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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.
If there were nothing more to Transparency then the Opacity option, you wouldn't need any help from me. Reduce the Opacity value in a selected path, or group or layer becomes translucent, but there's more. Specifically, Blend modes Knockout Groups, and Opacity Masks. Blend modes introduce translucency using simple arithmetic formulas. For example, the Multiply mode which is one of more popular ones actually multiplies ink densities. It's like printing one ink on top of another.
So everything darkens, which makes it and the other blend modes I will be showing you exceedingly useful. A Knockout Group limits your transparency interactions to a single group or layer. To see it in action check out the movie called creating a knockout group. Finally, Opacity Masks let you paint transparency into a group or layer. Add a black path to an opacity mask to cut a hole, add a white path to make an area opaque, add a gradient to create a fading transition.
Just remember black conceals, white reveals. Now like so much of what you can do in the Illustrator, transparency is not part of the PostScript printing language, which is to say as likely as not your transparency effect should print just fine, but if you have any concerns just rasterize your artwork at a high resolution 300 PPI or more and view it in Photoshop. In the meantime let me show you what it can do.
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