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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, we are going to finish off our legendary Mishipizheu, or if you prefer, underwater panther of a Ojibwe mythology, and we are going to do it by filling in our paths using colors that are found inside of the tracing template itself. So we are going to actually lift colors from the acrylic painting and place them into this vector drawing. You wouldn't think that was possible. You wouldn't think you could squeeze for example, a tube of acrylic paint and put it inside of a vector, but you can, for all intense purposes. And here is how. I'm working with this document called Last paths.ai because these are the final versions of the paths, found of course inside the 09_pen_tool folder. But you can be working in any version of these many drawings that we have encountered thus far that you like.
Let's go ahead and grab the Black Arrow tool and click on the big massive shape around the outside of the animal and incidentally, notice that we are not seeing the control handles at this point in time. That's because the Black Arrow tool is selected. If I had the White Arrow tool selected and I were to click some place, let's go ahead and Alt-click and see what happens. If I Alt-click, or Option-click on that path outline, you will see all of those control handles all over the place and if you find that distracting, or disturbing or unnerving or any of those things, if you want to get rid of that, notice right now, we are not seeing that option up there that we turned on, up in the Control palette.
You can see it however, if you have just a few of the points in the path selected. If you have the entire path selected you are not going to see him, but if you have just a few of the points, one or more selected inside of this path outline, then you will see this option right there. There it is. And you can of course, turn it off, if you don't want it anymore. So you can turn it on and off. It is a sticky feature though. I just want you to notice that. All right I'm going to switch back to my Black Arrow tool, click on the path outline at some place. Let's now go and grab the Eyedropper. The Eyedropper is just such a swell tool, really useful inside of Illustrator and you can get to that tool by pressing the I key of course.
Now notice if I click in let's say this color right there inside of my tracing template. If I click, then I'm going to replace both the fill and the stroke of the beast with this hideous Pepto-Bismol pink sort of color. But there is a larger problem first which is that we lost the stroke. So we replaced both the fill and stroke and that's because the Eyedropper didn't find a stroke associated with this acrylic painting in the background, so it just grabbed what it saw. So we don't want that, undo, press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac.
If you just want to lift the Fill, or the active attribute and in my case the active attribute is the Fill. So it's whatever is the active attribute, it could be Stroke, it could be Fill, make sure that your active attribute is Fill and then Shift-click and notice when you Shift-click with the Eyedropper you just replace the active attribute. Okay, so far so good, except for the color itself, why is it so horrible and it's because the Eyedropper is lifting what it sees. It sees this dimmed version of the template and it lifts it and puts it in there and we don't want that, so press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to undo that modification. I want you to go to the Layers palette there and I want you to double-click on the template layer. And turn off Dim Images. We just need to undim this background painting.
We don't need to convert it to a standard layer, it can remain a template, we just need dimming off. Then click OK and now we will see our rich, vibrant colors as I originally painted them, and now I could click, if I click though I'm going to replace both the Fill and Strokes, so you have to be careful there. Undo, press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac and Shift-click in order to lift just the Fill and by virtue of the fact that we could see through the animal to the background there, I was able to grab a color from the interior of the great beast.
All right, now we have got a problem of stacking order. The big shape is in front of everything else. It's covering up the spine and legs and so on and so I want you to press Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket, that's Command+Shift+Left Bracket on the Mac, in order to send that shape to the back like so and by the way, I think it would be a good idea to go ahead and fill in these legs too. So why don't we go ahead and press the V key to the Black Arrow tool, Marquee these legs thusly, in order to select them. Press the I key to once again get the Eyedropper tool and now you can just life the color that is assigned to the larger shape. So click on the outline of the big shape. You don't have to Shift-click, just click on it. And that gives you both the Fill and the Stroke attribute so that everything matches.
Now we still have a problem, I'll press the V key in order to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, click off the shapes in order to deselect them. This guy is in front. That's no good. Click on its path outline to select it. Press Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket or Command+Shift +Left Bracket on the Mac to send it to back. Beautiful, he is in good shape and we can see all of the lines now. Let's go to the brave little warriors inside their canoe and click on them, in order to make them active. Get the Eyedropper once again and this time, you know what? I think I want a vivid shade of green. So I'm going to Shift-click right about there in order to fill those proud warriors with green.
All right, let's go ahead and turn off the template layer to hide it from view, so that we can see this beast against the white background now or you know what, let's go ahead and turn it back on actually and let's double-click on template and let's just make sure Dim Images is turned back on. It just turned itself on. Isn't that bizarre behavior? Click OK. Let's see if it actually works here. Groovy. All right. So just by double- clicking on that layer, I turned on the checkbox. Go figure and this is the final version of the dangerous beast. Let's zoom in just little bit so that we can see the Ojibwe warriors right there approaching the dangerous creature. What will happen next, does any one guess because this is the end of the chapter.
In the next chapter, we are going to be discussing how to select and enhance paths inside Illustrator.
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