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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
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.
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