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Using the Appearance panel

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Using the Appearance panel

So at this point right now you have a pretty good understanding of how to create graphics inside of Illustrator, although at a very simple level, how to make selections and how to basically work your way around the interface. Now let's get a better understanding of the drawing model inside of Illustrator and at the very core of that, there is something called the Appearance panel. In fact inside of Illustrator itself I figured the Appearance panel is probably one of most important parts of understanding how Illustrator works. And I believe that the more that you understand about how appearances work, the easier of the time you will have using Illustrator. So I have this file open on my screen, it's called appearances, you will find it inside of Chapter 08 of the exercise files and I'm also going to go over here to the Appearance panel, I'm actually just going to pull out the Appearance panel so we can take a closer look at it. Let's close the Graphics Styles here, let's move this down just to the side here and focus on exactly what this means here inside of the Appearance panel. In fact one of the great things about Illustrator CS4 is this improved Appearance panel, which gives you four more options to work with.

Using the Appearance panel

So at this point right now you have a pretty good understanding of how to create graphics inside of Illustrator, although at a very simple level, how to make selections and how to basically work your way around the interface. Now let's get a better understanding of the drawing model inside of Illustrator and at the very core of that, there is something called the Appearance panel. In fact inside of Illustrator itself I figured the Appearance panel is probably one of most important parts of understanding how Illustrator works. And I believe that the more that you understand about how appearances work, the easier of the time you will have using Illustrator. So I have this file open on my screen, it's called appearances, you will find it inside of Chapter 08 of the exercise files and I'm also going to go over here to the Appearance panel, I'm actually just going to pull out the Appearance panel so we can take a closer look at it. Let's close the Graphics Styles here, let's move this down just to the side here and focus on exactly what this means here inside of the Appearance panel. In fact one of the great things about Illustrator CS4 is this improved Appearance panel, which gives you four more options to work with.

So first let's understand exactly what an appearance is. As we had discussed way back in the beginning of this video title we understand the concept of there being a path inside of Illustrator and that path is made up of anchor points. Now the path itself is something that's there for us to see, it defines the shape itself but if you don't have any stroke or fills applied to that particular path and the path itself is invisible, it's only for us to see on a computer screen but on a paper when it gets printed out it does not appear at all. That path or that fill attribute that you apply to a particular shape is called its appearance. However as we will see there are many different attributes or things that we can do with these appearances.

So let's take a closer look. I'm going to select this particular shape right here, it's just the outline of a surfboard and I want to start to colorize this and work with this. So first of all you don't even need to go to the Control panel anymore, a lot of the settings for how you control the appearance of an object can be done directly through the Appearance panel. This is great, now inside of Illustrator CS4. In previous versions of Illustrator, the Appearance panel showed me the settings for the appearances but wouldn't actually allow me to edit those particular settings or make change to them. I would need to go elsewhere. Now I can really go ahead and make all the changes right through the Appearance panel. For example, I see right now that I have a black 1 pt Stroke in my object and I have a white Fill. Let's go ahead and change that white fill to yellow. I can click right over here on this little square and get the pop up right here and change it to yellow. This is something that I would previously have had to gone over here in the Control panel or into the Swatches panel or in the Color panel. Now I can do it right from the Appearance panel.

I also want to change my Stroke Weight. I'll click over here on this number over here and I'll change it to about 20 pt. So now what I have is basically a stroke that I have applied to this particular shape right here and I also have a yellow fill. Now we know that inside of Adobe Illustrator, there is this concept, which we call a stacking order. Stacking order means that objects are built in some kind of a hierarchy, things always appear either above or beneath other objects. For example, if I were to take this, right now this shape, hold down my Option key -- by the way one of the nice things about Illustrator the keyboard shortcuts, if you hold down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows and you click and drag any particular object that actually makes a copy of that object.

Now I have two surfboards. Now this surfboard is sitting on top of the one that was there before. I could go to the Object menu and choose Arrange > Send to Back and now that particular surfboard is behind it, right. I can always move objects either to the front or behind other objects. I'm actually just going to go ahead and delete that. One really important thing about the Appearance panel is that Illustrator is showing me not just the fact that it has a black 20 pt stroke and also a yellow fill, it's telling me settings about that particular object, or how Illustrator created that particular graphic. We don't really think about it in this way but each object on its own also has a stacking order. By default, Illustrator always draws the fill first and then it draws the stroke on top of that. Let me explain why it does that by default.

Notice that when I apply this 20 pt stroke the actual weight of the stroke or the thickness of the stroke is distributed evenly on either side of the stroke. On the inside is 10 points and on the outside is 10 points, all together that makes up 20 pt for the Stroke Weight here. If I were to change my stroke weight for example to 5 pt I would have 2.5 points of the stroke on the outside of the path and then 2.5 points of the stroke on the inside of the path. Illustrator calls putting that on the centerline of the path. There is this setting inside of the Stroke panel specifically that allows it to align your stroke to all to the inside or all to the outside. But again we will not talk about that now, by default and this is something that you should really keep in mind; the stroke inside of Illustrator is always distributed evenly along the centerline of the path.

The reason why Illustrator does that its because if you would then go ahead and have your fill be painted on top of the stroke then your fill, which comes all the way up to the edge of the path itself would cover over the inside part of your stroke over here. So you wouldn't see the full weight of the stroke. So what Illustrator does, it paints the fill first and then it paints the stroke on top of that so that way none of the stroke is hidden beneath the fill itself. However, with the Appearance panel we see that information right here. Illustrator is not just go ahead and letting me know that it has these attributes for the fills and the strokes, it's actually telling us how that particular object was created because the order in, which the way that things appear inside of the Appearance panel are extremely important, they let you know how Illustrator created that graphic. Just like as we will see about the Layers panel inside of Illustrator. Everything inside of Illustrator is drawn from the bottom up, as you keep drawing new graphic each thing that you draw that's new is basically placed at the top of the stacking order.

So in Illustrator this particular graphic was created by first applying default opacity then Illustrator painted the yellow fill and then Illustrator painted the 20 pt black stroke. The great thing about the Appearance panel though is that you have control over that and if you don't like that particular setting you can change it. You can do that by simply taking the stroke right here, clicking on that particular stroke and dragging it now beneath the fill. By doing so now I have changed the stacking order of the object itself; take a look at my appearance right now. I can no longer see that 10 points of the stroke on the inside because my fill is covering that up.

So the Appearance panel gives me the control basically to not only see and adjust the settings for my particular appearance in my object. But I could also adjust where they sit in the stacking order for each individual object and it's important to realize, as I press Undo for a second here, that the Appearance panel also has an area in the top here, which we call our target. The word path now is highlighted kind of listed here in bold and I see a thumbnail basically the attributes of that particular path, the yellow fill and the black stroke. You will notice that the target itself also appears in the upper left hand corner and as we go through the rest of the chapter here we will talk more about what targeting means. But basically as I'm working you will start seeing and understanding more about targeting, more understanding about what appearances are and now that we have just an understanding at a very basic level of why the Appearance panel is important. In the next movie we will learn about how targeting takes us to that next level.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48560 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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