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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.
Now that we've seen how to apply a custom distortion by placing a couple of objects into an envelope, let's see how to open up that envelope and regain access to our original text block, as well as a rectangle, so that we can edit them independently. I've saved my changes as Initial rolling hills.ai, found inside the 25_liquify_envelope folder. I am going to twirl open my background layer which contains the envelope, scroll down a little bit, and you'll see this item that's called Envelope. If you meatball it, you'll select the entire thing as I have. But notice, even though it's a kind of container, much like a group, it doesn't have any twirly triangle next to it.
You can't twirl it open, not at first anyway. That's because you're in the Edit Envelope mode, and to switch modes, you go up here to the control panel. Notice by the way, you have access to your original Warp settings. So it's telling you that this was formerly an Arc Upper Style that you applied, with a Bend value of 25%, and so on. However, I don't want you thinking that if you change one of these numbers, you're going to somehow enhance your effect; you're actually going to ruin the effect. So if I switch the Bend value to 30% for example, and press the Tab key, that goes ahead and completely re-creates that distortion.
So all of your custom work is gone, which is obviously a very bad thing. So I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. What I'd like to do instead is switch mode, so you can see this first icon tells us that we're editing the envelope. If you switch over to the second icon, you Edit the Contents, and that gives you access to your original rectangle and your point text in my case. Now I have to tell you that it's kind of a pain in the neck to switch back and forth between these two modes if you're always rushing up here to the control panel. That maybe your idea of a really excellent feature, I don't know.
But for me, I'd prefer to take advantage of the keyboard shortcut. It's Ctrl+Shift+V will toggle back and forth. So if I press Ctrl+Shift+V, I switch back to the Edit Envelope mode. If I press Ctrl+Shift+V again, I switch back to the Edit Contents mode. So again, Ctrl+Shift+V, Command+Shift+V on a Mac. If you're having problems remembering that, you could think of it as the V in envelope, or you can go over to the Object menu, choose Envelope Distort, and you'll see right here that you have this command. The final command in the submenu cycles you back and forth between the two modes, and you can see the keyboard shortcut right there.
Anyway, I'm going to escape out. Now notice, over here in the LAYERS panel, astoundingly the Envelope item now has a twirly triangle, so you can twirl it open. I'm going to meatball the text, Knight Flyer right there, so I can see that I've got a drop shadow applied so far. I was telling you my big problem with this text is it's become too short. Because of the distortion, it's gotten kind of squished. I want to increase the height to compensate, and I'm going to do that, just so I can make some adjustments later if I need to. I'm going to scale my text using a dynamic effect.
So I'm going to go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and then choose our old buddy the Transform Command. Last time around when I did this, these were the settings I came up with. But I don't know if they're going to work this time around. So I'm just centering some values here. I'm not changing the Horizontal value, because it looks fine. I'm raising the Vertical value to 170, the Horizontal Move value to -8, believe it or not. That doesn't look like a good idea. Maybe I'll try nothing for now. I'll just leave that set to 0, and then I'll take the Vertical value up to -30 let's say.
I'm kind of splitting some differences here, because every time I do this, it turns out differently. Then I'll turn on the Preview check box. Remember, a vertical negative move moves the text upward as I've done right here. Well, that's way too far. So let's take the Vertical value down to -20, and that looks better to me. Now notice, and this is peculiar at best, in enhancing the height of the letters, I've actually reduced the height of the rolling hills of the rectangle, and that's just flat-out bizarre, but that's the way things are working here. So I'll go ahead and click OK. It's just important to keep your eyes on what's going on inside the illustration window.
I'll click OK in order to accept that effect. Now I'm going to switch back to my Layers panel as soon as that gets done rendering. I'm going to scroll down until I come to the rectangle inside the envelope. I'll meatball it to make it active, and notice it kind of got scooted to a different location. It used to be all the way down past the bottom of the illustration, and now it's been raised. So what I need to do is scale that rectangle. This time I'm going to scale it manually, just so I can better see what I'm doing. I'll grab the Scale tool, and I'll click at the bottom of the rectangle for starters, and then I'll drag up while pressing the Shift key in order to increase the height of the rectangle so it goes a little bit into the horse's front hooves there.
Now, I'll click at the top of the rectangle in order to set that as my origin point, and I'll drag downwards while pressing the Shift key, just so that I'm getting an exactly vertical scale. I'll scale the rectangle all the way to the bottom, and that's actually pretty darn good. So that's how you go about editing the contents of an envelope. If you want to switch back out, by the way, you can either click on that first icon up in the Control panel that lets you edit the Envelope, or you can just press that keyboard shortcut, and I want you to watch the word "Envelope" here inside the Layers panel.
If I press Ctrl+Shift+V or Command+ Shift+V on the Mac, the envelope not only collapses, but my little service entrance right there goes away. So my twirly triangle disappears, and I am back in the Edit Envelope mode.
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