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Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect

All that's left to finish off this project is to more clearly distinguish the train from its environment and create smoke billowing out of the smokestack in order to achieve this final effect here. Now, we'll accomplish the former--that is drawing a stroke around the entire train-- by expanding its appearance and converting the strokes to path outlines and then uniting all those path outlines together and then we'll create the smoke as a compound shape. So I'll go ahead and switch back over to my train shape here and I'll click on it to make it active. Now, as you've seen over the course of the previous three movies, we've heaped a ton of Transform effects onto this train, which means I can't grab the Rotate tool and rotate this guy into a different position, but you can do something else.

Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect

All that's left to finish off this project is to more clearly distinguish the train from its environment and create smoke billowing out of the smokestack in order to achieve this final effect here. Now, we'll accomplish the former--that is drawing a stroke around the entire train-- by expanding its appearance and converting the strokes to path outlines and then uniting all those path outlines together and then we'll create the smoke as a compound shape. So I'll go ahead and switch back over to my train shape here and I'll click on it to make it active. Now, as you've seen over the course of the previous three movies, we've heaped a ton of Transform effects onto this train, which means I can't grab the Rotate tool and rotate this guy into a different position, but you can do something else.

You can apply a Dynamic Rotation if you want to. So, you would just need to make sure here in the Appearance panel that the path is active and not one of the strokes. And then you would drop down to the FX icon, choose Distort & Transform and choose the Transform command, and dial in a Rotate value, such as let's say 35 degrees. And go ahead and click the Preview button, and notice that not only rotates all the strokes, but it also rotates all the Transform operations along with it. So the moral of the story is, if you start things off inside the Appearance panel, you should stick with it; you should keep applying Dynamic effects.

Anyway, I'm going to cancel out, because I'm happy with my horizontal train, but in order to apply a stroke all the way around it, at least to do so successfully, I need to go ahead and expand it. So I'll switch back over to the Layers panel and I'll twirl open the Train layer and I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on the Mac in order to copy the selected train and I'll press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on the Mac to paste that copy in front. Then I'll turn the copy off. We'll come back to it in a moment, and I'll go ahead and meatball the original train, which is the one we'll expand.

Now, I don't want to expand everything about it. We should get rid of a few things first, including all these strokes at top. So I've switched over to the Appearance panel. I'll click on the top stroke, Shift+Click on the 60 point stroke down here--the one just above the smokestack--and I'll click on the Trashcan in order to get rid of all those. We're just trying to simplify things at this point. Then I'll twirl open that smokestack stroke and I'll turn off its Drop Shadow; we don't need to worry about throwing it away. Next, I'll go ahead and scroll down to these strokes that make up the cowcatcher. So I'll click on the top 2-point one and Shift+Click on the 7-point one; you want to leave the 8-point one in there, and then click on the Trashcan icon to get rid of those.

And then finally we want to remove a couple of more Drop Shadows here. There is the Drop Shadow that's associated with the engineer's roof, which I believe is this one right there, and I'll go ahead and turn off that Drop Shadow- the one associated with the 82-point stroke. And then there's a 74-point stroke right there; that's the front element that's holding the cowcatcher. So I'll go ahead and twirl it open as well and turn off its Drop Shadow and we end up with these few remaining shapes. And there's one more thing. I don't want those levers that are popping out of these engine elements here, so I'll go ahead and select the bottommost stroke, --the 4-point stroke--and I'll Shift+Click on the top 2-point stroke there and I'll click on the Trashcan to get rid of those as well. All right! Now that we've distilled this thing down to its most fundamental elements, I'll go up to the Object menu and choose Expand Appearance, and then I'll return to the Object menu, choose Path, and then choose Outline Stroke in order to convert all of those strokes to filled path outlines like so. All right! Now let's combine them together.

What we've got at this point is a group obviously, but there is a group inside that group. So what you need to do is go up to the Object menu and choose the Ungroup command twice, or press Ctrl+Shift+G or Cmd+ Shift+G on the Mac twice in a row. And then just to make sure everything has worked, you can switch back to the Layers panel. With the Train layer open, just scroll through the list of items to make sure there's no arrowheads in front of them, in which case you're good to go. Then go to the Window menu and choose the Pathfinder command in order to bring up the Pathfinder panel and click on the Unite icon in order to unite all those paths outlines together.

