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Introducing the Warp tool

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Introducing the Warp tool

In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to the first, and I think the best, of the Liquify tools inside of Illustrator, and that's the Warp tool. Now for those of you who may be familiar with the Liquify feature inside of Photoshop, we have got a similar thing going here. For one thing, you have a very similar collection of tools. So you've got the Warp tool, you've got Twirl and Pinch and Bloat and a bunch of others. I'll show you how they work. Illustrator also offers a few additional tools of its own. But, best of all, whereas in Photoshop you have to work inside of a dialog box in order to apply your adjustments, in Illustrator you can warp your path outlines directly inside the Illustration window, which is a heck of a bonus.

Introducing the Warp tool

In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to the first, and I think the best, of the Liquify tools inside of Illustrator, and that's the Warp tool. Now for those of you who may be familiar with the Liquify feature inside of Photoshop, we have got a similar thing going here. For one thing, you have a very similar collection of tools. So you've got the Warp tool, you've got Twirl and Pinch and Bloat and a bunch of others. I'll show you how they work. Illustrator also offers a few additional tools of its own. But, best of all, whereas in Photoshop you have to work inside of a dialog box in order to apply your adjustments, in Illustrator you can warp your path outlines directly inside the Illustration window, which is a heck of a bonus.

The downside is that these are static path outline adjustments, so unlike dynamic effects and all that stuff, you are making permanent modifications to your artwork. However, you also have a lot of expressive control. All right! Let me show you how they work. First of all, they're located in a strange place. You have to go over here to the new Width tool inside Illustrator CS5. Click and hold and then you will reveal a list of the Liquify tools, which start with the Warp tool and end with the Wrinkle tool. All of these tools, Wrap through Wrinkle, are related to each other.

They have nothing to do with the Width tool. I suppose you could argue that the Width tool is a kind of distortion tool, but it applies a nondestructive distortion to a stroke and you can go back and change your mind anytime you like. Wrap through Wrinkle are really changing the fundamental path outline, and they have nothing to do with strokes. Anyway, because there are so many of these tools and we will be switching back and forth, I suggest you go ahead and release on that Tearoff strip in order to create an independent toolbox here, and then drag it to the top of the screen, or someplace out of the way. Now I am going to switch over to the Warp tool, which you can get by pressing Shift+R, for what that's worth, and you can set about dragging directly in the illustration if you want to.

So for example, if I drag over that star, I am going to warp that star. However, notice I'm not warping the horse. I am not catching the horse at all, and that's because the horse is a tracing object, and a tracing object is not something that the Liquify tools recognize. You have to be working with static path outlines. The same thing is going on down here at the bottom of the illustration. I can drag in order to wrap this rectangle, as you see me doing here-- of course, I am not hitting the horse at all--but I can't drag and warp the text, because that's editable text, and again, that's off limits where the Liquify tools are concerned.

So whatever you are going to liquify, you need to convert to your static path outlines, and I recommend that you select that object first, so that you limit your modifications to that one object. So let me show you how that works. I am going to go up to the File menu, because I made such a mess of this illustration, and choose the Revert command in order to load up that saved version of the illustration. And then once it appears on screen, I'll twirl open the horse layer right there, and I'll meatball the tracing object. Now notice, if I decide to click and drag, this time I get an error message.

So before, Illustrator was just ignoring my attempts to liquify the horse in the text; this time because I've got the horse selected, it says, hey, wait a second buddy, this contains art that I cannot liquefy. What you need to do is go ahead and embed that image before you apply the Liquify tool. Now, if you take that advice-- terrible advice by the way, click OK-- if you wanted to take that advice, you would go to the Links panel, bring that up so that you could see the linked image, Horse with wings.psd, and then you would go to the flyout menu and you would choose the Embed Image command.

Then you would turn around and warp the underlying image, and then the Illustrator would have to wrap those pixels and then turnaround and reapply the Live Trace feature on the fly, which is, for one thing, extremely time consuming, and for another it's awfully inefficient. If you want to warp an image, you should use the Liquify filter inside of Photoshop, because that's what it's designed for. These tools are not very adept at warping images, and they tend to make a big mess of them. So that's not what I recommend you do. Here is what I recommend you do instead-- we'll go ahead and hide that Links panel: Go ahead and take that tracing object which is selected and press Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F, or Command+C, Command+F on the Mac.

We're essentially just making a copy of the object. Then turn the original one off, so we're just keeping it safe, because we might want to come back to it later. And then with a new Tracing object selected, go up to the Expand button here in the control panel and click on it, and that goes ahead and converts that live trace object to a group of static path outlines. Now you can go in there and warp them to any extent you want. Now I am going to zoom in--and also by the way, I should say I've created a guide in advance for you, so you have an idea of where we are going with this project.

Go ahead and turn on the guides & eye layer right there, and you'll see this guideline out here that's tracing around the horse outline. Now, we are not going to use it as a snapping guide, but we will use it as a general visual guide as we work. And you can see that what I've done is I've lifted the horses head up, and I've also made various aspects of the horse thicker, like he's got a thicker neck and thicker wings and thicker haunches and thicker legs and a longer tail and so forth. So let's set about now-- with that guideline on-screen-- let's set about dragging this horse face into a different place. And you'll see, immediately we are getting just the most terrible results possible.

This thing up here is this eye that I've created on the guides & eye layer, so don't worry about it; but otherwise we've got this big droopy snout now that doesn't look horse-like at all. And the more I drag, the more we start getting details that look like bad auto tracing, like we haven't taken anytime putting this illustration together at all. So the reason this is happening, by the way, is because Illustrator is dead set on smoothing out the contours as we work. And Illustrator's idea of smoothing is to completely manhandle the anchor points and the control handles and everything else, and you just end up with a handful of smooth points and some very doughy rotten results.

So obviously this is no good, and what we are going to do-- first of all, what we are going to do is we are going to go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command to restore the original version of the illustration, and then I am going to turn on that guides & eye layer once again, I am going to twirl open horse, meatball the horse, copy it, paste it in front--so Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F, Command+C, Command+F on the Mac. Turn off the original tracing object. Go up to the Expand button in the Control panel, click on it, so that we have a good starting point. I'll go ahead and save that off for you even, and then in the next exercise, I'll show you how to modify the Warp tool to get much better results.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

134 video lessons · 28312 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
      45s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
      58s
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
      33s
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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