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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.
So, I am pretty well loving this effect so far. But I'm feeling like there is disconnect between a synthetic artwork from Illustrator and some of these fuzzy elements that I created inside a Photoshop. And so I want to create a unifying effect in the form of paper texture. And we are going to do that, like so. This is just a series of filters heaped on top of each other. I am going to go ahead and collapse the effects that are associated with the droplets layers by clicking on this up pointing arrow head and then I am going to add a new layer on top of droplets. And I am going to do that by pressing the keyboard shortcut for a new layer in Photoshop, which is totally different from the one in Illustrator, and it's Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N for New on the Mac.
And then let's go ahead and call this layer texture and then click OK. That's all we need from that layer, we just need a black layer to start with. Now I am going to go ahead and convert this utter incomplete blankness to a Smart Object. By going up to layers panel flyout menu and choosing Convert to Smart Object. The only difference you'll see is that you get this little Page icon in the bottom right-hand corner of that thumbnail. The reason I am doing this is so that I can apply a series of Smart Filters to this layer, and that'll allow me to edit the Filter settings later on down the line if I so desire.
And I'll even show you an example before we are done. Go up to the Filter menu now. Just to get things started to start roughing in our paper texture, and choose Render and choose Clouds. Oops! Don't want to do that quite yet, because our foreground and background colors are messed up. So I want you to press the D key, as in default colors. Our foreground and background colors are black and white respectively. Now go up to the Filter menu, choose Render and choose Clouds. And the reason that we have to change the colors is because the clouds filter renders its clouds in the foreground and background color.
What it's really doing is adding what's known as Fractal Noise and what that gets us is just a random pattern of junk inside this layer and that's exactly what we want. Now by default, you are going to get this Filter Mask, next to the word Smart Filters here inside the layers panel and that just clutters up the layers panel, I don't like it. So what I recommend you do is right -click on that white thumbnail and choose Delete Filter Mask. You can always add it back in later if you need to, but there's no reason to do it here. Then go up to the Filter menu. We need to add a little bit of additional noise, and we are going to do that by going down to the Noise submenu and choosing Add Noise, and these are the settings that I would like you to apply.
An Amount value of 25%, Distribution should be set to Gaussian and then turn on Monochromatic. And once you've done that, go ahead and click OK in order to apply that filter. So now you can see that we've got this sort of noisy cloud pattern going on. All right! The noise, if you zoom in all the way to the 100% view, you'll see that the noise is single pixel noise and you may not be able to see this in the video unless I zoom in even farther, but it's pretty junky-icky horrible noise. We need to smooth it out a little bit.
We will do that by going up to the Filter menu again, choosing Blur and then choosing Gaussian Blur. And I am going to set the Radius value this time around to 2 pixels, so just a little bit of blur to smooth over those transitions, ever so slightly, then click OK. And notice that each one of our filters are being added to a list of Smart Filters underneath the texture layer and we can always change our mind later. And all you need to do to change your setting is to just double-click on one of these items.
All right! I am going to zoom back out a little bit so that we can take in more of the illustration at a time. And then I am going to go up to the Filter menu, and we need to convert this into a surface texture. And you do that by dropping down to the Stylize submenu and then choose Emboss. Inside the Emboss dialog box, you can pretty much enter any settings you want. But these are the settings I went with, an Angle value of 165 degrees, Height of 3 pixels. You could go a little higher if you want, but I would not go any higher than about 4 or 5. And then I set the Amount value to 200% and we get this texture pattern right there.
Click OK in order to accept that effect. Now, here's the trick. We are going to change the Blend mode that's associated with this entire layer. Here at the top-left corner of the layers panel, go ahead and click and choose Overlay. And that's going to drop out the grays. It's going to burn in the blacks. It's going to lighten the lights and we are going to end up getting this effect here, which is a kind of simulated paper texture. And now I am going to reduce the Opacity value to 65% like so, so that we are just getting a slight texture across the entire image. Press the Enter key or the Return key.
Let's go ahead zoom out to take in more of our illustration at a time. And so this is what the illustration look likes without that layer. This is what it looks like with that layer. Now here's the great thing. You can modify that Clouds Filter. If you're not altogether happy with the way that this surface texture is kind of weaves in and out with a pattern of highlights and shadows for example, then all you have to do so double-click on the word Clouds and that'll go ahead and change in a fly. Did you see that? And you can double-click again in order to watch it change again. And so each time you double-click on Clouds, Photoshop is going to apply a new and random effect, and it doesn't even bring up a dialog box; totally cool in my opinion. And you know what? These droplets, they are too much, I am at to send it back a little bit.
I am going to click on the droplets layer and reduce its Opacity value to 65% as well. And why 65%, why do I keep using that value? I don't know, just looks good to me. All right! I am going to go ahead and twirl close that texture layer to hide those Smart Filters and that is our final Apple effect for now. I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with the image, and go ahead and center the image on-screen. And here is our final Apple illustration created from that terribly unimpressive path outline that we saw at the beginning of the chapter, using a combination of Illustrator's 3D Revolve Effect along with some finessing here inside Photoshop.
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