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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.
I've saved my progress as Masked stem.psd here inside Photoshop incidentally. I am going to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool because that Arrow tool, that Black Arrow tool is only useful when you are working with path outlines. And now I am going to turn on this layer, near the top of the layers panel that's called droplets, and I created these little droplets that are going to end up looking really great with highlights and shadows and the whole number, they'll look translucent. But I've originally created them as custom shapes, and the way that you do that incidentally, I will go ahead and click on that droplets layer to make it active.
Don't click on that thumbnail, because if you do you'll see these little edges around your drop shadow, they are not really there, they are just the path outlines. And if you do end up seeing them, just click on that thumbnail again, that vector mask thumbnail in order to turn those outlines off and you get to the droplets. You can actually just draw them in Photoshop by switching to the Custom Shape tool. So by default, you'll see the Rectangle tool, you go ahead and choose the Custom Shape tool from the Fly-out menu and then you go up to this shape area right there. You click the down pointing arrowhead and you'll see this list of custom shapes that ships along with Photoshop.
Now you might not see that many, you might just see, I will go ahead and reset the shapes here and click OK, you might just see this default bunch right here and they don't include the droplet. To get to the droplet and many of the other ones, you go ahead and click this right pointing arrowhead and you choose All. And then when you get this alert message, say OK, don't they Append because you will have a bunch of repeats. Just say OK and then you'll have this big ginormous list. And close to the top is this one called Raindrop, and that's the one that I used, and then I drew three droplets as you can see here.
All right, well they don't look good at all right now. They don't look like droplets, but they will once we go ahead and add a few layer effects. Now I've added those layer effects in advance. To see them, click this down pointing arrowhead next to the fx icon and you'll see that there's a Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Bevel and Emboss and Color Overlay. But before you can see what they do, you need to go ahead and reduce what's known as the Fill Opacity value right here, and I want you to take that value down to 5%. Now, the thing about the Fill-Opacity value, even though it's just called fill, it really means fill opacity.
The idea is that reduces the opacity of those drops to 5% but it has no effect on the layer effects, so the layer effects will continue to show up nicely. So we are just changing the opacity of this blackness. All right, now turn on the Drop Shadow, so you can see we have just these little subtle drop shadows in back of the drops, but of course, does not make them look any moister than they were before, it just looks ridiculous at this point. Go ahead and add in the Inner Shadow this time, which is an effect you don't get inside of Illustrator, I wish, we had an Inner Shadow in Illustrator, it would be very useful, and that goes ahead and creates a shadow inside the drop, so things are looking better, not best but better.
I also have this little bit of Color Overlay here and it's just a tiny hint of color infusion. And if you double-click on that, you can double-click on any of these to see the settings that I applied, but if you double-click in Color Overlay, you'll see that I went ahead and selected a blue color. I set the Blend mode to Linear Light, one of those blend modes that is not shared between Photoshop and Illustrator, but it's basically and even harsher contrast mode than Hard Light, which we've seen in the past. And then I reduce the Opacity value to 5%, so it's very, very low indeed.
If I were to crank up the Opacity value, we would get some very bright droplets. Obviously, we don't want that, so go ahead and crank it back down to 5%. Then the other effect that I have already assigned in advance is Bevel and Emboss. So if you go ahead and click on Bevel and Emboss, you'll see the settings that I've applied and you'll see what they look like. You'll see the effects of those settings out here in the Image window and this is the effect that really turns these droplets into something that looks like water droplets. And so you can sift through these settings, check them out, go ahead and adjust them if you want to, to get a sense of how they work.
Here is where the action is really happening. I set the Highlight mode, which is set to white. I set it to the most aggressive lighting mode inside of Illustrator, so you have got those same lightening modes that we saw back in Illustrator that is Lighten, Screen and Color Dodge. But you also have this one that's much more useful than Color Dodge called Linear Dodge that ends up creating a higher impact highlight effect, which is what we're looking for. Linear Burn is the equivalent in the darkness arena, so in addition to the standard darkening modes of Dark and Multiply and Color Burn that we have in Illustrator, you have this higher impact better than Color Burn mode called Linear Burn.
And I went ahead and crank the Opacity down quite a bit. You can see that the color of this darkness is kind of a dark brown. This is the most important option of although, the Gloss Contour. By default, it set to this guy right there, Linear and that gives you these kind of lightweight water droplets, which isn't exactly what I'm looking for. They don't look that bad but they don't look that great either. I went ahead and shifted to Ring, which is this guy right there and then I went ahead and modify the Ring settings, like so. I clicked off and then I clicked instead of on the down pointing arrowhead, I clicked on this little sort of Contour icon right there, and that brings up the Contour Editor and then I grab this top point and just dragged it over until the Input value changes to 96 %, and that's all I did.
Then click OK and you can see how that increases the sharpness of the highlights. Notice the top highlights on those drops. If I drag that backward, it used to be that point, then we lose those top highlights and when I drag it over to 96%, we get the highlights back. If I were to go too far like so, we'd have ridiculous highlights. So any way 96% is what I am looking for. Click OK and we are done. I will click OK and those are our water droplets inside of the Apple. I think they look pretty darn good and they will render out very nicely.
If you were to print this image or down sample it for the web or what have you. In the next exercise, we are going to perform the final step inside of Photoshop and that is to add a paper texture across our entire artwork.
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