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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
All right friends, now for the final exercise in which we take the body, and turn it into a translucent object so that we are not seeing through certain portions of the body to other portions of the body and so on, and we can pull it off remarkably easily as you will soon see. I am working inside of a document called Ghost me.ai and if I go ahead and select his head, which I can't select because his head's dead, man. The Front obj layer is locked right now. So I'll go ahead and unlock it and then I can click on his head, and I'll see that the opacity value here inside the Transparency palette or up here in the Control palette is set to 70%.
That's one I want to match where his body is concerned. Okay so, so far so
good. Let's here inside the Body layer I'm going to go ahead and meatball the
Folds and shift meatball ubermask. Let's go ahead and twirl like I close and
shift meatball smock. So these three guys need to be sent to a lower opacity
value, and I can go ahead and shift meatball the other guys in this layer too,
This group right here is serving to create kind of a 3D effect. So, it's a little hard cut out of a circle and the circle is there just to fill in this little bit of blue right there that I wanted to see. So, we can see into his 3D body cavity essentially, which is awfully narrow at this point but still it works out nicely except for the fact that I can see that this elliptical thing is in the background as if it's sitting inside of his chest. I don't want that. Then we have got the old problem with the legs that I didn't quite draw those legs, are like dickeys. You know what I mean. Those like turtlenecks that sit under your shirt but they only got half way down. They are fake and we don't want that. So I'll go ahead and zoom out, big problem I think. So let's go ahead and undo that modification by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. What you can do, instead of applying the Opacity value to independent objects inside of a layer, you can apply it to the entire layer. So go ahead and meatball the Body layer. This is very important, this is the way you got to do it. You don't want to be selecting items with the Arrow tool out here in the illustration window. You want to meatball the Body layer. That's the way to go.
We're not seeing the selection outlines just because I hit them and now go to the Opacity value and change it to 70%, press the Enter or Return key and notice that Illustrator changes the contents of the entire layer to 70%. So it maintains the relative opacity of the objects inside the layer, so that we can't see the legs, we can't see the elliptical hard object here inside of his chest cavity. We have a proper although very shallow 3D effect, and everything is exactly the way that it needs to be. We have a terrified and just horror ridden ghost robot just as it should be.
In the next exercise, we'll turn our attention from blends and masks to another fairly old feature inside of Illustrator that I have not covered in years and that is repeating tile patterns. Stay tuned!
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