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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I'll show you how to finish off the Anasazi stop sign using a combination of graphic styles and the Eyedropper. I have saved my progress so far as the document called Offset shapes. ai inside the 07_edit_transform folder. Now I'm going to go ahead and turn on my big unite layer, my tracing template layer, so can I see the circle in the background, the circle that I still need to draw. Then I'll go grab my Ellipse tool, which I might need to select from the flyout menu or you can press the L key. The best to align this circle with an existing circle, the one in the template, I want to drag from arc to opposite arc.
So I'm going to start dragging with the tool right about there on that arc and then as I'm drawing, I'll press Ctrl and Shift, press and hold Ctrl and Shift; that's Ctrl in order to draw from arc to opposite arc and that Shift in order to constrain the shape to a circle; on the Mac, that's Command and Shift. Keep those keys down because if you release them, then it's going to go back to this. All right, anyway, Ctrl and Shift+Down, Command and Shift+Down on Mac, use the Spacebar obviously to get the circle into alignment, as you see me doing here. Then release the Spacebar, when you got it. Keep Ctrl and Shift+Down, keep Command and Shift+Down on the Mac, use Spacebar as needed, until you get the shape aligned where it needs to be. This looks pretty good.
Then I'll go ahead and release the mouse button, and then release Ctrl and Shift or Command and Shift on the Mac. I'm going to go ahead and hide my template now because I just want to be able to see the objects that I'm working on. Go ahead and press Ctrl+Shift+Left bracket or Command+Shift+Left bracket to send that circle to back, so that it is not covering up the hand. Then get your black Arrow tool and I want you to select just the outer hand and the circle; nothing more, just those two shapes. In other words, all three shapes except for the inner hand. I want you to bring up the Graphic Styles palette.
I can get to it by clicking on this icon right there; fairly nondescript icon, looks like a bunch of squares. Very good palette, however. You can also go to the Window menu and choose Graphic Styles or press Shift+F5. I'm going to go ahead and click on the icon, however, and then you will see one style of Merit. It's called Shadow, click on it, and that will apply that Shadow style to your selected objects. What you have now is a rich black stroke. You have this amber fill, this guy right there which is called cyan color. Then you have a blue shadow and it's based on the hand shape color. So you can see that blue drop shadow right there.
I will be discussing drop shadows and graphic styles in lots more detail in a later chapter, but for now, notice that if I click off the shapes, you can see that we have now just got an outer hand and a circle, we have lost the inner hand. That's because it has gotten covered up by the outer hand, because the outer hand was created after it. So I'm going to select the inner hand and I can move my cursor, until I see a little box. Notice that, so that I can click through the outer hand shape to select the inner hand. By the way, I just need to make this clear for those of you who may be jumping around. I'll press Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac and I'll switch to Selection & Anchor Display. This is a function of having Object Selection by Path Only turned on, which I advocate is the best way to work. Cancel out in my case, so that allows me to click through shapes to select them. I have got this inner path selected. I'll now press Ctrl+ Shift+Right bracket, Command+Shift+Right bracket on the Mac to bring it to front.
It currently has a stoke but no fill, as you can see right here. It's got a fill of none, so it's transparent. We can now see the inner hand. Now I'm going to select the beveled hand right there and I want to change its fill. I like the fact that it's got the shadow and the stroke but its fill should be this color right there, which is Hand outline. I'm going to click on it in the Swatches palette and that will work. Assuming of course that the fill is active, as it is for me. Then I'll go ahead and click on the inner hand. If you are looking very closely, you will notice that there are some light edges around the black stroke, which is suggesting that this is not a rich black stroke at all. Even though I told you we have rich black strokes what we do for the styled objects, the two outer objects, but we don't for this guy; he has never been styled.
So I'm going to click on this path to make it active. I'm going to press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac, so we can see what's going on. Let's zoom in a little bit here. Now then, I'm going to grab my Eyedropper tool, which is located right there, and you can get to it by pressing the I key as well. I'm going to lift the attributes that are associated with the outer circle by clicking on its outline. Notice just like that, we get a yellow fill and we also get a rich black stroke right there. So our tiny white fringes go away.
Notice that we don't get the drop shadow. So the Eyedropper is set, by default, just to grab the fill and stroke attributes, not to grab any dynamic effect attributes. So we don't get the drop shadow, which is exactly what we don't want to get. So this is perfect. All right, we do need to do a little additional styling, though. I'll press Shift+X in order to swap the fill and stroke attributes, so that we have a black fill and a yellow stroke. That's great in that we have a light stroke, but I want it to be a lighter still. So I'm going to go up to the Stroke option in the Control palette, click on it and I'm going to change that swatch to white. Incidentally, I might as well get some medium thumbnails inside of this version of the Swatches palette as well.
All right, then I'll click on white and next I'll click on the Fill, change it to Medium Thumbnail View. So you have got different thumbnails for every single version of the Swatches palette. Then change that fill to Hand Shape. Then finally, I want to make the Stroke Weight, not 0.5 points, but a full point, like so. That is the final version of the Anasazi stop sign here inside Illustrator CS4.
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