Semi Transparent Flower Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Semi Transparent Flower Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Semi Transparent Flower Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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5 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Semi transparent Flowers in Illustrator - Introduction

      1:08
    • 2. Semi transparent Flowers Part 1

      5:24
    • 3. Semi transparent Flowers Part 2

      7:39
    • 4. Semi transparent Flowers Part 3

      6:59
    • 5. Semi transparent Flowers Part 4

      5:42
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn to create flowers that look semi transparent. We will make these flowers two ways, one with semi opaque objects and another using fully opaque objects and blend modes to create a faux transparent effect. You will learn some tricks for working with semi-transparent objects in Illustrator and how to configure and use Scatter Brushes.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Semi transparent Flowers in Illustrator - Introduction: Hello. I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class creating semi-transparent flower brushes in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're making semi-transparent flowers. We're going to start by drawing a shape and then we're going to rotate it. We're going to create semi-transparent shapes where we build up opacity where the shapes interact with each other. We're also going to look at a way of creating a faux transparency effect using blend modes, because that will give us a very different flower that's going to behave differently when converted to a scatter brush. We're going to create two of our flowers as scatter brushes. We're going to learn how to set up a scatter brush and how to apply it to a line. Then we're going to see how to edit the scatter brush as it is applied to an existing line, but also how to edit its behavior in future. 2. Semi transparent Flowers Part 1: To create our scatter brushes that have these interesting transparency effects in them, we're going to create a new document. I'll choose File and then New. I'm going to make my document 1200 by 800 pixels in size, and I'm using an RGB color mode. Then click "Okay." I'm going to start by dragging out an oval. I'm just going to select the Oval. I'm going to remove the stroke, and I'm going to set the fill to an orange color. Now, I'm going to reduce the opacity on this fill. At the moment, the shape is filled at 100 percent opacity with the color. I'm going to reduce that to 50 percent, so that the shape is now partially opaque. It's transparent to some degree. I'll hold the Alt or Option key and drag a couple of copies of this shape away from itself. I want the shapes to overlap because we can see that wherever they overlap, we're getting a buildup of color. There's 50 percent opacity on top of 50 percent opacity. It's building up to a stronger orange color. Let's grab one of these ovals. I'm just going to Alt drag a copy away. I'm going to reshape this into my flower petal. But you can see it has a 50 percent opacity. I'm just grabbing the direct selection tool. I'm going to click on this top point, and just drag it down, just so we have a more interesting leaf shape. I want to rotate this around to create my flower. To do that, I'm going to use the Rotate option over here. I'm going to select the shape, and I'm going to click the Rotate tool. Then, I'm going to Alt or Option click on this bottom point on my petal, because that's going to set this as the rotation point. Then, I'm going to rotate it around 60 degrees. I'll type 60 and click "Copy." Then, I'll do that again, and again, and again, by just pressing "Control" or "Command D," until I've got my flower shape. You can see that my flower shape is performing exactly as I expected it to perform. It's rotating around, and it's building up color where the petals overlap each other. Now, if you've watched others of my videos, you'll know that there's also a Distort and Transform tool that we could have used to achieve the same effect. The problem is that when you use that tool, different things happen. Let's just go and investigate that quickly. I'm going to select over this shape and just group it together so we don't lose all these petals, and we don't lose our flower. Because it's grouped, I can just hold the Shift key as I re-size the flower, and let's just tuck it over there. Let's go and get another one of these ovals. Alt, drag a duplicate away. We'll make our petal shape again. This time, we'll use Distort and Transform. I'll choose Effect, Distort and Transform, and then Transform. I need to click here on the preview, and I'm going to click here on this middle indicator at the very bottom. There are nine little squares here. They correspond to these handles on the shape. It's the one in the middle bottom row that we want to select because that will rotate the shape around this point. I want to rotate an angle of 60 degrees, so I'll type 60 in the degrees. I want five copies, so I'll type the number 5, and then just tab away. I'm getting the shape that I expect. But you can see, I don't have any of this buildup of color, even though the shape is 50 percent opaque. I'm going to click "Okay." Whenever you use the Distort and Transform tool, if you go to the appearance panel, you'll see that you have a transform effect, and it's being applied to just this petal shape. If we want to burst this out so that we have six petals instead of one petal with a Transform effect, we can expand its appearance. We'll do that by choosing Object, and then Expand Appearance. Then it goes from a single shape, which has been rotated, into six individual petals. But you can see, still we don't have this buildup of color that we might expect to have where the petals are overlapped. Let's Ungroup this, because at the moment, this is a grouped object. Let's Ungroup it and see what happens. I'll choose Object and then Ungroup. Well, something a little bit strange has happened. We've ungrouped this shape so that we now have six petals, but in the process, the opacity of every one of these petals has kicked back to 100 percent. Let's see what happens when we select over