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Learn what it takes to design your own mind-bending illusion, in this installment of Designs dekeConstructed—the series that breaks down popular graphic designs and show you how to re-create them on your own. Deke starts out by drawing an "impossible" Penrose triangle and a golden ball in Adobe Illustrator. Next, he plots a path for the ball to follow around the triangle. Last, he moves to Photoshop, where he shows you how to animate the ball with a combination of layer masks and the timeline.
Want more dekeConstructed design techniques? Check out the other courses in the series here.
In this movie, we're going to fill this first edge of the triangle with a custom gradient. So, the first thing I want you to do, is press the V key in order to switch to the Black Arrow tool, up here at the top of the tool box. And then click on that edge in order to select the entire thing, including all six of its anchor points. Then go up here to the second swatch in the control panel, click on it, and change it to None in order to get rid of the stroke. Now, you want to go up to the Window menu and choose the Gradient command in order to bring up the Gradient panel.
And if all you see is a gradient slider like so, then go ahead and click on this double arrow icon a couple of times in order to expand the panel. Then, make sure the fill is selected in the top left-hand corner of the gradient panel, and click on the gradient slider in order to fill that shape with a gradient. Now, this doesn't happen to actually be the gradient I'm looking for, but we need the default gradient in order to get started. So now I'll go ahead and scroll down, using the scroll wheel on my mouse, and I'll double click on this black slider triangle in order to bring up this color panel, make sure that the first icon, color, is selected.
And then click on the fly out menu icon in the upper right corner of this pop-up panel and choose RGB Color. And then, assuming you want to get the same results as me, dial in 50 for the red value, 60 for the green value, and 70 for the blue value in order to create a dull blue, like so. Now, go ahead and double-click on the white color stop. The very first one. Switch it to RGB as well. And this time around we want to dial in a very dark color. So set the red value to 0, set the green value to 10, and then take the blue value down to 20, in order to achieve this effect here.
Alright, now I want to add a little bit of a highlight, and I'll do that by Alt or Option dragging this right-hand color stop to about this location right there. And because you have the Alt or Option key down, you'll create a copy of that color stop. Next, go ahead and change the location value at the bottom of the panel to 75%. And then double click on that color stop to once again bring up the RGB sliders. And this time we just want to add 100 to each one of these values. So set the red value to 150.
The green value to 160, and the blue value to 170 in order to achieve this effect. Then, you can press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to apply that change. Now, we need to modify the direction and the length of the gradient. And you can do that using the Gradient tool which you can also get by pressing the G key. Then, go ahead and drag from this top anchor point, down, along the edges of the hexagons, like so, until you exceed the edges a little bit, so that you're roughly perpendicular from this final anchor point, and that should happen at about this location right there.
So just go ahead to try to match what you see inside the video. And then release to create that gradient. And just to confirm that we're getting the same results, go to this angle value here inside the gradient panel and change it to negative 60 degrees. And then, you can press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac to accept that change and then press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool. And now I'll go ahead and center my zoom once again by pressing Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on a Mac. And that's how you assign the custom gradient that we'll be using throughout our impossible triangle here inside Illustrator.
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