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Subtracting editable text from a path


Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Subtracting editable text from a path

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.
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  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Deke McClelland

Subtracting editable text from a path

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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