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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 show you how to restore the Fill and Stroke associated with the clipping path, and along the way we'll transform this radial gradient that's assigned to the grass down here at the bottom of the artwork to this custom blended gradient that you see here. So I'm going to start things off by selecting the grass path, and I'll do so by clicking on its outline with the Black Arrow tool; that doesn't work however, because the grass layer at the top of Layers panel is locked. So I'll unlock that grass layer and then I'll go ahead and scroll down, and I'll lock the sky layer, and that will just make it easier to select the objects inside my illustration.
All right, now I'm going to zoom out a click here and scroll down as well, and I'll go ahead and scroll back up the Layers panel until I see that grass layer, and now I'll click on that grass outline again in order to select it, and you'll see here inside the Gradient panel that I have a three color gradient. So it starts off with this bright green at the beginning here; the Cyan value is 50% and the Yellow value is 100%. Then we have this medium shade of green and finally we have very dark green. And if you add up these values, C65, M30, Y85, and K80, you end up getting 260%.
And I mention that because there's this thing called the total ink limit, and that's the amount of ink that the paper can absorb without the ink running on the page, and this is once again specifically applicable to commercial printing. And it's typically 270% or less. So because I've got my values set so they add up to 260%, I'm okay. You don't want to go beyond 300%, and you certainly don't want to go as high as 400%, except for special effects, as I'll discuss in future chapters. But anyway, just make a mental note of these values, because we're going to have to come back to them.
So let's say instead of this very basic elliptical gradient, and if you want to see what it looks like just press the G key in order to switch to the Gradient tool, and then hover over the Gradient Annotator, and you'll see that its shape is very elliptical; meaning that it's not very tall and it is very wide. Let's say I want something different, I want something more organic. I'm going to start off with three ellipses. So I'll twirl open my grass layer so that I can see its contents here, and I'll go ahead and turn on these ellipses here. And you can see that we've got a dark green one at the back.
And I'll go ahead and press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool, and click on that ellipse to select it. And there are my exact same values; C65, M30, Y85, and K80. And then I'll click on the middle one, those are the same values that I'd assigned to the middle color stop inside of that green radial gradient. And then this is my bright green right there in the center. And as you can see it's 50% Cyan and 100% Yellow, so the exact same colors we had before. And the colors are arranged pretty similarly to how they are arranged inside the radial gradient, although there is a lot more real estate associated with the bright green.
All right, let's say we want to put these ellipses inside of the grass path. Then I'll go ahead and scroll down my Layers panel a little bit and I'll grab that path at the bottom, which represents the grass, and I'll drag it and drop it on top of the forward ellipse. So underneath the Grass Group right there-- which is a group of stroked path outlines-- but on top of the ellipses. All right! Now I'll go ahead and meatball this grass path to select it, and now let's assign a totally different color so that we can keep track of it.
My Fill is active, as you can see here, so I'll go ahead and click in the CMYK spectrum bar on a bright shade of yellow, right there in the middle. That is the vertical middle of the bar. And so now the path is filled with orange and it's stroked with black. Now I'm going to select all these paths here by marqueeing around them. So I've managed to select the three ellipses, which are filled with various shades of green, as well as the orange grass path in front. You don't want to select any of this group of stroked outlines here. And notice that I didn't select the sky in the background, even though it appears to have this red outline around it.
That's merely a function of the bleed; that's not part of the red that's assigned to this layer. Anyway, I've just managed to select the grass and not the sky, because the sky is locked The next thing I want to do is go up to the Object menu, choose Clipping Mask, and choose Make--or you can press Ctrl+7 or Command+7 on the Mac, and that goes ahead and masks the green ellipses inside of that grass path. Problem is, I never got around blending the ellipses, so they don't look like a gradient at all. Fortunately that's a very easy problem to take care of.
What you want to do is go up to the Control panel--you can see we now have a Clip Group-- and then move over from Edit Clipping Path to Edit Contents. So click on the second icon in, in order to select those three ellipses. Now to blend them; go up to the Object menu, choose Blend, and choose the Make command, or press Ctrl+Alt+B or Command+Option+B on the Mac and you end up getting this smooth gradient. All right! I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift +A on the Mac, to deselect everything. And then I'll go ahead and zoom in, and I want you to see that we've got a problem right there, which is the tips of the grass blades have been cut off. And that's because if I click on the outline for this clipping path once again, you can see that its Fill and Stroke are totally gone.
Notice over here in the Color panel we have a question mark for Fill and that's because in fact the entire Clipping Group is selected at this point, as we can tell by the meatball over here inside the Layers panel. But I can see that the Stroke is totally gone. So I lost the Fill that was assigned to the clipping path--that is the thing that's doing the clipping, the grass-- and I also lost its stroke. Now, there's a couple of different ways to select this clipping path independently of its blended ellipses, and one way is to switch over to Edit Contents and then switch back to Edit Clipping Path.
And now just the clipping path is selected, as you can see by the fact that both the Fill and the Stroke are set to None. However, the easier way, the way I do it-- just because that doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense that you have to go back and forth between those two icons--is to just twirl open the Clipping Group here inside the Layers panel. It will be called Clip Group by the way. And then presumably the whole thing would be selected like so, and then you'd just meatball the clipping path itself. And you know you have just the clipping path selected when you see the word Path up here in the Control panel on the far left side.
So when you turn a path into a clipping path you lose its Fill and Stroke automatically. In order to reinstate them, here is the easiest way to work. I'm going to go ahead and scroll down my list a little bit here inside the Layers panel, twirl open that Blend Group right there, and meatball the bottom ellipse, because I want to match the color of that ellipse; and that goes ahead and brings up those color value: 65, 30, 85, 80. Then switch back to the clipping path. I know this doesn't necessarily make sense, but this is the easiest way to work, believe it or not. Go ahead and switch back to the clipping paths, so I'll meatball it.
And then notice this little guy right there, Last Color. That's the last color you either applied or you even clicked on that was associated with the last selected shape. So I'll go ahead and click on that color and that reinstates C65, M30, Y85, K80. So I just want you to know that that option is there. Now I'll go up to my Control panel, because I need to reinstate the Stroke as well. I'll click on the Swatch right there, and I'll select Rich Black as my color. That goes ahead and makes the Line Weight value 1.0 by default, which is great.
So I'll go ahead and click on the word Stroke here; the only other change I want to make is to assign a Round Joint, so that we have a slight amount of rounding at all the corner points. And now I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift +A on the Mac, and you can see now that we have an absolutely smooth transition. But if I go ahead and zoom out by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0, we still have--even though the contouring is different--we still have an elliptical shape to this gradient. What I want to do is create a more sculpted gradient like this one here, which is why I show you how to achieve this effect in the very next movie.
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