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Editing individual blended paths

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Editing individual blended paths

In this movie we'll take that green three ellipse gradient that we created with a fair amount of effort as a blend, and we'll customize it to fit the contours of this grassy knoll in order to create this effect here, which is something that we can't do using the Gradient tool. So I'll go ahead and switch back to my image at hand here. And then I'll zoom into the bottom portion of the illustration and I'll press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. Now, here is something to bear in mind when you're trying to hunt around for paths inside of a blend.

Editing individual blended paths

In this movie we'll take that green three ellipse gradient that we created with a fair amount of effort as a blend, and we'll customize it to fit the contours of this grassy knoll in order to create this effect here, which is something that we can't do using the Gradient tool. So I'll go ahead and switch back to my image at hand here. And then I'll zoom into the bottom portion of the illustration and I'll press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. Now, here is something to bear in mind when you're trying to hunt around for paths inside of a blend.

You can press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch to the Outline mode, and then you are going to see the outlines of all three of your ellipses right there, but when you're in the thick of it, as when I'm looking at the center of the illustration, it's impossible to make heads nor tails of what's going on. So I'll press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch to the Preview mode, and what I want to do is I want to find the center ellipse. And certainly I could twirl things open inside the Layers panel and go ahead and find that shape, or I can just hunt around here.

Notice, if you have an approximate sense of where an anchor point is, then you can hover over it with the White Arrow tool, and you'll see a little hollow square with a dot inside of it next to the cursor, and that indicates that there is an anchor point underneath that cursor. To select it, just go ahead and click, like so. Now I want to add a couple of points to this path, and you might want to confirm that this is the medium green ellipse by noting its values up here in the Color panel, that is CMYK, are 65, 15, 100, and 50 respectively.

I'm going to add a couple of anchor points by pressing the P key in order to switch to my Pen tool, and then I'll hover over about this location there. You should see a Plus sign next to your Pen tool cursor, if so, click in order to set a point at that location. And then I'll go ahead and scroll over to the left a little bit, and I'll click right about there to set another anchor point. Then I'll press the A key in order to switch back to my White Arrow tool and I'll go ahead and drag this guy upward while pressing the Shift key in order to bend the ellipse up as you see it there.

Now I'm going to move these anchor points too. So I'll go ahead and click on one, Shift+Click on the other, and drag either one while pressing the Shift key upward, just in order to constrain the angle of my drag. All right! Now I want to see the control handle associated with this point. So I'll go ahead and Shift+Click on this anchor point to turn it off, and now the control handle comes back into view and I'll go ahead and drag it up like so in order to move it upward. Then I'll click on this segment to make it active, and I'll drag upward on this control handle to move it up as well.

So we've got some pretty nice contouring going here, as you can see; but we also have, if you look very closely here, you can see that the medium green starts encroaching on the bright green to about this location here and sort of wraps around like this and comes back and then goes this direction. Which might end up being the effect you're looking for, but in my case it's not. So I'm going to hover around again with my White Arrow cursor to about this location there--there is my anchor point--and then I'll click on it to select it. And that is the top anchor point in the bright green ellipse, which has a Cyan value of 50% and a Yellow value of 100%.

And I need to add a couple of anchor points on either side, so I'll press the P key once again to get my Pen tool, drop down to about this location, right about there actually and click, and then click to set another point at this location. In each case you should see a Plus sign next to your cursor. Then press the A key to switch back to the White Arrow tool. I'll go ahead and drag this guy upward, like so, in order to create a little region of brightness there, and I'll go ahead and modify the neighboring control handles. And I might drag each of these anchor points up as well, so I'll click on one, Shift+Click on the other, drag them up a little bit.

That is actually taking these points too high, because what this will do, if I were to leave the blend like this, I'd create a flat area of green inside this region of the illustration. That's more flat green than I want, and it's also too much brightness, so I'll Shift+Click on the center anchor point, so I've got one, two, three selected. Then I'll go ahead and drag down until the bottom two anchor points are outside of the artboard. This black line right there, the black horizontal line represents the bottom of the artboard. And I'll press Shift+Down- Arrow a few times in order to nudge those anchor points down as well.

And then I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+ Shift+A on the Mac, in order to deselect my artwork; and I'll press Ctrl+0 or Command+ 0 on the Mac in order to zoom out. And that friends, is how you go about editing individual blended paths inside of Illustrator in order to add a custom contour to at least what appears to be a gradient fill.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14392 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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