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Creating and applying graph designs

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Creating and applying graph designs

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to create a custom pictograph using what Illustrator calls graph designs. And to give you a sense of what a pictograph is, I've gone ahead and opened this Moku Ka'alikai.ai file, that's found inside the 27_graphs folder. I've zoomed in on that charting element on the left side of the illustration. You can see that instead of representing the data using fairly boring rectangles, I've switched out the rectangles for these custom, sort of hummingbird-in-flight elements. Each one of them features a differently colored hummingbird silhouette atop of gradient that is scaled according to this sliding adjustment factor, and you'll see how that works shortly.

Creating and applying graph designs

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to create a custom pictograph using what Illustrator calls graph designs. And to give you a sense of what a pictograph is, I've gone ahead and opened this Moku Ka'alikai.ai file, that's found inside the 27_graphs folder. I've zoomed in on that charting element on the left side of the illustration. You can see that instead of representing the data using fairly boring rectangles, I've switched out the rectangles for these custom, sort of hummingbird-in-flight elements. Each one of them features a differently colored hummingbird silhouette atop of gradient that is scaled according to this sliding adjustment factor, and you'll see how that works shortly.

But in the meantime, I'm going to show you how to create the most basic design element, which is just the hummingbird silhouette itself. I've saved my progress as Designer graph.ai, again found inside that 27_graphs folder. If you scroll over to the right side of the artboard, you'll find a variety of hummingbirds ready and waiting for you. Go ahead and click on the green hummingbird for starters here to select it. Using the Black Arrow tool is fine. And then go up to the Object menu, choose Graph, and then choose Design. Fairly laborious process. We're going to have to do it more than once of course.

Then you click on the New Design button. This is a creaky old feature. If I haven't made that clear about graphs in general, they are from Illustrator 5 I believe. Not CS5, but rather 5 back in the dim old days of the program, and graphing has really never been updated since then. So you click on the New Design button, and the reason I say it's so clunky-- now you have a New Design. You can see what it looks like. However, notice that it comes in as New Design. Now you need to rename it in a separate step, and you can't rename the design just by double-clicking on it. You have to click on the Rename button, and then that brings up yet another dialog box.

Let's go ahead and call this one Bird 1 green, just so that we can keep strict track of what's going on. I'll click OK, and then I'll click OK. Now I go ahead and grab the second one. So I'll grab that guy, go up to the Object menu, choose Graph, and then choose Design. Now the great thing about it is each one of these designs is saved inside of your illustration. Go ahead and click New Design, click Rename. Go ahead and name this one Bird 2 orange and then click OK. Click OK. Grab this guy right there, the blue one.

Go to the Object menu, choose Graph, choose Design. Click on New Design. Click on Rename. Bird 3 blue this time around, and then click OK. Click OK. We'd now established our base design elements. I'm going to go back to the graph here. As you might imagine, because what we're going to do is we're going to apply these design elements to the graph parametrically-- in other words, using Illustrator's automatic graphing features-- everything, all of our custom stuff, is going to go to heck again. We're going to lose the placement of the legend, and all that stuff.

I ask you just to bear with me. If you're working along with me, just go ahead and let that stuff happen. We'll come back and fix it later, because if you keep micro-fixing it, then you're going to keep breaking it. So I might as well leave it alone for now. You need to go ahead and grab that Group Selection tool once again, and then I'll go ahead and zoom in here. You may recall that I've applied a Transform function. So the green rectangle that I'm seeing isn't the actual green rectangle. So I'll go ahead and marquee, like so, and that grabs it. So now I've selected it properly.

I'll go up to the Object menu. This time you choose graph, and you choose Column. To create your design, you choose the Design command. In order to apply the design, you either choose the Column command if you're working inside of a column or a bar graph, or you choose a Marker command if you're working inside say a line graph. Anyway, I'm going to choose Column. Notice that you're going to see potentially a bunch of different column designs, especially if you have that Moku Ka'alikai.ai file open. That's because you can trade designs between open documents. The thing is, all the ones that are part of the Moku Ka'alikai.ai file show Moku Ka'alikai.ai inside parentheses.

The once we just created appear without any parentheticals. So what I want, because I've got the green item selected, I want Bird 1 green. I'll go ahead and select that. I don't want to vertically scale that. If you do that, you'll just squish the bird inside of this space. And of course, we don't want that at all. What we want is Uniformly Scaled. I'll explain what's going on with Repeating and Sliding shortly, but in the meantime, choose Uniformly Scaled. This is the legend. We don't want to rotate the bird. We don't want a bird on its side. That would make any sense. It can make sense for certain sliding design.

But for what we're doing, absolutely not. So turn off that check box and then click OK. You should see this hummingbird inside of this little box. That's good news. The entire chart becomes selected. That's bad news. So click off of the chart, and then click on the orange rectangle right there inside the legend to select it. And then we've just got to repeat the step. You go up to the Object menu, you choose Graph, and you choose Column, and you're going to see a list of everything in the open documents. Select Bird 2 orange. It shouldn't be vertically scaled. It should be uniformly scaled. The Rotate Legend Design check box should be turned off. Click OK.

Go ahead and click off the chart and click on the blue rectangle right there that's part of the legend. Go up to the Object menu, choose the Graph command, choose Column, and then inside the dialog box, select Bird 3 blue. Make sure the Column Type is set to Uniformly Scaled, and turn off the Rotate Legend Design check box. Click OK. So, the deed is done. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out a little bit, so that we can see that we now have these wonderful hummingbirds that are about a mile away from the text that describes them. That's the way it is for now. Tell you what. There is one more thing I want to do.

I'm going to go ahead and marquee these hummingbirds. Thankfully, they completely lost that dynamic effect. Remember, that I applied the Transform command in order to reduce the size of the rectangles to 50%. Well, this time, I actually want to make the hummingbirds larger. I'm going to do it the same way, using the Transform effect. So I'll go to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and then choose Transform, or press Ctrl+E, Command+E on the Mac. Let's go ahead and increase both the Horizontal and Vertical values to 150%. Turn on the Preview check box, just so we can see what that looks like. That's probably good enough, although I'm going to go ahead and select the bottom-right point in this reference point matrix right there, and then click OK in order to apply the modification, and we get this effect here.

Not perfect, of course. There's all kinds of problems going on inside the legend. But it does give you a sense of how to create a few graph designs and employ them at least inside the legend. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to apply the graph designs to the columns themselves.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

134 video lessons · 28303 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
      45s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
      58s
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
      33s
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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