Fundamentals of Illustrator IV: Appearances, Graphic Styles & Layers | Brad Woodard | Skillshare

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Fundamentals of Illustrator IV: Appearances, Graphic Styles & Layers

teacher avatar Brad Woodard, Illustrator + Graphic Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      1. Introduction: Create a mixed media collage


    • 2.

      2. Appearance Panel


    • 3.

      3. Layers


    • 4.

      4. Actions


    • 5.

      5. Graphic Styles


    • 6.

      6. Masks


    • 7.

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About This Class

Adobe Illustrator is an incredible design application, one that has limitless potential for translating your creativity into beautiful graphic formats. The sheer amount of tools and effects can be daunting, however, leaving beginners intimidated and confused without a starting point. This class will not only provide a foundation for working with Illustrator, it will get you started on the path to harnessing the application's power!

This class, which is the fourth of a four part series on the Fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator, will provide in-depth insrtuction and understanding into the tools in Illustrator.

Be sure to enroll in my complete Fundamentals of Illustrator Series: Fundamentals of Illustrator I: The First Steps to Becoming a Pro Illustrator, Fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator II: Paths, Shapes & Type, and Fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator III: Colors, Swatches & Patterns.

Meet Your Teacher

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Brad Woodard

Illustrator + Graphic Designer



I am a graphic designer and illustrator raised in the Great Northwest, now living in Boise, Idaho with my wife and two little kids. After graduating with a BFA in graphic design, I started my career as an information designer and illustrator at Column Five Media. The digital illustration courses I took in college paid off, as I found that more and more clients were requesting illustration work in their designs. Merging both skills together I have been able attract all types of work, including my work in advertising at Arnold Worldwide.

Now, my wife and I run our own design and illustration studio full-time, named Brave the Woods. We also started the company Artists for Education, which brings artists together to create beautifully designed, educational artwo... See full profile

