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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
In this movie I'll show you how to create this sculptural type effect that includes a stroke set to a dynamic pathfinder operation. And incidentally, this technique works equally well for live editable text, as well as text that's been converted to path outlines. I'll switch over to my most recent version of the document and I'll click on the baseline for these letters in order to select by point text, and then I'll double-click on the word Characters here inside the Appearance panel to gain access to the existing white fill that's assigned to the independent letters. And I'll click on the Fill Swatch and I'll change it to None, because I don't want that fill to end up creating problems later.
Now I'll click on Type No Appearance in order to switch focus back to the text objects so that we can apply multiple fills and strokes, I'll drop down to the Add New Fill icon, click on it, and then I'll change the Fill color to White. Now I want to add another new fill by clicking on that Add New Fill icon again, or of course you can press Ctrl+/ or Command+/ on the Mac. I'll click on the rearmost filled to select it, and then I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and choose Transform. Or if you loaded dekeKeys, you've got Ctrl+ E or Command+E on the Mac. And I change the Horizontal and Vertical move values to 5 and 3 pt., respectively. Turn on the Preview checkbox to see that text scoot down into the right, now I'll click OK.
Now I want this second white fill to serve as a kind of bright shadow, so I need to thicken it up a little bit; and you do that by going up to the Effect menu, choosing Path and then choosing Offset Path. And I just went with the low offset value of 1 pt., turn on the Preview checkbox in order to see those white letters in the background thicken up, then click OK. All right, now I want to trace a black line between those two fills. Now with the bottom fill selected--the one that contains the two dynamic effects--go ahead and click on the Page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel in order to duplicate both the fill and its effects. Then change the color of the Fill to Black. And we need to nudge the fill up, so click on the word Transform and change both Move values to 1 pt. apiece, and then turn on the Preview checkbox in order to create this effect here.
All right, the next step is to color the interior of the letters, and I'm going to need these Offset and Transform effects again, so I'll grab this white fill at the bottom of the stack and then Alt+Drag or Option+ Drag it to just below the stroke. Now I'll change the color of this fill to CMYK Red. Now I want to shrink the letters, and just as you can grow fills and strokes using offset path, you can also shrink them. And so I'll click on Offset Path to bring up the dialog box, turn on the Preview checkbox, click inside the Offset value, and then notice when you press the Down Arrow key you shrink those letters on-the-fly.
I came up with a value of negative three pt., and you may want to remember that because that information is going come in handy in the very next movie. Now click OK to apply the change, and then we need to scoot the letters up into the left. So click on the word Transform and change the Horizontal Move value to -1 and change the Vertical value to 0, and then turn on the Preview checkbox. And we get this effect here; now click OK. I want to add some patterning to my red letters, so I'll click on this red fill to make it active, then click on the little Page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel to make a duplicate of it.
We don't need to change the settings for Offset Path and Transform, but we do need them to be there so that our two fills exactly overlap. Go ahead and click on the red swatch and change this fill to pompadour, which is a pattern that ships along with Illustrator. And notice that this pattern has a little bit of transparency built into it, so we can see through to the red fill in the background, and it's also got this brown, which doesn't work at all. So click on the word Opacity underneath the Fill in order to bring up the Opacity panel and change the Blend mode to Screen in order to produce this effect here.
All right, now for the stroke. I'll click on a stroke at the top of the stack to make it active and I'll change the Line Weight to 2 pt., and we end up with a fairly tragic effect here. I want a stroke all the letters as a group; unfortunately what Illustrator does is it traces each letter independently, and because we have such tight kerning, that means Illustrator is tracing the overlapping areas. So one way to get rid of that effect is to click on the Type object to make it active, and then go up to the Effect menu, choose Pathfinder.
Now I want you to understand what's going on with the dynamic pathfinder operations. You apply them to either a group or a layer or a text object, and then Illustrator goes ahead and merges all of the stuff inside that container. So when we applied Intersect to that layer a few movies back, Illustrator combined the objects inside that layer using the Intersect operation. In our case, we want to merge all the letters inside this text object; and the best way to do that is to choose Add, and that way you end up getting this effect here.
But we've got some pretty obvious problems. Notice here in this region between the O and the P that Illustrator is merging not only the strokes, but it's also merging the pattern fill and the red fill. And in my case--you may or may not see this effect-- Illustrator is beveled off the miters for the strokes. So here's how you fix those problems. The first thing you need to do is click on the word Add there, which is applied to the entire object, and drag it and drop it onto the stroke so that you affect the stroke independently of the rest of the attributes.
Then click on the word Stroke in order to bring up this panel and increase your miter limit value; mine is 4, so I'll change it let's say to 40. I just want to get nice sharp miters all the way around, and we end up with exactly the effect I am looking for. So there you have it. That's how you create a sculptural text effect that's every bit is applicable to live, editable text as it is to text that's been converted to path outlines.
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