Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Creating a blended border effect


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Creating a blended border effect

In this exercise we are going to flip things around. I've been showing you how to place images into Illustrator. So we are placing Photoshop stuff into Illustrator. Now we are going to take illustrations and open them up in Photoshop. So we are going to go the opposite direction. So what I'm hoping here is that you have a moderate amount of Photoshop experience. Most Illustrator users dabble in Photoshop too. So I am hoping that's true for you. Also, I'm hoping you have Photoshop on your machine. So that might mean any version of the Creative Suite, by the way, just about every version of the Creative Suite includes Illustrator.
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  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
14h 53m Intermediate Nov 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks
Deke McClelland

Creating a blended border effect

In this exercise we are going to flip things around. I've been showing you how to place images into Illustrator. So we are placing Photoshop stuff into Illustrator. Now we are going to take illustrations and open them up in Photoshop. So we are going to go the opposite direction. So what I'm hoping here is that you have a moderate amount of Photoshop experience. Most Illustrator users dabble in Photoshop too. So I am hoping that's true for you. Also, I'm hoping you have Photoshop on your machine. So that might mean any version of the Creative Suite, by the way, just about every version of the Creative Suite includes Illustrator.

I think there is just one that doesn't. And then every single version of the Creative Suite includes Photoshop. So hopefully you got it lying around, because we will be working in Photoshop inside this very exercise. I've saved my progress as Unlikely dinosaur found inside the 21_photoshop folder. Just in case you're curious, it's here. Also, I have opened this illustration that will appear familiar to those of you who've been working along with me. It's called Knot number, also found inside the 21_photoshop folder. So it's got a different color scheme going on.

I've modified the interior section of this knot so that the strokes get thicker as they go toward the center. Then I've created this border around the illustration as well. I created the border incidentally as a collection of five of these things. I'm going to do it for you, because it's actually a really useful technique. It's a blend by the way. So it's not anything terribly hard. But it's easy to throw together this kind of stuff and I just want you to be thinking outside the box when you're working with things like Blends and other effects inside Illustrator.

So I'm going to go ahead and bust up this blend by clicking on it to select it with my Black Arrow tool and I am going to go up to the Object menu, I am going to choose Blend and I'm going to choose Release. Now we will go ahead and bust things up. We are left with the pieces, essentially, the stuff that I used to create the blend in the first place. But we are going to go back even farther than that. We are going to get rid of just about all this stuff. I'm going to twirl open this layer right here, which is called rear items hear inside the layers panel and I'm going to collapse the Gradient panel as well just so we have little more room to work.

I'm going to de-meatball this guy right there by Shift+Clicking on its meatball. So I am working inside a top group item here inside the layers panel, and then everything else we will just get rid of. So what you should see is this guy right here, left over. Now let me tell you what's going on with the specific path. I'm going to twirl it open. It's actually a collection of two paths. So I will show you how each one is put together. This guy right there is just your typical everyday average compound path. So we've got a big circle with a smaller circle cutting a hole out of in, and of course, it's filled with a gradient and then I've got a smaller circle inside also filled with a gradient.

They both have the same strokes, by the way, which are 4 point rich black strokes, and they are set inside of a group. You may recall from our discussion of blending when we worked for those fence posts, how you can blend between groups inside of Illustrator. So starting with that guy, I am going to go ahead and select the entire group by meatballing the group here inside the layers panel and I will twirl the group close as well. Now I'm going to grab this guy and I am going to drag it over to the right section, to the upper right corner of that square guide that I've set up in advance and I will press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac when I drop it into place.

So I am dragging by the center point by the way as I do this. Then I will Alt+drag or Option+drag it to this location, drag it to this location, press the Alt or Option key on the Mac in order to clone and then I am going to drag it to about here, not directly on top of itself, because we wouldn't really know what was going on if we do that. We have to complete the cycle though, don't you know, because we are going to blend from this guy to there, then here, then to here and then back again. But if the two paths are coincident right on top of each other initially, then we are not going to have the control we need. So I am just going to set this guy up right about there and I will press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac in order to clone it into that new location. All right.

Now I am going to go ahead and grab everything on this rare items layer, and I will do that by clicking in that upper- right corner on that little wedge there on the layer inside the layers panel. That selects everything on this background layer including by the way, the backmost path. We don't want that big rear rectangle selected. So I am going to Shift+click on it in order to deselect it. I could either Shift+click inside the illustration window or on the meatball, which is what I chose to do. So all we've got selected now are the five sort of circle inside of a circle pattern.

Now I am going to go up to the Object menu, choose Blend, and choose Make or you can press Ctrl+Alt+B Command+Option+B on the Mac and you create this blend right here. Now if you're not seeing the same results I am with every single one of the circles exactly aligning with each other. In case that seems like, boy, what a big mysterious coincidence that I got these to line up exactly right. Well, each one of these circles is exactly 100 points wide. Then this big square guideline here measures exactly 700 degrees, 700 points.

So that means that we can fit exactly six of these circles in between each one of the extremes. That's what Illustrator has chosen to do for me. It's created exactly six intermediate circles, but if it didn't for you, then you would double-click on the Blend tool in order bring up the Blend Options dialog box. You would switch the Spacing from Smooth Color to Specify Steps, and then you would raise that value to 6 like so, and then click OK in order to accept the modification. Now we need to grab this guy right there and drag them back up all the way.

So he is coincident with the circle up here in the top-left corner. You're going to do that by clicking off, if you're working long with me, in order to deselect the paths and using your White Arrow tool, I want you to the Alt+click three times. So we are first selecting with the first Alt+click or Option+click you're selecting the outside circle. With the second one, you're selecting the inside of the compound path, and then with that third Alt+click or Option+ click, you're selecting the entire group. Don't Alt+click or Option+click the fourth time, because you will select the entire blend; we don't want that. Normally, I would advise you to go ahead and drag the path by its center up to this new location.

But if you do that, you will grab the path of the blend. If you take a look at this blend here inside the layers panel, go ahead and twirl it open, you'll see that there's a path at the top of the stack. That's the path of the blend and it happens to begin right there and it's got corner points at each one of the corners of the square, and then it ends right at that location there. If you start dragging from there, you will end up dragging an anchor point inside the path of the blend and you'll deselect the group that you've selected so far. So I would drag it by this outside point right there up like so, so it snaps into alignment with that top circle and then released.

Don't press the Alt or Option key to clone it. Just release it at that location and you end up getting this effect here. So that's how you create that border pattern. Now more to the point, what in the world are we doing? I told you we are going to be working with this illustration inside of Photoshop and yet I spent the entire time showing you how to do something inside of Illustrator, which is great, because this is after all an, Illustrator training series but what we are going to do in the next exercise is we are going to take this guy and we are going to rasterize it inside Photoshop. I'll explain how and I will explain why in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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