these petals and make them 50 percent opacity, which was what we asked for in the first place. Well, at 50 percent opacity, we get exactly what we expect. We've got effectively this flower, created in a similar way, but you can say that the Distort and Transform operates just a little bit differently to how we might expect it to operate. I'll select this shape, and I'll group it again. I'll choose Object and then Group. Now, this is a grouped object. You can see that the transparency or the buildup of opacity has worked as we expected. Let's just tuck this flower away. 3. Semi transparent Flowers Part 2: Now before we go ahead and create a scatter brushes, let's just have a look and say how these flowers would behave if they were created as a scatter brush and if the flowers in that brush overlapped each other. I've just dragged a duplicate of this flower away from itself. I'm going to add another couple in a row, pretty much as they might paint in a scatter brush. You'll say that where these flowers overlap, we've got this build-up of opacity where 50 percent opaque petal is on top of another 50 percent opaque petal, then the opacity is adding up and it's giving us a buildup of opacity. If they overlapped this way, we're going to get an even heavier result in the middle of the flowers. Now if that's the look that you're going for, then you have the flowers ready to create that scatter brush. This flower is going to work identically. Let's just see it quickly. You can say that it's going to work the same way as this flower. As I said, if that's the effect that you're looking for, then you already have the flowers that you need to create the scatter brush. But I'm looking for something a little bit different. I don't want these flowers to build up opacity when they're placed on top of each other. I'm going to need a slightly different solution to the problem of creating this flower. I'm going to Alt, drag this shape away because I'm going to use it. Still, I'm going to recreate my petal and we're going to look at a different effect. Now I have my petal here and I'm going to go ahead and do the same distort and transform effect. I'll choose Effect, Distort and Transform, Transform, I'm going to click "Preview" on. I'm going to select the same marker in this set of nine little boxes to rotate around this point here. I'll type five in as my copies and I'll type 60 degrees as my rotation and click "Ok". I get exactly what I got previously. But this time instead of the opacity and the appearance panel for this particular shape being set to 50 percent, I'm going to set it to 100 percent. I'm just going to dial back here and set my opacity to 100 percent. If you don't have the appearance panel visible choose Window and then Appearance, you want to make sure that you have this petal selected when you do that. Now we've got a fully opaque flower. What I'm going to do is I'm going to try and match this color in the fill color of the petals, so with the petal selected, I'm going to double-click here to open this dialogue. What I'm looking for is a much fainter version of this orange color. I'm just looking here to say if this color and this color are about the same, you could be a bit more accurate, but I just want to get a fair approximation. I'll click "Ok", maybe just a little bit darker. Now I've got petals that look about the same color as the petals of these flowers up here. But I don't yet have my overlapping color. I don't have the color deepening where these petals are overlapping. Well, the appearance panel lets me do that. With this petal selected, what I'm going to do is make sure that I have the Fill open here, so I'm opening up this little triangle so it's pointing downwards. Now there are two different opacities here: One associated with the Fill, and one that's associated with the overall petal. I'm going to the one that is associated with the Fill, so with the Fill panel open, I'm clicking here on this opacity setting and I'm going to set the blend mode here to multiply. Now what Multiply blend mode does is it darkens, it's a darkening blend mode. It's taking everywhere where these two shapes overlap each other and creating a darker effect. You can use these blend modes if you're familiar with using blend modes in Photoshop, these are the same blend modes as you have in Photoshop. Multiply is always a darkening blend mode. What we've got here now is a 100 percent opaque leaf here but where these leaves are overlapping each other, the blend mode is giving us this darkening effect. We've pretty much got the same effect as we had up here, but we've got it with a 100 percent opacity. Let's see now what happens when we overlap this shape with itself. I'm going to hold Alt or Option and drag a duplicate of this shape away. While we have the same problem as we have with these shapes up here, we've managed to make a pretty much similar flower, but its behavior is identical to the one up here. It would appear that we really haven't progressed very far at all. Well, we've progressed a lot further than we might think. I'm going back to this shape here. I'm going back to the appearance panel. This time I'm going to click the opacity for the entire shape. I'm going to click here on this opacity setting and down here is an option called isolate blending. I'm going to click on it. Then I'm going to duplicate my shape again. Now you can say that its behavior is very, very different. Even if we don't quite like the effect yet, it's the effect that we came to create. Now the reason that this isolate blending effect works is what's happening is that we're telling Illustrator, go ahead and blend all these petals while you are within this shape. But as between this shape and any other shape, we don't want that multiply blending mode to apply. We want the multiply blend mode to be limited to this shape only, so we've got this effect where the shapes have a 100 percent opacity and the effect is not adding together; we're not getting that increased opacity setting that we would have with these flowers up here. Now what I think that this flower needs now is just a little bit of an edge effect around the petals. I'm going to come here with the petal selected. I'm going to select the stroke and I'm going to