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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, we'll take a look at the second group of Blend modes, which is the so-called Lightening modes, which include Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge, and to demonstrate these modes I'm going to switch to a different layer. I'm going to turn both of these blue layers off here at the top of the Layers panel and then I'm going to turn on this Dark Beast layer to make it active. Now the great thing about these Lightening modes is that all three of them take the selected object and use it to brighten the objects in the background. So even a very dark version of the creature like this is going to end up dramatically brightening the illustration.
I'll go and meatball this Dark Beast layer, and we're not seeing the selection edges because I already have them hidden, but if I press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to bring it back, there they are. Now I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H again to hide him so I can see what I'm doing. And I'm going to switch the Blend mode from Normal--which I stress is no Blend mode--to Lighten, and Lighten is the exact opposite of Darken. In fact, every one of these modes is an opposite. So Lighten is the opposite of Darken, Screen is the opposite of Multiply, and Color Dodge is the opposite of Color Burn in terms of the effect that they create.
Anyway, I'll go ahead and choose Lighten, and in this case, wherever the selected object is brighter we'll see it, and wherever the background is brighter we'll see the background instead. And again the reason that we never fully lose sight of the creature here is because this happens on an ink-by-ink basis. So I'll go head and once again bring up the Separations Preview panel. My Overprint Preview checkbox is already turned on, so I'll just go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eye in front of the Cyan ink. And you can see that the head totally disappears in this region right here because the background is brighter, and then the neck and shoulders come back because they are brighter than the background--at least the strokes are--and then we lose sight of the creature in this region, and then he comes back over here on the haunches, and then he is in and out along the tail.
Whereas, if I turn on Magenta and turn Cyan off, we get a very different looking effect. So we've got most of the head intact. We lose a little bit of the shoulder right there. But the majority of his body and his front legs as you can see here are intact. Then we lose some of the haunches and the bottom of his feet and then the tail is totally intact as well. All right, so that's what's going on with Lighten, not the most useful mode but it's there. I am going to turn CMYK back on. The problem with Lighten is just like with Darken, you end up getting choppy transitions.
If you want smoother transitions and you want a brighter effect, then you want to go ahead and switch to Screen--which is a great mode, second only to Multiply--and notice we get this wonderfully lustrous version of the creature here. The standard analogy is that it's as if you put the selection on one slide-- one 35 millimeter slide--for example, and you put the background on another one, you slide them into separate projectors and you shine both projectors at the same screen. Where that analogy breaks down, for Illustrator, is the background--especially here where the layer icon concerned appears white--and if there was that much brightness, then of course that would wipe out the background. However, you have to bear in mind that the area around the selected creature is actually transparent, so there is no interaction going on there at all.
Now I should show you just by way of comparison, here what's happening on an ink-by-ink basis. So I'll bring back Separations Preview and I'll Alt+Click on Cyan, and you can see there's really no point to which we completely lose the creature now and we have very smooth transitions throughout this plate, and if I turn on Magenta channel as well, the effect becomes even more pronounced. Now there are spots where portions of the creature are going to fade away, and that's because there are areas--since we're not seeing all the inks here--where the background just turns totally white.
And whenever something turns totally white when you are working with the Screen mode it wins; white always comes out on top just as black always comes out on top when you are working with Multiply. I'll switch back to CMYK. Not surprisingly Screen is the mode that Illustrator employs by default when you apply a Glow effect, whether Outer Glow or Inner Glow. Next, we have the least useful of these modes in my opinion, and I think you'll share that opinion in just a moment. That's Color Dodge and it ends up creating an even choppier effect than Lighten and we get these highly saturated colors as well.
Which does make it useful at times for things like fire and very, very bright highlights, but again if you are looking for a go-to mode where lightening is concerned, it's going to be Screen and I hasten to add that you can combine Screen along with an Opacity value. So because I've loaded dekeKeys, I can press Shift+7 for example to reduce that opacity to 70% and create this ghosted version of the creature right here. And that's how you work with the three Lightening modes, specifically Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge.
In the next movie we'll take a look at the Contrast modes.
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