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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustration by John Hersey

Editing a radial gradient mesh


From:

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Editing a radial gradient mesh

I've saved my progress as Radial shadows. ai and in this exercise we're going to take those radial shadows and we're going to modify them to make them look like shadows that are actually cast by these peppers. So we get a much more realistic effect. So for starters, I am just going to marquee vaguely inside of this area and hope that I end up catching that left- hand shadow shape, and if you can't find it, you can press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to switch to the Outline mode, then go ahead and marquee some point or other, and then switch back by pressing Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to the Preview mode.
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
      45s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
      58s
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
      33s
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Editing a radial gradient mesh

I've saved my progress as Radial shadows. ai and in this exercise we're going to take those radial shadows and we're going to modify them to make them look like shadows that are actually cast by these peppers. So we get a much more realistic effect. So for starters, I am just going to marquee vaguely inside of this area and hope that I end up catching that left- hand shadow shape, and if you can't find it, you can press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to switch to the Outline mode, then go ahead and marquee some point or other, and then switch back by pressing Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to the Preview mode.

And then what we are going to end up doing here is selecting these points that are surrounding the innermost concentric circle and we are going to modify the control handles like so, so that this shape traces around the base of the pepper. But notice as we do that, we are going to end up creating these riffs in these spokes here, so we will end up bending the spokes, which isn't necessarily what we want to do, and not only that, the spokes are actually useless to us and we are going to have better flexibility if they are not there. So press the U key in order to switch to the Mesh tool and then I want you to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on each of these spokes.

I don't want you to click on any of the concentric circles, because if you click on either the ones that you can delete, then you are going to make a mess of things. For example, if I Alt+Click or Option+ Click on this one, we end up getting rid of that big concentric circle and we end up increasing the size of the gradient and that's no good. So press Ctrl+Z. What I want you to do is Alt+ Click or Option+Click on each one of the spokes. So get rid of that one and this one and this one. Now, you can't get rid of this one because it's actually two spokes on top of each other and it really is the edge of the shape as you may recall.

So you just leave that one alone. But get rid of all the other spokes as we just did. Then you've got to add some points back into the mix. So somehow Illustrator magically maintains the form of this mesh object right here, this innermost mesh sort of blob, even though there are no anchor points associated with it anymore. If you switch over to the Add Point tool right there, which you can get by pressing the Plus key, otherwise you can select it by the way from the Pen tool flyout menu, Illustrator will show you anchor points but these are not anchor points that you have access to. They are just these fictional anchor points that are floating around and I gather that Illustrator is using them, but you can't modify them.

So they're not really of any use to you. What I need you to do is click on each one of those points that you see there. So click at that point right there. Click at this point. You shouldn't see any change on- screen. Just click on each one of those points, but now if you press the A key to switch back to your White Arrow tool, they will stay there. You'll actually see those points. Notice that the other ones along the other circles disappeared. What's that about? I have no idea. Some sort of Gradient Mesh magic. Now that we've got these anchor points, so we can actually modify them. Let's go ahead and do so.

Drag these points around anywhere you wish now. You don't have to worry about messing up your column lines. I'm just trying to trace around what is probably the base of the pepper, so that we're creating a line around the base. Now, I'm going to create another base object here that goes even farther in, and I am going to do that by pressing the U key to get the Mesh tool, and I'm going to click about there on that spoke line in order to add yet another little concentric blob.

Again, if you want to have any control over it, then you need to press the plus key to go back to your Add Anchor Point tool, and then click on those points that you see and you'll see more points than you really need. So just click on this point right there, and then click on this one and click on I think this one is the one you want. And then switch back to the White Arrow tool by pressing the A key or clicking on it and then you can modify these points as you see fit. I am going to drag this one out just a little bit so that it's really tracing tight to the bottom of that pepper.

Now I will show you why I am doing this. So each one of these anchor points that we just added controls the positioning of these blobs and shape of the blobs and so forth, but they do not contain color information. The only points that contain color and opacity information are these points along the one and only one remaining spoke. When I say one and only one, I mean two and only two, because we have two points at each one of these locations, one that's overlapping the other. So what I want you to do is go ahead and marquee as many points as you can.

It looks like I'm able to get to all of them. So marquee these points like so in order to select them, and I went ahead and accidentally selected the right-hand mesh object. So I am going to need to turn it off by twirling open the mesh shadows layer, and it's this guy right here. It's the second one, just lock it down. Click in that Lock column in order to lock it away. Now you can see that I have all of these points that are overlapping each of the selected and none of the new anchor points that I added, and I am just going to dial in a K value by clicking on black in order to get some color in there.

That looks just great. Now, I am going to switch over to HSB. I want a Hue value of 5 degrees, and I'm looking for a Saturation value of 75%, and a Brightness value of 35%. Now having done that, I'm going to go ahead and marquee these outermost points and just confirm that these guys right here are set to an Opacity of 0%. They are, that's good. Now, I am going to marquee this point, and I am going to confirm that it has an Opacity value of 100%. I don't want that. I'm going to reduce it to 75% like so, and then I'll go ahead and marquee these points and confirm that they have an Opacity value of 100% and they do.

Now, because that was so much fun and we have two peppers to deal with, let's do it again. I am going to lock down the shadow I just got done manipulating and it's still not quite exactly right, but it will be. We will come back to it in a moment. Now, I am going to unlock the other mesh, and I will meatball it just to get it selected in the first place. I will press the U key to get my Mesh tool and I am going to Alt+Click here and then here and then here. Those of you working on the Mac, you would Option+Click on each one of those spokes in order to delete them, then press the Plus key in order to get to your Add Point tool, and click on each of these fictional points along the innermost ellipse.

So click there, and there, and there, and now press the A key in order to get to White Arrow tool and now you've got access to those points. I will click in that point to select it independently and then I'll drag it up over here and I will drag this point to this location, and drag outward on the control handle and remember that this thing right here is two points on top of each other. So you've got to be careful of that location. I went ahead and undid that move. I am going to go ahead and click on this segment and drag this control handle down like so, and then Marquee both of those points and move them outward a little, and drag this point up a little like so until we get something resembling what we're seeing here.

I will press the U key in order to switch back to the Mesh tool and click right about there to add another concentric blob and its shape is pretty good but I am still going to add some anchor points here. I will press the Plus key in order to switch to the Add Point tool and I'll click here and here and here to add some points to the shape. I will press the A key to switch back to my White Arrow tool. I'll grab this point and drag it outward and change its control handles as well and drag this point upward a little bit, and drag out its control handles and this guy is probably fine where he is.

Now, I am going to marquee all of these points. These are the Mesh points that actually contain the color information, and I am going to change the color to the same color I dialed in a moment ago, which means going up to the Color panel, clicking on black or white or something that I don't want at all, and then clicking on the flyout menu, switching to HSB, dialing in 5% for the Hue value. Change the Saturation value to 75% and the Brightness value to 35% in order to get this effect here. Then I am going to go ahead and marquee these two points and I am going to change the Opacity value up here in the Control panel to 0%, and then I'm going to marquee this point, which is a couple of points on top of each other of course, and change its Opacity value to 75% and I end up getting this effect. That's fine! That's good enough. We've got all the colors mapped out.

We've got some pretty decent looking shadows. I have to say they could be better though. I am going to show you how to make them better and control the direction of those cast shadows in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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