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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.
In this exercise, I am going to show you how to achieve precise results by turning on Smart Guides when you're working inside the Prospective Grid. Now, normally throughout these movies, I have Smart Guides turned off. That's not because I don't recommend them; in fact, I use them all the time. It's just that they result in a lot of items flashing on-screen, which makes for some pretty distracting videos. However, I use Smart Guides, I recommend Smart Guides and they are not only indispensable when you're working with a Prospective Grid. So what we are going to do here inside this file, and I have saved my progress as First wall.ai.
We are going to draw the right wall of this entryway, and we are also going to draw this balcony over here on the right side of the building. Now to do that, we need to have the right pane selected. So despite the fact that the right-hand pane, this orange pane over here ends at about this location, you can still draw on it over here in this left-hand region of the illustrations. So you can draw anywhere you want, on any pane you want, so long as that pane is selected inside the widget. All right, so I am going to go to the View menu and turn on Smart Guides, which you can also get by pressing Ctrl+U, Command+U on the Mac.
And that way we can see the tips on the widget that is to say, if I've got one of the perspective savvy tool selected, so I am going to switch to the Prospective Grid tool here, then I can see those tips. And you can see that right now the Left Grid is selected. We can switch between these grids from the keyboard; I want you to remember this, because it's going to come in handy now. So we can switch to the Left Grid by pressing the 1 key, the Horizontal Grid, the ground level by pressing the 2 key. Then you go to the Right Grid by pressing 3. So generally speaking, you are going to be switching back and forth between 1 and 3.
And if you don't want to draw on any grid, you want to draw out of perspective, then you either click on this ring around the cube or you press the 4 key. Now the reason I mention this is, is because there's a couple of different ways you might work. You might plan in advance; you might pay attention to what you're doing. You might say, okay, now I want to draw on the Right Grid, click on the Right Grid to make it orange. Then I am going to grab my Rectangle tool. And I am going to go ahead and drag, in this from the lower left corner, because that way, we are going to get the best alignment. And I will drag up into the right until I snap into alignment with that first rectangle, and that's a function of having Smart Guides turned on, so very, very useful indeed.
And I get this precise intersection. Now I happened to be working on a wrong layer inside the layers panel, so I will go ahead and drag that little orange square from Perspective 1 up to Perspective 2, because that's where it needs to be. So that's one way to work. I am going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to show you a different way. And I'll make sure in advance that the Perspective 2 layer is selected this time around. Let's say you are not paying attention, let's say the Left Grid is still selected, as it is now for me, because I went ahead and clicked on it. And you start drawing with a Rectangle tool and at first you're confused of course, you are thinking what in the world this is doing? Why is it on the wrong grid? Well, you don't have to stop and undo and then select the right pane and redraw, on the fly, you can just tap the 3 key, and that will go and switch you to that Right Grid.
So if you press 3, you're on the right pane, if you press 1, you're back on the left pane. If you press 2, you are on the ground pane, notice that. So I am drawing a little bit of grass, and if you press 4, then you're nowhere, you are on no pane whatsoever, and you're just drawing a standard flat rectangle. All right, I will press the 3 key, so this is all happening on the fly as I draw incidentally. And I'll go ahead and snap into alignment with that rear wall. And then I'll go ahead and change the fill color, because the Fill is active in my Color panel, and I am going to dial in a cyan value of 25, because I want a little shading on this side, and then I am going to skip ahead to the K value and dial in 30% black, like so.
And we end up getting this shaded effect here. Now the actual template is being lit from the right-hand side, so the sun is up into the right, but in my world the sun is going to be up into the left. So you can make any decisions you like. All right, so let's go ahead and draw the balcony now. So, I will start drawing from here let's say and of course, it's coming in wrong, so I will press the 1 key in order to move to the left pane. Then I'll release after I have created that shape. And I wanted it to be white, so I switch to white fill. And then I will drag down into the left like so, and I am getting the wrong effect of course, so I will press the 3 key in order to send it to the right pane on the fly.
And I'll go ahead and release when things looked to be in alignment. This time, I'm not getting a snap from Smart Guides, because I am not hitting anything; I am hitting a corner over on the right-hand side. And this shape wants to be 30% black, so I will go ahead and dial in that color in the Color panel. And then finally, I'm going to drag from this lower right corner, right there, and it's coming in at the wrong angle of course. I press the 2 key in order to switch to the ground plane. And at first I am going to get a very disconcerting effect, but that's okay, just go ahead and move back up.
Anything that's on top or on the bottom is on the ground plane, bear that in mind. So the top of the cube, a few exercises back that was on the ground plane and the bottom of this stack is on the ground plane as well. So once you snapped into alignment, which you will if you have your Smart Guides turned on, then go ahead and release. And let's go ahead and change this shape to 50% black in order to achieve this effect here. All right, I will press Ctrl+Shift+A in order to deselect that shape and I am going to press Ctrl+U or Command+U to turn off Smart Guides, just so that I don't have all that screen folderol. All right, so that's the benefit of working with Smart Guides in the Perspective mode.
You've also seen how you can switch between panes on the fly just by pressing a number key, here inside Illustrator.
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