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Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials is the first installment in a series of courses designed to show experienced Illustrator users to how master core features and build art more efficiently. Adobe Illustrator has evolved dramatically over the years, and many creative professionals may be missing out on features that have been added to the latest versions. This course takes a fresh approach to core concepts, such as paths, attributes, object hierarchy, groups, and layers. Advanced techniques such as combining multiple effects and customizing textures are also included. Exercise files and a free worksheet are included with the course.
Let's take a look at one more real- world example about why we might want to apply multiple fills to a single object using appearances inside of Illustrator. Let's take another look at this congratulations card that we created earlier. We added a really nice border using multiple stroke attributes. Well, now in this file called congrats_2, we actually want to wake up the background somewhat to this file. Let's add some kind of a texture to the nice bland little light yellow color that we have going on inside of the background. Now, what we are going to do here is actually something quite interesting.
We know that inside of Illustrator, we have three different types of fills that we can apply as attributes to an object. We have solid colors, which we are using right here. We can also add patterns and we can add gradients. So what we are going to do in this example is actually create a single object that has three different fills-- a solid-color fill, a pattern fill, and the gradient fill--to create a really nice texture for the background of this artwork. Now I don't have any gradients or patterns yet inside of my file, but it's really easy to get them. I am actually going to go straight to my Swatches panel, and in the lower left-hand corner there is a button here that allows you to access a variety of different libraries that come with Illustrator.
So I am going to click on that icon. I am going to scroll down to where it says Gradients, and I am going to choose something here called Fades. In fact, there is one here which is called Fade To Edge White, and simply by clicking on it, I can see that now it gets added to the Swatches panel on my document. Now I also want to add a pattern. If I come over here to that same little icon here for the Swatch Libraries menu, I'll see there is also an entire submenu here, or subfolder, for patterns. I am going to choose Basic Graphics, and then I will choose Basic Graphics_Dots. Now here there is a pattern, which I really like.
It's called 10 dpi 40%, and once again, I will click on that pattern, and you will see that now that gets added to my Swatches panel as well. Great! Now I can close these external libraries. We have the elements that we need to start building this texture. I am going to start out by first clicking on the background itself to select it. It's simply a regular object, a regular rectangle. It is filled with this light yellow color, but it does not have a stroke applied to it. I'll begin by adding a second fill to this object, and I'll set this fill to be filled with that pattern that we added before, the 10 dpi 40% pattern.
So now we get this beautiful kind of like polka-dot pattern that's going on inside of the background. However, the pattern itself is way too strong or intense for the needs that I want to use here. So I am going to click on the twirl-down just for this fill here, the fill with the pattern, because I want to modify some of the opacity settings. I am going to click on the word Opacity here, which temporarily brings up the Opacity or the Transparency panel, and I'll set the Opacity here to 10%. I'll press Tab to accept that value, but I am also going to set the blend mode to Multiply. So now when I click over here to actually hide the Transparency panel, I'll see that now that pattern kind of fades in really nicely.
But I'm not done yet. I really want to add just a little bit more to this. So I am going to add yet a third fill to this object, again, by clicking on the Add New fill option. But I am going to change over here the pattern that I've used to that gradient, that Fade To Edge White gradient. This is actually a gradient, if I look at my Gradient panel here, that starts out completely transparent, goes to white, and then goes back to transparent again, which you can see right over here. So remember this third fill now starts out completely transparent, so I see both the yellow and the pattern that appears beneath it.
It goes to white and then it goes back again to transparent. Once I have the Gradient panel open here, I am actually going to change the angle to around 45 degrees. This really adds kind of a nice design element to this, but it's still a little bit too strong. So I am actually going to change the opacity of just this fill to about 70%. Now I will deselect the artwork, and take a look at that. We've taken a regular object, a single path. We've added three different types of fills to it. We have added a solid fill, a pattern fill, and a gradient fill.
Now we have modified the settings such as transparency or blend modes, and we have gotten a really nice result, a great texture, a great background, for this great design.
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