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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.
In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to the next three Liquify tools which are Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat. I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Repeatedly warped horse.ai, and as you may recall, my horse is selected, but I've hit the selection outlines. So it's ready for more warping anytime I like. But before I start, I want to darken up my horse. I want it to look pitch black against this blue background. So I will go over to the color panel, make sure that my fill is selected, and then go to the flyout menu and switch to CMYK. And then I will dial in 50% for the Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow values, and I'll leave the black value set to 100%, and now we've got a rich, black horse, which is just the way it ought to be.
I am going to switch to the Twirl tool, and I'll go ahead and Shift+Alt+Drag like so--Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac-- to create a big, huge brush, and I'll click on the horse's face just ever so briefly. And you can see I end up twirling the face in a counterclockwise direction: that's the default behavior. Well, that default behavior is for beans; that's awful behavior. So I am going to press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that change, and I'll go up to the Twirl tool in this tear-off panel, double-click on it, and I am going to make a couple of changes.
First of all, I am going to turn Simplify off. So Detail and Simplify are independent tool settings, whereas these Global Brush Dimension settings here affect all the tools in kind. Now we've also got a new option here inside the Twirl Tool Options dialog box, and that's Twirl Rate, and currently it's way too fast. Now notice, by the way, you can either say that you want to twirl in a clockwise direction, which is a negative value, or a counterclockwise direction, which would be a positive value. I know that's not entirely intuitive, but that's the way it works.
What I am going to do is change this option to 1. So that would be 1 degree in some increment of time. I will go ahead and click OK, and now I will click on the horse's face again. And this time I get a much slower twirl rate, and I'm converting the horse into a kind of taper at this point. Now, let's say I want to restore the original horse face. As I click and hold, I can press and hold the Alt or Option key, and it will start twirling in the opposite direction. So you never Alt+Click or Option+Click with the Twirl tool in order to get it working, because that changes the brush size; instead, you either press and hold the Alt key or the Option key as you're already clicking, in which case I am starting to get this kind of duck face right there, or you can release your Alt or Option key--and I'm still clicking and holding, by the way--in order to twirl the horse face in the opposite direction-- whatever that direction maybe.
So now, we're going back to counterclockwise. And if I press Alt or Option, we're going to go clockwise again. Actually, at a certain point, we get this kind of seahorse face, which is pretty interesting; however, not even sort of what I want. But I just want you to have a sense of how that tool works. For our purposes, these tools next door are going to be a lot more useful: Pucker and Bloat. So let's start off with Pucker. I am going to zoom in here. Any place where you're losing some of your corner definition is a great place to employ the Pucker tool.
For example right here at the intersection of the neck and jaw, I wish that was a tighter intersection. So I am going to go ahead and Shift +Alt+Drag down left--that would be Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac--in order to get a much smaller brush, as you can see here, and then I'll click right there in that intersection. Now the problem is, well I just wiped it out, didn't I? One of the big problems is at this point that I've got too high of a setting, and I could demonstrate this even better if you'd like using the Bloat tool. So I will go ahead and grab the Bloat tool, which allows you to bloat details-- that is enlarge details-- inside of an illustration.
For example, if I wanted to bloat certain areas of the thigh, then I might click on them. Of course in this case I've given him either a tumor or a very strange knee. I don't want either of those two things, so I will press Ctrl+Z. The problem is that these tools are working much too quickly. So I am going to double-click on the Bloat tool, and I'm going to reduce the Intensity value down to no higher than 10% for this tool. When you do that, you're changing the Intensity value of course across the board, which is really irritating to me because you want to have independent intensity control over say the Bloat and the Warp tools, because the Warp tool works great at 50% and the Bloat tool works better at 10%.
But the fact of the matter is you're changing that Intensity setting for all of the tools at once. And now I am going to turn off Simplify once again, click OK, and now let's see if I can just make some minor modifications. Notice now, if I just click, I am just making small clicks here and there, I can increase the thickness of these legs, which is what I'm looking to do. And I've got lumps going here. Notice if I click outside of the horse, then I make him thinner at these locations, like so, so I am tucking those details up.
And then if I click inside the horse, I am shoving those details outward, which is pretty useful. I will also go ahead and do a number on the lips here, and see if I can get some of that lip action to go away, which is not really happening too well, but I made some progress there. I might want to increase the size of the jaws, like so, and actually that went ahead and restored some of the corner there at the intersection of the jaw and the neck. But again, you might also find that you want to use the Pucker tool, so I will go ahead and switch over to the Pucker tool, double-click just to make sure that the Intensity setting is still 10%. Yes, it is.
Simplify of course being a tool-by- tool control is back on, so I will turn it off. Click OK and let's see what I'm able to achieve there, actually much more subtle controls, which is nice, and then I can pinch the jaw back if I want to. Let's see if I can pinch these lips in. They are just bound and determined to be the sort of lumpy things right there. And then at this point I might have more luck with the Bloat tool if I kind of shove this area out just a little bit. That's looking actually way better I think. All right! Is there anything else that I need to take care of here? Generally speaking, I think things are looking pretty good.
I might want to go ahead and reestablish a little bit of a dip there by clicking outside the top of that wing using the Bloat tool and so forth. So knock yourself out; enjoy this as much as you want. In the next exercise, we're going to check out those final three Liquify tools, which are Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle.
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