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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 apply text expresses in art brush to a path outline with absolute precision that you are about to see; and I'll also show you how you can distort that text using the Width tool, which works great with art brushes. Now at this point we have quite the mess on our hands. You can just dispose some of it here. I am going to click on this top text that's being converted to path outlines and Shift+Click on the bottom text with my Black Arrow tool to select both lines of text. And because we've already saved these path outlines as art brushes, we can get to them anytime we want.
So I'll just press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of them. Now what we need to do is separate these path outlines because we want a work from them from the text that's attached to them. And that's not an obvious thing to do in Illustrator. If you just right-click on the path, you'll see no options for separating the text, and there is no such commands available anywhere in the software. Instead here's what you do. You press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool, you click off the text to deselect it, then you press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch to the Outline mode so that you can see those invisible path outlines.
You Alt+Click or Option+Click in the top one in our case, and then you Shift+Alt+Click or Shift+Option+Click on the bottom one, because we want to select them both. Because we use the White Arrow tool, we've selected the paths independently of the text that's attached to them. Now I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command, or press Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac. All right, now I am going to twirl open my path layer, and I am going to turn off those two lines of path text. In that way we still have our editable text around if we need it.
Now I'll return to the Edit menu and choose the Paste in Front command or press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac, to paste those path outlines independently of the text formerly associated with them. All right, now I'll press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch back to the Preview mode. I'll press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool, and I'll Shift+Click on that bottom path to deselect it. And now I'll assign that Text Brush to the top path by bringing up my Brushes panel, and then I'll scroll down the list until I find those two white text brushes, and I'll click on the first one, different strokes, in order to apply it to the path. And it is that darn easy, look at that.
The transitions are great, the spacing is awesome, and Illustrator has automatically copy-fitted the text, in other words, its fit the text to the artwork. And it gets even better; let's say I decide I want to modify the path outline, I can do so with impunity. I am going to press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. Click off the path to deselect it, and select this right-hand anchor point here, and I'll just press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of it. And once again Illustrator just automatically condenses that text to fit. Now I am going to nudge this text down by pressing Shift+Down Arrow a few times, and for what its worth I am working with a reduced keyboard increment value with just 0.2 pt.
And I am also going to press Shift+Left Arrow a few times in order to nudge this path outline to the left, just making some various alterations here. I'll click off the path to deselect it; click on it again, so I select a segment independently of the anchor points; and I'll drag this anchor point up to about here. I might move the Control Handle in just a little bit, and I'll move this Control Handle to this location here. All right, now I'll press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, click on this path outline to select it. And I want a symmetrical path, so I am going to have to flip this existing path and then join it.
So I'll bring up my guides--I've got some center guides that I've set up in advance,-- by pressing Ctrl+; or Command+; on the Mac, and then I'll go ahead and switch to the Reflect tool, which of course you can get by pressing the O key. And then I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Mac on that vertical guideline. That brings up the Reflect dialog box. I'll set the Axis to Vertical and then click on the Copy button in order to flip that path outline. It ends up flipping the text as well as you can see. And now I want to join these two path outlines together so I have one continuous line of type.
That is not something you can do with path type. So once you've created text on the path you can't use the Join command in order to connect it to a different path, but you can with an art brush. I know, they are just so great. So I am going to press the A key in order to switch to my White Arrow tool and I am going to click on this anchor point and then Shift+Click on this one; then I'll go up to the Object menu, choose Path and choose Join, or you can just press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac. And we get this effect here, likkideesplit, it's awesome. So Illustrator is, in other words, keeping up with everything that I am doing.
Now the text is backwards, so I'll bring back up my Brushes panel and I'll click on the little dialog box icon. So open up the Stroke Options dialog box. And I'll turn on Flip Along of course because the text is running in wrong direction, but it's also upside down so I'll turn on Flip Across. And we get the exact effect that we are looking for. Now for the Width tool. This part is awesome. I am going to hide the Brushes panel, and then I am going to select the Width tool, which you can get by pressing Shift+W. And I'll go ahead and zoom in a little bit here, so I have a closer view of what I am doing, and I'll go ahead and drag from this anchor point, like so, and I'll drag from this one as well.
If you want better control over that--in other words you want numerical control, so you can get the same results I am getting-- then Select one of those points, Shift+Double- Click on the other so that both of them are selected. That brings up the width point at a dialog box and change the Total Width value to 1.6 and then click OK. All right, now I need to zoom out because I need access to the outside points. So I'll click on this one and Shift+Double-Click on this one--the two end points in other words-- in order to once bring up the Width Point Edit dialog box, and I'll change the Total Width value to 0.9, and I'll click OK.
Now that we've done that I'll go ahead and center my zoom by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac. Now that we've added some width points to our path, we have some new adjustment options available to us in the Brushes panel. So I'll go ahead and bring up to Brushes panel, click on the little dialog box icon; and notice, Size is now set to Width Points/Profile and we have a minimum value and a maximum value. Go ahead and change that maximum value to 120%, to slightly enhance the distortion of those letters, and then click OK.
All right, now that we've done all this work to the top path outline we don't need the bottom one anymore; we'll just create a copy of this top one. So what I need to find is this crazy path down here inside of the path type panel. I'll go ahead and meatball it. You can see it's selected, but I don't want to press the Backspace key or the Delete on the Mac yet, because my Width tool is still active, so I'll press the V key in order to switch to the Black Arrow tool and then I'll press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac. And now I'll go ahead and select this top text. I'll switch back to my Reflect tool and I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Horizontal guideline this time, set the Axis to Horizontal and click Copy once again. And you can see that Illustrator is so smart, then I went ahead and re-flipped my text.
Now we are going to assign the other art brush. The good news is, it's going to look great; the bad news is, as soon as we do so we're going to lose our width information. So I am going to press Ctrl+; or Command+; on the Mac to hide the guides, because we don't need them anymore. And then I'll bring back up my Brushes panel and I'll select the curiously handcrafted brush. And you can see everything is run amok again, it's upside down and there is no width information. So the first thing I am going to do is just set the width points so that I can go to that dialog box just once.
So I'll select the Width tool and I'll drag from this anchor point here, and I'll drag from this anchor point, and with this one selected I'll Shift+Double-Click on the other one, and I'll change the Total Width value to 1.6, click OK. And then I'll select the left-hand end point and Shift+Double-Click on the right end point, and change this value to 0.9, and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. And then finally I'll go back to the Brushes panel and I'll click on the little dialog box icon; and I'll turn on Flip Along and Flip Across--we need both of them--and I'll change this value, which for some reason whose reading is 1% to 120% in order to achieve this final effect here. And I'll press the V key to switch to my Black Arrow tool, hide the Brushes panel, press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+ A on the Mac to deselect my artwork.
So obviously I am a big fan, I hope you are too. Because that is how you apply text as an art brush to any path outline regardless of whether it has corner points or smooth points, here inside Illustrator.
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