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The Darken and Lighten modes


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: The Darken and Lighten modes

In this exercise, we are going to take a more concerted look at Blend modes inside of Illustrator, specifically I will show you how to use the modes inside the Darken and Lighten groups. I'm still working inside Mishipizheu I have gone ahead and meatballed the beast layer, the only reason we can't see the selection edges is because I hid them by pressing Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac. Now, we are going to switch the Blend mode here inside the Transparency panel or if you prefer, you can go up to the Control panel, click on Opacity and change the Blend mode up there, either way is just fine.
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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

The Darken and Lighten modes

In this exercise, we are going to take a more concerted look at Blend modes inside of Illustrator, specifically I will show you how to use the modes inside the Darken and Lighten groups. I'm still working inside Mishipizheu I have gone ahead and meatballed the beast layer, the only reason we can't see the selection edges is because I hid them by pressing Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac. Now, we are going to switch the Blend mode here inside the Transparency panel or if you prefer, you can go up to the Control panel, click on Opacity and change the Blend mode up there, either way is just fine.

But for the sake of convenience, because it's just sitting there and that way it doesn't overlap anything inside the illustration, I will work from the Transparency panel and I'm going to change the mode to Darken. Now Darken is one of the modes that's named fairly logically here, because what it does is it goes ahead and uses the active object to darken the stuff below, and what's really happening is that at any tiny micro-point inside of the illustration, whoever is darker wins. So in other words, at this point right there, let's say if the monster, it the beast layer is darker, then it shows up, if not, then the background shows up instead.

Now you may say, well in that case, if it's this kind of either/or proposition, either you see the foreground or you see the background which is the way it works, then how come he is translucent? How come we are seeing through him? He never disappears, we are just seeing through him to the background. Well, because this either/or proposition happens on an ink-by-ink basis, and to see what I mean by this, go to the Window menu and choose Separations Preview, or you can click on that little Separations Preview icon, if you can see it, there in your panel Strip and that brings up the Separations Preview panel.

Then you have to turn on Overprint Preview because otherwise the panel doesn't even work, and then I want you to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eyeball, in front of Cyan. In order to view the Cyan plate independently of the others. And you'll see that now the monster, the beast layer here fades in and out. At first you can see the contents of the beast layer in the upper right-hand corner of the illustration, but then a swath of Cyan moves across from the background and becomes darker and blocks him out entirely and then he comes back and then he goes away and then he comes back and so on.

Something very similar happens inside the Magenta plate. So if I turn on Magenta and turn off Cyan, we get this effect, there he is, there he isn't, there he is again and so on. Yellow is pretty hard to see by the way, if you turn on the Yellow plate and then turn off Magenta, it looks like it's pretty much of a wash, but it's anyone's guess, what's going on there, because everything is Yellow. And then finally, if you turn on Black, you'll notice, and I will leave Yellow on as well, because it's not hurting anything, you'll see that Black wins, he wins in the Black channel because he's got those black strokes.

So to see the Composite View, you turn CMYK back on and that is the result of all o the inks working together. All right, I am going to go ahead and close this panel and I'm going to switch my mode from Darken to Multiply because the thing about Darken is you can end up with some kind of choppy transitions because it's such an on/off proposition the whole time, on an ink-by-ink basis. That can mean that the transitions don't look very smooth, and so if you want smooth or more uniform transitions, then you bump it up to Multiply, which ends up giving us more deeply colored effect as you can see here.

This is as if we took the creature and printed him on one transparency and then we took the background and printed it on another transparency and then laid the two on top of each other on the light table, you end up getting this effect right there. And it always looks great, is basically what it comes down to. You always get smooth, even darkening effects, which is why Multiply is the preferred mode for Shadows inside of Illustrator. Next, we will move up to Color Burn, and Color Burn is going to give us way choppier transitions as you see here, and more highly saturated colors as well.

It's a kind of over-the-top darkening effect with a lot of contrast built into it. I almost never use it inside of Illustrator, but you can use it to create kind of burning effect sometimes. Anyway, it's the least of the darkening modes in my opinion. I am going to now switch to Lighten and we will end up getting this effect here. And again it's like Darken except the other way around. So at any given point, whoever is lightest ends up winning. So at this point, it might be the creature, that's the lightest inside of the illustration or it might be the background, and whichever it is, is what shows through on an ink-by-ink basis, once again.

And if you want to see what's going on with the inks, you bring up the Separations Preview panel and let's Alt+ Click or Option+Click on the eyeball in front of Cyan and you'll see that for the most part, the background is lighter, but it's also the exact opposite pattern of what we saw with the Darken mode. So with the Darken mode, his head showed up in the upper right-hand area. Now the background shows up because it's brighter, which is obviously to be expected, because that's why it lost the fight with the Darken mode, and then this area is lighter where the creature is concerned. So it shows up, and then the background shows up and then the creature shows up and so on.

Now notice that the stroke is actually kind of light inside of the Cyan channel and that's because these strokes have a lot of Black inside of them but they don't have much of the other inks. So since this is an ink-by-ink equation, the Black stroke is actually brightening the background. Anyway, next, I am going to switch to Magenta, turn off Cyan, again we get the opposite effect that we did with Darken inside the Magenta channel. Yellow is going to be pretty hard to read, although look, he looks brighter than his background here inside the Yellow plate, and then finally, I will turn off Black, turn off Yellow and the creature totally goes away, because nothing about the creature is brighter than its background inside the Black plate.

Except maybe this little foot down here is little brighter, not much, and then if you click in front of CMYK, you see the composite view. Now once again, you can end up getting pretty choppy results where Lighten is concerned. If you want a more uniform lightning effect, then you switch from Lighten to Screen. It's also going to get a little more colorful, as we're seeing here, and because Screen is essentially the opposite of Multiply, think of it this way. Imagine that we took the beast and put it on one slide like to go on a slide projector and then we took the background and put it on a different slide in a different slide projector and you pointed both of the projectors at the same screen, why then you are brightening up the entire effect, and it's a nice uniform brightening effect and it is the best of the lightning modes, quite frankly, which is why, it's the preferred mode for glows inside of Illustrator.

Next, what we have is Color Dodge and it's analogous to Color Burn, it produces some really choppy, high contrast, high saturation effects. It's good for fire and that kind of stuff on rare occasions. However again, I don't use it very often. So, if you want a really super hot effect, Color Dodge is the way to go, if you want a more uniform brightening effect, Screen is your best bet, and if nothing else, remember your two best Blend modes are Multiply in order to darken an object onto its background and then Screen in order to lighten an object against its background, and if you remember just those two, you'll know most of what you need to know about Blend modes inside Illustrator.

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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