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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.
I've saved my progress as Left-hand arms.ai. It's found inside the Other Stuff subfolder inside the 30_actions folder and the reason I did that was to prevent this file from mucking up the previous batch processing exercise. In this movie, we're going to take that arms left action and we're going to copy it and modify it to suit a slightly different purpose. So, I'll start things up by twirling this guy close just to save myself some room and then I'll go ahead and drag it down and drop it onto the page icon. So, if you want to duplicate an entire action set, you drop it onto the folder if you want to duplicate a specific action, you drop it onto the page.
It'll come up as Arms left once again, I'll go ahead and double-click on it and let's call this guy Arms right this time, click OK and now we'll go ahead and twirl it up in so that we can get to the steps. Now I am going to go ahead and click on this right-hand arm, this big group here and we can see that it's subject to a dynamic transform effect. I'll grab the transform effect to throw it away. All right now, what to do if you want to modify a specific step inside of an action, you just go ahead and double- click on it and that's going to bring up the dialog box which we want.
Even though the dialog box icon is off, we want to see this dialog box because we are in the process of both applying this operation and modifying it. This is tricky and if you're working along with me, you got to type in 33 Tab. You can't just go modifying that value, you actually have to completely change it so don't like clicking in front of the minus sign and delete it and you have to invoke that preview. I am going to press tab a couple of more times because I'm sick of this darned command ignoring me and I'll click on Copy and that didn't worked, can you feel my pain, let me try again.
I think all I have to do is try again. I'm going to double-click on Move. I'm going to change it to 33, I am going to press the Tab key, I'm going to invoke the Preview, I am going to click the Copy button and this time it works. Go figure it, some little weirdness between this particular dialog box and the action recording instrument or whatever. Anyway, if I twirl that open look, move has changed. It's now a horizontal 33 points instead of -33. So even though I'm not in the record mode I am making modifications to this action. Now I'm going to do the same with Rotate.
Double-click on it and change its value negative one, press Tab, click on the Copy button that worked for some reason, okay awesome. Twirl open Rotate, yes Angle is set to -1?, Copy yes; there is a transformational origin, fine. I'll go ahead and twirl that close. Now from this point on I just want to play and so the best solution is to click on scale and then go ahead and click on the Play button in order to play from that point on. So that's what I am going to do and that goes ahead and plays my other operations, although it appears to me that it repeated somehow maybe it went ahead, what did it do.
Why did it create another clone, that's what I am trying to figure out? If I go to scale it's uniform copy no, in this case. So I am not sure exactly what happens. Do you know, why don't we, what is -- what is that thing. Let's go ahead and move it off to the side, huh. You know what let's go ahead and grab those guys and delete them and try again. I am not going to do all the steps again. I am just going to see now that I've got my action recorded properly if it will play properly. So I'll select Arms right and then I'll click on the Play button and we've definitely got some kind of problem going, interesting because I have two copies of this thing now.
One is moved and the other is rotated and so forth. I copied, user error my fault sorry about that folks. All right, go ahead and grab that but you know this stuff happens with actions, when you're a doofus like me. So I will go ahead and select these extra arms here, and I'll click on this original arm and let's see if I can do things better. This is a great use for Control or Command double-clicking on a single step. If you want to play just one step because I don't want to play from move down because Rotate is messed up but I do want to get things going here.
If I clicked on the Play button, it Play everything. If I just want to play one step, you Ctrl+Double-click or Command+Double-click on that step and just that step plays. All right, now deep breath, pay attention to what you're doing Deke, double-click un-rotate, set it to negative one. Make sure to invoke the preview somehow by pressing the Tab key, click OK and see this time if I twirl open Rotate. Look Copy is set to no, yes that's awesome. All right, now I'll click on scale, and I'll click play to play from that point on.
All right, awesome let's go and change the opacity to 80% man, now with Arms right selected let's go and play it again. Hey it works, let's go and change the Opacity to 60%. All right now, go ahead and play again change the opacity to 40% that is so rocking. Once you get actions working they are really a wonder to watch, really joyful sometimes. So anyway, that gives you a sense of how to edit and problem solve as you're editing your actions here inside Illustrator.
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