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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'll show you how to use a dynamic pathfinder operation to create relationships between text and path outlines. So here's the idea: I really like the black strokes around the letters, but I feel like they're encroaching on the stars over here on the left- and right-hand sides. So what I want to do is remove the regions of stroke that overlap into the white ring created between the circles. So the effect I'm trying to achieve is this one here, where these portions of the stroke along the left edge of the S and along the right edge of the P are removed.
Now I can't somehow just drop out the black fills and strokes as they appear inside this white region; that's not possible given the fact that if there was such a blend mode that would drop out black when it overlaps onto white, then I would have that problem here as well where the black overlaps the white shadow. So, instead what I need to do is create this cover-up layer, and let me show you how. Go and switch over to my document thus far, and I'm going to grab the text by clicking on this baseline and then I am going to turn on my cover-up laye,r which currently just contains a copy of that 4 point thick circle. And then I'll duplicate the text onto this layer by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and dragging that little blue square onto the cover-up layer.
So as you can see in the thumbnails, I have got a copy of the text. I'll now turn off the stars & text layer, just so I can better focus on what I am doing here. And I'll switch over to the Appearance panel and I'll click the flyout menu icon, and I'll choose Clear Appearance, which wipes out everything. So Reduce the Basic Appearance is going to get rid of all your dynamic effects, as well as leave you with just one fill and stroke a piece; whereas Clear Appearance leaves you with no fill or stroke, as you can see here. Now I want to reinstate a fill by clicking on the Add New Fill and I'll change that fill to white so I can actually see the text. All right! Now I'll return to the Layers panel and I'll click on the circle that has a four-point stroke in order to select it.
I need to find the edges of that circle, which means converting it to a filled path outline, which you do going up to the Object menu, choosing Path, and then choosing Outline Stroke. Or if you loaded dekeKeys, you have got a shortcut of Ctrl+\ or Command+\ on the Mac. That ends up giving us a compound path. We just need the outside edge of that circle. So go up to the Object menu and choose Compound Path, and then choose Release. And then Shift+Click on the outer circle with the Black Arrow tool to deselect it, and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of the inner circle.
Now I'll select that outer circle again. We need to make it bigger so it's at least as big as the letters so that we have a region that's going to cover things up. So I'll go head and switch over to the Scale tool, which of course you can get by pressing the S key, then I'll drag from this lower right region down and to the right in order to increase the size of the circle, and then I'll press Shift+Alt or Shift+Option on the Mac. Shift keeps it a circle, the Alt or Option key will create a copy of the circle. And then go ahead and release.
Now twirl open this cover up layer and grab the larger selected circle and move it below the smaller one. So we are going to subtract everything from this rear shape. And then you want to meatball the layer, that way you're targeting the container instead of the objects inside the container. And then go up to the Effect menu, choose Pathfinder, and choose Subtract, and that will go ahead and subtract those shapes from the larger circle. Now it's hard to tell that that's what's happened, which is why I am going to click on the meatball for the rear circle, which is largest one, and then I'll go up to the first swatch in the Control panel and change the color to CMYK Cyan, just so we can see what's going on.
So in other words--I'll press the Escape key in order to hide that panel and zoom on out-- we've got this big circle with the smaller circle cut out of it, and then we have these little bits of letter form over here on the left hand side of the S and right-hand side of the P that are cutout as well. Now I'll turn that Stars & Text Layer back on. Our Cover-up Layer isn't doing us any good of course, because it's in back of the thing that it needs to cover up. So I am going to zoom back in and I am going to create a new layer below the cover-up layer.
So I'll go ahead and twirl this guy closed, click on the Cover up Layer to make it active, and then press Ctrl+Alt+L or Command+Option+L on the Mac; and I'll call this layer logo and then change its color to Violet. And because I took advantage of the keyboard shortcut, that goes ahead and creates a new layer below the cover up layer. Now press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool and click on the baseline for that point text to select the logo. And then go ahead and drag its little blue square down to the logo layer. You don't want to Alt+drag or Option+drag or any of that, you just want to move it to the right location. And now you can see that I am covering up the edges of the letters, but not enough.
I am going to go ahead and zoom on in. Notice that I am covering half the stroke that's outside the letters, but I'm not covering the half a stroke that's in the letters. So what you need to do is twirl open that cover up layer again. Go ahead and meatball the SHOOP object, which is the text; and now you want to shrink it, which means applying the Offset Path Effect. So go up to the Effect menu, choose Path, and then choose Offset Path. And we want a negative value, so I'll go ahead and start with an Offset value of 0, turn on the Preview checkbox, click inside the value, and press the Down Arrow key.
Now if I go all the way down to -3, I am going to start hitting that pattern fill at some point in time here. If you stay above -3--and I'm saying -3 because recall that's the size of the Offset that I applieto those Red and Pattern fills. Although, it's not really affecting us over here on the right some of the P, I'll go ahead and click OK. It should probably be affecting us where the S is concerned; it is, so it's starting to dig inside the colors of the S, which is of course a real problem.
So we need to change things by switching back over to the Appearance panel, clicking on the Offset Path that we just applied. I'll turn on the Preview checkbox and then click on the Offset value and press the Up Arrow key. And that's still really close to the edge of that fill. So I might try something like 1.7. Then I'll press the Tab key and see if that works, and that looks great where the S is concerned. So I'll go ahead and click OK and now I'll scroll back over to the P just so I can make sure everything is all right, and it is; which is good. All right! So I'll zoom back out here, pressing Ctrl+0 and then Ctrl++, that's Command+0, Command++, a few times there.
And the only thing left to do of course is to change the color of that cover up so it matches the color of the stuff behind it. So I'll go ahead and click on this outermost circle to select it and then I'll change its color from Blue to White in order to produce this effect here. And now we have managed to erase away part of the fill and stroke of this text here, by creating a cover-up layer set to the dynamic pathfinder operation, Subtract.
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