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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to achieve a really sophisticated sepia tone effect using a combination of two gradient map layers working together. It's going to give us unprecedented control over the luminance information inside of this image. So I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Free woman.psd. I'm going to bring up my Adjustments palette right here by expanding it, just by clicking in this area to the right of the Masks tab. You can also go up to the Window menu and choose the Adjustments command if you like, brings up the whopping big Adjustments palette here inside Photoshop CS4, which gives us access to adjustment layers.
One of those adjustment layers is this guy right there, Gradient Map. And what a Gradient Map allows you to do is assign colors to various luminance levels inside of an image from Black to White, so all the brightness values and you can assign pin-pointed colors using a gradient and it's a great colorization method because you have much more control than any other colorization method that's available to you in virtually any product out there. I don't think there is a program that keeps up with Photoshop. So, press the Alt key with the Option key on a Mac and click on this little icon right there, the second icon from the bottom right, go ahead and Alt or Option-click. That brings up the New Layer dialog box and I want you to call this guy Sepia #1, like so and click OK. What Photoshop has now done is it is mapped Black to the left most color inside the gradient and it's mapped White to the right most color.
So, our blacks are now black and our whites are now white, wow! Fancy that, and everything in between is a shade of grey, so we have what is effectively a grey scale image. That's not what I want. I want Sepia. So, go ahead and click in that gradient and that brings up the Gradient Editor dialog box. You will see a bunch of gradients by default. You won't see all the ones I'm seeing right here. A lot of them are left over for my Photoshop CS4 101 series. Don't worry about that. Click the Load bottom. Worry free click it and then go to the 20_images folder inside your Exercise Files folder. Therein you will find a file called Sepia gradients.grd. I want you to select it and click Load. In order to load two little gradients, one of which is called Sepia #1 and one of which is called Sepia #2. Click on Sepia #1 and just like that you are mapping Black to this Dark Brown and White to this Lightish Brown right there and the mid -tones to something else in between.
So this gradient is creating this effect, a nice Sepia tone effect. I'll click OK. Now, it's a little over the top because I'm muting the image so very, very much. We don't have anything resembling White and that means we are clouding up the eyes, which I would like to highlight a little bit and I would also like to highlight this highlight on her lips, so I want to relegate this effect to just everything outside the whites of the eyes and everything outside the highlight. So most of the image is going to be affected by this Gradient Map, but some stuff is going to get left out.
All right, so I'm going to go ahead and collapse my Adjustments palette once again, just so that I have more room to work here inside the Layers palette. I'm going to go over to Paths this time. So it's Layers, Channels, Paths by default right in a row. Go over to Paths. You can also choose Paths from the Window menu if you prefer. Notice right there is some path outlines. Click on them. Now these are vector based path outlines, just like in Illustrator. In fact you could have drawn them in Illustrator, copied them and then come over to Photoshop and pasted them in the place if you wanted to, and that's a perfectly acceptable way to work. You can copy and paste paths back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop because even though Illustrator has some problems with embedded pixels, Photoshop really has no problems with embedded vectors.
Vectors are inherently little guys that don't take up much room and Photoshop deals with them pretty well although not nearly as expertly as Illustrator does of course. All right, so what we have done, what I have done in advance is I have traced around the highlights on her lip with a path and you can't really see those paths very well, but they are there and then I traced around the eyes as well and the irises, so that I can leave the irises out and keep the eyes. So, with this path selected right there I'm going to go over to the Layers palette and I'm going to press the Ctrl key, very important, or the Command key on a Mac, so Ctrl on a PC, Command on a mac, drop down to this little Add Layer Mask icon down there.
By the way, make sure your Sepia #1 is selected. That's very important. Drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon, press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and click on it, and you will go ahead and add those path outlines as a vector mask to this Adjustment layer. Now, what I have done is I have gone ahead and applied this Sepia to the whites of the eyes and to the highlight on the lips. That's exactly the opposite of the effect I want. So, I need to do a little bit of manual work. Not too much, just a little bit. I'm going to go grab my Black Arrow tool. Hey! We got a Black Arrow tool here inside of Photoshop and if you don't see it there you can click and hold and choose Path Selection tool. Adobe also it that same silly thing it calls it in Illustrator. All right so grab the Black Arrow tool and I'm going to go ahead and marquee around the lips in order to select those highlights, and then I'm going to Shift-click on one of the eyes and Shift-click on the other in order to select both of the eye shapes here inside of the illustration.
Now, go up to the Options bar, as it's known inside of Photoshop, and notice that right now the Path mode is set to add to shape area and what I want you to do is think about compound shapes. These paths inside of Photoshop here behave just like compound shapes inside of Illustrator, except that instead of going over to the Pathfinder palette to make your changes, whether it's Add or Subtract or we have got right there, we have got Intersect and we also have Exclude. So very familiar shape mode from the Pathfinder palette. Instead they are found up here in the Options bar.
So I want you to switch these selected shapes, so everything but the two iris shapes, to subtract from shape area and you will get this effect right there. Much better. Now the irises also want to be filled with this Sepia color, so click on one of the irises in order to select it, then Shift-click on the other one in order to select it too, so just the irises are selected now and you need to switch it's mode from Subtract, which is how it's set right now, to Add to shape area and you will get this effect, nice. Now then in order to make those paths disappear because they don't print; they are just there to show you what's going on. Just go ahead and click on the vector mask thumbnail in order to hide the path outlines and this is the effect we have so far. Now, what we are doing of course is a brilliant job of highlighting how bloodshot her eyes are. We need to convert the eyes to Sepia as well. We don't want them to just sit there being kind of a combination of blue and red. That's not good at all. And we are going to do just that by applying a second layer of gradient map in the next exercise.
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