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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 move I will show you how to design a custom color scheme based on an existing harmony rule, and we will once again achieve this effect inside the Edit Colors dialog box. So I'll start things off by employing one of the existing harmony rules, and that harmony rule is the last one in the list here inside the Color Guide panel, which is Pentagram. And now just to make sure everything is set up the way it should be, I'll select my t-shirt art to make it active, and I'll click on that blue base color in order to make it the base color for the Color Guide panel.
Now I'll select this background rectangle and I'll go ahead and change it to the shade of red, for example, just so that we are coming up with something different. Then I'll select these yellow leaves and I will change them to this vivid shade of violet and I'll click on the red shapes, which are barely visible anymore, and I'll change them to the most saturated version of the yellow. And I'll end up achieving this effect here. Again, this is just for the sake of comparison. Now let's see if we can build a better version of Pentagram that offers us a wider range of colors.
You can do that by clicking on the Edit Colors icon at the bottom of the Color Guide panel. And notice what we have with Pentagram is this guy with the base color as his head and then he has got these arms and legs. And if you move any of the sheep colors, you are going to move both the arms and legs up and down, either toward each other or away from each other, as if we have a sort of Vitruvian Man inside of the Lab Color wheel. Incidentally, if you want to check out the shapes of any of the harmony rules, including ones that I didn't diagram a few movies back, then you can just go ahead to select them.
For example, I showed you what Tetrad 2 looks like. It looks like this right there, that's what I showed you in the diagram; but I didn't show you Tetrad 3. So you can go ahead and check that out as well and notice that Tetrad 3 is set up so that when you drag one of the sheep colors, the opposing sheep color moves along with it. Anyway, I am going to switch back to Pentagram, and I am going to drag his head to the top just because it's an easier way for me to work anyway. And I will go ahead and drag the head down a little bit as well in order to decrease the saturation of all the colors.
I want to add a total of four color stops, one to each of the arms and legs, and I'll do that using the Add Color tools. So I will select the tool and then I'll click right about there in order to add a color along that same line so we have exactly the same hue and a lower saturation value. Notice that the Add Color tool does not stay active, which is kind of pain in the neck. So you have to reselect it over and over again. I will go ahead and click on it to select it and then click at this location right there, click on the tool to select it again, click here in order to add a color, and then finally select the tool and click on this left- hand line in order to add a shade of green.
Now let's say I want to make these new colors darker. I will switch over to the Brightness icon underneath the color wheel, and that makes it look like I lost all of my new colors. That's not actually true. It's just that we can't see the difference between the colors because we are not seeing saturation anymore, and the hue values were locked in sync with each other. Just go ahead and drag your new colors toward the center. That will not only darken them up, but you will also be able to see the original colors at the ends of the arms and legs.
So I will go ahead and drag this guy in as well. Then if you want to switch back to saturation, which I do, then click on the Saturation icon down there underneath the color wheel and I am going to drag these guys all the way out so that we have the most saturated versions of these colors possible. And I might increase the brightness of the colors overall just so I can see what I'm doing. Now I'll go ahead and save out my new color group as 9-color pentagram, let's say. Then I need to create the group by clicking on a little folder icon and 9-color pentagram will appear at the bottom of the group.
Now if you make any changes at this point-- for example if you drag up or down on the arms, I'll will go ahead and drag these guys up a little bit, and I'll also return my head back to its original color so I can get a sense of what I'm achieving here. You know what, I am going to switch back to the CMYK values so that I can confirm the actual values that are associated with the t- shirt, which are 85 for cyan, 50% for magenta, and 0 for both the yellow and black; and I end up with these colors here, which gives me the opportunity to brighten things if I like.
I could switch to the Brightness icons underneath the color wheel, and then I could just go ahead and drag these guys out so that I get very bright versions of all these colors, and I can change the locations a little bit as well if I so desire. I might move them to about here, let's say, just playing around. Now notice that 9-color pentagram appears in italics, which tells you that you have unsaved changes. If you click the OK button at this point, Illustrator is going to ask you if you want to save the changes to this group, but what's misleading about this is if you click the No button, you can end up losing other work that you've performed inside of this dialog box.
That's why I recommend you just avoid this warning in general by clicking on the Cancel button and either saving this guy as a new group by entering a new name and clicking on a folder icon, or just updating the existing group, which is what I'm going to do by clicking on a little hard drive icon. And now 9- color pentagram is no longer italicized. You know what, I am just going to move this guy--I am going to try to move it up here-- that is the head, up to a totally different location and saving my changes once again, just for the sake of demonstration. Now I'll click the OK button in order to exit the dialog box, and I'll scoot over to the second artboard here and you can see that we've got this stack of nine rows of colors.
I'll click on the t-shirt to once again select it, click on the blue base color to make it the base color for my new color scheme, and then I'll click in the background. And notice I've got tons of different options to choose from. So I might go with this dark, but very vivid shade of red here. And then I'll click on this kind of greenish leaf right here, and then I'll change it to this medium shade of pink; and then I will click on this reddish leaf below, and on the right side of the t-shirt and I will change it to this medium vibrant shade of yellow. Finally, I'll go ahead and select the dark shapes and change them to a very dark shade of that sort of purplish color in the third row, and I end up with this color scheme here.
All right, so I'll go ahead and scoot the artwork over and press Shift+Tab to hide those right side panels so that we can take in both artboards at a time. And you can see even though both of these color schemes are based on the pentagram harmony rule, we end up achieving very different results, thanks to our ability to customize the harmony rule inside the Edit Colors dialog box.
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