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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to the Scribble effect, which is another one of the major, terrific, super powerful, dynamic effects inside of Illustrator. I have saved my progress as Skeletal shadow.ai. I would like you if you are working along with me to go ahead and meatball of the skull elements layer here inside the Layers panel. If necessary press Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac in order to hide your selection outlines, then go up to the Effect menu, choose Stylize, and choose Scribble. And I should say that the various effects that are located under the Stylize submenu are kind of a hodge podge quite frankly.
We've got the softening effects, which include Drop Shadow, Feather, Inner Glow and Outer Glow, all of which are more than likely to get rasterized when you print your artwork. We've got Round Corners, which dynamically rounds off the corners of the path outline. We have seen that way, way back in the Fundamentals portion of the series. And then we have got Scribble, which bears no relationship to any of the others. What it does is it converts the fills of your path outlines into a bunch of scribbly strokes, on-the-fly of course subject to a bunch of different parameters. So I will go ahead and choose Scribble. That brings up this mammoth dialog box right here.
And the Preview check box at least for me is turned on, so go ahead and make sure it is turned so you can see what you're doing. In this way, we can at least walk our through the predefined settings. So these Settings pop-up menu right here offers a bunch of different options, all of which contain different parameters, so they automatically enter different numerical values into these fields. So these are the default settings, fine. Here's Childlike. It's going to get all ultra scribbly but I think it really looks so much childish as just absolutely outrageous.
And some of these are going to work better on much bigger artwork, so when we originally saw his pirate flag, last time we saw it back in the advanced portion of the series, it ended up measuring 5 feet wide by 3 feet tall. Well, I've since scaled it back down to a more reasonable size. I think it's something like 13 inches wide right now. But if you were working with a very large piece of artwork like the original pirate flag, why then you would see very different effects because you would be so far zoomed out from your artwork. Anyway, here is Dense. It goes ahead in sort of piles and a denser stroke.
And everything, we are going to have to wait for a couple of progress bars to zip by. All right, so you can go ahead and wander your way through the settings there. I am going to tell you how these various numerical options work very briefly. The Angle value is controlling the angle of the scribbled lines. I think that's pretty obvious. We've got a Path Overlap, which means imagine that every single one of these little scribbles here, that's a single path outline, because that's what Illustrator is doing in the background. Well, by how much do you want those paths to overlap each other? If you want to get really loopy, let me show you that one. I will go ahead and choose this one called Snarl here and in a case of Snarl we have a lot of path overlap going on because even though the base path overlap value is set to 0, so there is strictly speaking no path overlap.
We've got a variation of 10 points, so that means that's a random variation by the way, which means that the paths can overlap each other by as much as 10 points in either direction. So that's a pretty heavy-duty effect right there. Now Line Options, these control the nature of the strokes, these strokes that are applied to these Path outlines. And the Stroke Width value is of course, that's your line weight. Then we have got Curviness. What that means, right there at the corner where the path has to loop back around in order to create the scribble, how much curviness do you want? If you want it to be nice and angular, you just take that curvy value down.
Now I've also got some random variations, so we are not going to get absolute corners but we sometimes have corners as you can see. At any time that you want an element of random variation then you just go ahead and increase these Variation values. Each one of the Variation values, bear in mind, is associated with the main option over here on the left hand side. Next, we have Spacing, how much space do you want between your strokes and you can space your strokes loose from each other or tight from each other and you have variation control there as well. Now I have managed to make an absolute mess of everything.
Here is what I urge you to do. Go up to the Settings menu and choose Tight, that's a good place to start where the specific effect is concerned. Notice that there's a couple of areas in which you do not have random variation control, and that is with Angle. So your Angle is always going to be one and only one angle, whatever you dial in here, and the same with the Line Width. It's going to be consistent as well. Both of those things, I think are insane. The two things, I would first and foremost want variation control over are Angle and Line Width, Stroke Width right here. But alas, they are not available.
Anyway, I am going to change the Angle value to 0 and I am going to leave both the Path Overlap and Variation values set to 0 as well. The Stroke Width is 1, the Curviness value is 0, which means we're going to get corner transitions as we scribble back and forth. The Variation is 0, so no random variation going on. I am going to take the Space value, just to loosen things up a little. I am going to take that up to 2 points and then I am going to take the Variation value up to one point and press the Tab key in order to invoke the preview and that is the effect I'm looking for. Now unfortunately you can't save out these settings as a preset here in the Settings pop-up menu. That's just not an option.
I will show you how you can save your Affects Settings as graphic styles, that's coming up soon. But in the meantime, go ahead and click the OK button in order to apply that effect. All right, so that's how the Scribble effect works. In the next exercise, I am going to show you how we can use it in order to establish stylistic consistency throughout this artwork.
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