apply an orange stroke to it. Now, it doesn't have to be a fully intense orange, but it just has to be something a little bit more than the fill. Now I'm going to apply that same effect to this flower here. I can do that by selecting this petal, and what I want to do is borrow the stroke and fill and on the affects that I just applied to this flower. Well, I can do that using the eyedropper. I'm just going to click on the eyedropper and click once here on this petal. Then this flower takes on the exact same look. Now let's place the flowers over the top of each other and you can say that there's a little bit of a differentiation between the two flowers. Probably not quite enough for me, I might go ahead and just increase the stroke a little bit perhaps to two points. I think that's going to be better. I'll click this one and go borrow the stroke that I've just said. But this for me is the flower that I want to use for my scatter brush. I like this effect, so we're going to come back in the next video and we'll make scatter brushes from both of these flowers and just see how they behave a little bit differently. 4. Semi transparent Flowers Part 3: Now we have the three flowers that we've created. I'm just going to move this one up here and I'm going to size it down just a little bit. It's pretty much the same size as the others for now, and we don't need this duplicate, so I'll remove it and we don't need this any longer either. Before we create our flowers as a Scatter Brush, if we want to be able to recolor these flowers later on, we're going to need to make them as black and white or gray flowers. I'm going to select over this one and where I have it filled with orange now, I'm going to make it filled with black. I'll go ahead here and select black. You can see that it's now shades of gray. Well, that's going to be really handy when we create it as a Scatter Brush because that's going to allow us to recolor it later on. We're going to do the same with this one, again, changing its fill to black so that the difference in opacity is going to create that as shades of gray and a very darker gray. This one's going to pose a little bit more of a problem because we made it a lighter orange in the first place. If we fill it with black, we're going to lose this effect. What we need to do is fill it with a gray color. We'll start out by filling it with black and then double-click on the black so we get access to a different color gray. What I'm looking for here is a fill of gray that's about the same color as this, so I've gone a bit light here. That's a better color. Of course, the orange around the petals just needs to be a darker shade of gray. I'll click here on the stroke color and I'm going to open up my swatches panel because I have a whole series of grays here. So I'm just going to pick a darker shade of gray. True, this one's probably dark enough. After recoloring the flowers in black with some transparency or darker shades of gray, we'll now be able to create them as a Scatter Brush and we'll be able to change the color of the flowers by just changing the stroke color for the brush. Let's go ahead and create these as Scatter Brushes. I'm going to open up the brushes panel here. To create a shape as a brush, we'll just select the shape and I like to start with mine a little bit smaller than this, so I'm just going to size it down, holding the Shift key to just size it down to a slightly smaller size. You can drag and drop it into the brushes panel or you can click here on the Brush dropdown menu and choose New Brush. Either way you'll get this new brush dialogue here and we want to set it up as a Scatter Brush and I'll click "Okay." Now if you do nothing else for this brush, you want to set the colorization method to tints, that allows it to be recolored according to what stroke it is that you have selected here in the stroke box. But the beauty of a Scatter Brush is that you can get a lot of action out of just one brush stroke. I'm going to adjust the size. Instead of being fixed, I'm going to make it random so I can vary the size of the flower. But then I have to tell Illustrator what variety of sizes it can use. At the moment, the maximum and minimum are both set to 100 percent. I'm going to set the minimum size to about 30 percent so it can start out by painting this particular flower at 30 percent of its current size. If I want this size to be the maximum size, then I'm just going to leave this setting here at 100 percent. Now the spacing at the moment is 100 percent, so these flowers are going to be spaced evenly along the brush stroke and they're not going to overlap. Well, if we do want them to overlap, we can set this to random and we'll decrease the spacing so that they're going to be spaced closer together. You can also adjust the scatter so that they don't follow along the brush stroke and they actually vary either side of the brush stroke. I'm going to set that to random and then I'm just going to vary the scatter. Now if we don't get this right, we'll be able to reset it in a minute. I might also want to adjust rotation so that the flower is rotated a little bit, so I'll do that. I'm going to select random and I'm just going to rotate it. Anything from minus 60 or about that upwards to zero because that's just going to rotate it within the 60 degrees that the petals are separated from each other anyway, we don't have to use large rotations on a shape like this. I'll click "Okay." Now that we've created a Scatter Brush with the first of our flowers, we can test it out. I'll click the brush tool here and I'll click on the Scatter Brush so that I'm painting with this brush. If I double click here on the paintbrush tool, I can open the paintbrush tool options and you'll see that I've got it painting smooth. Any bumps in my line are going to be smoothed out as I draw it. We'll just click "Okay." Let's go and draw a line. Here's our Scatter Brush applied to our line. I'm going to select the line so that we can see the relationship between the scattering on the brush and the line itself. Well, you can see that the flowers are all one side of the line and that's going to be as a result of the scatter options that I set. If we want to change for this line only, we can click here to open