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The eight symbolism tools

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: The eight symbolism tools

In this exercise I am going to run you through the eight symbolism tools starting with an alternate use for the Symbol Sprayer tool and ending with this guy the Symbol Styler. You may recall I went ahead and tore off this mini toolbox of the tools here. Now many of these tools suffer from the same performance issues as the Symbol Sprayer, so pretty much everyone from Symbol Sprayer over to Symbols Spinner, they have got issues. And they are not going to work too well inside of Symbol Sets. However, all is not lost, because you may wonder, well, in that case Deke, why are you even showing them to us, if it is just going to lead to disappointment? Well, the answer is, because they can be useful on individually selected instances and we'll see how that works in an upcoming exercise.

The eight symbolism tools

In this exercise I am going to run you through the eight symbolism tools starting with an alternate use for the Symbol Sprayer tool and ending with this guy the Symbol Styler. You may recall I went ahead and tore off this mini toolbox of the tools here. Now many of these tools suffer from the same performance issues as the Symbol Sprayer, so pretty much everyone from Symbol Sprayer over to Symbols Spinner, they have got issues. And they are not going to work too well inside of Symbol Sets. However, all is not lost, because you may wonder, well, in that case Deke, why are you even showing them to us, if it is just going to lead to disappointment? Well, the answer is, because they can be useful on individually selected instances and we'll see how that works in an upcoming exercise.

But for now, I want you to know that I have two versions of this illustration open, Sporadic grass.ai and that's the one that I have created in front of you in a previous exercise with this anemic grass pattern here, and finally Merciful catch-up file.ai which is the one I created inside of Illustrator CS4, so you can see there is a remarkable difference here. Now I don't want you trying to edit the Merciful catch-up file right now, not using any of the tools that are fairly broken at this point. This guy right here, Symbols Stainer tool, that's the one we are actually going to use.

That is the best tool of the bunch in my opinion, except for the Symbols Sprayer, it's the best editing tool, and it happens to work pretty darn well. So there's a silver lining, don't you know? Anyway, I am going to switch back to Sporadic grass, if you want to do any work, do it inside of this anemic grass patter file, but notice that the grass is in front of the line, so that's the problem. I am going to twirl open my Life layer here inside the layers panel and you'll see that right at the top is a clipping path which is filled with that green gradient, so that big square there is clipping everything underneath.

Then comes a Symbol Set, go ahead and meatball it inside layers panel and press Ctrl+ Shift+[ or Command+Shift+[ on the Mac to send it to the back of the stack.] Now here's how these tools work. We've got the Symbol Sprayer tool, which we've already seen, but also you should know in addition to adding whatever symbol you have selected here inside the Symbols panel. You can also remove that symbol by Alt+ Dragging or Option+Dragging inside of an existing symbol set. The Symbol Shifter tool allows you to move the symbols around, and you can see if I paint inside of here I'll get this little animation that's showing me where the instances are going to move to and it works you know pretty darn well, again, if there's not too many instances involved.

While you are painting with this tool, you can press the shift key to shift instances of the active symbol forward, press Shift+Alt or Shift+Option on the Mac to shift them backward, and that happens on-the-fly by the way, for as long as you have the key down. Then we have got this Symbol Scruncher tool, which as you paint goes ahead and moves the instances away from each other, and then if you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, they move toward each other. We next have this guy here, which is the Symbol Sizer tool, makes the instances bigger, if you press Alt or Option, makes them smaller.

Then we have got the Symbols Spinner tool, it goes ahead and rotates the instances as you paint over them, for once Alt or Option doesn't do anything. We've got the Symbol Stainer tool that will add color, especially useful when we've got gray symbols like this, by the way it colorizes them as you paint over them, and if you press the Alt or Option key it drains away the color. Then we've got the Symbol Screener tool which goes ahead and reduces the opacity of your instances and if you press Alt or Option it restores the opacity and finally we've got the Symbol Styler tool, which applies styles from the graphic styles panel.

So you can apply a style incrementally by painting over the instances, and you can remove this style incrementally by Alt or Option dragging. Okay, so what's the upshot of all this stuff? Well, it's like this folks, this is the tool you are going to use inside of the Symbol Set, the Symbols Stainer tools. So go ahead and select it for starters, then let's switch over to Merciful catch-up file.ai, don't try this with any of the other tools. Hide the children, put away the flammable objects, everything, make sure you are safe as you can possibly be, so we are going to start by twirling up in the Life layer here inside the layers panel, and then I am going to scroll down to the bottom of the list to the symbol set, go ahead and meatball that symbol set to make an active, and then I'm going to make sure that I have a shade of green specified for my foreground color, and I'm going to do that by making sure that the Fill is active, going over to the Swatches panel, and clicking on this guy right there, Mint julep.

Then I'll go to the Symbol panel, you have got to do all this stuff. Go to this Symbols panel and then select either Grass 1 or Grass 2, whichever one you want to go ahead and color here inside the illustration window, and then paint away. Now the tool works at a reasonable pace as you can see in every single one of those bits of grass that's showing up, that we are seeing outlines for is going to be modified. The bad news is you don't actually see the results of the tool until you release. So you don't see the painting on the fly except in these outlines of course.

Then as soon as you want to paint the grass, go ahead and release the mouse button and you will see a bunch of green grass in the background. Yeah! Now I am going to click on Grass 2 in order to make it active and I am going to paint on those thicker blades of grass as you see me doing right now. And as soon as I release the mouse button after having done that, they are going to shift to the new color as well. Now they are not going to shift uniformly, of course, you don't want that, right? You want this sort of collection of graze and green showing up next to other, and that's the idea behind this tool.

You are just incrementally painting at those symbols. Now if you go ahead and Shift+Click on Grass 1, so that both Grass 1 and Grass 2 are selected, you can paint both of them at the same time as you see me doing here. Just don't select some other symbol that doesn't appear inside the Symbol Set, because then you are going to paint and nothing is going to happen, and you are going to be completely bewildered by the experience. And I don't want you throwing up your hands in despair too much over these tools. We have enough problems with them as is of course. Now I am going to switch to this guy, Little Sprout Green, that is this swatch here inside the Swatches panel, and I'm going to paint some more in order to paint this lighter shade of green in there, so that we have a more natural grass pattern going on, because if these were real blades of grass, some of the blades would be one color and some would be another of course and then just paint as much as you want. Have a blast! This is a Symbol Stainer tool; this is the one that works really well inside of Symbol Sets, inside of Illustrator CS5.

In the next exercise, I'm going to show you not only how to have more fun with this tool, actually I am not, we are going to be done with this tool, but I'm going to show you how to use the various symbolism tools to paint individual instances, selected instances inside of your artwork.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

153 video lessons · 28125 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
      39s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
      44s
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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