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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've saved my progress as First leaves.ai. In this exercise, we are going to take this bottom leaf and duplicate it a few times using a repeat application of the Transform function. So, if you're working along with me and you go up to the Effect menu, you'll see two commands right at the outset. Both of them repeat the last applied dynamic effect. The first one, the one that says Apply whatever, in our case Transform, will go ahead and automatically just re-apply that same effect without bringing up a dialog box. Then if you wanted to make some modifications, as you well would in our case because the leaves are going upward when now they need to descend downward, then you go over to the Appearance panel, click on Transform and adjust your settings.
So that's one way to work. I am going to cancel out of there though and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that effect. Instead, I will go up to the Effect menu and choose the second command and the difference is that it goes ahead and brings up the dialog box. Notice it has a keyboard shortcut of "Mash Your Fist" +E. that's Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E on the PC or Command+Shift+Option+E on the Mac and it brings up that Transform Effect dialog box. Now you might say, "Well Deke, why would we do that when Ctrl+E or Command+E on a Mac, your keyboard shortcut is such an easier way to get to Transform?" Well, if you did that, then all of your values would be zeroed out.
In other words the Scale values would be 100%, the Move values would be 0%, copies would be 1 and so forth. So you just get those default values and you don't have to start essentially over again. All right! I'm going to go ahead and turn on the Preview check box, so I can see what I'm doing, which is something you have to do each and every time. And the reason that preview is turned off by default when you're using dynamic effects is because things can really start slowing down once you start heaping effects on top of each other. Problem is you can't work blind because you are not going to know what you're doing, so you really do have to turn that Preview check box on at some point during the process.
I am going to change my Vertical value for starters here to 13, which is going to go ahead and move those paths downward like so, as soon as I press the Tab key that is. I'm also going to reduce my copies value to 3 and press the Tab key as well. Then finally I want to go ahead and change both my Horizontal and Vertical values to the same thing, 70% a piece. You have to do that independently. There is no way to link the two values together and you'll end up getting this effect right here which works just fine. So as long as you're applying the values you see here on-screen, you will get the same effect I am getting.
I am going to click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, you might want to go ahead and repeat the Transform process for the other leaves as well. For example, these two leaves up here at the top of this branch and the two leaves below. I am going to leave the two leaves below alone for right now because we'll replicate them later and we'll see how that affects the entire snowflake, but let's go ahead and get these top leaves out of the way. I will click on this top-right leaf which I believe I'm calling inside the Layers panel. If I go ahead and Twirl+Open the snowflake layer, it's small leaf 1. Yes indeed, it is.
So you should be able to find these guys. This is 1, this is 2, 3, and 4, as numbered inside the Layers panel. I'm now going to press that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E, Command+Shift+Option+E on the Mac, and I am going to make some adjustments. This time we'll just work blind because I already know the values I want to import. I am going to change the Horizontal value to 84%, the Vertical scale value to 84% as well. I am going to take the Horizontal Move value to 6.2% and I'm going to take the Vertical value to -2.8%. Now, you may say how in the world did you figure out these values if you didn't turn on the Preview check box? Well, of course I did when I was figuring it out in the first place.
I will go ahead and turn on Preview now so you can see what I'm talking about. By the way, the reason things aren't lining up properly is because I have the wrong reference point selected. In this case, we are going to want to select the bottom reference point. So that guy right there and that will align the leaves better. Especially if I go ahead and take that copies value up to 5 like so and then I will click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, I'll click on this left-hand leaf, which goes by the name small leaf 2 here inside the Layers panel. Press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E again, Command+ Shift+Option+E once again on the Mac.
I'm going to take these values up a little bit. I am going to take them up to 88% this time. Again, it's all subjective. I will go ahead and turn on Preview, so we can see what we are doing. We are moving the leaves in totally the wrong direction, so I am going to have to change both of the Move values and I'm going to change the Horizontal value to -4.2 this time around, and then I will change the Vertical value to +3 and we end up getting that effect. Problem is too many copies, so take that copies value down to 3 copies and no more. And that should do. Click OK in order to accept that modification.
So that gives you a sense of how you go about repeating and modifying your last applied settings. In the next exercise, I am going to show you how to transform an entire group of paths at a time.
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