Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Selecting and coloring points


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Selecting and coloring points

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to change the color of selected anchor points inside of a gradient mesh from the Color, Color Guide and Swatches palettes, and I'll go ahead and communicate a couple of timesaving techniques for selecting points as well. I am still working inside that same Expanded file that I opened in the previous exercise. I have gone ahead and added some rows, I guess they really are, to this gradient mesh here. The quantity and the positioning of your columns and rows may vary, but that's perfectly okay, because we can all get different effects if we want and still have a wonderful time editing this background rectangle here.
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  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
12h 54m Intermediate Jul 09, 2009

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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.

Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Working with compound shapes in the Pathfinder palette
  • Ghosting shapes with Fill Opacity
  • Understanding gradients and the gradient tools
  • Cloning and coloring a blended path
  • Saving tile patterns and applying them to a shape
  • Importing and linking images from other applications
Deke McClelland

Selecting and coloring points

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to change the color of selected anchor points inside of a gradient mesh from the Color, Color Guide and Swatches palettes, and I'll go ahead and communicate a couple of timesaving techniques for selecting points as well. I am still working inside that same Expanded file that I opened in the previous exercise. I have gone ahead and added some rows, I guess they really are, to this gradient mesh here. The quantity and the positioning of your columns and rows may vary, but that's perfectly okay, because we can all get different effects if we want and still have a wonderful time editing this background rectangle here.

All right, so I currently have a portion of the mesh selected and I have my Mesh tool active right here. Now notice that every single one of these intersection points is a smooth point essentially. It's actually kind of a double smooth point, because it's an anchor point right there in the center that has a pair of symmetrical control handles around it, as we can see right there. So it's got four control handles. It's a very special creature inside of the gradient mesh. And notice that I'm modifying these handles using the Mesh tool, which is entirely possible. You can reposition points and color points and select points and do all kind of things to the points and handles with the Mesh tool. However, I prefer to work with Wide Arrow tool, just because it's so easy to add and delete points with the Mesh tool if you are not careful.

By the way, just a little note here. If you happen to have a control handle on a way, for example, if I go ahead and click on this point in order to make it active and let's see that I want to create a new point right about there, but there is the control handle right there on my way as you can see. And so, I then have to my cursor over a little bit up or down in order to add the row line in the different positions and of course avoid that control handle, but what if you don't want to avoid control handle. You want it right there at that location. Well just go ahead and move to a different line, like so, and click at that location instead and you will put the point exactly where you want it to be. So, just you know a little FYI for you.

All right, now that we have got all these wavy lines going on and you can see that they can vary from the rectilinear at any point in time. Let's go ahead and grab that Wide Arrow tool, which just affords us a little more control. You can marquee points if you want to select multiple points like so. Then you can just go ahead and change there color for example appearing in the Color palette and all lift a blue, let's, say just so we can really easily see the modification that's being made there. You can change the color of the blue by adjusting the slighter values.

So, there is no need to do drag and drops. The way there is when you trying to introduce colors into an extended gradient, as we saw in the previous chapter. Though you can perform drag and drops if you like and I'll show you that in just a moment, but all you really need to do is as long as you have points selected, you can just click on Color Swatches. For example, I could go to the Swatches palette and I could say, no, you know what? I don't want them to be baby blue. I want them to be deep violet like so. Now, what if you want to change the color of an entire row? You can click on the points in a row, like so, click and Shift-click. This is fairly tedious thought, right. The reason I making this point is you can't really do a marquee, because the marquee is going to be an upright rectangle and it's not necessarily when we are working in an angled gradient like this. We are not necessarily going to get points that are in the same row or the same column or what have you. Look at that. I totally blew it. I went ahead and marqueed the central point right there, and as a result I lost my mesh, and this is the perfect opportunity to point out a trick I take advantage of all the time.

If you working inside of a rectangle like this, go to the Window menu and choose the Attributes command in order to bring up the little Attributes palette and turn off that center point, because all it dose is get in your face when you editing gradient meshes. All right, now that it's gone hopefully our lives will be a little bit merrier. Let's see if I can hover over something that will give me the Mash back or -- what the heck. I just meatballed the Mash item here inside the Layers palette, since it's right there waiting for me. All right, so, let's say what you want to do? Instead of marqueeing just a bunch of random points, you want to select the points inside of a single row only. Your best tool for this purpose is the Lasso tool. So watch this. Let's say I want to get the points in this row I'll go ahead and draw a Lasso around them, like so, and I'm being pretty careful about this actually. I think I just got the one row, and then I release, and notice now selected this point, this point, this point, this point, and this point. Awesome! Now, I'll set colors from yet a different palette. I'll go over to the Color Guide palette, and I can see some colors that are related to that violet I selected just a moment ago, because I'm looking at shades. Why don't we go ahead and change the color harmony rule to something different, like let's say High Contrast 2. It might work out nicely for me. Then I would just click on the color that I find to be desirable, for example, this orange right here.

Let's go ahead and give that a try and we end up changing the colors of all those points. Now, you can do drag and drops. So far we have done no dragging and no dropping. We have just done clicking, which I found it be a lot easier. But if you like your drag and drops and you want to do them while then you still can, you would grab a color for example this violet right here and you will drop it on to a point. Now you need to drop it on to a point. Notice it's going to say, hey yeah sure drop it there, baby. Because it's not giving you the Ghostbusters icon right, you can drop it in the middle of things, but this cursor is implying that yeah, you can go ahead and drop it right there on that column line if you want to over here on this row line. But if you do it, uh it's going to burn you. It's not going to do anything. It's just going to ignore yeah.

So, what you need to do is drag once again and drop on to the point and that will change the color of that point whether it is active or not. And even if you got multiple selective points active here. You can just change one of them. You can just grab this green for example and drag it and drop it on this specific point right there and you will change just that one point. So, a lot of different ways to work and actually I haven't even shown you all of them. I haven't shown you the best way to work, which is to use the Eyedropper as I'll explain in next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: In the lesson on pressure sensitivity, exactly what kind of Wacom tablet is the instructor using?
A: The instructor is using a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet
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