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Up and Running with Astute Graphics for Illustrator

From: Up and Running with Astute Graphics for Illustrator

Video: Working with drop shadows

Now that we've seen the layout of the Stylism panel. Here's the Opacity control, the Offset, the Blur, and the Color.

Working with drop shadows

Now that we've seen the layout of the Stylism panel. Let's see how to use the controls that are attached to objects in the document. We'll start with Drop Shadow. To apply a drop shadow effect to this star with stylism, I'll first select the star, and then click the Drop Shadow button in the Stylism panel. This automatically switches me to the Stylism tool, and applies the default drop shadow. The same thing I get by choosing Effect> Stylize > Drop Shadow. But the key difference is that with Stylism, I have these intuitive controls right on the object that I can use to adjust the effect instead of these numbers in the dialog box.

But you have all the same things that are in the dialog box. So for example, here's the Blend Mode control, currently set to Multiply. Here's the Opacity control, the Offset, the Blur, and the Color. So, let's use these Stylism controls. I'll cancel out of the dialogue box, and as I move my cursor over any of these controls, I can see the current value. So, if I go near the Opacity control, I can see that it's currently set to 75%. I can see the Offset is seven pixels, and the Blur is five pixels.

And to adjust the Blur and Opacity, I simply drag the slider between the end points here and here. And as I drag, I can see the value changing. And when I release, I see the effect change. I can drag the Blur all the way to the maximum value of 144 pixels. Or all the way down to zero for no blur at all and a really crisp drop shadow. Likewise I can drag the opacity anywhere from zero to 100%. If I hold the Shift key as I drag, the values are constrained to whole numbers in the case of Blur, and 10% increments in the case of Opacity.

If I want to get a really specific value, I can use a feature called Slow Drag where the numbers change very slowly as I drag. To use this, click and hold on the slider and press and hold the Cmd or Ctrl key. Then as I drag I can see those numbers changing very slowly. Just in tenths of a percent now. I can also simply click anywhere along a line to make the slider snap to that position. To change the color of the Drop Shadow, I just click on the color square and I get the standard Color Picker. Or I can press Opt or Alt, and click on the square to switch to the Darkness mode.

Now clicking on the square brings up the dialog box, where I can set a specific darkness value. And in fact double clicking on any of the Stylism controls will bring up a dialog box where you can set specific numerical values. So I can double-click and open the Blur, the Offset and the Opacity. To change the Offset of the Drop Shadow, I can click and drag the other control, and place this Drop Shadow wherever I want. If you want to see the Offset in terms of distance and angle, just hold Opt or Alt and click on the dot at the end of the line. To switch back to pixels, hold Opt or Alt and click again.

Now it's great to have all these controls so convenient and easy to use right on my star. But what if I want to get a look at the star without all the controls in the way? Well simple, just hold Cmd or Ctrl to temporarily hide the Stylism controls. And when you release, the controls come back. There's one more thing that you can do with Drop Shadows and Stylism, and that's to use the Curve Controls in the panel to tweak the effect, right here. These controls are available only if you also have another Astute Graphics plug-in called Phantasm installed.

To use the Curves, I can click and drag anywhere along the line to increase or decrease the intensity of the effect. I can draw on the graph with the pencil tool to create special effects, like this w shaped curve. And I can click on the Curves button below the graph to create one continuous smooth curve that I can continue to edit. I can also Shift+Click this button to revert back to the default. And I have four buttons over here on the right side for saving my favorite curves. So if I create a custom curve that I like and I want to reuse it, I can hold Opt or Alt and click on one of these buttons.

Then I could reapply this just by clicking it once more. So, I'll go back to the default, and then apply my favorite. In this movie, we took a look at how to work with Drop Shadow effects with Astute Graphic Stylism. Next, we'll continue with a look at Feathering.

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Up and Running with Astute Graphics for Illustrator

43 video lessons · 5819 viewers

Mike Rankin

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  1. 7m 10s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. What can you do with the Astute Graphics plugins?
      4m 30s
    4. Installing the Astute Graphics plugins
      1m 22s
  2. 47m 4s
    1. Overview
      2m 28s
    2. Working with dynamic corners
      8m 16s
    3. Working with dynamic shapes
      5m 57s
    4. Editing paths with PathScribe
      8m 28s
    5. Using the Extend Path tool
      8m 30s
    6. Using the Smart Remove Brush tool
      4m 56s
    7. Using the Dynamic Measure tool
      5m 14s
    8. Using the Protractor panel
      3m 15s
  3. 13m 14s
    1. Connecting and straightening objects
      5m 11s
    2. Drawing tangents and perpendiculars
      4m 0s
    3. Drawing circles and arcs
      4m 3s
  4. 8m 24s
    1. Using the Snap to Collisions tool
      3m 56s
    2. Using the Rotate at Collision tool
      2m 14s
    3. Using the collision spacing
      2m 14s
  5. 11m 19s
    1. Mirroring artwork
      4m 40s
    2. Drawing with symmetry
      2m 43s
    3. Mirroring text and images
      3m 56s
  6. 14m 43s
    1. Adjusting colors with filters and effects
      6m 29s
    2. Creating vector halftones
      4m 34s
    3. Applying effects to photos
      3m 40s
  7. 14m 3s
    1. Drawing with InkScribe
      5m 44s
    2. Editing path segments with InkScribe
      4m 37s
    3. Adding, removing, and changing points with InkScribe
      3m 42s
  8. 16m 56s
    1. Drawing and modifying paths
      7m 45s
    2. Using Repeat Sketch
      2m 46s
    3. Using Intelligent Join
      2m 55s
    4. Using Gesture Trim
      3m 30s
  9. 16m 28s
    1. Using the Width Brush tool
      4m 35s
    2. Using the Width Gradient tool
      7m 21s
    3. Using the Width Selector tool
      4m 32s
  10. 27m 44s
    1. Overview
      5m 18s
    2. Working with drop shadows
      4m 38s
    3. Working with feathering
      1m 36s
    4. Working with Inner Glow and Outer Glow
      3m 15s
    5. Working with Transform effects
      5m 26s
    6. Working with Free Distort effects
      2m 4s
    7. Working with Offset Path
      2m 25s
    8. Working with Gaussian Blur
      3m 2s
  11. 1m 10s
    1. Next steps
      1m 10s

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