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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.
I have gone ahead and revised my artwork. I have called it New patterns.ai and it's found inside that Other files subfolder inside the 30_actions folder. Notice that I have replaced this sort of waving sleeve pattern between the hands with more of a filigreed kind of leafy pattern, but that's not reflected in the transformed copies, because after all, they're static copies as opposed to dynamic effects. So, what do we about that? How do we update them? Well, the first step is to go ahead and select them like so, both on the left and right sides. So just select the old-style versions of these arms and press the Backspace and Delete key to get rid of them.
Then I want you to load this set of actions that I have created for you in advance. Now they are called successSet. So what I need you to do is if you've been working along with me, go ahead and rename your successSet something else. So I am just going to call mine something like, previousSuccesses, and then click OK. You can call yours anything you want. Then you get to it by going to the flyout menu of the Actions panel. Then choose the Load Actions command. Go into that Other files folder inside the 30_actions folder, you will find successSet.aia, and opened it up.
In there you'll find that Save for Web command that I recorded. This is all the stuff that you saw me record before. Arms left and arms right. Now I have this other one called radiant objects. If you twirl open radiant objects, I am going to make more room by closing my color panel, you will see that there is a lot of stuff going inside of this action. Basically, what it's doing is it's playing those other actions. So if you twirl open Play action right there, you'll see that it's playing the action called Arms Left inside the set called successSet. So that's why we need to have this set name this way so that Illustrator can find the proper action.
You do that, by the way, by just recording, and I will show you how this works. If I create a new action, and let's just go ahead and call it, playsActions or something like that and then click Record, why then, I could go ahead and click on this object right there in order to select it. That does not get recorded by the way. Then I'd go out to Arms left let's say, click on it to make it active, and then click Play in order to go ahead and play that action. Notice if I scroll down here the playing of the action got recorded as it was being played back, and then you would presumably stop or you would continue to play some more actions if you wanted to.
So one action can reference other ones. Anyway, I am going to get rid of that new guy and I am also going to get rid of this thing that I just created there by pressing the Backspace key, Delete key on the Mac. You will see what I have got is Play action. Then I change the Transparency of the first one to 80%, and we already saw how that worked. Then I play the action again, the exact same action and then I change its transparency to 60%, and then I played that action again and then I changed its transparency to 40%. Then I play the other action that is Arms right and I change its transparency to 80%.
Then I play that action again, change its transparency to 60%, play that action again, change its transparency to 40%. So I didn't have you do this work. You can if you want to, but it's a fair amount of busy work. So I thought I'd just do it for you. But problem is, we start with this one action, we're playing the Arms left action and, repeating that three times, and building in all the levels of transparency. Then we switch to the Arms right action. Well, how do we tell Illustrator to switch sides here? That is switch the object that's selected.
Well, that's a heck of a trick, and let me show you how it works. I am going to go ahead and click on this left set of Arms right there to select it with a Black Arrow tool. Then I will go up to the Window menu and choose attributes, and inside the Attributes panel, I want you to click on the flyout menu and choose Show note. Down here in this note area notice that I have gone ahead and added a note, leftArm. So, left is lowercase, A in Arm is uppercase, the rest is lowercase as well. This is a case-sensitive operation. So that's important to pay attention to.
If you go over here to the right Arm, I have given it a name of right Arm. You can do that yourself; very easy to do obviously. You just enter that information into Attributes. You don't press the Enter key or Return or anything like that. Just Enter the information, when you're done, close the Attributes panel. Now I am going to click off the shapes to deselect them and with radiant object selected there inside Actions panel what I want you to do is go out to the flyout menu and choose this command, Select Object and let's go ahead and enter leftArm, like so.
This is very important that you Enter this properly. It's like a password almost. So it's lowercase left, uppercase A lowercase rm, and then make sure Case Sensitive is turned on. Notice that it says Select object whose note has this in it. So you have got to reference the object inside the Attributes panel. It's not a matter of labeling it here inside the layers panel. It's all about Attributes. Click OK. Now it's going to appear at the bottom of the stack; don't worry about that. Let's enter another one by going up to the flyout menu, choosing Select Object, and I'll call this one, rightArm using those same lowercase and capital letter conventions, and then I will click OK.
Now we've got two set selections. Notice we're not recording. We're just plopping those things into the action. I'm going to grab the first one which is leftArm and take it all the way to the top of the stack, like so. That's very important so that set of arms get selected first. I am going to click off the paths by the way to deselect everything, although that doesn't have to happen, but might as well. Then notice that we have six occurrences of Play action, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. If you twirl open the fourth one, you should see that it says, Arms right as opposed to Arms left before it.
Just by twirling open you can confirm that that is the case. Now I am going to go ahead and grab this selection and I want to put it between the third occurrence of transparency and the fourth occurrence of Play action. So it's between, that is, the last playing of Arms left and the first playing of Arms RIGHT. However, it needs to be after Transparency as well. All right, that should be it folks. Let's make sure that nothing is selected once again inside of the illustration. That's not essential. You should be able to play this action and have something selected, but just a good idea.
Now I am going to click on radiant objects. I totally cross my fingers here. Actually, you know what, just in case, go ahead and grab the rightArm and leftArm elements there, click on one, Shift+Click on the other, go to the Edit menu, and choose the Copy command and press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. Just as a back up, just in case something goes wrong, we can get rid of all the stuff that went wrong and plop these guys back into place. But this should work, we will see. Sometimes the very first step kind of goes haywire. I will go ahead and click on radiant objects, and then I will go ahead and play it, and let's see what happens.
Notice it went ahead and automatically selected that leftArm element and it's automatically duplicating it. It went ahead and switched over this point to rightArm; that worked and it's playing those other actions back as well, and it's done. Now I will click off of those path outlines in order to deselect them. Notice that Illustrator went ahead and automatically took care of those variations and opacity. So we've got 80%, 60%, and 40%, and you can click on those groups to confirm that, but otherwise I considered that to be in extremely successful application of actions inside of Illustrator.
Tell you what, I hope you enjoyed that, I hope it's working for you too, I hope you enjoyed this entire series. Thank you so much for spending this time with me, and best of luck with Illustrator CS5 in the future.
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