All right! Now I just want to make sure that everything worked according to plan here. I have a feeling there's a tiny problem. I'm going to turn off the Tracks layer in order to hide it, and then I'll press Ctrl+Spacebar or Cmd+Spacebar on the Mac to get the Zoom tool and I'll marquee around this corner right here; very tiny marquee as you can see, and sure enough I've a little bit of an arrowhead here that I don't want. So I'll press the P key to switch to my Pen tool and I'll click on this top point in order to subtract it. And now I could keep scrolling over like this, but that would take forever, so I'll go ahead and bring up the Navigator panel and move down to the tip here, although this might not be the most efficient solution either.

Why don't I just go ahead and zoom out a little bit so I can see what I'm doing? I'm in totally the wrong location. What I wanted to do was check this point right there and make sure it's just one point at the nose of the train, and sure enough it is. So I'll zoom out once again, and then I'll go ahead and Ctrl+Spacebar or Cmd+Spacebar, zoom around this corner and click on this point with a Pen tool to subtract it. All right, that's great! Now I can zoom back out to normal zoom level and I can bring back the background elements like so, as well as the train, so I can better see what I'm doing.

I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to hide my selection outlines. United Path is still selected, so I'll switch over to the Appearance panel. I've got a Fill, but I don't have a Stroke, so I'll go ahead and change the line weight value to 2 points in order to create the appearance of a 1-point stroke around the entire train. And now let's add a Drop Shadow by going up to the Effect menu, choosing Stylize, and choosing the Drop Shadow command, or you can take advantage of my keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+E or Cmd+Option+E on the Mac. These are the settings I want to apply; an Opacity value of 100%, deep black is my color.

So, 000 for the RGB values, both the X and Y Offset are set to 8 points; the Blur is set to 6 points. I'll turn on the Preview checkbox, and why in the world does it look like that? This should be this really super dark shadow. Well, I'll show you what happened though. Click the OK button in order to apply the effect, and sure enough I went ahead and applied it to the stroke instead of the path. But that's not a problem, you can just grab the Drop Shadow and drag and drop it below the Fill like so, in order to assign it to the path instead of the stroke and we end up with this very meaty dark Drop Shadow. All right! I'll go ahead and press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool.

Switch back over to the Layers panel and notice this hidden item in the Train layer. Go ahead and turn it on. And what it is, is a group of a bunch of replicated circles; every single one of these guys is a circle. I'll click on one of them. I've hidden my selection edges, so I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to bring them back. Now, I've gone ahead and grouped all these circles together. Before we can join them into a stream of smoke, we need to Ungroup them. So go up to the Object menu and choose the Ungroup command. And next, before you deselect any of these circles, because that would be a disaster, go ahead and return to the Pathfinder panel, and instead of clicking on the Unite icon, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on the icon. And that way you fuse the paths together into a compound shape, which means that you can change your mind later and move the circles around and do whatever you like. All right! Now I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac again in order to hide the selection edges, and I'll switch back to the Appearance panel.

And as you can see, I've got a Stroke; I don't have a Fill. I actually want the opposite, so I'll press Shift+X in order to swap those guys with each other. And then I'll go ahead and swap out the fill from black to this final gradient swatch which is called Smoke. And all it is is a dark shad of gray; it's actually the Shadow Rail gray, set to 100% Opacity on one side and 0% Opacity on the other side, with the midpoint skew that's set at a Location of 25%, and we end up with this effect here.

Now, that looks terrible. When is the last time you saw opaque smoke like that? Well, the problem is that we have the Blend mode set to Normal. What we need is to twirl open the Fill, click on the word Opacity there, and change the Blend mode to Multiply, and that ends up producing this rich smoky effect right here. And that's how you finish off the train by adding a stroke around the entire thing, along with the Drop Shadow and some billowing smoke.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14942 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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