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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
I've saved my progress as Initial pepper mesh.ai. In this exercise I am going to show you a couple of things. First of all, we're going to reinstate the stroke that we just lost when we filled the shape with the gradient mesh. So you initially lose your former Fill and Stroke attributes. And then secondly, I am going to show you how to add and delete mesh lines using the Mesh tool. So if you're working along with me, get your Black Arrow tool and click on the outline of this foremost left-hand pepper shape, or notice also if you move your cursor inside the shape, at various points you'll see the cursor change to a Black Arrow tool with a little black square next to it and that indicates that there is some thing under that cursor that you can click on, and if I click right there, I've managed to select one of those mesh lines.
And that selects the entire shape because I've got the Black Arrow tool selected. Now, notice over here in the Appearance panel, we see Mesh. We don't see any sign of Fill and Stroke, so a mesh is its own thing. Strictly speaking, I guess it's a fill effect because it's certainly not a stroke effect. However, Illustrator regards it as this kind of path that has colors associated with it that exist inside of a larger form. Anyway, what I'm going to do here in the Appearance panel is I am going to drop down to my Add New Stroke icon or I can press Ctrl+Alt+Slash or Command+Option+Slash on the Mac to create a new stroke, and that's it. That just goes ahead and adds a stroke to the shape.
Now, the shape has to be selected in its entirety with the Black Arrow tool for that technique to work. All right! Next, I'm going to zoom in here so that I can see my shape more closely. And I was telling you, because this is a volumetric form and it's coming out at us, we should probably have more gridlines over on the outside. And I know from experience with working with this shape that that's the way that we're going to get the best Highlight and Shadow control. And I'm not suggesting for a second, by the way, that we absolutely 100% match what was going on inside of the original photograph. We don't have to completely match those highlights and shadows.
In fact, as long as we're redrawing it, we might as well take some creative liberties, but I do want to make sure that we have as much latitude as possible. So I'm going to switch over here to my Mesh tool, which you can get by pressing the U key. Then I'm going to click very close to the edge, like so, and you have to click, by the way, on one of the existing segments. So if you want to add a vertical mesh line, then you need to click on an existing horizontal segment. So whatever you click on, you're going to add a line that's perpendicular to it. So I'll click here in order to create a new, more or less, vertical mesh line and then click right about here in order to add a line at that point.
And if you feel like you didn't get it at the exactly right location, you can press Ctrl+Z or Command+ Z on a Mac and try again. Also, I am going to add a mesh line over here, like so. And then let's say that I want to move these guys around a little bit. I'm not exactly happy with the placement of some of the Row and Column lines, and again, I just know this from experience. [00 can actually assign some colors first and see how things were going and then move the lines around, but we're just doing all this blind moving at advance so that you have a sense of what your options are. Now, when you're using the Mesh tool, notice you can go ahead and drag a point like so if you want to.
If you press the Shift key as you drag, you will keep one of the lines stationary. So I could either drag horizontally like so and I'll just move the point along that more or less horizontal line, or I could move the line vertically instead, like so, so now I am moving the point up and down that more or less vertical line. So that's a way to work, but if I wanted to grab this line and start moving it over, I'd have to use that technique over and over again, because you can't select multiple points with the Mesh tool, which is insanity! But I will tell you this. You can select multiple points using the Direct Selection tool, and in fact, most of the work you're going to do is with the Direct Selection tool.
It just doesn't happen often, that constraint I showed you a moment ago. If you press the Shift key while you're dragging a point around with the White Arrow tool, then you're just going to move it vertically or horizontally or diagonally or what have you. It's not going to take into account the existing contour of that line. Anyway, but you can then grab a bunch of different points and move them around like so. I don't want to do that. I don't want to make a total mess of this one. So I might press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac a few times in a row in order to undo that madness there. A couple of other things you should note. If you drag a control handle using the White Arrow tool, then you'll move its opposite control handle as well, because ultimately every one of these anchor points is a kind of double smooth point, so it has two sets of control handles running through it, and with the White Arrow tool you'd move one set as you drag it.
If you grab the Mesh tool and you press the Shift key as you drag one of these guys, you'll move all four of them. So this is a special Mesh tool only technique. I've got to tell you, I never take advantage of it, but it is there, it is an option, and you may find it helpful. I am going to delete this line and replace it in a better location. In fact, I am going to delete a couple of these lines. Now, you do that by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and clicking on either a point, but if you click on a point, if you Alt+Click on a point or Option+Click, then you're going to delete both the row and the column line, together, and that's not what I want.
So I'll go ahead and undo by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. If you just want to delete either a column line or a row line, then Alt+Click between the points. So I am going to Alt+Click right there in order to delete that column and there as well. This is Option+Click on a Mac. And now I am going to click right there in order to move that line to a different location, just an easier way of working instead of dragging all those points around. And then I'm going to click right about there in order to set up another line. We want to add a few column lines as well, so I am going to click right about here actually in order to create a new column line -- no, that's a row line.
I've been calling these things wrong things. This is a column line, this is a row line. Fine. All right, so a new horizontal line I added in there and now I am going to add another one way at the top here, in order to set that in place. And this looks pretty good. So just some basic things that you can do with the Mesh tool and with the White Arrow tool, and as I say, we're going to be doing most of our work with the White Arrow, because it's the easier to work with in my opinion. And we're going to start doing that in the next exercise.
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