Join Mordy Golding for an in-depth discussion in this video Basic appearance vs. complex appearance, part of Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials.
Before we dive deeper into using appearances to create more complex artwork, it's important to realize that this concept of adding appearances to artwork first started appearing after Illustrator 9 was introduced. So anything previous to Illustrator 9-- meaning Illustrator 8, Illustrator 7, so on and so forth--could not support the ability to add multiple fills and multiple strokes to a single object. Of course, the key reason for that is that Illustrator's language, or Illustrator's ability to build artwork, was based in PostScript.
However, when Illustrator 9 switched artwork to be based now in the PDF language, we had the ability to add appearances to our artwork, and add multiple attributes like multiple fills and strokes to a single object. Now, it's important to know this for two reasons: First of all, within Illustrator itself, we will see that there are certain features that allow to kind of beyond either side of that line--meaning stuff that worked just as well before appearances came about and afterwards. Perhaps more importantly though, as we are going to see continually throughout the rest of this title, Illustrator is one of these applications that people use to create graphics that then go into other applications-- for example, going into InDesign or into Photoshop, or even other non-Adobe applications, like either QuarkXpress, Microsoft Word, so on and so forth.
So it's important to know how appearances work inside of Illustrator and how they might work when we start going outside of Illustrator. Now, the first thing we are going to learn here in this video is a difference between artwork that is compatible pre-Illustrator 9, meaning in the EPS timeframe, and post-Illustrator 9 or in the PDF timeframe. I am going to start by creating a regular rectangle here inside of this document. It has a single white fill and a one-point black stroke, which is the default settings inside of Illustrator. There are no transparency settings applied to it. And as we know, we've always been able to change things like fill and stroke color.
So just for now, as an example, I am going to change the fill here to maybe a yellow fill, and we will change the stroke here to that kind of dark blue stroke. We will change a stroke weight to around maybe 6 points. So now I have created the shape here. When I look at this piece of artwork right now, when I click on it to select it, my Appearance panel shows me this information--the fill and stroke information--but I haven't really done anything beyond applying just the basic fill and a stroke. In fact, if you don't even know about the Appearance panel until now, you can get along just fine creating an object like this.
When you refer to this kind of object, an object that has one fill and one stroke, as being an object that has a basic appearance, an object with a basic appearance is completely compatible with the EPS framework--meaning I can take this object and go back to Illustrator 6, or Illustrator 5 for that matter. I can also take this piece of artwork and bring it into other applications that may support PostScript artwork. However, I am going to take this piece of artwork now. I am going to Option+Drag a copy of it right over here--that would be Alt+Drag to make a copy if you are on Windows--and I'll add another stroke here.
We will change a stroke weight down to like around maybe 2 points, and let's change its color to red, and now I've created an object that has an appearance. This type of artwork is only capable of being built on that PDF framework, meaning inside of Illustrator 9 or later. Remember, that I also have the ability to change the stacking order attributes using the Appearance panel. So, for example, I could take this fill here and drag it in between the two strokes. So what I have here is an object that has more than just one fill and one stroke, and I've also made some changes to the stacking order of the attributes within that object.
Additionally, I also know that I can use the Appearance panel to add effects to our artwork. For example, I can click on the Effects icon here and add that wonderful drop shadow to our artwork as well. I'll press OK just to take the basic default Drop Shadow setting. Now I've created a piece of artwork that is not compatible with PostScript. It's not compatible with other applications that may be also based on PostScript or expecting PostScript based artwork from Illustrator. We refer to objects that have either multiple attributes or Live Effects as an object that has a complex appearance.
Objects that have a complex appearance are only compatible with versions of Illustrator as of Illustrator 9. But just to review here, the object here on my left has what we call a basic appearance; the object in my right here has something called a complex appearance. Now you may be asking yourself, hey, I've created artwork inside of Illustrator that has these complex appearances, and yet I've been able to place our artwork into InDesign or other applications. How does that work? We will find out the answer to that question in the next movie.
- Targeting individual object attributes
- Adding multiple stroke and fill attributes
- Modifying appearances with live effects
- Applying effects to groups and to layers
- Understanding both selecting and targeting
- Copying artwork and appearances from layers
- Using the Outline Object effect
- Enhancing performance with the Rasterize effect
- Creating quick and easy captions and buttons
- Setting up a meaningful workspace
- Controlling the pixel resolution of effects