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Creating automatically scaling box labels

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Creating automatically scaling box labels

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.

Creating automatically scaling box labels

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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This video is part of

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

134 video lessons · 28832 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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