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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.
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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