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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.
As you may recall our final version of the apple at least inside of Illustrator looks like this and by the way the name of this file is 270-degree apple.ai and it's got all these really bright terrific plastiki highlights going on. It also has a stem and I've mapped the gradient onto the inside of the apple. By comparison, our current apple looks pretty drab, and I saved my progress as Fake-looking apple.ai. The first thing we're going to do is add the stem. So if you go to the LAYERS panel, twirl open the apple layer and you'll notice that I have two stem items up at top here; one stem stroke and I am going to go ahead and zoom-in on it, so we can see what's going on.
I've assigned a variable with stroke to this path outline and the reason I did that was I wanted this stem to fold into the apple fairly naturalistically, so we didn't have too much in a way of big gaps going on. I guess I've got a tiny little gap at this point and I could fix that if I wanted to using the Width tool, so I will go ahead and grab that Width tool, and I'll click right about there and drag out I think to about that location, that looks pretty good. And if I wanted to I could double-click on that Width Point, and see what it's set to and it looks like it's almost 4 points.
So I might as well take it all the way up and click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, the reason I have a separate path outline associated with stem fill right there, it's the exact same path, but the reason that I've separated it out is because I want to fill stem fill with the Gradient Mesh. You can't combine the Gradient Mesh along with a variable stroke inside the same path. So I am going to go ahead and meatball that stem fill item there to make it active, and notice that it still has all those Width Controls, because I just went ahead and duplicated that object, and that's also why the meatball is volumetric, because it's still remembering that special appearance information.
Anyway, I'm going to switch back to my Black Arrow tool and my Width Points will disappear, and now I am going to go to the Object menu and choose Create Gradient Mesh and the values that I want you to enter are 2 rows, we just need 2 rows for this effect, and then a total of 4 columns. So, lots of columns being packed into this narrow object here. Then I'm going to set the Appearance to, To Center in order to create a highlight in the center of the shape and I am going to increase the Highlight value to 100%, and that's it. Then I will click OK that is my stem. I'm not concerned about going in there and modifying any other settings.
That looks just fine to me. Now, I will go ahead and zoom-out now that I have got my stem in place. And the next thing that we need to do is to go ahead and map that gradient back into the interior of the apple. I also want to create a special texture for this core to cover it up a little bit and you do that using symbols. If you want a map art onto a 3D object then you need to save that art as symbols. So here's how to do that if you're working along with me. Scroll out into the pasteboard to the left of the artboard and you'll see this unstroked half apple that I've set aside and I am going to go ahead and select this guy, and I'm going to create a flipped copy of it.
So I'll go ahead and drag it actually over to left a little farther here, and let's go ahead and set this on this top layer which is called More because it has more objects ready and waiting. So I went ahead and turned on the More layer and now I am going to drag the square here, this blue square that represents the selected object, and I'm going to drag it into the More layer, so that all of our symbol objects are grouped together essentially. Now I am going to switchover to the Reflect tool from the Rotate tool flyout menu and I'll Alt+Click someplace over here to the right of that half apple.
That would be an Option+Click on the Mac, in order to bring up the Reflect dialog box I do want to reflect the shape around the vertical axis and I'll click the Copy button in order to create a copy, like so. All right! Now, let's go ahead and grab that left hand shape for starters, and then I am going to bring up my SYMBOLS panel, and I'm going to go ahead and drag this guy and drop it into the SYMBOLS panel and I will call this one let's say left half and then I'll click OK, and then I'll grab the right half shape, and drag it into the SYMBOLS panel as well and I'll call this one right half and click OK as well.
And then finally, I want to go ahead and take this sort of core shape that I've created in advance for you and all it is, it is a back and forth linear gradient. So in other words it goes from yellow to this sort of green to yellow again inside of a rectangle, and I'm going to go ahead and drag it into the SYMBOLS panel as well and I'll call this guy core and then click OK. So we've now got three symbols ready to go and as I say you need those symbols in order to map the artwork onto the apple. All right! Let's go ahead and hide these shapes for now by turning off the more layer and then I'll go ahead and marquee this left half of this apple here in order to select it just because I am not sure exactly where the shape is, and then I'll switchover to the APPEARANCE panel and I'll hide the SYMBOLS panel as well and click on 3D Revolve in order to bring up the 3D Revolve Options dialog box.
Notice that there is this button right here called Map Art. I want you to go ahead and click on it in order to bring up the Map Art dialog box, and we're seeing that we have a total of 8 surfaces available to us. And to see what those surfaces are, notice you'll see a little preview of the surface in the larger portion of the dialog box. To see each one of the surfaces, you just click on these little arrowheads. Now, this first one I presume is the exposed right half of the apple. If I click that triangle, then we'll see the left half of the apple, the left exposed surface, and then we'll see some portion like what in the world is this area here? Well, then you check out your illustration window, and you'll see a preview of that area exposed, and so I'm seeing that, that's the sort of interior of the stroke right there.
That's not something I have to worry about because that's covered up. So then I'll switch to the next surface, that's the core right there that I was telling you about. Next, we've got oh! My gosh, this is the larger interior surface of the apple. Again, not something we need to pay attention to, and you can tell it's the interior surface because you can see that we've got a red edge on the inside of the stroke and there's another black edge out there on the outside of the stroke. And then if we advance further, this is that exposed edge of the stroke right there on the left-hand side, and then the next one is the exposed right-hand edge of the stroke and then the final surface is the outer edge of the entire apple.
Now, you could try to map something to that outer edge, you could try to map like those little sort of white spots that appear on an apple or that sort of variable sort of orange striping whatever that you see depending on the variety of apple. However, in my experience, I tried out a bunch of apple surface textures, and nothing worked worth beans, it all looked bad. So that's why I suggest we ultimately take the apple in the Photoshop and edit it there. But that's where your surfaces are just to give you a sense of what's going on.
In the next exercise I'll show you how to map the symbols that we saved onto these surfaces.
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