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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.
All right, now that we've completed the 3D Apple inside of Illustrator, it's time to make it look a little more naturalistic inside a Photoshop, and that's an area in which Photoshop really excels. Now, I've done some work in advance inside a Photoshop, after all this is not a Photoshop course, but we will be assembling some of the effects together as well. So I'm going to go ahead and switchover to Photoshop. And as you can see, I have gone ahead and rasterized the Apple inside of this file called Apple in pixels.psd, and now its just the just a matter of going to the Bridge and right-clicking on that final 270 degrees Apple file, and then opening it in Photoshop.
And I opened it as a RGB file at 300 pixels per inch and then I also went ahead and expanded the canvas and I did that, incidentally, to give myself more room to work. I went up to the Image menu and chose the Canvas Size command and I expanded the size of the canvas ultimately to 3900 pixels wide by 330 pixels tall. And if you spend any time in my Photoshop courses, you know that I prefer to work in pixels as opposed to inches or points or picas or any of that stuff, because after all Photoshop is a pixel level program.
All right, I am going to go ahead and cancel out of there. And now I'll just turn on a few layers that, as I say, I've created in advance for you. Down here at the bottom of the layers panel I have got this Base Gradient and that's a special Gradient layer that you can create by going to this little black-white icon and choosing the Gradient command, that ensures that the Gradient is editable well into the future if you decide to change your mind about the direction or the colors or what have you. Then I went ahead and added this little bit of background wall and ultimately, that's just an area of black that I selected, and then I use the Motion Blur Filter in order to create a soft transition.
Next, I went ahead and painted in a few Shadows on independent layers. So, there is this layer called shadow out, which is a fairly large region of shadow down below the Apple. And you can see that the Opacity of this layer is set to 60%, so I painted in black, then I actually applied the Motion Blur Filter back and forth, and Motion Blur, in case you are curious: under the Filter menu, you go to Blur, and then you choose Motion Blur. And I have the Motion Blur Filter set to 0 degrees and a really big distance about 500 pixels and that way I was able to slide that shadow back and forth to get a more naturalistic look out of it.
And then I added an additional Shadow that's much smaller that appears directly underneath the Apple and it's also set to a lower opacity value, as you can see, 50%. I typically apply the Multiply Blend mode when I'm burning in Shadows, generally a good idea. All right, now I have this edge layer. And the idea behind this edge layers, is I wanted to add a little bit of shading on the inside of the right half of the Apple, so I'll go ahead and turn that on. And that was just a function of selecting a region with a Lasso tool of all things and then painting inside of that Lassoed area on an independent layer like usual.
Now there are a couple of changes I want to make to this layer, I think it looks pretty rotten right now, and so here's the idea. First of all I am going to zoom in, so that you can see that I was a little sloppy about sort of painting into the red portions of the Apple, into that skin, so down here at the bottom and up here at the top as well, I avoided the stem, which was a good thing. However, I can avoid the skin as well by double-clicking on this layer, so you double-click in an empty region of the layer over here on the right hand side of the layer name, and that brings up the layer Style dialog box.
Then you drop down to this underlying layer control, which allows you to force through pixels from underlying layers inside your composition, and I dragged his Black slider over to about 105, and you can see that that makes sure that this black area doesn't cover up the skin anymore. So in this case anything that has a Luminous Level of 105 or darker on the Background layers, which includes the apple skin, apparently, because I saw it disappear there, will be forced through. All right, now I'll go ahead and click OK to accept that effect.
And the next trick is to go ahead lower than Opacity value, and I went ahead and took it down to 30%. So we have just a little bit of shading on the inside of that right side. I'll turn it off and then back on, so that can see the difference. All right, the next thing I want to do is darken up the Apple. And this is one of the great things about using Illustrator and Photoshop in combination with each other, is you can get your colors roughed out inside of Illustrator or pretty near exactly where you want them to be, and then can just make some additional adjustments inside a Photoshop.
And I find often times that, I later regard my Illustrator colors as being a little too garish and I want to tone them down a little bit in Photoshop. So, in this case, I'll go and select the Apple layer to make it active, then I am going to press and hold the Alt or Option key and I'm going to click on this black-white icon and choose the Levels command, and this will allow me to darken this Apple. And I'm going to go ahead and call this layer deep, because I am making the colors a little deeper and I am going to turn on this Checkbox, Use Previous layer to create Clipping Mask. Now if you are not familiar with Photoshop, what this does is it limits this independent Adjustment layer to just the layer underneath, just that Apple layer, and not all the other layers as well.
So I'll go ahead and click OK. And now inside this Adjustments panel I am going to grab this Output Levels value and I'm going to reduce it to 215, so I am saying the brightest color inside of the Apple will be a luminous level of 215, which is pretty light gray, but it's a little darker than absolute white, and that just tones down the Apple, so it fits more comfortably in its new environment. All right, so that's good for now. In the next exercise I am going to show you how to map on some real-world Apple skin, from an actual photograph of an Apple.
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