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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
I've saved my progress as Many gradients.ai. In this exercise, I am going to show you how to change the size and angle of multiple gradients at the same time using the Gradient tool. But first I want to show you a limitation of the Gradient tool and one of its excellent advantages, something that you can do with the Gradient tool that you just can't do from the Gradient panel. So, first the limitation. I am going to select the cat head, let's say, and imagine that I want to assign a gradient to the head. I don't, I want it to remain solid black, but let's say I want to assign a gradient.
Why, you would naturally assume that given that the Gradient tool could do everything else that it would let you assign a gradient. Well, that would be the wrong assumption. If you grab the Gradient tool and you drag, you are going to create an annotator, so that's going to make you think, Yup, I am going to create a gradient here, and then you release and nothing happens. And we have not assigned a gradient, the Color panel is still showing us a solid fill, and if I go up to the Edit menu, there's nothing to undo. So I didn't do a darn thing using the Gradient tool. So you've got to assign a gradient first and then modify it using the tool.
Here is a great thing though about the tool. I am going to Ctrl+Click or Cmd+ Click on the nose here to select it and I am pressing Ctrl or Cmd so I can temporarily get my Black Arrow tool, and then when I release, I go back to my Gradient tool. Let's say you want to darken up this gradient, and, normally what you'd think is that you've got to go over here to the Gradient panel and you'd have to change white to some other color to darken things up. Well, what you can do instead is move the color stop out of the shape, so out beyond the end of the path. So the gradient can actually be much larger than the path, in other words.
That's not something you can make happen inside the Gradient panel, you can make it happen however by just dragging this origin point downward. Now, I've dragged the gradient so far down that it doesn't actually occur inside of the path outline. So the entire path is now black and now if I drag that terminus point up then I will introduce a little bit of gradient into the tip of that nose. Now, we are not seeing it very well because it's hidden by the annotator so I could press Ctrl+Alt+G or Cmd+Option+ G on the Mac in order to hide the annotator. Here's another thing you could do by the way, I'll press Ctrl+Alt+G or Cmd+Option+G to bring it back.
You can just press and hold the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac, because that temporally switches you to Black Arrow tool and the annotator automatically hides. And then as soon as you release the Ctrl or Cmd key it comes back. All right, I am going to move this guy up a little bit. I don't want the nose to be quite that dark. And then I am going to drag this point down and in like so, so that we end up with this effect here. I'm showing you the effect once again by pressing Ctrl or Cmd on a Mac. All right, let's grab these two muzzle shapes. I've got Control down still so Ctrl+Click or Cmd+Click on one, Ctrl+Shift+Click or Cmd+Shift+ Click on the other to select both of them.
Now, notice as soon as I release, I get two independent annotators. So you get an annotator for each and every path outline, which makes it difficult if you want to get exactly the same results from both gradients. You want one gradient to course through both paths, for example, or to course in the same direction. So, what you might figure is well, you got to be careful with what you are doing. You've got to edit these two guys independently of each other like so, and then I'd have to extend this guy backup if I wanted to like so, and so on.
Well, what you can really do instead is you just start dragging from a neutral point. So, let's say I want the gradient to start right about here under the animal's eye and end at the muzzle. So, I am going to drag down like so, and I am pressing the Shift key as I do. Notice I am creating a new gradient annotator as I draw, because I drew from a new location, and that annotator is going to affect both path outlines at the same time. You can also make a gradient go through multiple paths and you do that by dragging through the paths, like so. So in another words, in this case it starts over here on the right side of the right muzzle and continues all the way over to the left side of the left muzzle, without any break in between the two paths except, for the break that's created by the stroke.
If I were to get rid of the stroke we would have a smooth continuous gradient. Anyway, that's not what I want, this is what I want. So, I'll go ahead and drag once again, and press the Shift key as I drag to constrain the angle to exactly vertical, like so. Now, I have a single gradient annotator to work with. If you want to break the shapes so that they have their own unique gradients, then you would want to deselect one of them and then modify the gradient annotator that remains for the selected shape. So that's how you go about changing the angle of multiple gradients at once. In the next exercise, I'll show you a few other ways to assign symmetry to your gradients inside Illustrator.
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