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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 will show you how to duplicate an entire group of strokes or other attributes and then move the original and the duplicate in opposite directions, but equal distances. Now in our case, what we've got is a kind of old-fashioned monorail, which isn't what we want and it really doesn't make any darn sense. So we need to duplicate both the rail and the base plate. So with the path selected, click on the first stroke--the top stroke there in the Appearance panel--and then Shift+Click five strokes down in order to select the entire rail.
As you can see Shift+Clicking selects a range of attributes. Then we need to jump over this white cover up layer and select the two base plates strokes. You do that by pressing the Ctrl key here on the PC or the Cmd key on the Mac and clicking to select the nonadjacent strokes. Now at this point there's two ways to duplicate the strokes. One is to drag them and drop them onto the little page icon down here at the bottom of the panel or if you prefer to work with the command, click on the flyout menu icon and then choose Duplicate Item.
Now this is where things get a little confusing, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it looks as if we just duplicated a single stroke, because only one stroke is left selected. But in fact we actually duplicated all seven of them. Also confusing, in my opinion, is where these two strokes have landed. That is, the two base plate strokes have landed in the midst of the original rail. So you need to go ahead and select them and then drag them down the stack underneath one 40-point white cover up stroke.
That'll put them where they need to be. Now, you can see we've got two combinations of 20 and 25 point strokes which represent the base plates. Then we have two combinations of these five strokes that represent the rails. Now we need to move these guys around. In a perfect world, there would be some tool that would allow me to drag strokes to new locations. But such a tool does not exist inside of Illustrator. So instead I'll go ahead and click on this 8-point stroke right here; this is the original rail line. If you twirl it open, you can see there is no Transform effect assigned to it.
Now make sure that the stroke is selected. You should see the line weight active like so, and then go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and choose the Transform command or if you have loaded Deke Keys you can press Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on the Mac. Now I want to stress something. You should not see that Apply New Effect warning. If you do, that indicates that Illustrator is going to apply the effect to the entire path outline. Cancel out and then click on that stroke again to make sure it's active. Now at this point I want to move the stroke 40 points downward.
So I am going to change a Vertical Move value to 40 points and turn on the Preview checkbox and that sends that stroke downward. Now I just need to keep in mind that everything else needs to move 40 points as well. So I will click OK in order to apply that change. Now let's do the same with these two shallow strokes below. I will go ahead and twirl them open and I'll click on Transform for the bottom of the two in order to bring up the Transformer Effect dialog box. I've got to add 40 to 2 points. So I just change it to 42, like so.
That's easy, and click OK. That goes ahead and moves this guy down. Now I will click on the other Transform effect, this one is a little tougher, because it's a negative value. All you've got to do though is click in front of the minus sign and enter 40 and then press the Tab key. 40 minus 2 is 38. So go ahead and click OK. Now let's go ahead and twirl these guys closed just to tidy things up so we can keep track of what in the heck we are doing. I will twirl these 2 points strokes open and I will click on Transform for the bottom of the two. And notice that the Vertical value is set to 4, so I will just change it 44 and then click OK.
That goes ahead and moves that guy down. Then I'll do the same for the white stroke. It's set to -4 so I am going to enter 40 before the minus sign and then press the Tab key. Illustrator does the math for me and figures out that I want 36 points. Click OK. All right! So you can see it's terribly exciting stuff. I will go ahead and twirl those two guys closed and I will click on the top 8-point stroke. Make sure it's active. Then go up to the Effect menu, choose the second command at the top of the menu, Transform, and change its Vertical value this time to -40 point and click the Preview checkbox to watch that guy move upward. Click OK.
Then let's modify the other ones here. I will twirl open the two top 10-point strokes. I will click on Transform for the top one. It's already set to -2. So I will just change it to -42. Click OK. Then go ahead and click on Transform for the bottom of the two strokes. It's set to two points. So you just want to click after the value and enter -40 and press the Tab key and you get -38. That goes ahead and scoots that guy up. Now we will do the same thing with the 2-point strokes by twirling each of them open.
I will click on the top one--set to -4-- change it to -44. Click OK. Click on the bottom of the two Transforms. It's set to 4. So I need to enter after it -40 in order to create a value of -36 and then click OK in order to move that guy as well. The same goes for the base plates. So I will just go ahead and twirl these guys closed and I will scroll down to the base plates here. These bottom two right here need to move down. So I'm going to twirl open my 8-point stroke, which is the bottom rail.
I'm going to click on its Transform effect in order to select it. Then press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and duplicate that effect by dragging it and dropping it onto the bottom 22-point dashed stroke. That will go ahead and automatically move it down. Then repeat that process for the 20-point strokes. So go ahead and click on Transform and make it active. Then Alt+Drag or Option+Drag it down to that second 20-point dashed stroke right there. You'll end up automatically moving that guy down in the place.
Now I will just go ahead and do it again, even though the other base plate has to move in the opposite direction. The easiest thing to do is click on Transform and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag it onto the first of the two 22-point dashed plates. That will move it on top of the other one. Then twirl this guy closed and twirl this one open. This is the one that we just transformed. Click on its Transform effect right there and change it from +40 to -40, click OK. That will go ahead and move it up and then with Transform selected, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag and drop onto 20 point in order to duplicate that newest effect.
That'll move that base plate upward. One last thing I want to mention is that we now have a total of 20 different strokes that are assigned to this path. That's important because once you exceed 16 attributes assigned to a single object then you get some strange behavior here inside the Appearance panel. What happens is every attribute below the 16th attribute--this guy right there, so everything that was applied earlier in our case--ends up twirling open and staying twirled open.
Notice that I could go ahead and twirl these guys closed like that. No problem. However, if I make the slightest change, notice I will just go ahead and turn off say the rear stroke in the stack. Then the Illustrator goes ahead and not only twirls everything open as you can see here, but it also auto-scrolled me to a new location. So that's just something to be on watch out for. I just want you to know, because it's kind of a gotcha and if you get terribly ambitious with your attributes--as I have here--then it's something you are going to have to contend with.
In any case I will go ahead and turn my stroke back on. So that's how you go about duplicating entire groups of attributes and then modifying them, albeit one at a time. In the next movie I'll show you how to expand the attributes and simplify the results.
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