Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
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"Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity

In this exercise we are going to go ahead and bring these frisbee elements here, these sort of greenish ones, to front so that they cover up the grid lines and then we are going to make the smock translucent so that we can see through to the rear portions of the frisbees. So I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Smock in Prog not being a city in the Czech Republic, but rather short for progress. And you may recall, what we are looking for is this final effect right there where we can see through this smock, so we've got some translucency in the head as well.
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  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
12h 54m Intermediate Jul 09, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Working with compound shapes in the Pathfinder palette
  • Ghosting shapes with Fill Opacity
  • Understanding gradients and the gradient tools
  • Cloning and coloring a blended path
  • Saving tile patterns and applying them to a shape
  • Importing and linking images from other applications
Deke McClelland

"Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity

In this exercise we are going to go ahead and bring these frisbee elements here, these sort of greenish ones, to front so that they cover up the grid lines and then we are going to make the smock translucent so that we can see through to the rear portions of the frisbees. So I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Smock in Prog not being a city in the Czech Republic, but rather short for progress. And you may recall, what we are looking for is this final effect right there where we can see through this smock, so we've got some translucency in the head as well.

And we can see through to those frisbee elements in the background and of course the foreground frisbee elements are covering up the grid lines. That's why we need by the way both forward frisbee elements, these partial frisbees, and the full frisbees back there in the background, because they really are stacked at different locations here inside of the illustration. All right, let's go back to Smock in like so and then what I want you to do is click on any one of these frisbee element guys with the Black Arrow tool and that selects everything, because we are working inside of a group.

Because after all, we went ahead and apply the Divide operation which groups everything. So we can't just go ahead and click willy-nilly with the Black Arrow tool. We need to find this group some place inside of this stack here in the Layers palette. So I've got my Pathfinders twirled open. I'm going to go ahead and scroll down. Notice I'm scrolling down kind of quickly, but also kind of slowly. Not so quickly that I'll miss this, which is what I'm trying to see. I want to make sure that I can spot my little blue square right there or whatever color it's going to be. It depends on the layer color of course.

And there is my group. I'm going to go ahead and twirl it open and there are my frisbee elements right there. So I'll go ahead and meatball them and I can tell that they are the frisbee elements because we can see them in color right there and I've got some nice big thumbnails at work inside the Layers palette. Now I want to move it to the top of the stack. I want these objects to appear in front of the grid lines. So I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket or Command+Shift+Right Bracket on the Mac. That doesn't seem to have worked. So I'll go ahead and right-click or if you don't have a right mouse button on the Mac, then press the Ctrl key and click to bring up the shortcut menu and then choose Arrange > Bring to Front. That should work. So when I choose that command nothing happens once again. Why is that? Well, because when I'm working inside of a group, like I am, especially when I have a group inside of a group, this guy cannot go outside of this guy.

So I can only move the selection to the top of the group. So what I need to do is press Ctrl+X or Command+X on a Mac in order to cut those frisbee elements out of this group. Notice they've disappeared here and then I'll press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac in order to paste those frisbee elements to the top of the stack and there they are right there. And why don't we take a moment, friends and neighbors, to name these guys frisbee elements or something along those lines. I believe that's how you spell it, and click OK in order to accept the new name.

And you know what? These guys are a color drawing. I don't need them to be colored with this weird green any longer. I'll go ahead and press the I key to switch to the Eyedropper and I'll click on this shape right there that is colored with the right shade of cyan, which is 100% cyan. Nice. Now then we need to apply the translucency to the smock objects. So go ahead and get yourself the Black Arrow tool and click on anyone of the smock objects to select all of them, like so, and that should select that entire group. Where was that? It's at some place down the stack here. There it is.

You should select the entire group of objects here, four paths total, and then what we are going to do is go over to the Appearance palette, which if you don't see right here next door to the Layers palette, then you can go up to the Window menu, and choose the Appearance. Command+Shift+F6 is your keyboard shortcut there. And what we'd like to see at this point is a group of fill and stroke attributes. Instead we just see the word Group. So I need to double-click on Contents in order to see what's going on with the contents of that group,and it's telling me that it knows the strokes, but it doesn't know the fills and that's just falling under the category of Mixed Appearances.

Now Illustrator CS4 has gotten a lot better where that Mixed Appearances thing is concerned, but not best. It's not always figuring out what the appearances are. In this case, I believe everybody is filled with white. So I don't know why it's getting mixed up, but, hey, you know what? Here is how we take care of the problem. You go ahead and press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool, you click off the paths to deselect them, you Alt-click or Option-click on any one of these paths to select it, and then what we are going to do is we are going to isolate the fill here inside the Appearance palette and we are going to change the Opacity. I'm going to click on the word Opacity right here for the fill and I'm going to change the Opacity value right there to 80% and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to achieve a small degree of translucency. S that he's slightly ghosted, don't you know? Because he is the ghost robot after all.

And then I'll press the V key to get the Black Arrow tool. I'll click on anyone of the shapes right here to select all of them, all the shapes in the group, and I'll switch back to the White Arrow tool there by pressing the A key and I'm going to Shift+Alt or Shift+Option- click on this top guy to deselect him. We want to lift the attributes from this top shape, so he has to be deselected. It's just a weird little function inside of Illustrator. So Shift+Alt-click with a White Arrow tool, Shift+Option-click on a Mac to deselect it. Then press the I key for the Eyedropper and click on that deselected shape. Now that wouldn't have worked if it was still selected.

But because it's deselected, it went ahead and transferred that Fill/Opacity attribute to the other selected objects. Come to think of it, we might as well go ahead and grab that head as well. So press the V key for the Black Arrow tool, click on the head, the outline to the head that is to select it, press the I key for the Eyedropper, go ahead and click anywhere on the shape outline in order to lift the Opacity attribute and there we have it. We can now see through the robot to the background. So why can't we see the frisbee shapes in the background? Because we turned them off. We hid them. So go back to the Layers palette, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the stack to where this group is and these are by the full frisbees. Go ahead and click OK. Now show him by clicking where the eyeball should be right there in order to bring it back and we can now see through the smock objects to the frisbees in the background. We've done a brilliant job. Go ahead and press the V key for the Black Arrow tool, click off, and we have now achieved a translucent robot.

In the next exercise, we are going to take care of these feet and this ball and chain right here using still more Pathfinder operations here inside Illustrator CS4.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: In the lesson on pressure sensitivity, exactly what kind of Wacom tablet is the instructor using?
A: The instructor is using a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet
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