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Warping an envelope mesh

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Warping an envelope mesh

In this exercise, I'm going to demonstrate the convergence of Liquify and Envelope, because you can actually modify the shape of an envelope distortion using specifically the Warp tool right here. And then you can turn around and edit the content using some other tool and watch the envelope update those contents in real time. I've saved my progress as Scaled contents.ai, found inside the 25 liquify envelope folder. And I'm going to go ahead and click on that envelope distortion if I can find it-- it's right about there; it's a little higher than the hill-- with my Black Arrow tool in order to select it, and let's say I wanted to further modify my shapes here because my text is awfully crooked at the bottom.

Warping an envelope mesh

In this exercise, I'm going to demonstrate the convergence of Liquify and Envelope, because you can actually modify the shape of an envelope distortion using specifically the Warp tool right here. And then you can turn around and edit the content using some other tool and watch the envelope update those contents in real time. I've saved my progress as Scaled contents.ai, found inside the 25 liquify envelope folder. And I'm going to go ahead and click on that envelope distortion if I can find it-- it's right about there; it's a little higher than the hill-- with my Black Arrow tool in order to select it, and let's say I wanted to further modify my shapes here because my text is awfully crooked at the bottom.

And just to get a sense for what it should be, I'm going to press Ctrl+R, or Command+R on the Mac, in order to bring up my rulers. And I'm going to Shift+Drag a horizontal guideline down to the bottom of the illustration, like so. And that is going to be my baseline for my text--at least that's what I'm going to try to hit. And then I'll go ahead and Shift+Drag out of vertical guideline, and the reason I'm pressing the Shift key is so that I snap to one of the tick marks in my ruler. And notice that at this particular zoom ratio, I went in five tick marks, and I want to do the same thing on the other side, so I'm going to move that tear off menu down a little bit. And I'm going to drag out another vertical guideline, and I'm going to press the Shift key and count in five tick marks from the right.

All right, so those are my base guidelines here. Let's see if I can match them. Now I could of course drag at these anchor points and control handles using the White Arrow tool, but after a while that gets to be a little fatiguing. Another way to work is to warp that mesh. So we're still working inside the edit envelope mode, very important. And now I'm going to double-click on my Warp tool in order to bring up the Warp Tool options dialog box, and I'm going to reduce the Width and Height values to 200 points. I'm going to increase that intensity value to 50%, and I'm going to turn Simplify back on this time and increase the value to 50, which is the default setting.

And the reason I'm doing this is I don't want to introduce the ton of anchor points into my envelope. You will introduce some new anchor points, but you might as well keep it to a minimum. Now I click OK, because by the way that'll give you smoother results, which is what we're looking for in this case. And now I'm going to drag actually on the text that I want to modify, and I'm dragging down and to the right ever so slightly. Now you don't get a preview of what you've done until after you release, so you may have to drag more than one say at a specific location. What I recommend, by the way, is that you work slowly; don't try to get too much work done at once because you may go too far and then you will have to back off your effect, and that's kind of a pain in the neck.

The Envelope Distortion function is none too fast I should say, so you're going to have to wait for your screen to update after every one of your drags. So I'm dragging down at the obvious locations here in order to straighten things up where I can. I'm never going to get it perfectly straight, by the way, because I've got this rolling action up here at the top. But I do hope to reduce the amount of rolling action down at the bottom if I can where this author's name is concerned. And I'll go ahead and drag down a little bit there as well, and I really am trying to get decent results.

Notice that you may get that old equal and opposite behavior there, because I just dragged down on the T in the last name, and the T in Knight just jumped up in response to that. So you never know when that kind of stuff is going to happen. All right if you end up with an effect like this with both the K and the N need come out a little bit, then in that case I would just switch back to the Direct Selection tool and marquee these points like so in order to select all of them, and then drag them out. And I should say, by the way, another interesting use for the Envelope Distortion function is to distort imported images, because unlike the Liquify tools which more or less duplicate their equivalents inside of Photoshop, there is no equivalent for envelope-style distortions inside Photoshop.

The feature just doesn't exist, which I've only lamented about 100,000 times, but so far Adobe is not seen to include that feature, which means, by the way, that you can import an image in the Photoshop and then apply an envelope-style distortion. The only thing to bear in mind is you're going to have to embed that image, and I'll show you that shortly. I'm going to switch back to my Warp tool, and I'm going to drag just once more down here in the lower-left corner and see if I can do some good, and I'm just not really getting it. So you know what? I'll press the A key in order to switch back to the White Arrow tool and try and drag this guy out just a little bit.

And of course, you know, I hasten to mention here that you can nudge these points; once you select them, you can nudge them from the keyboard if you so desire. My keyboard increment is set very low, so to make any progress I'm going to have to select both of these points, I think, and then press Shift+Right Arrow in order to move them out a couple of points. And now it looks pretty good to me. Now I'm going to leave you with one last note. Just imagine, if you can use the Warp tool on the mesh that's assigned to an envelope-style distortion, then you must be able to apply that Warp tool to any mesh, including a gradient mesh.

So sometime when you get a chance, set up a linear gradient, convert it to a gradient mesh, and then mush it around using the Warp tool; you can get some fantastic results that way. In the meantime, in the next exercise I'm going to show you how to use the Crystallize tool to apply some grassy edges to our rolling hills.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

134 video lessons · 28335 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
      45s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
      58s
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
      33s
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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