of them.
Now I want you to create a new layer by alt or option clicking on the page icon at the bottom of the layers panel. Lets just go ahead and call this guy neck and change the color to grass green. I think it'll look nice. And click okay. And we want to move the neck paths to the neck layer. Notice this little purple square right there. I'm going to drag it up and drop it on the neck layer. And that moves all those paths. And we can see that they're moved because now they appear green instead of violet. All right now we want to blend between them, so I'll just press control alt B or command option B on the Mac and that is a big mess, especially over here on the sides. So, I'll go ahead and press control Z or command Z on the Mac to undo that change, switch to the blend tool. Again you can get it by pressing the W key. Click here, in order to start things off. Click at this point. Everything's fine so far. Click here, that's fine. Click one more time. That's fine. Click a final time, that's a problem. Now it's anyone's guess why that's a problem. I suspect there's, you know, kind of a little bug at work here. Because if I press control Z or command Z on a Mac to undo and I. Think, well gosh, I'll try the top points instead. I'll click here, that doesn't do anything and then I'll click here and we get the same problem. Alright, so let me show you one possible solution. I'm going to press the V key to switch to the black arrow tool. And the best way to solve these kinds of problems if they're persistent. As in this case. Is to reverse the direction of the path outline. And let me show you what that looks like. I'll go ahead and marquee this path independently of the others, and then i'll drag it over a little bit, and press the alt key, or the option key on the Mac, to create a duplicate. Now, go ahead and drop down to the rotate tool, if you see the reflect tool instead, select rotate tool from the fly out menu.
And then press the enter key, or the return key on the Mac, to bring up the rotate dialogue box. Let's go ahead and rotate this guy 180 degrees, and click okay. And now he's flowing in the opposite direction, of course he's bending to the left instead of to the right. So what we're going to do is here is press the A key to switch to the wide arrow tool. And I'll go ahead and drag this guy by its anchor points so it snaps into alignment. With this path down here. And, by the way. If you are impromptus dragging the path by the anchor point.
It's probably because your bounding box is turn on. In wich case you want to go up to the view menu and chose the command right to the rulers menu. It'll say high bounding box if you want to get rid of it. Next I'll go ahead and click down the path and deselected and, I'll go ahead and click on the segment. To select it so I can se the control handles and then I'll just drag these control handles to the proper locations like-so, so that they match the path in the background. I'll press the V key to switch to the black arrow tool, I'll click on that path outline to select it and I'll press control X.
Or command X on a Mac to cut it to the clipboard. Now I'm going to select this path, the bad one, and press the backspace key, or the delete key on a Mac, to get rid of it. And now I'll press control F or command F on a Mac. In order to paste the good path outline back into place. Now shift click on the larger blend right here to select it. And now, I'm going to press the W key to switch to the blend tool. You can just as easily select it manually from the bottom portion of the tool box. And then i'll click on this anchor point right there, and now i'll click on this guy, down at the bottom, and we now have a good blend. Now i'll press the enter key, or the return key on the Mac. To bring up the blend options dialogue box. I'll turn on the preview check box, and i'm going to take this, specified steps value, down to four, like so. And then i'll click okay.
In order to accept that change. And that's how you address a couple of potential blending problems, either by adjusting the positions of a few points, as in the case of the knees, or by reversing the direction of a path outline here inside Illustrator.
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