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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, we are going to use a couple of Liquify tools in order to modify the contents of our envelope, and we'll see how Illustrator responds to our modifications on the fly. I'm also going to show you an alternate method for editing the contents of an envelope inside the program. I have saved my progress as Almost perpendicular text.ai, found inside the 25_liquify_envelope folder. And I am going to go ahead and twirl open the background layer once again. We have got a bunch of guides at the top here, but toward the bottom of the layer is the envelope object. Another way to find the object-- and in this case I just went ahead and meatballed it--but another way to find that object is to press Ctrl+Y. If you're having problems locating it inside the Preview mode, you can press Ctrl+Y, or Command+Y on the Mac, to switch to the outline mode.
And then notice the envelope is all you see; you don't even see the contents of the envelope when you're in the Edit Envelope mode. We see the horse and the starburst because they're not inside the envelope, but the text and the rectangle are hidden from us. Now I am going to press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, in order to switch back to the Preview mode. Now here's an alternate method. I was telling you, Ctrl+Shift+V, Command+Shift+V, what have you, goes ahead and switches back and forth between the Edit Envelope and Edit Contents modes. However, another way to work is to enter the Isolation mode.
And you can do that by double- clicking on that envelope, and then you'll be taken into Illustrator's Isolation mode, and you see that both rectangle and the text are now selected. And if I press Ctrl+Y, or Command+Y on the Mac, in order to switch to the Outline mode, there they are. There is the rectangle, and there is the text. All right, I will press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y, again in order to switch to the Preview mode. And this time, I want to use the Crystallize tool, so I am going to double-click on it because I want to modify a few settings. So, I am going to reduce the size of my brush to 100 pixels, both directions.
And I'm going to reduce the Intensity value to 10, and I might take the Complexity value up to 2, just to see what happens, and click OK. Now what I want to do is I want to introduce some kinds of blades of grass into my hills. So I'm going to start by dragging under the edge of that rectangle, and I get an error message, which is telling me that the selected artwork contains text, which must be converted to outlines before being used, which is outlandish. I am not going to do that; I don't even want to apply this tool to the text. But see, the text is selected, so that's a problem.
So I will press the V key in order to switch to my Black Arrow tool, click off everything to deselect it, and then go back to where I saw the rectangle, which was right there, and click on it in order to select it. And now, I'll go ahead and grab that Crystallize tool once again, and I will drag below that line, like so, so that I'm forcing all of the grass in a consistent direction, and then I will watch it update in the background, which is an awesome thing. Now if that's a little too much action for you, as it may well be--a little bit too much grass action, because it doesn't really look like grass, does it? We need to vary things up a little bit.
Then go ahead and double-click on the Crystallize tool. Let's take the Intensity value down to 5 and reduce that Complexity value down to 1. And then I will click OK. And I will take another swing at some of these areas. So I'm just doing short drags. This is time-consuming work, not because it takes you much effort to swipe at the grass a little bit like I am, but rather because you have to wait for Illustrator to update the effect in the background. So you just have to be patient with the program as it does its thing. So I'm just going to drag and keep dragging, and the more you drag, the more kind of crabgrass effect you are going to get, which is fine, because after all, this horse is galloping in a crabgrass environment.
I don't know what kind of prairie he is on, but it's blue, that's for sure. And so I guess we can have any kind of grass we want. Anyway, keep dragging until you're fairly happy. The other tool you might venture to use here is the Wrinkle tool. So, go head and click on the Wrinkle tool at this point, and let's see what happens if we just drag over some areas with the Wrinkle tool. And you probably won't see any sort of wild action going on, and here's why. Double-click on the Wrinkle tool and let's take the Intensity value back up to 50%. And I want you to notice something about the Wrinkle Options.
I believe these are the default settings. We have no Horizontal wrinkle; at least I don't, going on right now, because horizontal is set to 0%. So in other words, the wave is not going to happen horizontally; it's only going to happen vertically, which actually might lend itself to some good results. So in any case, if you want to get the same results I'm getting, make sure Horizontal is 0, Vertical is 100%. Click OK and then go ahead and drag along those grass particles again like so, and then release. And then we are going to have ultra-spiky, very random grass indeed.
All right, I think that's good. I am going to go ahead and escape out of this mode just by pressing the Escape key, so we go back to the full Illustration mode. Thing to bear in mind though is we have switched back to the Edit Contents mode as well. If you decide that you need access to your envelope and you want to modify the envelope distortion, then just press Ctrl+Shift+V, Command+Shift+V on the Mac. If you're ever curious where you are, just take a look at these icons up here in the control panel. Or, of course, just press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, to go to the Outline mode. You'll just see the envelope when you're in the Envelope Editing mode.
If I press Ctrl+Shift+V, or Command+ Shift+V on the Mac, then I will see my independent objects. So I am going to switch back to the Envelope Editing mode, and then I am going to press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, in order to switch to the Preview mode. There's one more modification I want to make. I am going to press the V key in order to switch back to my Black Arrow tool. Notice that I've got a bleed set up in this document just as I really would if I wanted a full bleed. So the edge of the artboard is this black border right here, and then the edge of the bleed is the red border.
But for screen purposes here, let's say I want to tidy things up; I don't want to see anything outside the artboard, because we have a bunch of clumsy details that are showing up there. Here is a little quick method for creating a mass that affects an entire layer. So I will go ahead and scroll down here inside my expose background layer, and notice I have got this object right there called trim size. I am going to drag it to the top of the stack--it's very important that it's at the top--and I am going to turn it on so you can see. And notice it's a white rectangle that's exactly the size of the artboard.
All right, next what you do--don't select it. You don't want to have anything selected in fact, so press Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+Shift+A on the Mac, to make sure nothing is selected. Then with this rectangle--which is going to do the clipping for you, at the end of the day here, you're only going to see the stuff inside that rectangle. Then go ahead and click on the layer itself. So you don't want to have anything selected; you want to click on the layer. Don't meatball it; just click on it here inside the Layers panel. Very important steps here, it's kind of wacky the way it works. And then you drop down here to the bottom of Layers panel, and you'll see this first icon is called Make/Release Clipping Mask. Click on it and that turns that top item in the layer--which is called trim size in our case--it turns it into a clipping mask for the entire layer and just that layer.
So just a little trick to bear in mind, a little meta-tip for you. In our next exercise, we are going to take another swing at distorting the horse, but this time we are going to do so inside of a free-form mesh.
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