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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 introduce you to what I'm calling the Gradient Intensive Illustration, which is this illustration that's a rife with different kinds of gradients. However that's not really enough. You're little limited by gradients inside of Illustrator. Particularly when compared to the more flexible blends and masks. Now I started things off with this back of the napkin sketch right here. It's called Bat tomb sketch.tif and I ultimately developed it into this Final rasterized artwork.tif file right here.
We're still working inside of Photoshop. I have taken the illustration and rasterized it inside of Photoshop. That is to say, I've opened the Illustrator file inside Photoshop and converted it to pixels, which can be a very good idea because that way all of your complex gradients and blends and masks and different effects are boiled down into pixels so there is no longer a chance of something going wrong during the print process. Of course I went ahead and rasterized the file at a high-resolution so as to preserve all the detail as well.
This is the project that we will be creating over the course of this chapter, all kinds of blends and masks and gradients working together. All right, let's go ahead and switch over to Illustrator, which is where we're going to actually work of course. This is the final version of Illustration. It's called Sarcophagus illustration.ai, and there's all sorts of blends at work. There are color blends in the background sky as well as here inside of the grass, this star right here is represented as a blend, as is this light trail as well.
Then we have various object blends. These little striations patterns here inside of the bat wing, as well as his eyebrows and these lines right here are all represented using blends, as are these various posts inside of the fence down here. And you'll get a chance to create all of these various objects over the course of this chapter. We are going to start off inside of this file here. It's called Lots of gradients.ai and it does contain strictly gradients, that is to say either Radial or Linear gradient fills inside of these various objects.
Some of the gradients are fairly complex, meaning that they integrate translucency. For example, this object right here, that I'm tracing along, that represents the midsection of the Sarcophagus. That shape is filled with a translucent gradient. We also have a few multi- gradient shapes going on. That is to say two different gradient fills inside of a single object working together, subject to a blend mode. And we'll get a sense of how some of that kind of stuff works when we investigate blend modes in a future chapter. But for now the main thing I want you to notice is that the gradients are fairly flat.
So notice the sky in the background. We have this radial gradient that goes from dark through a bunch of different colors, lots of dollars going on inside of this gradient but it's ultimately a linear gradient. So we're just seeing single horizontal lines of color. Whereas if you compare that to the final version of the illustration, we have waves of color going on inside of this background, and that is a benefit associated with working with blends inside of Illustrator, they're very flexible. The last thing that I want to show you, where this beginning illustration is concerned, is that I've got a heavy outline that's assigned to the overall sarcophagus object here.
Now the various paths associated with the sarcophagus are strewn over the course of several different layers, right here. Starting with bat head and going down to tomb & body. Then in the background we have this thing called super object on its own layer and that's what's conveying the heavy stroke as well as this halo. So, what I am going to do here inside the layers panel, I am going to go ahead and turn off tomb & body all the way up to bat head just by dragging over those eyeballs and then we can see the super object in the background. And what I did to create it was I selected all these others paths that I hadd been working with.
I went ahead and created a copy of them, I pasted them on this new layer, I went ahead and united them using the Add Pathfinder operation, and then I applied a heavy stroke and a glow. You create the glow, incidentally, by going up to the effect menu, choosing Stylize, and choosing Outer Glow. We'll be taking a look at these dynamic effects, as they are known, here under the Effect menu, in a chapter inside of the mastery portion of this series. In the meantime though, I am just going to go ahead and turn on these various layers, so you can get a sense of how this structure was put together.
Because even though it's a cartoon, it still subscribes to the rules of perspective drawing. It can be very difficult to determine what order to build up your objects inside of Illustrator. So on top of this super object, I have a layer called tomb & body, and that incorporates the sides of the sarcophagus as well as these wings right up here, the bat's wings that is. And then in front of that, we have what I'm calling the shield & ribs layer, which includes this shield, also the face of the sarcophagus, and these two bits of wing that are covering the front of the tomb.
Then I've got this thing called low fence, which is just these low fence elements down here, and then finally I've got the bat head that's set up in a kind of cartoon perspective. He looks like he's looking a little bit to the side as opposed to straight forward. But it still works inside of the context of this composition. And that is the base illustration, lots and lots of gradients going on. No blends or masks so far. We're going to be establishing the blends and masks, all of them, over the course of this chapter, beginning in the next exercise.
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