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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustration by John Hersey

Making nuanced changes to a graph


From:

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Making nuanced changes to a graph

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to make some more nuanced changes to your graph. In our case, we're going to change a few stroke weights. We're going to change some type size. We're going to use tracking in order to space out some characters a little bit. I'm going to move the legend to a different location. I'm going to reduce the size of these three legend boxes using a dynamic effect. In doing so, every time you dig a little deeper where your graph is concerned, the graph has a tendency to become a little more fragile. So if you then turn around to make a data modification, let's say, then things can fall apart a little bit.
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  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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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Making nuanced changes to a graph

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to make some more nuanced changes to your graph. In our case, we're going to change a few stroke weights. We're going to change some type size. We're going to use tracking in order to space out some characters a little bit. I'm going to move the legend to a different location. I'm going to reduce the size of these three legend boxes using a dynamic effect. In doing so, every time you dig a little deeper where your graph is concerned, the graph has a tendency to become a little more fragile. So if you then turn around to make a data modification, let's say, then things can fall apart a little bit.

I'll show you what I mean. I've saved my progress as Three-color graph.ai. It's found inside the 27_graphs folder. I'm going to switch back to the Black Arrow tool. I'll go ahead and click on the graph to select the entire thing, and because all I want to do at this point is change the type size, the size of all of my text to 10 point. So I'll go up here to the control panel, and notice that my text is set to Myriad Pro Regular. But we have some different type sizes going on. I'll go ahead and click in that Type Size option, enter 10 and press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, and that changes all of the text. All right! Now I'm going to click off of the graph in order to deselect it, and I'm going to switch back to that Group Selection tool that I showed you in the previous exercise.

Let's say that I notice that the values over here on the left-hand axis, they've shifted down a little bit. They should be higher. So if you click on one of the text objects, and if you click again on it, then you'll select all of those value numbers. But here is the thing to watch out for: you don't want to double-click. That is, you don't want to click twice quickly in a row, because if you do, let me demonstrate. I'll click off of the text once again, and I'll do this. Click once, twice, like so, and that goes ahead and switches me to the Text Entry mode, which is a gianormous pain in the neck, something you run into all the time when you're working with graphs.

Press the Escape key in order to get out of it. Then at the point, switch back to the Group Selection tool, because pressing Escape takes you back to the Black Arrow tool, and then click on that text a second time in order to select the numbers for the entire value axis. Then I'm going to press Shift+Up Arrow once, and then Shift+Left Arrow a couple of times, in order to move that text outward. By the way, I'll press Ctrl+K, or Command+K on the Mac, so we can see this. My keyboard increment is still set to that custom value of 0.2 points. All right! I'll click Cancel in order to cancel out of there.

Now I want to grab all of this legend text right here and change it to all caps and track it outward a little bit. But rather than doing that click twice number, which is so very ponderous, I'm just going to do this. Still armed with the Group Selection tool, I'll click off of the text to deselect it, and I'll just drag like so, around that text, and then I'll just go ahead and select all of it. Now I'll click on the word Character in the control panel to bring up that Character panel there. I'll click on the flyout menu icon, and I'll switch to All Caps, like so. Then I'm going to go ahead and increase the tracking value right here to 200.

I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to make that modification. Now I feel like these rectangles here in the legend are way too big, so I'm going to go ahead and marquee across them to select all three of them. The idea is that I could just go ahead and grab my Scale tool, right? I can double-click on it, and I say gosh, I want to reduce the size of these guys by 50%. Then I'll turn on the Preview check box. They all scale with respect to a single origin point. That's no good. I need to scale each one independently. So the natural solution, if I click the Cancel button there, is to go up to the Object menu and choose the Transform command and choose Transform Each.

