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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Contrast and Inversion modes which are the third and fourth groups of Blend modes, respectively. Specifically, the Contrast modes include Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light, and the Inversion modes include Difference and Exclusion. I'll show you how they work by once again meatballing the Dark Beast layer. I have my selection edges hidden but the creature is selected. Now your first Contrast mode is Overlay and if you are familiar with Photoshop to any degree, you may know that Overlay is often in sighted as being the third most useful Blend mode, right after Multiply and Screen.
In Illustrator everything is kind of turned upside-down, because you typically work inside CMYK space instead of RGB and as a result, Overlay takes a back seat to the final Contrast Blend mode which is Hard Light. Let me show you what I mean. When the creature is set to the Overlay mode, you're use saying the selected object--the creature once again--to enhance the contrast of the objects behind it: that flowing gradient background. So in other words, the contrast of the selected object suffers, but the contrast of the objects behind it are enhanced.
If you want the opposite effect, which is typically what you do want--in other words, you want to use the background in order to enhance the contrast of the selected object--then you switch from Overlay to Hard Light and in our case we get this preferable effect here. So, if you are working in a CMYK document, as I am now, then Hard Light is your more likely go-to Contrast mode. Now by contrast, if Overlay turns out to be too much--I'll go ahead and switch back to it--then you can back off the effect not only by reducing the Opacity value, and my Opacity value is quite low, I should press Shift+0, which is a dekeKeys shortcut for 100% Opacity.
So, if Overlay is too much, then you can either reduce the Opacity value or you can switch the Blend mode down to Soft Light, which produces a unique effect. In other words, Soft Light is not just a lower opacity version of Overlay, it's an entirely different calculation that produces a slight imprinting effect. But once again it's the selected object that's enhancing the contrast of the background objects, and therefore the selection ends up more or less losing the battle. All right! Now let's try out the first of the Inversion modes, which is Difference, and what it does is it uses both the selected object and the background in order to invert each other.
So, we come up with essentially an inverted version of the creature that also has a colorful inverted background pattern inside of it. If you want to keep the inversion effect but you want to back off the saturation of the colors, then you switch from Difference to Exclusion and you get this effect here. Now, it turns out that the Difference mode has this hidden ability to turn text into something that inverts everything below it. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to change this Dark Beast layer to something dark, such as the Multiply mode, so that we are creating a very dark area inside of this illustration.
And then I am going to create a new layer by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking the little Page icon at the bottom of Layers panel, I'll call this new layer Text--I don't care what color it is--and I'll click OK. So I'll go and switch to the Type tool, which I can get by pressing the T key and I am going to click up in this empty area, because if I click somewhere inside the creature I am going to end up creating type on a path. So, I'll click right about there and I'll just type in some text such as, "Inversion," and then I'll press the Escape key to exit the Text Editing mode, and I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to bring back my selection edges.
And I'll go ahead and move this guy down right about there. And now notice what happens if you have black text as I do, just plain black text, not rich black, just 100%, okay, that's it. And you change the Blend mode from Normal to Difference, then you end up with text that inverts all the colors in back of it. So, notice that all of our warm colors are becoming cool inside of the characters of type. However, we are not inverting the Luminance levels, the Brightness values that is. If you want to invert the Brightness values then you go ahead and change the fill of the text from Black to White, and you end up getting this effect here, and again this is subject to the Difference blend mode.
So, we've got bright letters against the dark creature and we have dark letters against the bright background. All right! So I might go ahead and nudge that guy down and then press Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect the text. That's how you go about using the Contrast in Inversion modes: specifically Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light along with Difference and Exclusion. In the next movie we'll take a look at the final group of Blend modes: Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity.
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