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Drawing circular stroke elements

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Drawing circular stroke elements

In this movie, we are going to create a roof for the engineer as well as these various circular elements such as the smokestack and the bell, and we will be creating those circular elements using a convert to shape effect. So I will go ahead and switch over to my illustration in progress. The train is selected so I can go about my merry way adding new strokes here inside the Appearance panel. I will go ahead and click on the top stroke to make it active and let's start with that engineer's roof. Now this stroke happens to be exactly the right color, so I will go ahead and duplicate it by clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel.

Drawing circular stroke elements

In this movie, we are going to create a roof for the engineer as well as these various circular elements such as the smokestack and the bell, and we will be creating those circular elements using a convert to shape effect. So I will go ahead and switch over to my illustration in progress. The train is selected so I can go about my merry way adding new strokes here inside the Appearance panel. I will go ahead and click on the top stroke to make it active and let's start with that engineer's roof. Now this stroke happens to be exactly the right color, so I will go ahead and duplicate it by clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel.

It needs to be much thicker however, so I am going to change the line weight to 82 points, then I will go ahead and twirl open this stroke. Click on Transform. We don't need to move this object vertically at all, so I will change the Vertical Move value to 0. I am also going to turn on the left point inside the Reference Point Matrix. Turn on the Preview checkbox to see what in the world I have accomplished. And I am going to change the Move value to -4 to go ahead and scoot that roof back a little bit, and then I just went ahead and nudged up this Horizontal value until the shape looked more or less square which I figured happened at 27%.

All right, so now I'll click OK, and we need to create another similar gradient up front here, but it won't be a roof. It will be an enclosure for the engine. So I will go ahead and click on this top stroke to make it active. Click on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel to make a copy of it. Let's change the line weight to 68 points so it matches the main body. Click on Transform to bring up the dialog box. Switch the Reference Point to the right hand point here. Reduce the Horizontal Move value to zero, and then, what the heck, I might as well turn on the Preview checkbox at this point, so I can see what I am doing and in the end I took the Horizontal Scale value down to 18%. All right! Now click OK, and I will click on the stroke to make it active.

I will also go ahead and twirl it closed. All right, now we will begin work on the smokestack, and this is an entirely different kind of stroke. So I will click on the Add New Stroke icon at the bottom of the panel. In order to create a new stroke, I am going to leave the line weight value set to 68 points and I am going to change the stroke color to plain old black. Then I will drop down to the FX icon at the bottom of the panel, choose Convert to Shape and choose Ellipse. And by the way, if you ever choose a wrong kind of shape up front, you can always change your mind just by selecting a different shape from the Shape pop-up menu.

In any case I am going to change the size to Absolute so we don't end up with that big whopping ellipse. And I will take the Width and Height values down to 6 points apiece and that's why I am going to leave them for all the other circles as well. Then click OK in order to create that circle there. Now click on the top stroke in order to make it active and then press Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on the Mac in order to bring up the Transform effect dialog box and change the Horizontal Move value to 126 and then turn on the Preview checkbox in order to move the smokestack into the desired position there. Then click OK. All right! Now click on that top stroke to make it active once again. You have to keep doing that over and over, by the way, and now I am going to make a copy of the stroke by clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel. I will change the line weight to 60 points and I will change the color to Wheels Grad, which ends up working just fine for me.

It's going in the wrong direction though, so I will go ahead and bring up my Gradient panel and change the Angle value to 90 degrees. Now I'll collapse the panel again so I have more room. And notice that the effects, Ellipse and Transform, work out beautifully. So we don't have to make any changes to them. Go ahead and collapse the stroke if you want, and then create another copy of it, because we need to create the hole for the smoke to come out. And this time I will change the line weight value to 30 points and I will change the color to this gradient right here, Smoke Hole, which is a radial gradient, and we end up with this effect here. All right! I want to go ahead and add a drop shadow to the main portion of the smokestack.

So I will click on it to make it active there --the 68-point stroke--and I will click on the FX icon and go ahead and choose Stylize and choose Drop Shadow. Or, if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+Alt+E or Cmd+Option+E on the Mac and I will dial in an Opacity value of 50%. Then I will change both X and Y Offset to 8 and I will change the Blur to 6 and turn on the Preview checkbox and we end up with this effect here. Now you will notice that your drop shadows are working a lot faster this time than they did on the big track, and that's because the track was so darn big and had so many dash patterns going on that it was a much more complicated object for Illustrator to calculate.

