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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, at this point, I want to take a little break from the brushes, and I want to demonstrate to you that despite the many wacky custom brushes we've assigned to this point text, we can still modify the text in a variety of different ways. So I am going change the typeface, I am going to adjust a few formatting attributes to make the text fit, and then I am going to show you how to fill this text with the tile pattern and then scale the tile pattern inside of the letters. I've saved my progress as Scattered flower brush.ai. And with my text still selected, let's make some typical formatting modifications.
I'll go up to the control panel, and I am going to select the Font option, and I'm going to type it in "Minion", lets say, which is a font that I have loaded on this system. It ships along with most incarnations of the Creative Suite. If you've got it, great; if not and you're working along with me, try out a different font. Now it is going to take a moment in order for your changes to apply, the reason being that we've heaped on all these complicated dynamic effects, so Illustrator has to recalculate all those brushstrokes. If you want to eliminate some of those delays, you can press Ctrl+Y, or Command+Y on a Mac, in order to switch to the Outline mode and then you can make some obvious modifications. For example--I am going to hide the Brushes panel-- it's pretty clear that my text is too big to fit inside of its space, now, so I am just going to format away here by selecting a different type style. And I'm to go with the bold style, where this text is concerned. That's going to make things even worse, as you can see, so I'll bring up my Character panel--which I can get to, of course, by pressing Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac--and I'm going to change his Horizontal Scaling value from 100% to 80%, and I'm to change this Tracking value to -60. And I end up with this effect here, which I think look's pretty good.
Now that text definitely fits inside of the window, but let's see what it looks like by pressing Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to switch back to the Preview mode, and I end up with this effect here. So, even though we have all these effects applied, the text remains fully editable, which is an absolutely amazing thing and makes brushes one of the most flexible features inside the software. All right, with my text still selected, I am going to go back to my Appearance panel. And I want this fill not to be a flat fill, I want it to be a pattern fill, and I've created a variety of different tile patterns that's are all based on orange wedges. In addition to orange wedges I've got red wedges--which we'll use later--and then I've got violet wedges, which we'll use right now.
So with this fill active, I am going to click on violet wedges there inside the Swatches panel, and that's going to apply that violet wedges pattern. However, it's too dinky, as you can see, and that's because I need to scale the pattern inside of the letters. How do I do that? Double-click on the Scale tool. Notice the location of the origin point. It's right there at the bottom of the letter, so in the center of the baseline, and that's not where it would have been for the rectangles. It was right there in the center of the rectangles, which is a little higher, by the way. So as soon as I say, okay, I want to scale just my pattern--so all these setting should be left over for the last time you did it, if you worked along with me. So just Patterns is selected; the other two check boxes are turned off. The Uniform Scale value is set to 200%.
And notice we do scaled the tile pattern appropriately; it is twice as big as it was before. But notice that we do not have registration. So these little wedges right here, these little sort of half a grapefruits, if you imagine here, don't line up with each other outside and inside the letters. So what in the world do we do about that? Well, we need to better control the exact center of our scaling, and you do that by canceling out of that dialog box, waiting for a moment for the screen redraw to catch up, and then I am going to press Ctrl+Semicolon or Command+Semicolon on a Mac in order to bring up my guides. And notice that I've got both the horizontal and vertical guide running through the exact center of my artwork.
What I would like you to do--the Scale tool should be still active--I want you to Alt+Click or Option+Click on that guideline intersection. And this represents, by the way, the exact center of the rectangles as well as the artboards. And notice this time, because we came up with a better origin point for our scaling operation, everything lines up perfectly. So Scale value is still 200%, Pattern is turned on, the other two options--this is very important--turned off, and you will get exact alignment. Even if it doesn't always look precisely aligned at some locations, if you take a look at any place where we have a continuous wedge, a continuous wheel with spokes and so on, you will see that we do have continuity.
Then click OK in order to accept that change. Now, the only other thing that I don't like about this, if you switch over to Garment tag.ai, then you'll see that we have these big, thick green outlines around all of the letters and there's no breaks around the edges. We don't have any breaks in the corners, whereas the current version of the letters, if I switch back to our file at hand, notice we have all kinds of breaks. The top of the right side of the H isn't covered; the top of the right Serif of the U isn't covered; we've got a break down here at the bottom of the R, all kinds of weird edges. And that's because if you take a look at that Chalk brush here inside the Brushes panel for example, you'll see that it's thick at the beginning and then it gets thinner and thinner toward the end.
You can't really control where letterforms begin or end; that's part of the font definition and there's nothing you could do about it. Even if you converted these letters outlines and torn them apart, it would still be a big pain in the neck. Better to modify that brush definition, and I don't mean modify it from a dialog box, I mean actually modify the brush: drag it out of the brushes panel and modify it as a path outlined inside of Illustrator. And I am going to show you how that works in the next exercise.
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