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Reinstating the mask colors


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Reinstating the mask colors

In these next two exercises, we're going to be taking this light green to dark green gradient, that's at work inside of this forward grass path down here at the bottom of the illustration, and we'll replace it with a blend, inside of a Clipping Mask of course. Now if that all sounds like more of the same thing, rest assured I'll be passing along some new techniques. I've saved my progress as Clipped sky, and using my Black arrow tool, I'll click on the outline of this path in order to select it. Well that didn't work, and that's because the layer that contains the path is currently locked.
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  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
14h 53m Intermediate Nov 30, 2010

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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks
Deke McClelland

Reinstating the mask colors

In these next two exercises, we're going to be taking this light green to dark green gradient, that's at work inside of this forward grass path down here at the bottom of the illustration, and we'll replace it with a blend, inside of a Clipping Mask of course. Now if that all sounds like more of the same thing, rest assured I'll be passing along some new techniques. I've saved my progress as Clipped sky, and using my Black arrow tool, I'll click on the outline of this path in order to select it. Well that didn't work, and that's because the layer that contains the path is currently locked.

So if you are working along with me, scroll to the top of the Layers panel, notice that the grass layer is indeed locked. Go ahead and click on that lock icon to unlock it and as you can see here grass is way up at the top of the stack. Then I'm going to scroll down the list and lock my sky layer just to protect it from any accidental modifications. All right, now I'll go ahead and click on this path outline to select it, and I am going to scroll down a little bit so that I can analyze this path in a little more detail. Now, I can see that it's a Radial Gradient. If I expand the Gradient panel, Type is set to Radial.

However, does it comprise a series of concentric circles or concentric ellipses? Well, to answer that question I need to switch to the Gradient tool, which I can get by clicking on it or pressing the G key, and then I can see my gradient annotator. I will go ahead and scroll over just a little bit there and hover over the gradient annotator and I can see that it is indeed an ellipse. So we have a series of concentric ellipses. There are three colors stops in all, notice them right here. It might be a little easier to evaluate them from the Gradient panel. So I'll click on the first one, my gradient starts off as a light green, actually it's more of a chartreuse, heavier on yellow than it is on cyan.

Then I'll click on that central color stop and we've got something of a medium dark green going on. And then finally, we end with this ultra-dark green way toward the outside. So the middle green, by the way, is weighted at 35%. That is, the location is set to 35%, so it's closer to the interior than to the exterior of the shape. Then finally we've got this dark green, which is made up of 65% Cyan, 30% Magenta, 85% Yellow and 80% Black. And I mention those specific values for two reasons. First of all, we're going to have to come back to them later, when we end up creating empty areas inside of our Clipping Mask.

I'll show you what's going on there. Then finally, I just want you to note that the values add up to less than 270%. In fact if you do the math, they add up to 260%. So again, I don't mean to harp the point too much, but it's very important, you have got to keep your colors at 270% or lower in order to avoid your ink smearing on the page. All right, so having gotten a sense of what's going on here, let's replace that Radial Gradient with a blend. So I'll go ahead and switch back to my Selection tool, and I am going to replace this gradient right here with a flat color by clicking on the gradient swatch in the upper left-hand corner of the gradient panel, and then let's say I click on an orange, here in the CMYK spectrum bar at the bottom of the Color panel.

That will just help us compare our new colors more easily. Then I will twirl open my grass layer and I am actually going to collapse my Gradient panel as well so I have more room to work. Notice inside of this grass layer that I have this group of paths up here at the top and those are those cartoon lines at the top of the grassy knoll and then way down here at the bottom we have this orange path, what was formerly filled with a gradient. Then in between we have a bunch of ellipses that are turned off. So I will go ahead and turn them all back on so we can see them and the result is three ellipses, of varying sizes of course.

Each filled with those same exact shades of green we saw just a moment ago. So if I marquee the 3 paths with my Black Arrow tool, and then I go up to the Object menu and I choose Blend, and then I choose Make or press Ctrl+Alt+B, Cmd+Option+B on a Mac, I create a kind of manual elliptical gradient and that may leave you wondering, why in the world would you do such a thing? You just had an automatic elliptical gradient a moment ago, why replace it with a manual one? Because it gives us more flexibility and we can modify it, as we will shortly.

