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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 have saved the results of the previous exercises as Violet zigzags.ai, and at this point we are going to return to our original large-format fabric tag project. And as you may recall, here is the Garment tag.ai file, which represents the final version of illustration. And it includes this floral treatment--believe it or not, that's what it is--with a red tile pattern attached up here at the top of the artwork and down here at the bottom as well. And that's a combination of an art brush working hand in hand with the tile pattern, not a pattern brush, by the way.
But to pull it off, I have to go ahead and expand the art brush to its core path outlines, and that's something that you can do to any brush inside of Illustrator, including the bristle brushes, which we'll discuss in the future. So let me show you how that works. I'm going to switch to my last saved version of this illustration, which I call Better letterstrokes.ai, and I am going to go ahead and select this top path outline right there. And I'll bring up a Brushes panel and scroll down this list of art brushes, and we transition, notice that, from those sort of natural media brushes to these various floral brushes. And for example there's this one here, Floral Stem. That's one of the ones that Illustrator CS5 automatically includes with a new document.
If you apply it, you get a unidirectional, sort of floral treatment here--that is to say it starts on one side, ends at the other. If you wanted it to be symmetrical, then you would have the divide the path in the middle and then go ahead and flip the version of the art brush that's applied to the right-hand path. However, Illustrator also ships with a handful symmetrical brushes, so I am going to bring up the Brushes panel, and I am going to move up to Floral Bulbs. Now it doesn't look like any great shakes here, but once we apply it to this particular path, we get this kind of strange, crab-like creature, which I absolutely love. I think works great with this artwork.
So now I am going to go ahead and hide the Brushes panel, and I'm going to increase the thickness of this brush a little bit by increasing that Stroke value to 1.2. Now the next thing I would like to do is apply a tile pattern, and I was telling you you can assign tile patterns to strokes inside of Illustrator, but when you're working with black art brushes, it just doesn't hold up. You can colorize a black art brush by assigning one of the solid fills, such as green. We have already seen that. However if you try to assign red wedges, for example, which is what I'm looking for here, it just doesn't work, you go back to black.
So what you need to do is expand that stroke so that you have filled path outlines and then assign the tile pattern as a fill instead. And you do that by going up to the Object menu and choosing the Expand Appearance command, and that goes ahead and expands the brush and converts it to path outlines. And there you go, and that's the way you expand any brushed path inside of Illustrator. All right, now I am going to go ahead and assign to the fill this time, so I clicked on the fill swatch up here in the control panel and I'm going to assign red wedges. That doesn't look right at all but, just bear with me for a moment.
Now I meant to go ahead and assign that same art brush to this bottom path, but I forgot, so let's do it now. I will go ahead and click on the bottom path, go up to the Brushes panel, and click on that same guy, Floral Bulbs. It, however, is not a reflected version of the top line. Notice that, they look different than each other. So I am going to have to increase the Stroke value. That's of course necessary, so I will increase that value 1.2 once again. But this sort of slab right here is at the bottom instead of being kind of at the top. Do you know what I mean? They just don't look like reflected versions of each other, and that's not what I'm looking for.
So in order to fix that, your drop down to Options of Selected Object because you can always flip an art brush, as well as a pattern brush, across its path outline. So I will go ahead and do that by clicking on Options of selected object, and then notice you have Flip Along, which in this case because we have a symmetrical art brush, its not going to make any difference. I have got Preview turned on, so you can see the difference. I will click on Flip Along. No, nothing happens, and it did flip, but it's just that this one side flipped to the other side and as they say, they are both the same.
So I will turn off Flip Along and I will turn on Flip Across, and we end up getting exactly the effect I am looking for. Notice they are now reflected versions of each other. Okay, perfect. Click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, go up to that Object menu, choose the Expand Appearance command in order to convert that brush to path outlines, and then go ahead and fill it, once again, by clicking on the fill swatch up here in the control panel and selecting Red wedges. Now big problem, of course, the wedges are to too dinky. That is, the tile patterns are still very small. Here is what you've got to do.
Click on one, Shift+Click on the other so that they're both selected, and that way when you switch to the Scale tool that origin point is located right there in the center of the illustration where it needs to be so that everybody stays in Registration--that is, all the various elements of the tile patterns register with each other. Now I will go back to the Scale tool, double-click on it here inside of the toolbox. I want you to change Uniform value to 200%, make sure Patterns is turned on. The other two check boxes should be turned off. Turn the Preview check box on, so that he can confirm that you done the right thing, which I have, and now click OK in order to accept that modification.
All right, now I want to go ahead and set these paths off from their background, and I am going to do that using yet another art brush. This stuff gets so insidious, but you can just heap these effects on top of each other as much as you want. So now that I have these various filled path outlines, I am going to switch over to the Appearance panel, and notice that I have got a group going, actually a couple of groups. I am going to go ahead and add a stroke to them by clicking on the Add New Stroke icon, or of course you can press that keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Slash, or Command+Option+Slash on the Mac. Then I want to scroll up his list until I find a brush called Charcoal, not Charcoal Rough or Charcoal Soft or Charcoal Tapered, just plain old charcoal.
I will go ahead and click on it to make it active, and then I am going to change its color to green now that I know the stroke is active here inside the Appearance panel. I am going to click Opacity in the Appearance panel, and I am going to change the blend mode from Normal to Multiply. And then I am going to grab that stroke and drag it below the contents, so that the stroke is no longer covering up the fills, just like that. And then, check this out, I have this nice charcoal treatment up top, but it looks sort of ragged and weird down here at the bottom, so I am going to click off the shapes to deselect them, then I will click on this path right here in order to select the bottom group, and I am going to click on Options of Selected Object. It's very important, by the way, that your stroke is nailed here, so that Illustrator knows what in the world you are talking about.
Then go ahead and click on Options of Selected Object, and I want you to turn on and Flip Along and Flip Across, and that ends up delivering the effect that I am looking for. Then click OK, and the deed is done. And that is how you combine an art brush with the tile pattern and yet another art brush here inside Illustrator.
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