up the options of selected object dialogue. This allows us to make changes to the brush for this stroke alone. I'm going to click on Preview so we can see everything as we're working. Now, the reason why the flowers are painting on this side of the line and not the other side is because I've got my scatter set to negative values and both the minimum and the maximum are negative values. I'm going to take this maximum value up to a positive value, and now we're going to scatter both sides of the line. Now I could adjust the spacing so that these were closer together, but I'll get similar result if I just enlarge my flower. Because the larger the flowers are, the closer they are going to be to other flowers. We're seeing this overlapping effect that we expected to see here because this was a flower that when it was overlapped over another flower of its same type, we would see this increased effect where the transparencies overlapped. I'll click "Okay." Before we leave this particular flower, let's just see how we would recolor it. The stroke color here is what controls the color of the flower, so if we change the color of the stroke we'll change the color of the flower. Let's make this a red flower. You can see that by selecting a red color, the flowers along this line are now changed in color. 5. Semi transparent Flowers Part 4: Now, all of these three flowers, we can expect that these two are going to behave similarly as scatter brushes. This one's going to be a bit different so I want to have a look at it before we finish up this class. Firstly, before we create a scatter brush from this, we're going to need to expand it. Otherwise, our scatter brush is going to have that transform feature applied to it and it's going to behave really strangely. I'm going to select this shape and I'm going to choose Object, Expand Appearance. Now, that's been expanded into the shapes that create this flower. Now, we can make a brush out of it. I'm going to click here and choose New Brush, Scatter Brush, Okay. Now, we can set the same values as we were using before. The colorization method will be tints. Then we're going to use random for everything else. I'm going to set the rotation here from minus 60 degrees to 0 degrees, which is going to rotate it around 1/6 of the circle, which will be perfect for this six-sided shape. The size, I'm going to bring this down to start at about 40 percent of its original size and go up to 100 percent, which is the size here. Spacing, take that down to about 40 percent of the original size, up to 100. Scatter is going to be about maybe 128 in the negative direction, one side of the line, and about 128 the other side of the line. I'll click "Okay". To see how it works, we're going to first of all make sure that we don't have this shape selected. I'm going to click away from it. Then I'll click on my "Brush Tool" and I'm going to select the scatter brush that we're going to use, and I'll draw a line. The flower is then spaced along that line using the settings that we created for the scatter brush. Now, if I want to make changes to it, I'm going to re-select the line, but in this case, I'm going to double-click on this flower here, not the options of the selected object. By double-clicking on the brush itself, I can now make changes to how the brush is set up. They can be applied not only to this line, but they will also become a feature of the brush in future. I'm thinking that I want to just bring the spacing back a little bit. I'm going to drop the spacing a little bit and perhaps the size. I'll click "Okay." When I do, I'm asked if I want to apply those changes to this stroke and use it in future, or just apply it to the brush itself, but leave this line as it is. Well, I'm going to apply it to this line as well. Now, at the moment, you'll see that the brush is painting in a lighter gray than up here. The reason for this is that we don't have black selected. If we were to select black as a stroke color, you'll see that the brush itself then looks more like the color in the original flower, but of course, it can be recolored to any color. With the stroke selected, I'm going to select a purple color for our flower. It will be recolored because we chose tints as our colorization method. There is a way to create two types of what looked to be semi-transparent flowers in Illustrator. The first flower really is semi-transparent, so when it appears on top of another flower of the same type, it's actually getting darker where it overlaps because the transparency is being built up. This second type of flower still has the appearance of some level of transparency, but the actual flower itself is fully opaque. When it's layered on another flower of the same type, we're not seeing this build-up in opacity because this is actually 100 percent opaque flower. Your project for this class is going to be to go and create these two flowers yourself. The first one is going to be semi-opaque. Where the petals overlap, you're going to have this build-up of opacity, and your flower when created as a scatter brush, will behave like this one here. Then the second brush is this one that has a multiply blend mode to build up this appearance of overlapping semi-transparent shapes. But in actual fact, they are 100 percent opaque. You'll just need to remember that when you create this shape before you finish, you'll need to go to the Appearance panel and make sure that in the Opacity setting you have these isolate blending options selected so that the multiply blend mode that you use inside your object is limited in its effect to that object alone. When this object is stacked on top of other objects, we don't see any buildup in color. It's just going to stay the exact same tone that it is right now. I hope that you've enjoyed this video and that you've learned something about transparency in Illustrator and also about using blend modes and scatter brushes. If you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up so that others will know that it's a class that they may want to take. I look forward to seeing your projects and as always, if you have any questions, please post them in the community area and I'll try to help you if I can. My name's Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.