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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.
All right, so after about seven or eight minutes worth of work here, this is the effect I've come up with so far. It's called Manually assigned colors.ai and it's found inside the 24_gradients folder. And incidentally, if you're ever trying to gauge the colors inside of a shape and you don't want all those selection edges in the way, all you do is that same keyboard shortcut we've been using all this time, Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac, to hide the selection or Ctrl+H or Command+H again to bring it back. Now, a couple of other things I want you to note. In addition to Shift+Clicking to lift colors from the tracing template, you can Shift+Click in order to lift colors from inside the gradients as well.
So let's say, for example, that I want these two points to be lighter, so that we have a highlight at this location. I'm working with my White Arrow tool. So I clicked on one. I Shift+Clicked on the other. I'll press the I key to switch over to the Eyedropper and I will Shift+Click once again. So Shift+Clicking will go ahead and lift that color and assign it to the active attribute, regardless of whether you're Shift+Clicking on the original tracing template or within the gradient mesh as you're working on it. Now, one, if you want to make some adjustments to the colors manually, inside the Color panel, for example? Well, than in that case what I recommend you do is work with HSB, the HSB Color model, and you can get to it by the way by going up to the Color panel flyout menu and choosing HSB.
And the advantage of HSB is you can decide, all right, I want to stick with red, which is 0 degrees by the way, is the hue value, and I want to make sure that I'm sticking with red the whole time. And then if I decide I want to brighten up these colors a little bit, I'll increase that Brightness value, but what you have to make sure you do, if you're going to increase the Brightness, notice that you're going to bring a tone of warmth into that area of the pepper. And if you take a close look at how the colors and the peppers are organized in the first place, you'll see that they drift into these sort of blues, at least by comparison they look to be a little blue. What they really are is low saturation reds.
So what I recommend you do is, if you're going to increase the Brightness, then take down the Saturation a little bit; if you're going to decrease the Brightness, then pump up the Saturation, because that way you won't get oversaturated highlights and you won't get under saturated dead shadows. Anyway, I'm going to take this Saturation value down to let's say about 54, and the values will change on you a little bit. They'll spring, because we're working in the RGB mode and the Illustrator is trying to match the closest RGB equivalent to these HSB values. All right, now I'm going to press the A key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool, and I'm going to select a couple of colors right there, a couple of these anchor points, in order to make them active.
I'm going to just manually adjust my HSB values this time around. I'm going to enter, as always, the Hue value of 90 degrees, then I'm going to pump up the Saturation value to 90%, and I'm going to take the Brightness value down to 62%. So this time around I'm compensating for a low Brightness value with a high Saturation value, because if I let the Saturation value drop, notice I end up getting this horrible gray right there and it doesn't look very dark either. So Saturation is going to infuse that shadow with color and it's going to make it appear deeper as well. All right, let's try a couple of other things here.
I'll grab this point and I'll press the I key to get my Eyedropper and I'll Shift+Click in order to lift that color. I should have selected that point in the first place, but I just forgot to I guess, and now I'll press the A key to grab my White Arrow tool and I'll click and Shift+Click on these pair of colors right there and I'm going manually adjust them. Once again, I'm going to change the Hue value to 0 degrees, I'm going to take the Saturation value down to 74%, and I'm going to take the Brightness value up to 70%, so that we get this nice even red shade right there.
So again, different ways to work. If you want to go in and manually adjust those color values, that's the way I recommend you do it. You may find that Illustrator, every once in a while, because we're working once again in the RGB mode, that it bounces you back to the RGB sliders. In which case, if it does that, I very much recommend that you don't tweak the RGB sliders. They're just harder to work with, where shading and tinting is concerned, and you just go ahead and go to your flyout menu, switch back to HSB, and edit your colors in this model. All right, so that's how you go about finessing the colors of your anchor points.
In the next exercise, we're going to begin working on these background objects and I'm going to show you a different way to create a gradient mesh.
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