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Exploring Effects in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 37 from: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

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Lesson Info

37. Exploring Effects in Adobe Illustrator


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is Adobe Illustrator?


Explore the Interface


Create and Save New Documents


Zoom and Navigate


Working with Artboards


Introduction to Layers


Rulers and Guides


Shapes and Drawing


Aligning and Combining Shapes


Pen Tool


Manipulating Stroke and Fill


Creating and Editing with Color


Painting with Gradients


Getting Started with Patterns


Adding Text To Your Document


Formatting Text


Strokes and Variable Strokes in Adobe Illustrator


Rotating Objects in Adobe Illustrator


Effects and the Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator


Adding Photo Images in Adobe Illustrator


Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator


Packaging your Project for Handoff in Adobe Illustrator


Best Formats to Save Your Files


Select Like a Pro: Layers, Groups, & Other Unique Tools


Edit Paths Like a Pro in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Creating & Applying Brushes to Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Knife & Scissor Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Join Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Isolation Mode in Adobe® Illustrator®


Pen Tool Shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator


Other Drawing Tools & Methods in Adobe Illustrator


Transforming Techniques in Adobe Illustrator


Shortcut to Reflecting Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Get to Know Your Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator


Exploring Effects in Adobe Illustrator


Work Smarter with Graphic Styles in Adobe Illustrator


Color Inspiration in Adobe Illustrator


Type Effects in Adobe Illustrator


Masking Your Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Using Creative® Cloud® Libraries in Adobe® Illustrator®


Capture Artwork with Creative Cloud Apps & Adobe Illustrator


Tracing Raster Images in Adobe Illustrator


Blending Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Using Symbols in Adobe Illustrator


Using a Perspective Grid in Adobe Illustrator


Crash Recovery in Adobe Illustrator


GPU Performance in Adobe Illustrator


Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator


App Integration in Adobe Illustrator


Creative Cloud Libraries in Adobe Illustrator App


Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Smart Guides in Adobe Illustrator


Text Enhancements in Adobe Illustrator


SVG Export in Adobe Illustrator


Lesson Info

Exploring Effects in Adobe Illustrator

I wanna go out and draw a circle and that's gonna be kind of part of our sign, okay? What I want you to do, is come over to your rectangle tool out here, go ahead and click down, hold down, rather, and select the ellipse tool. Let's come out to our artwork, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna go out and we're gonna get to the center of this shape. Now, these days with the smart guides turned on under the view menu, if you come to the center of a shape, it usually will tell you that, look, there is the center, 'cause the word center shows up. What I want you to do, is we're gonna draw ourselves a circle. Now just hang on one second, I'm gonna show you a couple of short-cuts for drawing, which are pretty key, pretty cool. If I click and drag, you're gonna see a circle is gonna automatically draw from the upper left. If we wanna draw from the center because I want it to be in the center, you can actually hold down the option key. Option drawing with a shape usually will draw it from th...

