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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, I am going to show you how a Smart Object inside of Photoshop affords us instant access to all of our dynamic effects inside of Illustrator. So we've got a dynamic application of those dynamic effects between the two applications. It's absolutely fantastic. I cannot stress enough how useful this workflow can be. But it is a little bit confusing and I get a fair amount of tech questions about it. So I want to review it pretty carefully here. Now I have saved my progress as Rendered snowflake.psd. I have made one additional modification. I scooted this guy over to left a little bit and I did that by pressing the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac in order to temporarily access my Move tool and then I just drag the snowflake a little bit leftward.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know I did something off-screen. All right so, now let's imagine that I think these little branches here are too close to each other and they are too far away from the main leaves that are associated with that stock, what I am calling the trunk of the snowflake. And so I want to adjust the positioning a little bit inside Illustrator. Well, this Smart Object is actually an embedded Illustrator file that now lives inside of this Photoshop composition, and you can edit it inside of Illustrator, much as if Illustrator were a plug-in for Photoshop, by double-clicking on the Smart Object thumbnail, here inside the Layers panel.
So go ahead and double-click, if you're working along with me, in order to bring up that file inside of Illustrator. Now, first you might think, "I didn't get the file, I just get this blank document right here." Well that's because it is white on white. We don't have the background layer because we didn't copy it. We just copied the snowflake, which is white against a white background. So, tell you what, let's go ahead and press Ctrl+A or Command A on the Mac to select the entire thing and I'm going to zoom in here, so that we can see the results a little more closely, and my Fill is active inside my Color panel. So, I am just going to go ahead and change the K to value 200% sSo we end up with this black snowflake and I can see what I'm doing.
All right, I'll click off the snowflake, so it is no longer selected and I will grab my white arrow tool from the toolbox, you can press A key of course, and I am going to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and marquee around this area like so, in order to select all of the paths that are associated with that branch and by the way there are 5 paths and all. If you want to make sure you're selecting exactly what you're supposed to select, then you could twirl open the Snowflake layer, twirl open the Big Flake group, and then scroll down a little bit and you'll see that all four small leaves are meatballed as well as the branch, and they are right in a row there inside Layers panel.
And then I am going to press Shift Up arrow a couple of times in order to raise the position of that branch and scoot the branches away from each other as well. And we end up with this effect here, and that's it. That's all I want to do. Now at this point, I want to update that Smart Object inside of Photoshop. How do I go about doing it? Well, the way you don't do it, this is where people get tricked up, because there is not a linked file, you cannot have a linked file on your hard drive, for example, that's linked in Photoshop. You have to save back to the Photoshop image itself, back into the Photoshop composition.
You don't do that by choosing the Save As command. Please do not use Save As. If you do that to break the link between your Illustration and Photoshop. Instead you choose the Save command. So, just go ahead and choose Save or press Ctrl+S, or Command+ S on the Mac and you have now saved not your hard drive like you normally do. You've saved into Photoshop. Now I am going to switch back to Photoshop and as soon as we switch back to the application, everything updates. So not only did I update the position of the branches, I updated the color of my snowflake. So it's no longer white. It's now black, which I think is really cool. It looks like it's rendered in metal.
But let's say you want a translucent effect. You just want that fill to go away, whether it is white or black or anything. It doesn't matter. You just want to be able to see that sort of chizzled emboss effect. While we will go over to the layers panel and reduce the Fill value to 0% and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and we get this effect here. And I am going to go ahead and press the F key a couple times in order to fill the screen and zoom in and what's kind of interesting about this is Photoshop isn't always super great about rendering out its layer effects on-screen, unless you go ahead and flatten image, in which case you get a very good sense of what it is going to look like, or print the image, and you'll find that this image prints beautifully, at least that's my experience.
And that my friends, is how you exploit dynamic effects inside Illustrator and then build on those dynamic effects dynamically inside Photoshop.
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