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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise we are going to begin drawing the house in perspective just using the Rectangle tool at first, but as we do we are going to try to match some existing objects that I've created for you in advance. The reason I'm putting you through these paces, is because I want you to understand that you're not going to be relying exclusively on the Perspective Grid tool, even as you assemble perspective drawings. Sometimes the Perspective Grid tool helps you out, sometimes it just gets in your way and you're going to want to freeform. That's just the fact of life. I've saved my progress as Translucent panes. ai and I am going to go ahead and zoom on.
Make sure that you're seeing the Perspective Grid on-screen. Switch to the Rectangle tool for starters here, which you can get by pressing the M key of course. Now I am currently getting this, no, can't draw cursor right here, because the wrong layer is active. We are going to be starting off drawing on this Perspective 1 layer here. I also have a Perspective 2 layer set up in advance for you. They're both currently empty, but I have some other objects that I would like you to turn on. There's this middle stuff layer; go ahead and turn that one on and then there is this front stuff layer, turned on as well.
Leave rear stuff turned off, because otherwise you're going to block the template. Now with the Perspective 1 layer active make sure that your widget is showing you that the left-hand blue pane is selected, and then go and draw from this bottom right corner right there, up and over to the left until you get some form of halfway decent alignment going like that. I am going to actually take that little higher, because this wall will end up being covered up by the roof. Then go ahead and release. Now you'll notice that the bottom edge is not exactly aligning to the molding and that's because the Perspective Grid that I used for the molding was slightly different from the Perspective Grid I am using now.
As any carpenter will tell you, the purpose of molding is the cover up these kinds of gaps. So if it works in real life it's going to work just fine inside of an illustration as well. Now I am going to go up here to the Stroke option, click on it, and I'm going to change the Weight value to 2, and then I am going to turn on Round Joins the Corners, because Miter Joins in the Perspective Grid don't tend to get along. I will go ahead and hide a panel now. Notice my stroke is active here inside the Color panel. I am going to dial in a rich black, and then I am going to switchover to the Fill and I'm going to dial in a color here.
I didn't create the swatch in advance. So I am going to have to manually dial in these values. That is 5 for cyan, 90 for magenta, and 80 for yellow. Notice that; that gives me a very bright red here inside the Color panel. It looks quite muted out here inside the illustration and that's of course because I have a blue translucent pane that's interacting with it. If that turns out to be a problem for you and you want to get a better sense of what your colors look like, don't forget that you can switch out that pane if you want to. But to do so, you've got a switch back to the Perspective Grid tool, which you can get by pressing Shift+P and if you're going to use a Perspective Grid with any degree of regularity, I suggest you memorize that keyboard shortcut.
So Shift+P to switch to the tool, then Alt+Click or Option+Click a couple of times on that little control there in order to switch that pane and that pane only to the grid view. The next thing I need to do is basically get some better alignment going between this left-hand edge. My right-hand edge is just fine I believe, if I scoot over there. It looks good. However, my left-hand edge is not matching up with the molding very well, and that's because that was a little sloppy when I drew it I guess. So a couple of different things you can do. You can try nudging it, if you want to, but nudging in a perspective view is not an entirely satisfactory experience.
You can press the Left Arrow in order to knock that guy over to left or the Right Arrow to move it to the right and so forth. Bear in mind that; that's going to nudge the object along the gird as long as one of the perspective savvy tools is selected, most likely the Perspective Grid tool or that Perspective Selection tool right there. If you have one of the Arrow tools selected you're going to be moving that object outside the perspective plane. If I were working on the ground level, this would scoot the object back and forth along the ground. So it would scoot it in perspective, not up or down or left or right necessarily.
Also, this is one point nudge Illustrator's perspective feature pays no attention to the keyboard increment that you've set up in the Preferences dialog box. I brought up the dialog box by pressing Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac. So it doesn't matter what this is set to. You get a one point nudge all the time. So cancel out of there. Instead what I want to do is I want to slightly transform this object. Oh! I should say there is no alignment; that is, you cannot take advantage of Align panel when you're working inside Perspective. However, you can take advantage of Transform.
What I am going to go ahead and do is lock down that right-hand edge by clicking on the right point in the Reference Point matrix, and then I am just going to nudge this Width value up and see what happens. Notice I am just pressing the Up Arrow key and I'm watching this edge move outward. At about 520 points in my case it looks great. So that takes care of that problem and that is a perspective scale, which is good to bear in mind, because your general Transformation tool, your Rotate tool and your Scale tool and so forth, do not work in perspective.
So you have to bear that in mind. I'll show you another way to scale in perspective in a future exercise, but for now, that takes care of our first wall. In the next exercise I will show you how to drawn and scale a second wall on a second plane.
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