But in the meantime I need to mask these various ellipses inside of the grass shape. And this time I'm not doing it strictly for the sake of keeping things tidy, the way I did with that rectangle, this time I really need to do it because we've got all these little blades of grass that are going to show up badly otherwise. If I click off the path outline for example, I am covering up that grass shape in the background. So obviously that's a bad thing. First step of course is to grab the thing that you're going to clip with. So the item that's going to serve as the Clipping Mask needs to be in front. So I will go ahead and grab what's known orange path and I'll drag it in front of the blend, like so.

One other little note I want to make along the way here, I am going to twirl open my blend so that we can see there are the three ellipses there. That's the way you want to start things off. In other words, you want to start with 3 paths or more, as many paths as you want. We blended six paths a couple of exercises ago. But each one of those paths is similar in terms of its makeup. So in other words, they contain the same number of anchor points and the composition of those anchor points is the same too. So we have quarter points in some locations and equivalent smooth points in other locations.

In the case of these three ellipses, we've got four smooth points per path and that way Illustrator has no confusion about how it should perform the blend. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and meatball this top half and then I will Shift+Meatball the entire blend right there so that both are selected. The top path is going to serve as the Clipping Mask, as soon as I go up to the Object menu, choose Clipping Mask, and then choose the Make command, or press Ctrl+7, Cmd+7 on a Mac. Now here's something I want you to note. I am going to go ahead and click off the shape for a moment, and I am going to zoom in, and notice how we've lost some information here, couple of different things that we've lost.

We've lost the stroke that was formerly associated with that path outline, and I will go ahead and twirl open the group so we can see the Clipping Mask now has no fill and no stroke. So by virtue of the fact that we lost the stroke, we lost the stroke. The stroke is gone and by virtue of the fact that we lost the fill, the top most tips of the blades of grass here are cut off because that's the point at which this biggest path outline cuts off as well. So if I go ahead and meatball this large ellipse that's inside of the blend, you'll see that it clips along the tops of the blades of grass. So what do I do? Well of course I could make that shape bigger if I wanted to.

I could scale this path outline and you can scale and otherwise transform the path outlines as much as you want when they're selected inside of the blend and you can select those shapes either using the White Arrow tool out here in the illustration window, or by meatballing the individual items here inside the layers panel. However, I don't want to do that, because that's going to change the nature of the blend itself. What I'd rather do is reinstate the fill and the stroke that were formerly associated with this path outline that's now a clipping path. And I'll have to do that manually. So I'll show you a slightly more automated technique, a way of just sort of protecting yourself before you create a clipping mask.

I will show you that technique later inside this chapter. But for now we'll just manually reinstate things by meatballing that Clipping Path. And Clipping Path here inside the Layers panel means the same thing as Clipping Mask by the way. Illustrator has two terms for this feature. Now notice up here in the Color panel that we have neither fill nor stroke. I am going to go ahead and reinstate those stroke values manually. Now you could go ahead and grab the eyedropper tool if you want to and with this shape selected you could try to eyedrop that outermost edge of that greenness right there in order to restore the green inside of the clipping path.

But notice that these are not the same values we had before. So if you look closely here you may notice that all of a sudden the green shifts ever so slightly at the tips of the blades of grass and it might show up even more in print. So you really want those values to match. So I already know what they are, I read them to you earlier. But I wrote them down as well. It's 65%, Cyan which survived. I will go ahead and enter 30% for Magenta, I'll take down in my case, the Yellow value to 85%. Then I'll take up the Black value to 80%, like so.

So I just want to reinstate those exact values there and then we have a very smooth transition from that shade of green to be identical shade of green inside of the clipping path. Now I will go up to my strokes swatch here in the Control panel, click on it, and then I'll click on t his fourth swatch in, I'll go ahead and click on it in order to assign that rich black to the stroke and then I'll bring up my Stroke panel by clicking on the word stroke up here in Control panel. I will set both my cap and my corner options there to Round. So I've got a round cap and a round join, and then I'm done, and I've gone ahead and created this elliptical blend inside of this grass shape, inside of this Clipping Mask.

Now the question still is, why in the world did I do that, why'd I go to all that effort just to create the manual equivalent of a Radial Gradient. And the reason is, now I can modify the gradient to any extent I like, as I'll demonstrate in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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