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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.
I save my progress as Custom letterform.ai and let's go ahead and reinstate things here to the way they looked before. I'll turn off the text & symbol layer which contains that item I just created. I'll twirl open the t-shirt's layer, turn back on type and than I need to turn on the background as well. All right, so notice that the T-shirt is separated from its background by this kind of wiggly drop shadow and that's a combination of a few dynamic effects working together. So let me show you how those were put together, again in the interest of transitioning from advance type to advance color, don't you know! And if you take a look at this t-shirt's layers, if you are working along with, if you've got it expanded then you can scroll down the list a little bit and you'll see an FX item right there.
So the topmost of the two FX items, they are just copies of both these because we have two art boards with the same things on them. The top one is the one we are looking at right now, I'm a going to go ahead and meatball it in order to select and then I am going to go over to the Appearance panel and noticed that it's got a couple of effects applied to it, Tweak and Transform, and then we have an effect applied to the layer. So, I am going to get rid of those effect so I can create them for you here by going up to the flyout menu and choosing not Clear Appearance which will get rid of everything, it will get rid of all the Fills and Strokes and you'll end up with nothing but your core path outline, what we want is reduce the basic appearance which will keep the Fill and Stroke, get rid of the dynamic effects.
Notice that we got rid of little of the blackness around the T-shirt. Now I am going to double-click on layer because we can see that there's a layer with a dynamic effect assigned to it, if I double-click on a layer that's going to switch the focus to the entire layer and it's got a drop shadow on it, I'll show you how that works in just a moment. I am just going to drag that guy to the trash. I could have chosen that same command, Reduced to Basic Appearance if I wanted to but since we it was just one effect we didn't really need to. All right, now I am going to go back to the layers panel because this is the easiest way to identify this FX object, I'll click on it in order to make it active.
Now, the FX path is just as big as the back path, they are exactly the same Path Outlined and the back path he is the one that shows the colors on the interior of the sleeve and the interior of the neck as well. And so you might ask me why didn't I just go and assign the dynamic effects directly to the back object and the reason I didn't is because that would have messed up this path, they would have started to wiggle around and that's not what I wanted. I wanted a black path that's going to create a kind of shadow mostly so that ---- if I zoom out here you can see, we need to distinguish this T-shirt from its very busy background.
So, that's a rationale. I went ahead and made copy of back, filled it with black and selected it, of course, and then I went up to the Effect menu, I chose Distort & Transform and I chose one of my path wigglers here Tweak, which is one that we haven't seen before. I am going to go ahead and turn on the Preview so that we can see what's going on and notice it is wiggling that path outline like crazy in the background so we have all kinds of arbitrary path modifications and it's moving the past as much as 10% of the size of any given segment away from the original definition of the segment.
Well, that's way too much so I am going to change the Horizontal value to 2 and the Vertical value to 2 as well. We're working Relative so we're working with Percents if I turn on Absolute it would be in our current unit of measure which for me is points, but Percent works on nicely. Then you can decide whether you're modifying the position of anchor points, this is all virtual, of course, not really changing the location of the anchor points. But whether you're wiggling the anchor points around or the in control points --- and by control points it means control handles so the control handles that are coming into an anchor point and you also modify the control handles that are going out of the anchor points.
Well, what you really do is you just sit there and fool around with the check boxes and decide what you like. I decided to let everything waver so if have got all the check boxes on and I'll click Ok and the result is that we have just a few little bits and pieces of path outline wiggling out, you can see it most obviously up here in the neck line. Next, I decided that I wanted to increase the size of the path a little bit so that we have a kind of non-uniform stroke around the outside of the path and I did that by going up to our old friends under the Effect menu Distort & Transform, the Transform command again, if you've loaded D Keys that's Ctrl+E, Command+E on a Mac, and I increase the Scale values ever so slightly, 102 and 102.
And you have to enter those values manually because there is no little link icon their. Turn on Preview to see what you've done that looks pretty good to me, click OK. Now I also wanted the drop shadow but I wanted but I wanted everything about this layer to cast the Drop Shadow. So I am going to go ahead and zoom out a little bit because you'll notice the other T-shirt, even though it's got some wiggling stuff going on back of it because it has the same effect applied to its FX path, however noticed that there is some randomness associated with tweak so the Tweak effect looks different every single time you'll apply it.
However we have lost the Drop Shadow and that's because I went ahead and applied the drop shadow to the entire layer which is something you can do in Illustrator. Anything that Illustrator considers to be an object which can be a path or a text object or a group or a sub-layer or entire layer you can apply a dynamic effect to it. So what you do is you go ahead and meatball that layer so you click on its meatball there in the layers panel to identify the layer and then I'd go up to the Effect menu to choose Stylize and choose Drop Shadow, Ctrl+Alt+E or Command+Option+E if you've loaded D Keys, and these are the values that I used and they are showing up because they are the last values I applied.
The mode is Multiply, Opacity is 100%, both X and Y Offset are set to 3 points, Blur is 5 points, my Color is black, turn on Preview and you will see the effect in the background and we'll explore this more when we take a look at dynamic effects in the mastery portion of the series. But the great thing about working this way is now if I put anything else on this layer it will now cast to drop shadow, if I move anything out of this layer it will stop casting a drop shadow. So the drop shadow is a whole layer attribute.
So there you have it a manual way to create custom character outlines, that's what we saw in a previous exercise, and now another use another use for dynamic effects here inside Illustrator.
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