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Editing a calligraphic brush

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Editing a calligraphic brush

All right, I've gone ahead and redrawn Eunice, for the simple reason that I wanted to introduce more stylus variations into my Brush Strokes and I have saved off the graphic as Eunice.ai and gosh! If Eunice doesn't love Bob, just so many flourishes inside of this art work. Meanwhile if you go check out the Layers palette and you take a look at Bob, you just wonder why and he is crudely rendered, he is not very smart and he is not even very sensitive. He is about to run over this poor little prairie dog, right there. So there is no accounting for love inside Illustrator CS4. Anyway, let's go ahead and turn Eunice back on and turn Bob off, though truth be known, Eunice doesn't turn Bob off at all. Anyway, I'm going to switch over to the Brushes palette and I'm going to click on this 9 pt Back brush, because this is the one that's applied to all of the Brush Strokes inside of this graphic. It brings up the Calligraphic Brush Options dialog box once again. So there's all sorts of variations that you can apply with your stylus that can be tracked by Illustrator and assign to one of our three attributes right here, Angle, Roundness or Diameter.

Editing a calligraphic brush

All right, I've gone ahead and redrawn Eunice, for the simple reason that I wanted to introduce more stylus variations into my Brush Strokes and I have saved off the graphic as Eunice.ai and gosh! If Eunice doesn't love Bob, just so many flourishes inside of this art work. Meanwhile if you go check out the Layers palette and you take a look at Bob, you just wonder why and he is crudely rendered, he is not very smart and he is not even very sensitive. He is about to run over this poor little prairie dog, right there. So there is no accounting for love inside Illustrator CS4. Anyway, let's go ahead and turn Eunice back on and turn Bob off, though truth be known, Eunice doesn't turn Bob off at all. Anyway, I'm going to switch over to the Brushes palette and I'm going to click on this 9 pt Back brush, because this is the one that's applied to all of the Brush Strokes inside of this graphic. It brings up the Calligraphic Brush Options dialog box once again. So there's all sorts of variations that you can apply with your stylus that can be tracked by Illustrator and assign to one of our three attributes right here, Angle, Roundness or Diameter.

Now Pressure is undoubtedly the way that we want to go with Diameter, but let's switch things out a little bit where Angle and Roundness are concerned. I'm going to click the down pointing arrowhead and we'll run through these Random-- We have already seen it's just totally random. It's not based on the information from the stylus at all; you can apply it to a mouse drawing as well. We have got Pressure, which is how hard you press down on your stylus. We have Stylus Wheel. That's a little bit of an anomaly. You only get that with certain kinds of styluses. They have to basically be airbrush type styluses that have little scroll wheels on top of them and you might associate that scroll wheel input with the Diameter value. Then only have Tilt, which is how far the stylus is tilted. It could be straight up and down or at an angle with respect to the tablet. Then we have Bearing. That's the direction of your tilt. So you might be tilting the stylus away from you, towards you, left, right that kind of thing and then Rotation is you rotating the stylus as you're painting with it.

So that's an option as well. So in other words, Illustrator combined with a pressure-sensitive stylus is able to track everything that you can do with that stylus, just as in the traditional world. So, it's a really great thing. The difference is, of course, that you can change to the behavior of your Brush Strokes after you get done laying them down. So Illustrator provides a much more flexible approach than the real world, don't you know? So I'm going to switch the angle to Bearing because that makes the most sense to me. The direction in which I tilt my stylus should naturally affect the Angle value right there. So I'll change that to Bearing and you will see some changes happen on screen because my Preview checkbox is turned on and then I'll go ahead and associate my Roundness with the Tilt because, obviously, you are going to get a Round Brush Stroke when your stylus is straight up and down and it's going to be Elliptical when you tilt that stylus.

All right, we also have to associate some sort of Variation here. So I'm going to take that Roundness value, let's say, up to 50% and my Angle value, I'm going to go ahead and leave alone, 130 degrees is just fine. I'll increase the Variation value that's associated with my Roundness to about 30% for now and I'll also go ahead and increase the Variation value to about 120 degrees. Now this value can go up as high as 180 degrees or as low as 0 degrees regardless of what the Angle value is set to, because you are going to get unique results between 0 and 180, no matter what. Whereas the Variations for Roundness and Diameter max out at whatever you assign for the Roundness and Diameter values.

Now I'm going to increase my Diameter pretty significantly here. It's going to harm Eunice quite a bit. She is not going to look too good but I want to give you a sense of what's going on with these little preview guys right here. The black brush top indicates the 45 pt Diameter combined with 50% Roundness combined with 130 degree Angle. The Grey guy on the right is the extreme. So this would be a Diameter of 45 plus 9, so actually I'll take it up to 10 to make the math easier. So this would be a 55 pt Diameter with a Roundness of 50 plus 30, so 80% Roundness and then an Angle of 130 plus 120, so whatever that turns out to be.

It's not that the math is difficult. It's just figuring out what that means in terms of an Angle, is whatever it is. It's that apparently. And then this would be everything minus, so it would be a Diameter of 45 minus 10, so that's a 35 pt Diameter right there. The Roundness is now just 20% and the Angle is whatever, 10 degrees I suppose. So just to give you a sense of what's going on. I don't expect you to really use that information in any sort of cognitive way but it is there in case you want to take advantage of it. I'm going to go ahead and reduce my Diameter value down to 9 like so and we get a much better Eunice in the background. And then I'm going to take my variation for Roundness all the way up to 50% and we can see that it does make a difference.

So there is quite a bit of Pressure, Tilt and Bearing information built into these paths and if you want to see what kind of difference it makes, turn the Preview checkbox off. That would be what things look like before we started editing the Bearing and Tilt, for example, although we do have the pressure information intact, because that was already built into this 9 pt Back brush and this is our modified version of the brush with the Bearing and Tilt taken into account. Now I'm going to go ahead and click OK and when I do, Illustrator is going to ask me whether I want to apply my changes because it's going to go ahead and save the changes to the Brush no matter what, by virtue of the fact I clicked OK instead of Cancel. Should Illustrator apply your changes to the Strokes or should it leave the strokes alone, and that's entirely up to you as you work through the program. I'm going to say Apply to Strokes and accept the modified, though still lovely, Eunice here inside Illustrator.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21492 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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