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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.
In this exercise, we're going to apply a few more Drop Shadows, so that you can get a sense of how to edit Drop Shadows inside of Illustrator. We'll also experiment with another variety of dynamic effects, which is the category into which Drop Shadows fit, and that dynamic effect is called Zig Zag. And what it's going to let us do is take these arching whiskers and turn them into wiggly whiskers like you see here. All right, so I am working away inside of White highlights.ai, and I'm going to start things off by going over to the layers panel, and twirling open the black cat layer, and you'll see text at top here.
Go ahead and click in the eyeball column to turn it on, so that we can see this group of two blocks of point text. All right, now using the Black Arrow tool, I'll click on the baseline of either of those lines of point text in order to select both of them. Then I'll Shift+click on these whiskers here, which selects all of them, because they're grouped together as well. And then finally, I'll Shift+ click on the head to select it. Now I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Stylize, and then choose Drop Shadow, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+Alt+E or Cmd+Option+E on the Mac.
And then I'll turn on the Preview check box so I can see what I'm doing. Notice that Multiply Blend mode, once again, it worked there, and that's because Multiply burns in those shadows, so it is the Shading Blend mode inside of Illustrator. The Opacity value should be 100%. Leave X Offset set to 0 points, if you've been working along with me that's what it should be, and then raise the Y Offset value to 10 points, take that Blur value up to 10 points as well, and as soon as you press the Tab key, because Preview is turned on, then Illustrator is going to do its thing, and you'll see it applying Gaussian Blur a bunch of different times, and that's because it's going in there and blurring those Drop Shadows.
All right, so good enough, I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, then, let's say once I get done waiting for the progress bars, I'll click off of the paths in order to deselect them. Now, I think the Drop Shadows look great for the letters and for the cat's head, however, they're pretty much lost where the whiskers are concerned, because whiskers are so thin that once we apply a Gaussian Blur of 10 points, we lose them. So let's modify the Drop Shadow that we've applied. I'll click on the whiskers to select them, and then I'll go up to the Effect menu and I'll choose Stylize, and I'll choose Drop Shadow, or press that keyboard shortcut once again.
If you work this way though, and that's the way it works in just about every other program, if you go back to the command, then you're going to get this error message that says, hey, you're going to apply yet another instance of this effect. So you're going to have two Drop Shadows if you keep working this way. That's not what we want. We want to edit the Drop Shadow we've already assigned. So we Cancel out, switch over to the Appearance panel, and it's going to tell us that we've got a Group selected here, and that the Drop Shadow is applied to the Group, not the Contents of the Group. If you double-click on Contents, you will not see a Drop Shadow, you'll see that we've got Strokes applied to every single one of these whiskers, and apparently I scaled them slightly, because the line weight is 2.191 points thick.
But I'm not seeing a Drop Shadow, that's because Drop Shadow, the fx right there, is applied to the Group. So I'd have to double-click on Group to go back to it, just to make sure that the Group is targeted, just as if we had meatballed it inside the Layers panel. And then I'll click on Drop Shadow in order to bring up the existing Drop Shadow Effect. And this time I'm going to change the Y Offset value to 3 points and I'm going to change the Blur value to 3 points as well, and we're not getting the delays because I didn't turn on Preview. So now I'll turn on the Preview check box just to make sure that everything looks the way I want it to, it does, and I'll click OK.
Well, I also want those whiskers to wiggle, and so I'm going to apply yet another dynamic effect, that's what this little fx icon represents, to this group. And I could do that by either going back to the Effect menu, or I can drop down here to this little fx icon, which offers me another way to get to that exact same Effect menu, and then I'm going to choose Distort & Transform, and I'll choose Zig Zag. And when I do, I get this dialog box. Now, to get a sense of what's going on, you've really got to turn on the Preview check box, so that you can see this guy in action.
And you'll see, because I have Points set to Corner, which is the default setting, that we end up getting these polygonal lines right here, that look like lightning or something like that, flaring out from the cat's face. That's not what I want. So I'm going to turn on Smooth in order to smooth out those outlines, like so. Now, the lines are waving too severely. That's a function of the Size value right here. So I'm going to take that Size value down from 10 points, which lets the lines vary 10 points away from their original path outlines, I'm going to take it down to 2 points, and then I'll press the Tab key.
And I'll leave this option set to Absolute. That way we're working in points. If I were to switch to Relative, we'd be working in percentages. Now I'm going to change the Ridges per segment to 7. So I'm going to increase that value in order to get these slightly waving lines, as you see right there, and then I'll click OK in order to accept that effect. Now, there's two really great things about this dynamic effect; first, it's being applied on the fly. So if I press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on the Mac to switch to the Outline mode, then I will see that my path outlines remain in exactly the same shape they ever did.
So I haven't permanently modified the outline, which means that I can continue to edit these outlines just by dragging one of two anchor points on either sides, so it's very easy to edit these things. Also, if I press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y to switch back to the Preview mode, I can edit the extent to which these paths wiggle just by going over to the Appearance panel, as long as the paths are still selected, and clicking on Zig Zag, and that brings up the Zig Zag dialog box. And now I could say, you know what, I really want the size to be 3 points. I want a little more wiggleture going on there, and you can adjust any of the other settings as well.
Anyway, I was happy with 2, so I'm going to Cancel out, but I just want to give you a sense of how infinitely flexible even the simplest of the dynamic effects is. All right, I'm going to click off the path outlines to deselect them. In the next exercise, we're going to take a look at how you assign a gradient to text.
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