Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Opacity and blending modes


From:

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Opacity and blending modes

I'm looking at a file called Mishipizheu CS5.ai, found inside the 22_transparency folder, and if you've been working through my Illustrator series in the past, for CS3 and CS4 here at the lynda.com Online Training Library, then you may very well know, my obsession with this illustration. I'm constantly fiddling with it and I've been working on some form of this artwork for like the last eight years when I came across this Ojibwe drawing on the side of a cliff, about a couple hundred years old I think and sought in Ottawa, Canada for what that's worth and it featured pretty much everything we are seeing here.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What's old is new again
      39s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
      44s
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling CS's new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
14h 53m Intermediate Nov 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Opacity and blending modes

I'm looking at a file called Mishipizheu CS5.ai, found inside the 22_transparency folder, and if you've been working through my Illustrator series in the past, for CS3 and CS4 here at the lynda.com Online Training Library, then you may very well know, my obsession with this illustration. I'm constantly fiddling with it and I've been working on some form of this artwork for like the last eight years when I came across this Ojibwe drawing on the side of a cliff, about a couple hundred years old I think and sought in Ottawa, Canada for what that's worth and it featured pretty much everything we are seeing here.

This Sun and this canoe full of guys chasing this big mythical Ojibwe creature. And so what we are looking at now is the most recent version of that illustration, with more carefully rendered guys in the canoe. For what little that's worth. Now there's a lot going on inside this document. For example, if I grab my White Arrow tool and I hover over round about there and click, you can see that I filled the background using a Gradient Mesh. And we haven't talked about Gradient Mesh as yet but basically what's going on is every single one of these anchor points represents a point of color and then Illustrator blends between those points along the segments.

I will be devoting an entire chapter to the topic of Gradient Mesh in the mastery portion of the series. But for now, we are going to be running through the Opacity value first and then the various Blend modes that are available to you in Illustrator. And for starters here I am going to switch to my Black Arrow tool and I am going to click on the creatures head, let's say, like so and then I'll go over to the Transparency panel and I'll change the Opacity value. Now you probably, already have a fair understanding of how Opacity works but if I change the value to 50% and then press the Enter key, let's say or the Return key on the Mac, then I am going to get a 50-50 blend of this head and everything in back of it, which includes the neck and this little line that's showing through.

Meanwhile, the things in front are still opaque like the creature's forehead. So it doesn't really make any sense. I suppose I could go into some territory by modifying the opacity of each object independently, but what if I want to control the opacity of the creature as a whole? Well, I will press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and then I'll go over to my layers panel here, and I will meatball the layer. Don't select the entire contents of the layer by clicking on that upper right wedge or Alt+Clicking on the layer because that will just select all of the independent objects, and then I will press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac to hide the edges, so we can see what we are doing.

Then if I change the Opacity to 50%, notice that we get this crazy interaction of the various objects, that's not what I want at all. So I will press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Notice up here in the Control panel, it's telling me that path is active. It means paths, because there is a ton of paths that are active, but if I want to apply the Opacity Modification to the entire layer as a whole, then I'd meatball the layer, and then I would see up here inside the Control panel that layer is active. Now if I change the Opacity value to 50%, then I end up giving this effect here, which obviously is a lot more acceptable.

Now again, what I'm getting is a 50-50 blend. So 50% of the active object, in this case, a layer, 50% of the background which would be the Gradient Mesh. If I want to favor the Gradient Mesh, I will reduce this value to say 25% and then we have 25% of the beast layer mixed with 100%-25%, so 75% of the background. If I want to switch that around, I could increase the Opacity value to 75% and then we have 75% creature and 25% background.

Now at the risk of laboring this, the idea here is that we've got a kind of formula. So what we're doing when we are changing the Opacity value is we are saying, mix X amount of the active object with Y amount of everything below it. So if you imagine that Opacity, is that very simple formula. I will go ahead and change the Opacity value back to 100%, incidentally you don't have those keyboard shortcuts for modifying the Opacity of objects on the fly, the way you do when changing opacity inside Photoshop.

I should just mention that for those of you who are Photoshop users, but if you'll imagine that Opacity is a kind of very basic formula, why then the Blend modes represent other formulas. And I am not going to go into the math behind these Blend modes but I just want you to know that's what's going on and they all result in some form of translucency, that is altogether different from both Opacity, although you can combine opacity along with them to get different variations and each one of the Blend modes creates a unique effect as well.

The only option that's not really truly a Blend mode is Normal. Normal turns the Blend mode off, everything else produces an effect. Now the problem with the Blend modes, I think, they are really, really powerful by the way, but when you are first trying to learn how they work, they are a little bit obtuse, because of the naming conventions. Now Darken is fine because Darken does produce a darkening effect as we'll see. Multiply though, what does that even mean to multiply a layer on to the rest of the contents of the illustration? That doesn't even make any sense and so on throughout the list.

Well, the good news is A) I am going to tell you how each and every one of them work and B) they are grouped logically. So this first group of Blend modes from Darken down to Color Burn, use the active object to darken the stuff below it. The next group, the Lightning effects, go ahead and use the active object to lighten the stuff below it. Overlay through Hard Light are the Contrast modes so-called because they extensively increase the contrast of an illustration, but you can end up decreasing Contrast as well. And then we have the Difference mode, which is a kind of Inversion mode as you'll see, Exclusion is a variation of it, and then these modes break up the color inside of an illustration into the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance components.

And then Color by the way is a combination of Hue and Saturation working together, and then they reassemble the artwork to produce a handful of different effects as we'll see. So those are the basic Blend modes inside of Illustrator. I'm going to walk you through exactly how the darkening and lightning modes work in the next exercise.

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


Expand all | Collapse all
Please wait...
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."
Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked

Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.