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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 will show you how to simplify the Multi-Stroke effect in order to accommodate a curving path outline, which means getting rid of the Transform effects. And as a result, I'm not able to achieve those highlights and shadows. Also notice, by the way, that we have a little bit of distortion associated with these wooden ties. But, that's because we have a lot of curvature going on here. As soon as we create the final track effect, which has more gentle bends in it, as you can see, we're going to get rid of a lot of that distortion as well.
And despite the weird lighting that's going on--the fact for example that I don't have any highlights on the wooden ties and the highlights are coming in from different angles on the two rails--the final result ends up looking pretty darn good. So I will go ahead and switch over to my document in progress and twirl open the Tracks layer. Then I will turn off that new group that we just created and I will turn back on this curving outline here. And I will click on it with the Black Arrow tool to select it and then I will switch to the Eyedropper, which is still set up to lift the Appearance attributes.
I'll just go ahead and click on this rail here in order to duplicate the strokes that we've applied so far, many of which will remain useful to us. All right! Now I will switch over to the Appearance panel. We're going to get rid of a lot of things here--not quite everything, but an awful lot-- starting with the second-to-bottommost stroke. So, I will click on it, and then I will Shift+Click on this brown stroke here. And we'll go ahead and get rid of them just by clicking on the Trashcan in the lower-right corner of the panel. Then, I'll go ahead and select these two guys directly below the white cover-up stroke, and I will delete them as well.
And then we want to delete everybody else above that white stroke. So go ahead and click on this 10-point stroke, and scroll up the list, Shift+Click on the top one, and click on the Trashcan icon. So, you're going to be left with just four strokes. The great thing is these strokes contain the dash and gap information, so that we won't have to reenter those values. I'll go ahead and click on that bottommost stroke, and then click on the little Page icon at the bottom of the panel to duplicate it, and turn the Duplicate off for a moment. And then go ahead and change the color of the bottom stroke to Shadow Wood, and that will be the base for our tracks.
Then, go ahead and turn the Duplicate stroke back on, and reduce its line weight value to 120 points, and then click on Stroke. And we do have to adjust these dash and gap values. I am going to take the dash value from 24 down to 14, which means I am reducing it by 10. And so I need to split that 10 between the gap values, meaning that I need to add 5 to each one. So I will change the first value to 25, and the second gap value to 25 as well, in order to create this effect here. All right! Now, let's take care of these two strokes which represent the base plates.
I went ahead and twirled both of them open. I will click on this Transform effect. Click on the Trashcan to get rid of it. Click on this Transform effect, and click on the Trashcan to get rid of it as well. All right! Now, I will change the line weight for the bottommost stroke to 100 points, and then I will go ahead and take the line weight for the lighter stroke up to 98 points in order to create this effect here. All right! The white cover-up stroke is just fine. So, all you need to do is click on it to make it active so that the next strokes we create will be on top of it. Now, I'll click on the Add New Stroke icon down here in the bottom-left corner of the panel, and click on the word Stroke and turn off the Dashed Line checkbox, and then change the weight of this line to 90 points. And we want to change the color from White to Medium Rail.
This will serve as the beginning of our rail effect. Now I'll click Add New Stroke again, or press that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+Slash or Cmd+Option+Slash on the Mac. I am going to change the color this time to white, and I will reduce the line weight to 86 points, so that we have 2 points of gray showing up on either side. Then I will add another new stroke. I will change the color to Light Rail this time around. These are just shades of gray by the way; there is nothing else going on with them. Change the line weight to 82 points. Click Add New Stroke. Go ahead and change the color of this one to Shadow Rail, and then I will reduce the line weight value from 82 points to 72 points.
That way each of the rails is 5 points wide. And then finally, I will add another new stroke. Change its color this time to Dark Rail, and then reduce the line weight value by 4 to 68 points. All right! Now, we need to add back in the wooden ties and the base plates in the central area of the train track. So, I will click on this bottommost stroke and Shift+Click on this Light Gray stroke right there--the 98-point one--in order to select all four, and then I will Alt+Drag or Option+Drag those strokes to the top of the stack in order to duplicate them.
Now we want to change the line weights to 64 points a piece. So take this guy down to 64. Take this one down to 64 points. Unfortunately, I have to do this one stroke at a time. And grab this guy; he wants to be 64 points, and so does this one right here. And we end up achieving this effect here. Now, we don't need that brown stroke to be dashed in this way, because we'll cover it up with white in just a moment. So I'll click on the word Stroke next to the Dark Brown swatch, and I'll turn off Dashed Line for it. Now, we need to fill in the dark edge of the plate, and the rail in this central area right here.
So grab this stroke and this one--the second and third strokes near the top of the list-- and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag them to the top of the stack to duplicate them, and then move the Wood Grain stroke on top, and change its line weight from 64 points to 54 points like so. And then you want to change the line weight for that second Dark Gray stroke to 56 points in order to create this effect here. And now the final thing we need to do is fill in the regions of white. So I will grab this guy--the white 140-point dashed stroke--and go ahead and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag it to the top of the stack, change its line weight from 140 points to 64 points, so it matches these guys down here.
And then click on the word Stroke, and change the dash value to 40, and then change the gap value to 24, so that they still add up to a total of 64 points. And that, folks, is a simplified version of the train track effect that works with a curving path outline. And if I were to switch to the Rotate tool, you can see that I can rotate this line to any angle I like, and the effect still remains intact.
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