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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.
Before we embark on our first official perspective drawing project, I want to share an extremely useful cool trick with you. It has nothing to do with perspective drawing but it has everything to do with that last file I showed you. And as you may recall, the file is called Perspective varieties.ai and I've gone ahead and restored the saved versions of this file. I am going to switch over to the layers panel. Twirl open the 1-point layer and turn on that grid item and here is the trick. It's an automated way to create boxes around your text. So this is useful for web buttons or labels like you see here and it's not a static box drawn with the Rectangle tool of course, nor is it a filled version of the text frame because none of these texts has any frames; this is all point text, and yet checks this out.
I will go ahead and switch to the Type tool by pressing the T key and I will select the word Line and delete it so that I just have Horizon and notice the box collapses as well, or I could expand that text if I want to, like so, so that it's says Horizon Line/Eye Level and the continues to accommodate. So how in the world did I pull this off? Well, as you might imagine this is a dynamic effect that I applied from the Appearance panel. So, I am going to switch to the Appearance panel with its text selected and I'm going to go to flyout menu here and choose Clear Appearance. Just absolutely clear out that appearance entirely, and a text goes back to black.
I don't want that. I will make it White so my Fill is active, I can just click the white swatch here inside the Swatches panel. And the next thing I am going to do is add a fill. So I will drop down to the Add New Fill icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel or of course I can press Ctrl+/, Command+/ on the Mac and I am going to change this Fill color to green. That horizon green there in the Swatches panel. Currently, I am filling in a text which is not what I want. I actually want the fill behind the characters. So I am going to go ahead and drag that fill down like so, so now the white text is covering up the green text in the background, that's not doing us any good.
Here is what you need to do. Click on the Fill to make it active, then go up to the Effect menu and choose Convert to Shape and choose Rectangle. So now if you wanted a rounded rectangle instead you choose Rounded Rectangle, if you wanted an Ellipse for whatever reason, you choose that. But I want Rectangle and by the way that's the reason those Convert to commands exist, it's exactly for this purpose. By the way I could've chosen any of those commands because I can change my mind on the fly right here inside the dialog box but anyway, I am going to stick with Rectangle and I want Relative turned on and the Preview so I can see what I am doing and I am going to skooch over the dialog box a little bit more and I am going to change the Extra Width value to 9 points and the Extra Height value to 4 points.
That's just what I came up with, you can go your own way of course and then I will go ahead and click OK. Now the rectangles off set with respect to the text little bit, if we had any descenders, it probably look great but because this text is all caps and it has some tracking associated with it, why it's off center. So the solution with Fill still active is to go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and then choose the good old Transform command and then I'm going to change the Move values to -1 and -1. That's going to take care of the problem and I will see that if I turn on the Preview check box looks much better, click OK. All right! Well what about this Single Vanishing Point item up here? Notice that it is blue against a white background with the blue stroke around it.
What if we want to pull off that kind of effect? Well then, what I would do is first of all I will change that Fill to White. So the Fill is active, I will go up to the Swatches panel and just change it out to White like so, and I want to make my text green so I will double-click on Characters in order to make the Characters active. Make sure I am working on the Fill and then switch out those characters to green, like so. Now I will go back to Type by double- clicking on it because I want to apply a stroke to the larger type object that way I can apply a dynamic effect. So I will go ahead and grab this Stroke and I will change the color of this stroke to Horizon once again and it's a one point stroke, that's fine.
It's been applied to the text right now which of course is not what I want at all. I am going to go ahead and move this stroke below the characters. It doesn't really make all that much difference at this point, but I'm also going to grab those effects that I have already applied and duplicate them onto the strokes. So Alt+Drag rectangle; the rectangle effect onto the stroke and then I will Alt+Drag the Transform effect on to the stroke as well, and we end up getting this effect here and it's still going to expand. So, I can make this line of text as long as I want and have a lot of typos in all whatever.
Anyway you get the idea. This is going to continue to grow, and grow, and grow. Anyway, as I say it has nothing to do with perspective drawing. In the next exercise, we will begin the task of creating a perspective house.
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