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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
I have saved my progress as Base snowflake.ai. Now the great thing about dynamic effects is that they are dynamic, meaning that they automatically update to reflect any other changes you make to your core path outline. So if you move an anchor point, all the duplicates move as well. And in our case, we we've got 11 duplicates. So bear in mind, first we reflected all of the paths and then we took those two reflective paths and duplicated them five times. So altogether we've got 12 different copies with one original, so 11 duplicates.
Let's see how that works because it really is fairly amazing to watch. Now bear in mind that the way that we are approaching this project isn't really the way I built it. In other words I'm not so wicked smart that I knew exactly how to lineup my path outlines before I started. So when I was really drawing this in the first place, I created about half of the artwork and then I created the overall snowflake and then I started messing around with the face shapes and so on in order to get them to look just right. Then I reverse engineered it for you, but I did leave some problems in here and we are going to make some additions as well.
So I am going to press Ctrl+Y or Command +Y on the Mac so that I can see my base path outlines and I'm going to zoom in here. So these are still the only path outlines inside of this Illustration. And I am going to grab my White Arrow tool, because we are working inside of a group after all, and I want to select some individual anchor points. And these are the guys that I am going to select. I will marquee around these and then I am going to Shift+ Click on a few other points including these guys right there. I think that should actually do me. So this little collection of points that you see selected on-screen.
Then I will press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac, so that I can see the results of modifying these points. And notice that these points are overlapping into each other in ways that we don't want. So the nose is cleaving in kind of a weird way and the forehead isn't aligning properly and this wrinkle or whatever it is at the top of the head isn't aligning either. And it's not aligning inside any of the other portions of the snowflake because they're all duplicates. So I will go ahead and grab my Rotate tool, which I can also get by pressing the R key. And then I'm going to click right there in order to specify my origin point and I'm going to drag like so, in order to lift the top of the nose upward a little bit to about that location, and that looks pretty good. It's not quite exactly right.
So now I can go ahead and grab my White Arrow tool once again, press the A key of course, and I click on that point right there and just nudge it. And by the way, if you press Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac, then you'll see your keyboard increment. In my case I have it set to very low increment, 0.2. That's the best way to work inside of this illustration and most illustrations if you ask me, but I am going to cancel out, and I'm going to go ahead and press the Right Arrow key, just once in my case did the work. Let's go ahead and move that point to a different location. Notice when you make any modification it is reflected in these 11 different other locations as well. So in one case, we are seeing the flipped version of that anchor point modification I made, and then in the other case we are seeing all of the rotates as well.
All right, I'll go ahead and press Ctrl +Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification, because I like the effect I had. It doesn't look like I am lining up quite right at the top of his head there, so I might select that point and nudge it to the right as well in order to get that effect. Now of course, your results will vary if you are working along with me, just bear that in mind. Now then I'm going to make a change to a core path outline by clicking at this location right there in order to select that segment and then I will press the Backspace key or Delete on the Mac, in order to get rid of it. And that's going to recall kinds of havoc inside the illustration,and that's okay. We are going to fix it right now.
So I am going to click off the points for a moment and click on this anchor point and drag it down a little bit, like so, with my White Arrow tool. Then I will switch to the Pen tool either by clicking on it or pressing P key, and I will click on that point in order to make it active. Then I will click here and here and so on, and I'm just adding a handful of anchor points. Now I need to figure out where that first anchor point is because I can't see it. I will press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch back to the outline mode and I will click on it, like so, in order to close off that shape.
And then when I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac, all the other shapes are likewise closed. Now I will go ahead and switch back to my White Arrow tool. I could press the A key if I wanted to. I will drag this guy upward, like so. I will go ahead and select this point because it isn't really properly positioned there and I will press Left Arrow tool a couple of times in order to nudge it overall. So press the Down Arrow key to nudge it down. I might as well go ahead and drag this guy down as well. So I'm just going for a few different patterns. Now wouldn't it be cool if we had some knockout paths inside of his head, up here in his brow I think and may be along his cheek.
And I am going to create those by drawing new paths with a Pen tool and I will just sort of rough in some path outlines, like so. So I will draw one there and I will draw another one down here I think, like so. So these should look pretty good. Now I am going to press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac, so that I can see those path outlines I just created. I will go ahead and grab him with my Black Arrow tool because they're not part of the group. So I will go ahead and get the Black Arrow tool, which I can get by pressing the V key. Click on one of paths, Shift+Click on the other, and then I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose the Cut command or Ctrl+X, Command+X on the Mac.
Now what we need to do is go over to Layers panel, expand not only the snowflake layer but also the big flake group, so that you can see inside of it. Scroll down to the bottom here and the path outline you are looking for is trunk. Go ahead and meatball that path in order to make it active. And then go back to the Edit menu and choose Paste in Front or press Ctrl+F, Command+F on the Mac. Now that goes ahead and not only pastes those paths in front of the trunk path, but also pastes the paths into the group. So any modifications you apply to these path outlines are now going to affect the entire snowflake.
Now I want you to Shift+ Click on the meatball for trunk. So both of your new paths and trunk should be active, as you see them here inside the Layers panel. Go ahead and press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch back to the Preview mode. Then I want you to go to the Window menu and bring up your Pathfinder panel, which has that keyboard shortcut right there or you can just find the icon there inside of your panel column. And you should see the Pathfinder panel like so, then click on the second shape modes icon, Minus Front, in order to transform those new paths into holes, and you'll see that modification reflected throughout the snowflake pattern.
All right, I'll go ahead and zoom in so you can see what I am talking about. Now we have these wonderful interactions. It just looks like the most complicated paper cutout ever, and yet what's really interesting about this is unlike if we're really using scissors and paper, first of all every single stem, every single trunk, and all these other items here are exactly alike, so they're all absolute duplicates of each other of those core path outlines. Also you can have floaters so I can create a little path outline in between that's not really connected to any of them and it will still replicate inside the snowflake.
Whereas of course, if I had a piece of paper then I cut out an independent piece, it would fall apart. In the next exercise, I am going to show you how to create dynamic effects inside of dynamic effects which will allow us to duplicate these bottom leaves.
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