And you know, I want another drop shadow for the engineer's roof, which is this 82 point item right there. So I will select it and I will go up to the Effect menu and choose the second Drop Shadow command in order to bring up the Drop Shadow dialog box, and this time I will dial in an Opacity value of 75% and I will change the X, Y and Blur values all to 4 points and turn on the Preview checkbox when we end up with this effect here. All right! Now I'll click OK, and I am going twirl this guy open, because I'll need to come back to it in just a moment. Next go ahead and grab that 60-point stroke right there and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag it to the top of the stack.

And this will be the first of our caps. So I will go ahead and change the line weight value to 30 points and then I will change the color of the stroke to Black Grad. I will twirl open the stroke here; the Ellipse setting is fine. You don't need to modify it, but you do need to click on the word Transform and then dial in a new Horizontal Move value. This time we are going for -48. Then turn on the Preview checkbox and you will see the item moved to this location here. Now click OK in order to accept that change and it looks like the twirled open stroke has shifted on me, so I will go ahead and twirl this guy closed. Twirl this guy open and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag this Drop Shadow up onto the new stroke in order to create an identical drop shadow at this location.

So in other words, we are copying the drop shadow from the engineer's roof over to this cap. All right, now I'll click on the top stroke to make it active and then click on the Page icon to make a copy of it. This time I will dial in a line weight value of 10 points and I will change the stroke color to Wheels Grad, and otherwise everything is good except they don't need the drop shadow. Now you could keep the drop shadow around by the way, if you wanted to, just by clicking on its Eye icon to turn it off. But I figure given how much stuff is at work inside of this effect we might as well just get rid of it.

So I am going to click on the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel. All right! Now let's create a copy of both of our new strokes by clicking on one, Shift+Clicking on the other, and then Alt+Dragging or Option+ Dragging to the top of the stack like so, and now I will twirl this guy open and I will change its line weight to 26 points and then I will click on the word Transform and we will go ahead and move this guy over to a Horizontal value of 30 points, which places him at this location here. Then click OK. And now let's take the top stroke and change it to 8 points and then click on Transform and enter a Horizontal Move value of 30 points as well and then click OK and we end up with this effect here.

All right! All that's left is the bell and a couple of trim items. So I am going to go ahead and click on this top stroke to make it active, and I will click on the little Page icon to make a copy of it. I will change line weight this time to 16 points. Click on the color, change it to Bell Grad, which is another radial gradient as you can see here. I will twirl this new stroke open. I will click on Transform, and this time I will dial in a Horizontal Move value of 68 points and that ends up moving the bell to this location here.

We need something for the bell to hang from, so I am going to create an entirely new stroke, by clicking on the top stroke icon and then clicking on the Add New Stroke icon down here in the bottom left corner of the panel. Let's change the line weight this time around to 2 points as you can see here. And then go to the Gradient panel and select this middle sort of a brownish-orange color right there, in order to make it active, and then just press the Comma key in order to switch to a solid version of that color. All right! Now let's apply the Transform effect.

What a big surprise by pressing Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on the Mac! And I want you to dial in a Rotate value of 90 degrees. Turn on the Preview checkbox to see what's happened there and we end up with a cross stroke. Now we need to scale this stroke, and I am going to do so using the Horizontal value because Illustrator now thinks of Horizontal as having been rotated 90 degrees. And so I will change this value to 12 in order to reduce the width of that line and then I will dial in a Horizontal Move value of 68 in order to create this effect here.

And there are just a couple of more trim lines I would like to add for the heck of it. So I will go ahead and click on this top stroke to make it active, click on the Page icon in order to create a copy of it, dial in a line weight value of one point. Go ahead and change the color of this line to Dark Rail and then I am going to Multiply this guy in by twirling open the stroke, clicking on Opacity and changing the Blend mode to Multiply. And we end up with an effect that's hard to read right now, but what I am going to do here is click on Transform in order to bring up the Transform effect dialog box.

Turn on the Preview checkbox so we can se what we are doing, and I am going to change the Horizontal value to 22% this time around. I will leave the Angle value set to 90 degrees, but I'm going to reduce the Horizontal Move value to zero, and we end up with a line right there at this location. Click OK. Let's create one more copy of it by clicking on the stroke, clicking on the little Page icon at the bottom of the panel. Click on the word Transform. Turn on the Preview checkbox. Click in the Horizontal Move value and then press the Down Arrow key three times in order to scoot that line over to the left.

Then click OK in order to complete the train engine, and that's how you create the top view of a classic steam-driven locomotive, one painstaking stroke at a time in the Appearance panel.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14806 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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