Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by Richard Downs

Employing overlapping gradient strokes


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Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Employing overlapping gradient strokes

In this movie we'll add the wheels to the train, as well as the elements that power the wheels, and with any luck it will give you a sense for how you can employ overlapping Gradient Strokes inside Illustrator. So I'll start things off by clicking on the Fill icon so that we create our new stroke at the bottom of the stack. And I'll click on the Add New Stroke icon in order to create the new stroke, and I'll change the stroke color to the second gradient in, Wheels Grad. And then I'll dial in a line weight value of 84 points. Now, if you're working along with me, go ahead and bring back up your Gradient panel and confirm that the angle of the gradient is 0 degrees; if it isn't, go ahead and make it so. All right! So now I'm going to hide the panel to give myself more room.
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  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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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Employing overlapping gradient strokes

In this movie we'll add the wheels to the train, as well as the elements that power the wheels, and with any luck it will give you a sense for how you can employ overlapping Gradient Strokes inside Illustrator. So I'll start things off by clicking on the Fill icon so that we create our new stroke at the bottom of the stack. And I'll click on the Add New Stroke icon in order to create the new stroke, and I'll change the stroke color to the second gradient in, Wheels Grad. And then I'll dial in a line weight value of 84 points. Now, if you're working along with me, go ahead and bring back up your Gradient panel and confirm that the angle of the gradient is 0 degrees; if it isn't, go ahead and make it so. All right! So now I'm going to hide the panel to give myself more room.

I'll press Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on the Mac, the dekeKeys shortcut for the Transform effect. And for the rear wheels, I'll reduce the Horizontal Scale value to 24%, then turn on the Preview checkbox so we can see where the wheels land. I'm going to turn on this right-hand point in the reference point matrix, and that goes ahead and moves the wheels all the way forward. I really want them much farther back than that. So I'll go ahead and change the Horizontal value to -219, like so. And you may well ask, "Well, why did you set the reference point all the way on the right-hand side in that case?" That's because we're going to have some wheels up front as well, and it just happened to be a convenient way to work. All right! Now, I'll click OK in order to accept that change.

Next, I'll create a copy of the stroke by clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel and I'll twirl this stroke open, click on Transform. A horizontal value of 24% is just fine, but I'm going to change the Horizontal Move value to -128. Turn on the Preview checkbox and I end up with another set of wheels right there. Now click OK. Now we need to create two more wheels that are a little smaller, so I'll click on the stroke to make it active. Then click on the Page icon to make a copy of it. Click on the word Transform, change the Horizontal Scale value to 10% this time, and dial in a Horizontal Move value of -34.

And then turn on the Preview checkbox and you end up with a pair of wheels right here. Click OK. One more time I'll go ahead and click on the new stroke to make it active. Click on the Page icon to make a copy of it. Click on Transform. Leave the Horizontal Scale value set to 10%, and then dial in a Horizontal Move value of +28. Turn on the Preview checkbox and you end up with some wheels right there. Now click OK. All right! In addition to these metal wheels, we need some ridges in order to dig into the train tracks so that the train doesn't just go cascading off.

And I'll create these things by twirling closed this stroke, clicking on the bottom stroke in the stack, making a copy of it, dialing in a line weight value of 72 this time around, and I'm going to change the gradient from Wheels Grad to Black Grad in order to create this effect here. Now, the edges need to be a little wider than the wheels, so I'll go ahead and twirl open this new stroke. Click on its Transform effect. Change the Horizontal Scale value to 26%. Turn on the Preview checkbox, so I can see what's happened.

Notice that the edges have extended to the left only, because after all the reference point is set on the right. So I'll go ahead and increase the Horizontal value to -216 points to nudge those edges over. Then click OK. All right! Now let's make an edge for the other big wheel by clicking on the new stroke and Alt+Dragging it or Option+Dragging it above the next 84 point stroke, like so. And then I'll twirl this guy closed and twirl this guy open and click on Transform.

