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Creating a knockout group

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Creating a knockout group

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to create a knockout group, and why you would want to do such a thing here inside Illustrator. I have saved my progress as Blend mode effects.ai. It's fun inside the 22_transparency folder. And if you take a look at the big creature here, I am not really satisfied with the colors that I am achieving so far. It's nice it's a cool kind of black ceramic effect, but we have some very low saturation colors going on. So these dark sort of drab grays except in the belly where we have some strange browns.

Creating a knockout group

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to create a knockout group, and why you would want to do such a thing here inside Illustrator. I have saved my progress as Blend mode effects.ai. It's fun inside the 22_transparency folder. And if you take a look at the big creature here, I am not really satisfied with the colors that I am achieving so far. It's nice it's a cool kind of black ceramic effect, but we have some very low saturation colors going on. So these dark sort of drab grays except in the belly where we have some strange browns.

Then the brightness of the strokes is somewhat unenthusiastic I think. So I would like to come up with a different effect in which we have some sizzling colors going on inside the filled region and then we have some bright white strokes. So if you're working along with me, turn off the beast layer and then turn on math beast which is the top layer. The reason it's called math beast is because I have the Multiply blend mode which is the math applied to the various gradient fills inside of these shapes. I am going to click on this front-most leg of the creature, and that should select the big outer path outline that stretches down the leg and across the belly around the tail on the spine and up into the neck as well.

Now, currently, I have my selection edges hidden, so it's difficult to confirm that I have selected the right object. One of the ways to confirm that is to go to the Transparency panel and if you expand that panel by clicking that double arrow icon a couple of times, so you can see the thumbnail on the left-hand side, you will see a little preview of the selected objects. So that's another way to confirm what's selected inside Illustrator. Then again if you would like to see the selection edges, all you have to do is press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac. Now then I am going to go over to the Appearance panel, and notice that I have a white stroke which has no special blend mode assigned to it and then I have three gradient fills all of which are blended together.

So at the top of the stack, I have this Screen fill here and this is just a little bit of a highlight on this foreleg. And then below that, I have this big Radial fill and we can see how the fills put together if you press the G key in order to select the Gradient tool. So you will see that it goes from this dark color way at the bottom, pretty much below the path outline up to the animal's haunches. What that's doing is creating a little darkness across the belly. That fill is set to the Multiply mode, but what that means is that this Screen gradient and this Multiply gradient are interacting with the Base gradient.

Now the Base gradient is a linear gradient as you can see, and it goes from the tail all the way up to the neck of the animal. It's set to Multiply as well. So it's by no means opaque, meaning that it is interacting with the background. It also means that every single one of these path outlines is interacting with each other. So, I am going to press the V key in order to switch back to my Black Arrow tool and hide that gradient annotator onscreen. Now, I'm going to switch back to my layers panel. So, what I want to do is I want to isolate the blending inside of this layer.

So, I am going to meatball all the layer in order to target all of the objects together as a group. And notice these two check boxes at top. All three of these check boxes are essentially problem solvers down here at the bottom of the Transparency panel. This bottom guy is a function that I doubt you'll ever have a need for. But these two top check boxes; Isolate Blending that's going to go ahead and isolate the blending inside this particular layer which means if I turn it on then we get exactly the opposite of the effect we want. We have the gradients in the various paths inside this layer interacting with each other, but they're not interacting with the background at all anymore because once again, we've isolated the blending to adjust this layer.

That's not at all what I want. So I am going to turn that check box off. Next door is this thing called Knockout Group, and by default, it often enhance what we're seeing here, a little sort of square inside of it, indicating that Illustrator really doesn't know whether it's turned on or off at this point and it must vary on a path-by-path basis. But what it does is exactly what we want. We want the various paths inside of this layer to knock each other out so they don't interact with each other; they only interact with the contents of the other layers.

Notice as soon as you click on that check box and that should turn it on; if that doesn't turn it on the first time, you need to click again in order to really tell Illustrator, it needs to be on. But once you see a check box, everything should work out just absolutely exactly the way it needs to except for this rear forward leg that currently isn't set to the correct blend mode at all. Right now, it's set to Normal. So I need to go ahead and click off of the paths to deselect them and then click on that rear leg to make it active, independently of the other paths in that layer.

Now I will switch over to the Appearance panel, and notice that I have two gradients this time a Screen gradient on top, but that just means it's interacting with the Base gradient. The Base gradient is currently set to Normal because notice, Opacity says Default. That means no blend modes are going on which means normal and 100% opacity. So go ahead and click on that Opacity option if you want to, that's one way to get to these transparency options. So, we essentially just have a duplicate Transparency panel. I'm going to change the Blend mode from Normal, no blend mode, to Multiply which will burn the effect in and we end up getting this result right here.

So obviously, it looks great and all of the various blend modes are interacting with each other perfectly that is with the background, not with each other. We have one cohesive animal that exists on this one layer, math beast, which is now set to a Knockout Group even though this specific object is not set to a Knockout Group. The entire layer, if you once again meatball on it, it does have Knockout Group assigned and that's exactly what we want. But if you look closely, you are going to notice these weird little seams on top of the two forward legs.

So here on the rear leg and the front leg as well. The question becomes, are those real. If I zoom in, they continue to persist, and I was telling you in one of the previous chapters that one of the ways to tell if the seams that you see inside of Illustrator are real or not is to change your Zoom Ratio, to zoom in or to zoom out and see if the seams disappear. In our case, they are persisted which generally indicates that they're really there. I am going to show you how to really truly check if they are there in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

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

153 video lessons · 28220 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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
      39s
    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
      44s
    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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