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The gradient-intensive illustration

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: The gradient-intensive illustration

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.

The gradient-intensive illustration

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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This video is part of

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

153 video lessons · 28021 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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