I'll leave the Horizontal Scale value set to 26%, but I'm going to change the Move value to just three bigger than the wheel below it, which would be a Horizontal Move value of -125. Then when I turn on the Preview checkbox, you can see the edges right there. All right! Now go ahead and click OK and let's make yet another copy of this guy by Alt+Dragging or Option+Dragging it upward. Twirl this one closed. Twirl this new one open. Click on Transform. This time, the Horizontal value should be 12%. And I changed or Horizontal Move value to -31, which is just three bigger than this wheel right here, so that we end up with this effect. Then click OK.

Now, normally you'd think we need one more edge for the forward wheels, but this area will ultimately be covered up by the smokestack, so we can safely ignore it. All right! Now we need to create those levers--if only for the sake of realism--those levers that actually power the rear wheels. And so I'm going to create them at the bottom of the stack. So I'll click on the Fill icon to make it active, and then I'll just click on the Add New Stroke icon, or of course I can press Ctrl+Alt+/ or Cmd+Option+/ on the Mac. And I'll change the color of this stroke to black.

And I'll dial in a line weight value of 4 points. All right! Now let's move this guy, because right now he is right there in the center of the stroke, covered up by a lot of other junk. So I'll press Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on the Mac in order to bring up Transform, and I'll turn on the Preview checkbox. Go ahead and select the right point in the little reference point matrix. Dial in a Vertical Move value of 45 points, and that will move this stroke out to this location here. And then I just wanted to scale it so it looked like it was moving the wheels forward. So I'll dial in a Horizontal Scale value of 76%, and that extends the stroke to right about there.

Now I'll click OK in order to accept that change. Let's create a copy of this stroke by clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel. Click on Transform in order to bring up the Transform effect dialog box. Change the Vertical Move value to -45. Turn on the Preview checkbox. Now we have a new one that appears at the top. I want it to extend to the back of those wheels, so I'll change the Horizontal Scale value to 92% in order to create this effect here. All right! Now I want to create a stroke inside both of these strokes, so I'll grab both of them by clicking on one, Shift+Clicking on the other, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and drag those guys up to here and drop them. And then go ahead and change the first one to 2 points and change its Color to Medium Rail, and then do the exact same thing for the other one.

So change its line weight to 2 points and change its Color to Medium Rail as well, and you'll end up getting this stroke- within-a-stroke along both of the levers. Now, I want the black stroke to come out around the gray stroke, wrapped all the way around. So I'm going to go ahead and switch back to those black strokes. I'm going to click on the word Stroke for the top black stroke and turn on Projecting Cap, and then of course it's just a matter of doing the exact same thing again for the bottom stroke. So I'll click on the word Stroke for the rear black stroke and I'll select Projecting Cap and we end up with these effects here. All right! Now we need to create those boxes that actually power the levers and we're going to do that up here at the top of the stack.

So click on the very topmost stroke and make a copy of it by clicking on the Page icon at the bottom of the panel. Notice if you twirl this guy open, he is the only stroke that doesn't have Transform assigned to him, because that's the main body of the train. I am going to change the color of this stroke to Black Grad, like so, and then I'll change the line weight to 16 points, and I'll press Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on the Mac to bring up the Transform effect dialog box. I'll change the Horizontal Scale value to 13%. I'll dial in the Horizontal Move value of 12, and a Vertical Move value of 40.

Go ahead and select the right point inside the reference point matrix and turn on the Preview checkbox and you end up with this effect here. So in other words, the lever is going in and out of this box right there. Now click OK and we'll create a copy of this guy, because we need one on the other side. So go ahead and select that stroke. Click on the little Page icon at the bottom of the panel. Click on the word Transform, and the only change we need to made for this guy is to switch the Vertical value to negative. Go ahead and turn on the Preview checkbox and you end up with a power box on the other side.

Then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change, and we end up with this version of the train here. So that's one way, anyway, to employ overlapping gradient strokes inside Illustrator. In the next movie we'll build up the smokestack and the other circular elements on top of the train.

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