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Knocking out a drop shadow

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Knocking out a drop shadow

I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as 100k screened letters.ai. So called because the letters are filled with 100% K and set to the Screen mode and we get this effect right here. Which is to say so far, so good or at least so far, so weird. Now let's say we want to add a drop shadow behind our 100% screened letters. What do we do? Well, let's say that I'm working inside the Appearance palette and my Fill is still active, as it is. Whether you have clicked on this Fill line or on this Opacity line that defines it, either way the Fill is active at this point.

Knocking out a drop shadow

I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as 100k screened letters.ai. So called because the letters are filled with 100% K and set to the Screen mode and we get this effect right here. Which is to say so far, so good or at least so far, so weird. Now let's say we want to add a drop shadow behind our 100% screened letters. What do we do? Well, let's say that I'm working inside the Appearance palette and my Fill is still active, as it is. Whether you have clicked on this Fill line or on this Opacity line that defines it, either way the Fill is active at this point.

So let's go ahead and add a drop shadow. I will go ahead and click on the fx icon at the bottom of the Appearance palette. Alternately, you can click on the Effect menu if you like. And then click on Stylize and then choose Drop Shadow. That brings up the Drop Shadow dialog box. I have my settings set as you see them. So the mode is set to Multiply, which is the darkening agent inside of Illustrator, Opacity 100%, that's got to be dark, X Offset of 2 pt, Y Offset of 2 pt, Blur of 2 pt, fine, Darkness, 100%, this is going to be a really dark drop shadow.

Turn-on Preview and we get a white drop shadow. You know, I really tried to make sure this was dark. I mean we have got 100% Darkness, Opacity 100%, Multiply is the blend mode. How much darker could you go? You could say well, you could go Color Burn. That's even darker. No, it ain't. It's no darker. It's not going to do us any good. So I might as well set that back to Multiply there. All right, well, you know what? At this point, let's go ahead and click OK because what we have got is the Drop Shadow is assigned to the Fill and the Fill is set to Screen, and so the Fill's blend mode trumps the Drop Shadow's blend mode. So Screen wins and we end up getting this weird screened effect right there. So what do you do? The first thing you do is you grab Drop Shadow and you apply it to the Characters instead, or at least you drop it down to the bottom of all the stuff. You get it away from the Fill, so it's applied to the object in general.

Sure enough, you get a very dark drop shadow but it's also showing through the letters. Why is that? Well, because the drop shadow is 100% Black and the letters themselves are 100% Black, so we are getting no screening effect where black is concerned. So black screening on top of black gets you black is what the moral of the story is here, and so what we need to do is we need to get rid of black where the Drop Shadow is concerned and take advantage of the other colors, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow because we have got white in each of those plates and they will burl through, they'll lighten their way through the drop shadow.

And just to confirm that that is indeed the case, go down to Drop Shadow, and click on it to bring up the Drop Shadow dialog box, and then instead of selecting the Darkness option, which goes ahead and assigns 100% Black by the way, switch over to Color, and then turn-on Preview, and nothing changes, and why is that? Because all we have done is taken Darkness and put it in the Color Swatch, so it's still at 100% Black. If we want to change it to a different color, which we do, go ahead and click on the Color Swatch. That will bring up the big old Color Picker dialog box. Sure enough we have got 0, 0, 0 for Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow and 100% Black.

That's no good. Let's set the Drop Shadow to 0% Black. That way we won't have to worry about it showing up, and then we need a drop shadow of something other than white. Right now we would have white drop shadow, which isn't going to appear as a drop shadow at all. That's going to be completely transparent. And if you want to confirm that, click OK, and you will notice the drop shadow just goes away, because a white drop shadow set to Multiply leaves the building. Anyway, click on the white swatch again, bring up the Color Picker dialog box, then, I want you to go ahead and set Cyan to 100% and notice by the way, if I press Tab we don't get any preview. You have to click OK in order for the Preview to take hold. So click OK, and now we are seeing a brilliant cyan drop shadow. Why is this working so very well? Why are the letters peeling through that cyan? Because we have a great lightening agent in the Cyan plate. So Cyan is set to 0%, meaning it's white. So it cuts through the cyan drop shadow. We don't have any black so we don't have to worry about 100% Black. All right, so how do we get the cyan drop shadow to stop being cyan, to be sort of a neutral drop shadow? Well, we add Magenta and Yellow. So click on the Swatch and if you wanted to be utterly and completely neutral, I suppose you would set Magenta and Yellow to 100% and leave K set to 0% like so. You will get sort of this murky gray. Click OK, and sure enough, you will get a neutral drop shadow like so. And that's because 0, 0, 0. They are cutting through Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. Black, we don't care about.

Now then, that doesn't look exactly the color I want it to be. I want it to be a little bluer than that. That looks like a muddy blacky drop shadow. So I'll click on the Gray and I'm going to take out some Magenta. I'll take it down to 80%, and I'm going to take out some Yellow, take it down to 60%, and then Tab, we have a bit of a bluish drop shadow, click OK, and that looks great. Then click OK, and there we have it. And that's how you go about creating white letters that cut through everything but the black, and they also cut through the murky gray sort of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow drop shadow. One of many examples of advanced mind bending blending inside of Illustrator.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21456 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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
      42s
    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
      51s
    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
      58s

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