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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
In this movie I'll introduce you to the Brushes panel, as well as the five different styles of brushes that are available to you inside Illustrator. Over the course of this project we will take this file here with its couple of path outlines, its three lines of editable text, and its patterned background; and we'll transform it into this kind of large garment tag. With the exception of the pattern fills, everything you're seeing is a function of brushes. I'll go and switch back to my base artwork. To get to the Brushes panel you go to the Window menu and you choose the Brushes command.
You also have this handy keyboard shortcut of F5, which is the same shortcut that brings up the Brushes panel inside Photoshop. I have a very long list of brushes that are included along with this document, and like many other elements inside of Illustrator, Brushes are saved along with documents; but you can also load them up from libraries. And you do that by clicking a little Library icon down here in the bottom-left corner of the panel, and then you choose the library from the pop-up menu, and then you can drag and drop brushes from those libraries into your Brushes panel in order to add them to your document.
I'll go and press the Esc key in order to hide those menus. And by the way, these brushes that you see here for the most part were called from the libraries that ship along with Illustrator. Now as I was mentioning, there's five different kinds of brushes, starting with this top row right here which are the calligraphic brushes. And I'll demonstrate how a calligraphic brush works. By selecting this top stroke right there, I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac to hide the selection edge just so it doesn't get in our way, and I'll select the final calligraphic stroke that I created called 30 pt Oval. And you can see that it goes ahead and traces a 30-point tall oval that's at a little bit of an angle along the path outline in order to create a calligraphic brushstroke.
And we'll be seeing more of those in the very next movie. I'll bring back my Brushes panel by clicking a little Brush icon there in the icon column. In this next row we have the scatter brushes, and what they do is repeat a little graphic object along the course of your path outline. For example, I might go ahead and click on 3D Geometric 1, and you can see that those little 3D hexagons repeat over and over again. This next item, Basic, isn't actually a brush. In fact, it turns off the Brush.
So if you click on Basic, you're going to return, in my case, to this one point uniform stroke. Next in the list are the calligraphic brushes and they take a series of path outlines and scratch them over the course of a path. Probably the best example, in order just to get a rough sense of how they work, is this guy Grunge Brush Vector Pack 01. I'll go head and select it. You can see that it goes ahead and stretches a series of path outlines over the length of the selected path, and in many cases you end up with a hand-painted effect like this one here; or if I return to the Brushes panel and scroll the list, there is this one called Text Divider 1.
I'll go ahead and select it and increase my line weight to something like 12 points. You can see that I end up with this fancy ornament effect. You can even assign text to a path as an art brush and we'll see how that works in a future movie. The forth kind of brush is the bristle brush, and the default brush that you get when you create a print document is Mop, and it ends up looking like this. Now the idea behind bristle brushes is that they're designed to emulate real-world brushstrokes, and what Illustrator does is lay down a series of paths a different opacity levels on top of each other.
Then finally we've got these pattern brushes here. I'll go ahead and select African, because it's fairly indicative, and you can see that Illustrator is repeating a tile pattern along the path outline. And it actually scales the pattern so that it fits the selected path, regardless of the line weight. So I could take this line weight up to let's say 6 points, and Illustrator is going to go ahead and increase the thickness of the stroke as well as scale each and every patterned tile. Now just for the record, in this chapter we'll be working with calligraphic brushes, scatter brushes, and art brushes.
I will save the bristle brushes and the pattern brushes for a chapter in the mastery course. So there's your introduction to the Brushes panel. In the next movie I'll show you how to create and apply a calligraphic brush.
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