Learn how to create blends between two shapes in Adobe Illustrator CS3 Advanced.
Tags:adobe,adobe illustrator cs3 advanced,blends,illustrator,total training
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Okay, Lesson 3 is all about Blends and Clipping Masks. So let's jump right into this. I have created a new blank document here to get us started. We will take a look at Blends first and just like we did from the previous lessons, I will show you some basic examples of Blends and then we will actually start messing around with these in some files here.
So what I would like you to do is create two different shapes. You can use whatever shapes you like but I am going to use a basic rectangle here and I am also going to use a star. My letters are not just objects. They will serve as my cookie cutter filled with different colors and also remove any strokes that you have on your shapes as well.
Here is a fast way to get rid of your strokes by the way, if you take a look at the bottom of my Toolbox here, my stroke is on the bottom. Just hit your X key that brings the stroke to the front and then hit your Forward Slash (/) key, that's the key that leans to the right, that gets rid of the stroke or sets the stroke the None. I will do the same on my green rectangle here. My stroke is already in the front, so I just have to hit my Forward Slash (/) key, there we are.
Now what I would like you to do is take your two shapes and just sort of space them apart here. I have put mine in opposite corners of my page here and let's take a look at creating a basic Blend. To begin, select both of your shapes and then head up to your Object menu, down to Blend and then Make. And you should get something like this.
Now what the heck happened here? Well, what Illustrator did is it took the position and the color of the first shape and basically blended it into the shape and the position of my second shape. Now let's take a closer look at exactly what's going on here. So I am going to go my Object menu here, down to Blend again and I have quite a few commands underneath my Blend sub-menu here. Let's go to Blend Options.
Inside the Blend Options dialog box, I always turn on my Preview here and we have some different options here for our spacing. I will show you Specified Steps to get started here. So in my particular Blend, there is 254 steps between my green rectangle and my blue star. But of course, I can always come in here and change this value to whatever I would like. I will change this to something quite a bit lower, just to show you exactly what's happening here. I typed in 10 and hit Tab and now you can see the morphing of one shape into another shape.
Let's try an even lower value, there you can see the morphing happening even more clearly. So I have set my Specified Steps to 4 here, I will click on OK. There is my blend. Now at any point in time, I can always go back and make further adjustments to my Blend. I can always go back up to the Object menu, down to Blend and then back into my Blend Options and further adjust the number of steps for example. Maybe I will reduce this even more. I will just press 2 and then the Tab key and you can see I am given two shapes here in between my first shape and my last shape.
Now what I am going to do is I am going to crank this number up just a little bit more here. I will go back up to 10 where I was, Tab. This is what I am going to get here. I will click on OK. Now the interesting thing here is if I deselect, again just by clicking in some white space, and then clicking back on my star, because my star is a part of a blend, the whole blend gets selected here. So it's treated as if it's one single object here in Illustrator.
Now let me show you what's going on in the background. I am going to go into my Preview mode. So that's Ctrl+Y on the PC or Command+Y here on the Mac and here is what Illustrator sees. The Illustrator sees my original two shapes, my original rectangle, my original star and then it has drawn this path between the two shapes here. We are going to talk about this path a little bit later on and you will see how we can manipulate this path to customize our Blend.
So I will go into Illustrator's Outline mode by hitting Command+Y or Ctrl+Y on the PC.