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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 we'll take our perfectly centered star, and we'll add a series of beveled circles in order to create this effect here. All right! I'll switch back to my star, and I still have my Smart Guides turned on, by the way, here in the View menu. Next what you want to do is click on your star. Presumably it's the last selected Shape tool. And switch to the Ellipse tool here inside the Shape tool flyout menu. If you loaded dekeKeys, once again, you have a keyboard shortcut Shift+M. Now I'm going to press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch to the Outline mode, so I can see that center point that I created in the previous movie.
And I'll begin dragging from that center point, and then as I drag I'll press and hold the Shift+Alt keys or the Shift+Option keys on the Mac, in order to create a perfect circle from the center outward. And then at some point you should see it snap into alignment with the outer points of the star. And for me that happens at 189.34 points. Now you may ask, wait a second, the star was just a little more than 180 points wide, why is my ellipse 189 points? And that's because the circle's diameter is a little wider than the width of the star.
Now press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch back to Preview mode, and let's fill the star with a shade of blue. By changing the Cyan value to 100, then change the Magenta value to 75, leave the Yellow value at 0, and take a Black value up to 35%, like so. Then press Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket or Command+Shift+Left Bracket on the Mac, in order to send that shape to the back. Now align your cursor to the exact center of that ellipse and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click in order to bring up the Ellipse dialog box.
Now what this allows us to do is create new circles based on our previous one. Turn on the Link icon in order to link these two values together. You should see a value approximately something like this, so 189 and change. You want to click after that value and enter +60, and then press the Tab key. And that should increase both values to approximately 249 points. And then click OK. We want this new star to be red, so I'll change the Cyan value to 0, take both the Magenta and Yellow values up to 100%, and leave the K values set to 35%.
Then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and press Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket or Command+Shift+Left Bracket on the Mac, in order to send that shape to the back. Now we need to repeat that process a couple of times, so Alt+Click or Option+Click at the center of the selected circle, make sure the Link icon is still on, which it should be. Then go ahead and click after Width value and enter +60 for it. And by the way, you're always seeing the size of the previously-created shape here inside the Ellipse dialog box. Also, notice that because the Link icon is turned on, as soon as I enter +60 for the Width value, even though I haven't pressed the Tab key yet, Illustrator automatically updates the Height value to 309 points.
So it does the math in advance. Anyway, I'll press the Tab key in order to change the Width value as well, and then I'll click OK in order to create the larger version of the circle. And then I'll change the color to that same off-white that I used for the star; which means dialing in a Magenta value of 0, as well as a Yellow value of 0; and then taking the K value, the Black value, down to 15%. Then press Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket or Command+Shift+ Right Bracket on the Mac to send that shape to the back. And finally, Alt+Click or Option+Click at the center of the selected circle, make sure the Link icon is on, and click after the W value and change it to +60 once again.
So each and every time we're making the circles 60 points larger. Press the Tab key in order to update both values, click OK. We ended up with this monstrous circle here. Press Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket or Command+Shift+Right Bracket on the Mac to send it to the back of the stack. Press the I key to the switch to the Eyedropper tool, and go ahead and click on the red circle in order to change the selected shape to red as well. All right! Now for the beveling, which we can achieve using a Drop Shadow effect. First thing you want to do is select all the shapes on this layer, and you can select all the shapes on a layer by either switching to the Layers panel and Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on the new drawing layer; or because I already have a shape on this layer selected, I can go up to the Select menu, choose Object, and choose All on Same Layers.
And if you loaded dekeKeys back in Chapter 22, then I've given you a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+1 or Command+Option+1 on the Mac, and that will select all the shapes, like so. All right! I'm going to press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool. And then I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Stylize, and choose Drop Shadow. And you can see it has a dekeKeys shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+E or Command+Option+E on the Mac. And the first thing you want to do, just so that you don't have to do it again, is change the mode to Normal. Then click on the Color Swatch and make sure that it's set to absolute black--that is the R, G, and B values are all zeroed out. Then click OK.
We want an Opacity value of 50% as you're seeing here. Then I'll select the X Offset value; change it to -1; change the Y Offset value to 1; and change the Blur value to 0, which is very important. This is the only way this is going to work is if we have no blur whatsoever, because we're going to be building up multiple Drop Shadow effects on top of each other, any blur is going to get in the way. Then turn on the Preview checkbox and you'll see just a little bit of an edge down and to the left of the selected shapes. Now go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect.
And just so we can see things better, I'm going to press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide the selection edges. And then in order to create the highlight edge now, go up to the Effect menu and choose the second command, Drop Shadow, or you can press mash-your-fist D, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E on the PC, Command+Shift+Option+E on the Mac. And now we want to change the color from black to white, like so, so just drag this little circle to the upper left corner. Your Red, Green, and Blue value should now be 255 a piece, click OK. You don't have change the mode or the Opacity; because we're working with white, Normal and Screen will be the exact same thing.
And now you want to change the X Offset value to 1 and the Y Offset value to -1. So we're reversing the two. Leave the Blur value set to 0, very important. Turn on the Preview checkbox, and you'll see a thin highlight edge above and to the right of the selected shapes. Then go ahead and click OK. Finally, we need a Drop Shadow behind the entire shield. So twirl open your new drawing layer, scroll to the bottom of the list here inside the Layers panel, and just meatball the bottommost path--that is to say click on this little target icon--and that will select it independently of the other shapes.
We can't see the selection edge, because it's hidden, but that doesn't prevent us from applying yet another Drop Shadow. So go up to the Effect menu, choose the second command, Drop Shadow..., and this time Illustrator is going to ask us if we want to really apply a new effect--that is to say we want to apply yet another Drop Shadow on top of the other two--and the answer is yes, Apply New Effect. And now you want to change the X Offset value to -2, the Y Offset value to 2, and the Blur to 2 as well. Now you may wonder, well why in the world can we do a blur now, and that's because this is our final effect.
Your last Drop Shadow can be blurry, but the other Drop Shadows cannot have any blur whatsoever associated with them, otherwise that's going to wreck the effect; you're going to be building blur on top of blur, which doesn't work. Now turn on the Preview checkbox and you can see that we end up getting not a shadow, but a highlight, because I forgot to change a color. So I'll click on that White Color Swatch and change the Red, Green, and Blue values to 0 apiece, like so. And then click OK in order to accept Black, and we get a nice black Drop Shadow this time. Then click OK again in order to apply that effect.
And that's how you create a series of perfectly centered beveled circles. In the next movie I'll show you how to add a reflection to the shield using the Flare tool.
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