Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with perspective symbols


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Working with perspective symbols

In this exercise we are going to duplicate that freeform shape that's serving as the facade over onto the right-hand side of the building, and we'll see how tragically things can go wrong and what solutions are available to us. I have saved my progress as Sunroom, and I am going to go ahead for the moment and turn off my bounding box by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+Shift+B on the Mac, and then I am going to go ahead and grab that shape. And notice that as I drag it, this is with the Perspective Selection tool by the way, very important. Notice that it gets bigger and bigger as I drag it over to the right-hand side; it also gets smaller and smaller as a drag it to the left.
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
    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
    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
    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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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

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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.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Deke McClelland

Working with perspective symbols

In this exercise we are going to duplicate that freeform shape that's serving as the facade over onto the right-hand side of the building, and we'll see how tragically things can go wrong and what solutions are available to us. I have saved my progress as Sunroom, and I am going to go ahead for the moment and turn off my bounding box by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+Shift+B on the Mac, and then I am going to go ahead and grab that shape. And notice that as I drag it, this is with the Perspective Selection tool by the way, very important. Notice that it gets bigger and bigger as I drag it over to the right-hand side; it also gets smaller and smaller as a drag it to the left.

So it gets smaller as I move it toward the vanishing point, it gets larger as I move it away from the vanishing point. So as I'm dragging, I will press the 3 key. And now I have this shape over on the right pane, which is great. I need to do one more thing, and it's easy to forget the step. Press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and release, and that way you get a clone. Because if you don't press Alt or Option as you release then you are just going to move the shape. I'm going to drag by the bottom left corner of the shape in order to align it in its proper position. It also needs to go on a different layer, so I will go ahead and drag this purple square down from Perspective 2 and drop it on the Perspective 1, like so.

And then, I once again need the bounding box, so I will press Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+Shift+B on the Mac. Incidentally, if as you press the Shift key, if you are working along with me and you have pressed the Shift key and something just goes haywire on-screen, that's this feature. Although I am not finding it to be the most terribly reliable function, but what it is supposed to do, is it's supposed to target the pane that's associated with the selected object, so you may see just the right pane appear on-screen and nothing more. Anyway, in my case I am still seeing everything so fine. And by the way, if you just see the right pane, just sway it out; after you get done scaling your shape, it will switch back.

All right, so I will go ahead and scale the shape using the bounding box by dragging over to the right,, like so. And I might drag upward as well in order to expand the height of this shape here, and then I will release at some point. I'm trying to get some kind of alignment going, but that's about the best I am going to do right now, and I get this hideous effect here. That's no good. Well, what is the solution? There are two solutions available to you. One is to use a symbol and that way you can modify the contents of that symbol and then have Illustrator properly match it in the perspective, and the other way is to just forget about perspective and just manually adjust the shape.

So we are going to see both, because I actually, believe or not, prefer the second approach and I will show you why. But for now, let's just go ahead and hide this path. By going up to the Object menu and choosing Hide and then Selection, or you can press Ctrl+3, Command+3 on the Mac. And I am going to bring up my Symbols panel, and if you're working along with me, you will see that I created a symbol for you in advance that's called facade. Go ahead and drag it and drop at someplace inside the illustration, then hide the Symbols panel from view. Let's go ahead and drag this guide down.

And notice as soon as I start dragging it, because I'm using the Perspective Selection tool, which I didn't quite expect, I map it to the right side of the building. All right, so fine! And I will go ahead and scale it to fit the right side of the building once again, even though it won't match with beams, but that's okay. And I'll go ahead and make it roughly as tall as it needs to be, which is about here and is wide as it needs to be as well, that looks like a pretty good match. It's obviously not matching at all, so I will press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide the selection all.

So press Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+ Shif+B on the Mac, so I get rid of the bounding box, because otherwise I am going to see things on-screen that are getting in my way. I want to take these corners down, but I want to leave that apex where it is and the bottom of the shape is fine too. It's a wrong color, so few switches are necessary. To edit this symbol, just double-click on it and that'll take you to the symbol isolation mode, although it's anyone's guess where the symbol is? There it is. Now it's very important by the way that you don't move this symbol around, because if you move it here, even though it doesn't make any sense, if you move it to a different location, the shape is going to move on the grid as well.

