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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.
In this exercise we are going to introduce a filigreed ornament that is going to serve to integrate our image into the larger design. It's also going to cover up this lopped off shoulder, which I think is highly desirable, since we don't want people worrying about the lopped off shoulder, when they are looking at our Health Is Important advertisement. All right so go ahead and scroll down the list here to the base filigree and then you will find yourself this first Compound Path that looks like a big spiral with some leafy elements and so on. Go ahead and select it by meatballing it here inside the palette, then press Ctrl+C or Command+C on a Mac to copy it.
Now you can twirl base filigree close, twirl top filigree open and I want you to meatball this Compound Path which represents these amazing spiral shapes over here on the left side of the illustration, and press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac in order to paste that spiral into place. Then press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac so that you can hide the selection points and see what you are doing. I am going to press the I key to get my Eyedropper and I'm going to click on the outline of one of these yellow shapes right here in order to lift that color. And that color happens to be Cyan 0, Magenta 20, Yellow 55, Black 0, in case you are curious.
All right we need to scale this guy. So I'm going to bring up some guides down here at the bottom of this top filigree layer. You will see that there is a guides group go ahead and turn it on, so that we can see these guides right here, and now we are going to flip and scale our shape into place. So starting with the flipper here. I want you to go to the Reflect tool and you can choose it from the Rotate tool fly- out menu if necessary double-click on it. Make sure Axis is set to Vertical and then click OK in order to accept that modification. I'll press V key to get the Black Arrow tool because we need to move this guy into place and then I'll drag from a point and I'll see that I have an anchor point because, you will see a little hollow square next to my Black Arrow Head cursor, and I'll drag that guy up until it snaps into place on the right and until I get a good snap on top too. I should see it snapped to both at top horizontal guideline and the right hand vertical guideline and then I'll release.
All right now I need to scale it. So I'll grab my Scale tool, I'll click to set the Origin Point at this guide intersection right there and then I'm going to drag from the bottom of this shape like so and I'm pressing the Shift key as I drag. So I get a proportional resize and I want to drag until the Spiral fills the entire width of the area between these two vertical guidelines. All right now that you will see if you look closely here, just a little bit actually of this shape is extending upward into the bleed zone, but I don't want that to show up. So I really want to sever that little bit away. I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac so I can see my selection outlines once again. And I'm just going to grab the Rectangle tool and I'll draw around here like so. And that's going to give me a rectangle, no big surprise there.
Now I'll give my Black Arrow tool and I'll Shift-click somewhere on this shape. So I have the rectangle on top above the Compound Path. Now because we have one path above another because this entire thing is represented as a single compound path. I'll go to the Pathfinder palette and I'll just click this guy Minus Front. And that will go ahead and cut away this extraneous path information right there but we'll still have our path outline very much intact. Now what's interesting about this is notice that what was formerly a compound path got converted to a group. And now we have just a ton of these little micropaths inside of this group. I don't want that I would love the way this guy created this illustration the same Alfano guy is the one who turned everything in a Compound Path and that works really nicely and I had to cut them apart. And I had to cut them apart because it used to be one ginormous Compound Path. And I had to cut them in the pieces in order to fill them differently, which took some doing, I'm here to tell you, but I want to go ahead and maintain the Compound Path.
So I'll go up to the Object menu with the entire group selected. Go up to the Object menu choose Compound Path and choose Make and that restores the Compound Path that way I can apply new Pathfinder operations to it later if I want to. All right groovy we now have this path outline in place and if I click off of it and zoom out a little bit. You can see that it does do a heck of a job why don't we turn off those guides and Shift +Tab away the palettes and zoom back in a little bit, forgive me my zooming back and forth, but I just want to get things right on screen. I think it does a wonderful job of integrating the image into these filigreed ornaments, and also hides this missing shoulder.
But we aren't noticing that our text is all over the ornament and what I would like to do is create a Text Wrap. I would like a text to wrap around the ornament if possible. Illustrator supports Text Wrap and it supports all kinds of standard text layout stuff like it's got a Spell Checker under the Edit menu right up here. You may notice it doesn't have live checking but you can run a Spell Checker and it does have Text Wrap as we'll see but its Text Wrapping is handled none to well, as we'll also see and I'll show you a better way to work in the next exercise.
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