Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Using the gradient annotator


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Using the gradient annotator

I have saved my progress as Shiny In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to the Gradient tool and its partner in crime, the Gradient Annotator. So I'm going to start things off by duplicating the gradient we've already assigned to all the other shapes that require gradients, and they are these. Go ahead and click on anyone of the paths that has a red stroke assigned to it, and then go up to the Select Similar Objects icon up here in the Control panel. Click on the down pointing arrowhead next to it and choose All, just to make sure that you're matching all the attributes, which in this case include both Stroke and Fill Attributes.
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  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
14h 53m Intermediate Nov 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks
Deke McClelland

Using the gradient annotator

I have saved my progress as Shiny In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to the Gradient tool and its partner in crime, the Gradient Annotator. So I'm going to start things off by duplicating the gradient we've already assigned to all the other shapes that require gradients, and they are these. Go ahead and click on anyone of the paths that has a red stroke assigned to it, and then go up to the Select Similar Objects icon up here in the Control panel. Click on the down pointing arrowhead next to it and choose All, just to make sure that you're matching all the attributes, which in this case include both Stroke and Fill Attributes.

We don't want those red strokes, so let's get rid of them now by going up here to the Stroke Swatch in the Control panel and changing it to None. And then I'll press the Enter or Return key in order to get rid of that panel, and I'll Shift+Drag right around this area here, around the nose and the brow, and the muzzle in order to select those shapes. Don't select the whiskers, and you don't need to select the outside head, either. All right, now I'm going to go ahead and lift the assigned gradient by pressing the I key to get the eyedropper down here, and you can do one of two things. One would be the wrong thing to do, but I'll show it to you first.

You could just click inside the shape, and notice if you do that, you're going to get rid of those white strokes that formerly appeared around the brow, and the nose, and the muzzle, and we want to keep those white strokes, so that's a problem. Also notice that all the gradients are going from black over on the left hand side to white on the right-hand side, just like they appear inside the Gradient panel, but not in keeping with the way they were assigned to the forehead, which I think is peculiar. So we lost the angle information in other words. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that mistake.

Make sure that the fill is active here in the Color panel or at the bottom of the toolbox, then press the Shift key and click inside that forehead gradient. And what that does is it goes ahead and lifts just the gray. I didn't mean to do that. That's because I clicked inside of a color inside that gradient. So I just lifted the gray and assigned it as a flat fill. Don't want that, press Ctrl +Z, Cmd+Z on the Mac. Instead, I'll Shift+Click on the outline of the gradient, of the path, that is, in order to lift the entire gradient and assign that gradient to my path outlines.

And notice now that I have also retained the angle information, in addition to the fact that I did not replace the strokes. So the strokes remain intact. All right, so that's a Shift+Click once again, and you have to do it right there on that path outline. Now next, I'm going to go over here to the Gradient panel and I'm going to restore this black color stop to a location of 0%, and then I'm going to reverse the angles of the gradients, just by clicking on this Reverse Gradient icon, and we'll get this effect here. All right, so far so good. I'll press the V key in order to get my Black Arrow tool. Click off the shapes to deselect them.

And let's get to work first on this brow. So basically all these paths to which I've assigned gradients, they all need gradients, but all the gradients have to be finessed. None of them are proceeding at the right pace or the right angle right now. So we're going to start things off with the brow, and that's this shape right there, that goes around the eyes and down into the nose. Click on the path outline to select it and then switch over to the Gradient tool. And as soon as you do, you should see this Gradient Annotator here inside of the illustration. Now if you don't see the Gradient Annotator, go up to the View menu and choose what should be the Show Gradient Annotator command.

You also have the shortcut, which is Ctrl+Alt+G or Cmd+Option+G on the Mac, and that allows you to toggle the gradient annotator on and off, just if you want to be able to see your paths better onscreen, for example. Now notice how this Gradient Annotator is constructed. When you move your cursor away from it, it appears as a bar and then when you hover your cursor over the Annotator it shows you the colors, and the color stops inside of the gradient. Down here at the bottom, we see a circle, and that indicates the gradient origin, the point at which the gradient begins.

Up at the top you are either going to see a diamond, or if you move away you're going to see a square, and that's the gradient terminus, that indicates where the gradient ends. So the final color in the gradient appears at the terminus, the first color in the gradient appears at the origin. Now these two points work differently than each other. So one of the things you can do is drag the entire Annotator by dragging the origin like so, and if you start moving it away, away from the center of the shape that is, then you're got to see this rectangle. And what that rectangle is telling you, is that the current location of your annotator isn't where it's really going to land.

It's going to land at that parallel dotted line location. So in other words, right in the center of the nose, as soon as I release. And so it's worth paying attention to, even though it doesn't make a lot of sense necessarily when you first start using this tool that you get this dotted box all the time. It's worth watching what's going on with it, because it tells you what's up as you work. The end point right here, the Terminus point, if you drag it, you're going to move the last color in the gradient with respect to the first color. So dragging the origin point moves both the first and last colors around, as well as any intermediate color stops, dragging the last guy right here changes the length of that gradient and the location of the endpoint of the final color.

If you move your cursor slightly away from that terminus, not the origin, notice this. You have got to move your cursor away from the terminus, then you'll get this little Rotate icon, and that means you can drag in order to change the angle of the Annotator. Notice you're going to get that dotted outline once again, that dotted line that's parallel to the annotator is where the annotator is going to land. So as soon as I release, it's going to spring back to this location here. All right, what I want, however, is a nice straight up-and-down gradient. So I'm going to drag the Origin point down to the chin of the cat and then go ahead and release it, and that doesn't help.

And this is one of the reasons you have got to pay attention to that dotted outline, because it shows you where the gradient is really going to land, and it ain't going to be down here no matter how hard you try, until you go ahead and rotate the gradient back to an upright position. And you can do that by changing the Angle value back to what it should be, which I believe is something like 90 degrees or -90, or you can go ahead and move your cursor to just beyond the terminus and drag around like so, and press the Shift key in order to constrain the angle to exactly vertical, and then release.

And now you will go ahead and move that annotator to the middle of the gradient, then you go ahead and drag it down into position, like so. So even though the Gradient Annotator is pretty intuitive, because it allows you to edit the gradient right there inside the illustration, it does often time involve a handful of steps in order to get that annotator exactly where you want it to be. So this is the effect I'm looking for. I want you know a few other things. If you want to change the color of one of your color stops, there they are, you have got to hover over the Annotator and then you'll see the color stops and then you can double-click and that will bring up either the Color panel or the Swatches panel, so you can switch back and forth between those.

If you want to add a color to the gradient you just click, notice that your cursor changes to a white arrow with a little Plus sign next to it. When you move your cursor just slightly beyond the edge of that annotator, you click and that will create a new color stop, and notice it's an intermediate color stop. The same thing happens when you click under the Gradient Bar here inside the Gradient panel, and you can also Option+Drag or Alt+Drag one of these color stops in order to duplicate it, you can drag a color stop away like so, in order to delete it from the gradient.

And that my friends, is how you use the Gradient tool and the Gradient Annotator here inside Illustrator.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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