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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.
I have saved my progress as Shiny forehead.ai. 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.
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