But I really want you to get a load of this one. This is a fine bit of interface here inside of Illustrator. The notion is this: There are a lot of commands that just won't work inside of graphs, but for some reason they don't get dimmed the way they normally do, the way you normally see commands dim, such as Show All here. Show All is dimmed because nothing is hidden at this point in time. Really, Transform Each should be dimmed, because watch this. When you choose the command, nothing happens, just ignores you. So it would be better I think if that command were dimmed.

But that kind of stuff happens a lot when you're working with graphs inside of Illustrator. Or a little better, you'll get an alert message that tells you gosh, this command is nonfunctional. Instead what you got to do is this: You can apply dynamic effects, which is a great thing. So go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, and choose the Transform command, which is built on Transform Each after all. If you load DekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+E, Command+E on the Mac. Then I'll go ahead and change the Horizontal and Vertical values to 50%, like so. Turn on the Preview check box. That's not quite right.

So I'll click on the right-hand point inside of this little reference point matrix, and I end up getting this effect here, which is perfect. Then I'll click OK. Now I'm going to switch back to my Group Selection tool. That's a manual switch, because there is no keyboard shortcut for that tool. I'll go ahead and grab the tool, drag across both the rectangles and the text for the legend, and I'll move them down here, like so. I'm just kind of eyeballing their location. I might my press Shift+Left Arrow a few times to tuck them in. So we get this effect here. They are actually spread apart too far from each other, so I'll go ahead and marquee these two, press Shift+Down Arrow a few times--I think that was four times--and then I'll grab this.

I'll just marquee these two items, and I'll press Shift+Down Arrow a few times as well. I hope I get pretty much the same spacing. It looks all right to me. All right! The next thing I want to do is I want to change line weight that's associated with all these value lines right here. So I'm going to click once, twice, like so, to select all the value lines. You can see they're selected, because I can. If I want to drag them to a totally different location--don't want to do that of course, but I just want you to see what's going on-- I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to undo that change. I'm going to go ahead and change the Stroke value for all of these lines to 0.5 points.

Now I'll go ahead and click in the stroke swatch here in the control panel, and I'll select this final light shade of blue in order to color the graph, like so. When I like so, you can't see it of course, because we're seeing the selection edges. But if I click off of those lines to deselect them, then you can see what I'm talking about. Now finally, what I want to do is I want to reveal those tiny, little tick marks that are there in the center of each of the column clusters. I can't see them right now because they're covered up by the orange columns. So I'll go ahead and click twice on this center orange column in order to select all three of them.

Then I'm going to right-click, and I'm going to choose Arrange, and I'm going to choose Send to Back, which make sense, right? Because they're all inside of the special group, I should be able to move them up and down the stack. And the command, after all, is not dimmed. But this is another classic case of, well, just because it's not dimmed, doesn't mean it's actually available. When I choose the command, Illustrator tells me I can't send those objects. Objects within certain groups inside graphs cannot be sent. That doesn't even make any sense. They can't be sent where? Anyway, click OK. It's saying you can't send it backward or forward, which doesn't make a lick of sense, for the following reasons. Check this out.

I can't click on this bottom line right there because that actually selects the bottom value line; it doesn't select this bottom axis line right there, because the value lines are on top. Anyway, I'll press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that change. Instead, what you want to do is you want to find that little tick mark right there in the center of 2012 or 2022 or 2032. Just go ahead and try to find it there and click like so. See, I went ahead and selected it, and that's because I am able to select through objects, because I'm selecting by path outlines.

I'll click again to select all three of the little tick marks, and then I'll click a third time in order to select that category axis as well. So I have all three tick marks and the value axes selected and watch this. Right-click, choose Arrange, and choose Bring to Front. Now, why should that work? If the other thing didn't work, why would this work? Yet, I'll choose the command and it works. So, you ever know what's going to work and what's not going to work when you're working inside of graphs, inside of Illustrator. Just crazy stuff. Anyway, so we've managed to make these more nuanced changes.

We've even managed to successfully change some stacking order inside the graph. However, these changes have sort of messed up the nature of the graph ever so slightly, as we are about to see when we again modify the data in the very next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
 
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