e center. I want this to be a perfect circle, so I'm gonna hold down my friend, the shift key, so we're holding two keys down, option and shift. It's kinda wacky, I know, but the key here, let go of the mouse, then let go of the keys, and that is gonna look frightening, wow. Okay, now hopefully that worked for everybody. So option shift, create the circle from the center. Now it's picking up some of the properties from the last selected shape that we had, which is just fine, that's great. There are two ways we can get back to square one of removing the fill and all that kind of wackiness. If you come to the appearance panel, you're gonna see there is a button down here, an option called clear appearance. Go ahead and click on clear appearance at the bottom of the appearance panel. Now this one's kinda hardcore. It's gonna remove the stroke and fill essentially, and leave us with nothing but a circle that you can't see. That's fine, that's totally fine. If we wanted to go white fill, black stroke, if you remember from the last section, we can press the letter D right now, and that would actually put a white fill and a black stroke, and just make it kinda simple for us. I think this is fine. Why don't you come to fill, and I wanna fill it with some kind of like yellow, orange, something, you can fill it with any color you want. I'll fill it with a color by clicking on the color button here and coming down and picking the color I want. For instance, I'll pick something like that, whatever, that's totally fine. Now I'm gonna show you another type of effect that I absolutely love. We are gonna go in and we are gonna do a little bit of a scribble. We're gonna go in and kinda roughen this thing up a little bit. There are so many different effects you can use to help you draw things without having to draw them. Now this is what I want to tell you about these different types of effects that we had. When we went in and we went and worked with the stroke right here, we did that offset path effect. We had the stroke selected in the appearance panel because I only wanted that stroke selected to have offset path applied. Right now, what I want you to do, is click on the word path up here. I want to apply what we're about to do to the entire object. You guys, this happens all the time. You will have fill selected and say, hey, let's go apply in a cool effect, it'll only affect the fill, not the stroke and other things. So make sure you select the whole object, let's do it there, come to add new effect here, and you will see some of my favorite right here, called distort and transform, and what I wanna do, is I wanna roughen it up a little bit. Pucker and bloat, my favorite, but let's go to roughen, and any one of these, the great thing about 'em, is you can always undo them, you can always edit them later, you can always remove them if you want to. Why don't you turn on preview down here, and you should see exactly what it's gonna do. So it's gonna get, I'm trying to make a little flowerish type thing, this is what flowers look like to me, so we're good. So what you can do now, is you can come in here and start to adjust some of these settings. Why don't you, first of all, take the size and bring it up just a little bit, and you can see what it's gonna do. Detail, be really careful, crank the detail all the way to right and you'll see what it's gonna do. It's gonna put, it's gonna make it look like an explosion, okay? But that could be like a thistle or a dandelion. I don't even know what I'm talking about right now. I'm just throwing things out there. That looks ridiculous, okay, that looks a little better. Now you can also, we actually have in here, we have what's called relative and absolute sizing. Relative is relative to the object itself. If you do absolute, you can say an exact size, like how far away it's gonna go from the edge of the shape. I do that sometimes, 'cause sometimes a relative selection right there is a little rough to gauge. So sometimes I'll do absolute, and then you can kind of control a little more and say I wanna 'bout half inch away from the shape and, eh, that looks pretty good. You'll also notice that there's smooth and corner down here, so if you wanna just make them smooth points, instead of corner points, you can do that. Once you think it looks like it does, I'm not gonna say good, but like it does, go ahead and click okay. Now notice where it put the roughen effect in the appearance panel, go take a look. It's not under any of the stroke, the fill, or anything like that, it is on top. As a matter of fact, what's really cool about this, we can actually take these, and in some cases, you can drag them to change the ordering and make it so, maybe, it doesn't affect the stroke and fill. You won't be able to put it between the stroke and the fill. It's just the way it works. It won't let you do it. That gets a little further along, but there's some really crazy things we can do with this. Alright, what I wanna do, is I wanna take that shape and I wanna bring it behind everything. So let's send it to the back. So we can go to object, arrange, and I know some people really like short-cuts, really like working faster. There are keyboard commands up here that you can use. I use these all the time. You can also, and I've kind of neglected this, but you can also right click and use the context menus too, contextual menus, whatever you wanna call these. Right clicking, you're gonna see arrange. You're gonna see a lot of the things we wanna do right here. Okay, so it's your call, whatever you wanna do, however you wanna do it. Go ahead and send it back and just put it behind and we've got ourselves a little flower, cool. Alright, so we've been doing some different kinds of effects out here. What I'd like to do now, is I wanna go in and start to work with some graphic styles, and just do some different things. So what we're gonna do, is we're gonna take this little flower thing that we just created, and we're gonna copy it and bring it to the front of everything and kind of put it on top, okay? Go ahead and select the selection tool, and what I wanna do, is we're gonna use a command that we used in the beginning class, or the beginner class. We're gonna copy it and we're gonna paste it in front, or paste it in front of everything. Come to edit and go ahead and copy it, or if you know the short-cut, go ahead and copy it, that's fine. And come to edit again, and you're gonna see we have paste in place, paste in front, paste in back. Now paste in front, it's gonna put the new copy of this thing right in front of the old, which means it's still gonna be behind that green shape, okay? I wanna use in this case, paste in place. Go ahead and choose paste in place and take a look. This one's awesome. This might as well be called paste in super-front, okay, because it's gonna paste in the front of everything. It just says paste it right where the other one is. Okay now, we've got that there and what I wanna do is just make it a little smaller. So you can go out here, and because it's an ellipse, or a circle, rather, we can come to the corner here, or the side, rather, and change the radius, corner radius a little bit, there we go. Now I wanna point something out that I think gets lost, that a lot of us don't know about in the very beginning, when we start working in Illustrator. If you ever scale something, make it smaller, make it bigger, whatever, and you have things like rounded corners, you have strokes on them, you have an effect on them, those will not change. They will stay absolute, okay? As a matter of fact, when you see one out here, watch what I'm talking about here. I'm gonna take this shape and I'm gonna make it much smaller. I'm gonna go like that. Look at the stroke size on it. The stroke weight, rather, it's still the same as what it was. Sometimes that's great, you need to work that way. That's great, but in this case, I did not want the effect, everything is still the same size, the same effect. I want that to scale as we scale the shape. Why don't you go ahead and undo. Make it the size it was before. Come under edit, and if you need to do it a couple of times, go ahead and undo a couple times to get it back to that big. This hidden little feature is something that we turn on. I turn on and I turn off, I toggle it. Take a look up here and you're gonna see the transform panel. Does everybody see the word transform up there? I'm gonna tell you right now that you may not see the word transform. If your screen is big, you won't see it. You might see x, y, w, and h, click on any one of those, and you're gonna open the same thing. I'm gonna click on transform, and you're gonna see the transform panel. If you look right in here, you're gonna see scale strokes and effects. This is something to think about. You have to use this if you really wanna work a certain way. Go ahead and select that. Like I said, you can turn it on, change the size, and then turn it off again, and it will only affect what you do from that point on, okay? So with it turned on, come back to that shape right there, and let's change the size of it, make it a little bit smaller so it kinda fits on top, right there, and you're gonna see exactly what happens. It's gonna scale the effect relative to the size, right? Alright, cool. Great thing to do with strokes at times, if you need to. I'm gonna tell you right now, though, you do need to be careful with that. If you turn that on, and if I take a shape and I scale it right now, because that's turned on, look at the effect it has now. It scaled the strokes, which is awesome, that's totally cool. Look what it did to the stroke weights, though. They're not whole numbers anymore. You have to be careful of that sometimes. I know that sometimes when I do web work, I don't wanna have a stroke weight like that sometimes. So you gotta be careful, okay? That's the moral of the story.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Project Files Part 1
Project Files Part 2

