Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Gradient text


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Gradient text

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to apply a gradient to live type inside of Illustrator. I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Ha ha gradient, so-called because ha ha, they're not really gradient strokes. They're really strokes that have been converted to path outlines and then filled with gradients. Here's the deal. I have got yet another layer for you. Go ahead and lock down your accents layer and turn on your plate layer, which is the label for this museum quality piece that we have here, and it says of course Mishipizheu, just so that people who are not familiar with my endless obsession with this mythical creature know what in the world it's called.
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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

Gradient text

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to apply a gradient to live type inside of Illustrator. I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Ha ha gradient, so-called because ha ha, they're not really gradient strokes. They're really strokes that have been converted to path outlines and then filled with gradients. Here's the deal. I have got yet another layer for you. Go ahead and lock down your accents layer and turn on your plate layer, which is the label for this museum quality piece that we have here, and it says of course Mishipizheu, just so that people who are not familiar with my endless obsession with this mythical creature know what in the world it's called.

And let's say I want this text, which is live type by the way. If I click on it to make it active, press Ctrl+H I guess or Command+H on the Mac to make sure that I can see my baseline right here. And you can see that this is a line of point text that's set in the font Myriad, which is pretty common. It should be located on your machine. So you shouldn't have any problems with it hopefully. Knock on wood. All right so let's go ahead and fill that text with some gradient, right. So again the Gradient palette, hey, so sure. If you want to do some fill in, that's great and of course my Fill is active. Currently it's black, so great.

Everything is right ready to go, I'll go ahead and click on that Gradient Fill now and yup it's filled with that gradient all right. You can see it right there at the bottom of the toolbox. Strangely though, my text doesn't look the least bit gradient. It looks like it's black to me. I mean I would swear to you that is black. Boy it sure looks like it. So not only does Illustrator not give me any sense that I can't do is. But then it pretends I did do it and it doesn't beep or anything. It doesn't even bring up an error message or alert me that this isn't going to work. It just pretends it's doing it and this most certainly, friends, is not doing it. You could print this document and it will print just like it looks like it's going to print.

Anyway go to the Appearance palette and it just says hey, Type, Characters, you know, and all right great. So I'll go ahead and undo that because that doesn't really seem to have worked too well. We need to go ahead and select the text with the Type tool. It's just one of those things right. So let's go ahead and double-click on this text object right there and press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac to select all the text and sure enough it's telling me it's filled with black. Let's go ahead and isolate that Fill, why don't we, and change it to the Gradient. And it says, sure you have gradient text. It's awesome, excellent news.

So I'm going to press Ctrl+Enter or Command+Return on the Mac. Boy! That looks black to me. I don't know. You know maybe my prescription is off on the glasses I don't wear or something along those lines, but that I swear to you is black text. Let's go ahead and zoom in. Why don't we? Yup, sure is black. So what in the world is this program's problem? If I double-click, notice we are seeing Type and Characters inside of Appearance. I'll go ahead and double- click on it. It's going to tell me, it sits there and lies to me that this is text that's filled with a gradient. I just don't know .

Is it just like we go to the View menu and choose like Overprint Preview or something like that and get a better sense what this really looks like. Press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac. It's black. It's just black. All right so here is what you really do. Let's go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo this absolute nonsense and press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac so that it bring back my selection outline there. Here is what you do. You go to the Appearance palette and as I was telling you this is just odd and I don't know why it just doesn't do it for me by default, instead of making me go through this. But the Appearance palette is telling me hey, you got some Type, you got some Characters. And if you double-click on the Characters, that's when you are just going to see they are filled with black and so on. You're going to select the text. You don't want that.

So double-click on Type once again to go back to where you were. And you go ahead and add a Fill on top of the Type that will be basically masked by the Characters. So I'll add this new fill like so and now I have a black Fill with no Stroke on top of my Type. Now I'm going to go ahead and add a Gradient and I get gradient text. Isn't that awesome? Now if you look closely you'll see a little bit of black sort of fringe around your characters and that's because they're also black. So in that case what you do is you double-click on Characters and set your Fill right there.

Go ahead and set it to None. So that we don't have any black showing through from the letters and then double -click on Type to go back to the Type that has the Fill on top of it. That's basically being masked by the characters. Now your text is still completely editable, people. So you can change it if you want to. So this is true editable gradient type. It's just bizarre. Anyway, go back to Type. What I really want is I want to grab the gradient that's already associated with this name plate back here. So I'm going to get my Eyedropper tool and I'm going to click on that gradient and you're going to say, hey! Deke, not only do we have gradient inside type, we have a gradient stroke around our text. Well no we don't. What we have instead-- let's go ahead and show these two fills that are here because the Stroke is still set to None.

We've got a couple of Fills and one of the Fills has Offset Path associated with it. So that Offset Path effect right there is creating the appearance of a stroke. It's not really a stroke. Anyway kind of looks like a stroke though and that's another way I suppose to achieve a gradient stroke effect. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and throw that gradient in the Trash because I don't want it and I'm also going to get rid of Round Corners. So that we don't have that in the way either and then finally what I would do is I would get my Gradient tool like so, and I'm actually going to change the direction of my gradient, so it goes straight up and down like this. And then I'll move this guy down a little bit so that we have text that's going from dark to light toward the bottom.

And then I'm going to click on this Fill and I'm going to change its blend mode from Normal, which is what it is right now. I'm going to change it to Screen. So that it shows up very nicely there I think. If necessary I can move this down a little bit, so that I have a little bit more darkness associated with the top of the letters, move this guy up a little bit as well, so we're brightening the bottom of the letters and so forth. So this remains editable text. So it's just strange is basically what it comes down to and it's yet another variety of strange. They have actually made some changes to that strange behavior inside of Illustrator CS4. But they didn't really fix the problem. We now have seen everything there is to know about gradients, folks, inside of Illustrator CS4 or so you would think.

In the next chapter, I'm going to show you how to create still more custom gradients effects that go beyond anything that we've seen here and you'll see just why they're so practical and so useful, when we explore the world of blends and masks inside Illustrator.

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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