So just leave it where it is. You don't see a preview on the fly, which is way too bad, that would actually be super duper useful, but instead, you just see that symbol by itself and it disappears in the background. And so you are working blind, but here's some suggestions. I am going to go ahead and switch back to the Black Selection tool and I'm going to click on the shape to make it active. I guess it already was selected; the problem is I am not seeing the selection edges. That's right. I will press Ctrl+H or Comamnd+H on the Mac in order to see those edges. Unfortunately they are black, so I will double-click on this item right here and change it from black to some other color, that's a first and then I will click OK.

Now I can see those selection handles, which is very important. All right, now I am going to grab my Pen tool, and this is the approach I decided to take. Because I have these extra anchor points that I got when I chose the Add Anchor Points command, I am going to go ahead and get rid of these. So click right there to subtract an anchor point and I will click on this anchor point to select it as well. But my guess is that's going to be too steep of an incline, so I am going to grab my White Arrow tool. And I am going to marquee these two points and I am going to drag them upwards while pressing the Shift key. And I am totally making it up.

I have no idea this is going to work out or not, hey, but I know that this is wrong color, so I will change the Cyan value to 25% and I will change the K value here to 30%. That's the color I want to work with. Great! Now, let's go ahead and press the Escape key in order to escape from that isolation mode and see what we've done. And that's pretty interesting. Notice that it has gone ahead and automatically expanded that shape inside of the perspective grid, but my sides are too high. I will press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool. I'll double-click on the shape once again in order to enter that Symbol Isolation mode.

Then I will press the A key to switch back to the White Arrow tool. Let's go ahead and select those points there, which are black. Thank you very much, strange feature. I will go ahead and change that color back to light blue. Click OK. Excellent! And then I will drag these points down while pressing the Shift key. And just a little bit, I think it's going to do the trick and I don't want to go too far. And then I will press the Escape key in order to switch back. That still wasn't far enough, so I will press the V key; double-click on that shape once again to switch back to this Symbol Isolation view.

Press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. Go ahead and marquee these points which are black. I don't care anymore about these black points, hang it, I am just going to press Shift+Down Arrow a couple of times, maybe three times, in order to move these points down. Bear in mind that my keyboard increments are just 0.2 points. Then I am going to press the Escape key in order to get back out again and so forth. Now you can see how this is a frustrating experience. It's a good experience in a way, because it does provide you with a kind of solution. You can modify the shape and yet keep it in the true perspective mode, and that's great.

However, figuring out how far you need to move those points require some guesswork, and here's larger problem, I want you to see something. Notice that the stroke is not uniform, so the stroke is thicker over here on the left inside than it is on right-hand side, it's getting very thin indeed over on that right-hand side. And that's because Illustrator is scaling the entire shape, Fill and Stroke all at once in perspective. You might find that useful, if you blocked out your entire building that way. But if you have just one shape that appears non uniform, that's a problem.

So what I'm going to tell you to do is go ahead and grab your Black Arrow tool, click on that shape in order to select it. Let's go ahead and twirl open. What is that, that Perspective 1 layer right there? And I'll hide that prospective symbol item right there and I'll go ahead and turn on that original path outline. And I'll click on it to make it active, and I am just changing its color for now. I will change it to 25% cyan and of course 30% black, and then I need to drag it down. Now for this, I need the grid, and so I will move down here onto the bottom of this orange pane and I will go ahead and switch back over to my Perspective Grid tool, Shift+P and I will Alt+Click on that little orange control a couple of times, until I can see the grid once again.

And then I will go ahead and zoom on in. And you know what I am going to do? I am going to get my White Arrow tool and I am going to select this point and I'm going to select this point by Shift clicking, so that they're both selected. Now I could drag them down, but if I do, notice what I get here. I get this effect right there, which is -- and I am pressing the Shift key to ensure that at least I have vertical alignment. Notice that this guy is aligned properly, but this guy over here is a full grid increment down, and it's not right at all and we have some very strange perspective going on, on this side of the roof.

Well, actually I have a solution. I am going to press Ctrl+Z key, Command +Z key on the Mac to undo that change. And I'll show you my isometric solution that happens to work brilliantly in perspective, in the very next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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