Ratings and Reviews


I am a pretty computer literate person but an Ai beginner i.e. I am completely new to the Creative Cloud/Adobe Illustrator. (This is also the first time I've used CreativeLive.) I think this course it is fantastic. The pace is good as is the content which progressed logically and covers all the basics you'd hope it would. The course is 2 full days' worth of material but it is broken down into segments so you can revisit or skip through as you need to. The presenter is really personable and easy to watch (even for me, a Londoner!). I would also say I think it is pretty good value for money -- I am currently enrolled on a part time course, basically doing the same sort of stuff, and I have to say this is better and a bit cheaper! I definitely recommend it to you!


A brilliantly designed course. it's almost magic. It's everything you hope for in a follow-along software class. Brian Wood has engineered it so that you start on a project that just needs basics, and then you move on to more & more complicated projects, and almost without realizing it you've learned Illustrator. This doesn't just happen -- Wood has clearly put a LOT of effort into creating this course. Here's one trivial example: he doesn't overload you with a lot of keyboard shortcuts right at the beginning -- you start with the actions themselves, using the (admittedly tedious but easy) pulldown menus, and then after you're comfortable with what you're doing, he'll throw in the shortcut. It may seem obvious, but so many instructors feel they have to give you an extensive foundation of definitions, shortcuts, interfaces, etc., before you ever do anything. Good stuff to know, but you'll never remember it. Wood has you up and working almost immediately. And he's a joy to listen to, at a perfect pace. Highly recommended.

Philippe LIENARD

Top course. Very well explained, clear, good examples, pleasant teacher. I like it and recommend it. One suggestion, it would be nice to have a detailed table of content of the course in the material. For instance, it took me quite a while to find back the part of the course where how to make a gear was explained.

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