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1. 1. Introduction: Create a mixed media collage: Hi, I'm Brad Woodard. I'm one half of Brave the Woods, a design and illustration studio that my wife and I started down here in Austin, Texas. This is the fourth and final course within the four-part series that is Fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator. So, in this course, we're going to be going over some things that sound less glamorous than they really are, and you're going to wish you learn them sooner. So, don't write it off just because of the name, but the project that we're going to be doing is very exciting, and all the things that we're going to be going over what will help you make it. We're going to be creating a collage. In this collage, I'd like you to try to experiment with adding in photography. So, it doesn't have to be your own, but just using photos, maybe some textures, and then your own vector shapes. So, mixing in the vector with some imported photos or textures will be quite nice, and I'll show you exactly how to do that. Because we're going to be going through the appearance panel, which has some tricks of its own. But you also have things called graphic styles, that we'll be going over in that, and being able to save some effects that we apply to our artwork or objects. We can apply them to others, as well as doing things like adding more than one stroke on one object. So, pretty cool. We're going tog be going through layers, and if you've worked in Photoshop, you know layers. Those for me as a professional working with design clients and illustration clients as well. It takes a lot of time. Every time they want to come back and make a lot of edits, or even any edits, if I don't layer my artwork, or I don't set it up, so that I can go back and make changes easily. So, layers will definitely help you do that, and be able to find your work, and fix it, or edit it, or however you need to do it. But then, also, we're going to be talking about masking, which will come in very handy for your collage, and able to take textures, or photos, or patterns, and then being able to mask them, being able to crop them into a specific shape or what have you. So, that'll be fun, and then we'll be talking lastly about actions. That's just a way to, again, if you use Photoshop, it'll be the same thing. A way to save some series of functions that you've done, and it'll apply it again in one click of a button to another object or another project. So, some very cool things coming up. I'm excited to be working on this with you, and to go over these last few elements, and round off your overall experience, brand new experience to Adobe Illustrator. So, looking forward to having you in class. 2. 2. Appearance Panel: The appearance panel in Adobe Illustrator is one of those tools about everybody uses, but I'm not sure everyone understands its full capacity, its full potential to help you out on your design. So, let me walk you through it, and maybe uncover some things that you haven't known about it before. If you're brand new to Illustrator, then this will all be new, and you'll be ahead of the curve because you know how to use it, and use it to its fullest. So, let's walk through it. Now, you can go to Window always and find what you need to have it, that's if you don't have it in your toolbar already. I do, it looks like the sun over here. I click on it. What it's going to do, is it's going to give you, it's basically what it says, it's the appearance, so it's going to explain what's making up this object? What is it made of? So, if I click on here, it's going to say, "It's full of this fill," and I can change that fill if I prefer a different color. Same thing I can do to up here, you'll notice that it's changing and all the way up here. So, I can do all that and it'll just update it within here. You can work on either one. You can go ahead and change the stroke if you desire. You want to change that, let's make it into a darker stroke, and I can make a larger stroke. Cool cool. Maybe nothing new here, but, maybe this is new. You can take these and you can actually alter just like you would in the layers, which I'm going to go over physical layers, like you would in Photoshop, or we also have an Illustrator, then, I'm going to go over in a following video. But, you can go ahead and layer up within the same object without using physical layers or separate objects, it's all one object which is really neat, in which a lot of people don't really utilize as much as they should or could. Just know that you can reorganize those things in there. Also, you can add more than just what you have, and just rearrange them. You can add an actual stroke which is cool. You don't have to have just one stroke, you can have multiple strokes which comes in handy in things like badges, or even type, which I'll show you in a second. Let's add navy pink so it stands out, and I can drop the width of that stroke. You'll notice that it's right on top there. If I wanted to hide that stroke or I wanted it to be behind it, make it bigger, drop it behind this other stroke. Let's do it right here. I can do that. I can put the fill back on top, whatever I want to do, whatever order, and this is still just that one shape. Pretty neat. I have this and we can also do effects, which is really cool. Like I said over here, back in our appearance panels, we can go down here, there's different strokes. Actually, I'll show you one more thing, there's a different fill as well. I can go in here, and if I want to get rid of this, if I want to get rid of one of these fills, I can always delete them or maybe I like it, maybe, I'm not sure, and I don't want to get rid of it, I can just turn off those layers and just see what I want to see right now. Just kind of like I'm previewing them. But let's just say we have all this fill, I'm going to get rid of these, don't delete, just make sure you get to drag and drop it into the trash can or hit it in the trash can. Let's turn that back on, collect in here. Okay. We're back to square one. So, now I want to take this. We're able to lock and unlock or view and un-view, I guess I should say, your layers. You can also add, if I wanted to add another fill, I can do that or I can duplicate whatever item I have. I could just make another one, and I can go on here and I can make this red. Let's put it on top though. I can go in here and mess with the opacity if I wanted to, or I can just say multiply. You'll notice that it's multiplying it, and I can change the opacity to see how much of it shows through. But the cool thing is, again, this is all one object, no layers, no anything like that. Very cool. What these will actually create, is out of these additions we've made to these objects and how we customize them, you can actually save those into what we call graphics styles. Then, I take that graphic style and I can apply that to any other shape that I create if I so choose. That's a really really neat function that we're going to talk about in the next video. Keep that in mind. Okay, let's go back, maybe I'll show you how to use an effect. Go back to our appearance panel, and on this scale let's go in here and click on fx. Now, there's a lot of effects within Adobe Illustrator, but I don't have the time to go through every single one of them, and really, it wouldn't help you as much as you think it would, because each project requires maybe a combination of multiple effects if you're trying to achieve a certain look on something, you're going to do a whole slew of other effects and stuff like that. You can look up those specifically for tutorials on certain looks that you're trying to achieve. But for now, I just want to show you that they're here and they're available, and what we do when we actually use one. We can apply an effect to this. Let's use the flag effect since this Jolly Roger is a flag, and we'll go ahead and I can manipulate that a little bit however I choose, and then I can click okay. You'll notice that that is now another effect, it's like another layer and I can turn that off if I wanted to. I don't want to look at that right now, I want to look at it normal, and I can edit this object, for one, I want to make the eye bigger. I can do that, but I still have this, and it will make that change, and it will make the effect work with the new art. Now, type is another cool one. Now, this is the last thing I'll show you with appearance panel, grind this in the ground too much. But if I go into Type, I can click on the cool thing. Let me just change the affect to stylize. Let's do another work. Let's do rise preview. Although kind of crazy with it. Now, I hate destroying types, I wouldn't do this in a normal project, but I just want to show you something. Okay, very cool. I'm going to add another stroke to this to fill. I want to add a stroke to this. Okay. Let's make it blue. Get that point size up. Now, it's covering it, so, easy enough, I can just take it and drop it below the fill, that I do that right now. I take that stroke and put it behind. There we go. Now, it's sitting behind it. Now, I made all of these changes. Coolest thing about this, is this part right here. Click on it. Changeroo, wait, Changeroo, changeroooo. I can go ahead and do whatever I want to this type. I can resubmit a whole different word or edit it or whatever, and it'll save all those settings to it. Super cool, super handy. I hope that helps. Thank you. 3. 3. Layers: Well, it's about time we started talking about layers. We've talked about the different ways that we can put objects on top of other objects and organize them. We will review it a little bit here just so it's fresh in your mind. But basically, if you've ever worked in Photoshop, you'll know exactly what to do here with these layers. It's extremely similar, and it's just a way to have better control over your illustration work. So, edits can be a lot easier for you if you have to change only one element, you can easily find it, and you can label things very easily so that everything's categorized and even if you don't know where it's at, I can help you find it. There's tools within Illustrator that make your life a whole lot easier. So, let's go ahead and talk about, first, a little review going over the Arrange function in Illustrator. So, without actually creating separate layer files and the layer file so you know, is right over here that the double stacked square is there, and that's that your layers and again you can find it in Windows. But if you go and take a shape so is review, let me get rid of this for second. I'm going to have this shape right here as its own shape. All these things are their own shape, this one was a group of shapes. Maybe I want to take this circle right here, and I want to move it forward to the very front, so it will only be in the front of whatever layer I have. So, this is the bottom layer, so if I scoot back a little bit, you'll see that that's its own layer, that parts the bursts so their own layer, and a little details of their own layers. So, you know where things are. So, I'm on the bottom one, so it will only go to the top of that bottom layer. It's a layer within a layer, it's like inception. So, can get a little bit confusing sometimes, but if I go right here and I right click on my shape that's highlighted already that I already have selected, I'll go to Arrange and then bring to front. I'll bring it to the front because this one you'll notice that it doesn't go all the way to the front because it's only to the front of that layer. So, if I took this whole layer and dragged it, I don't want to put it underneath there, I take it and I put it to the very top there. You'll notice that it's now on the very, very top. That was just because it's the top layer. So, now that we're all confused about layers, let's break it down a little bit and make it easier. I made this snowflake here so we have a good example of a complex illustration and I've separated in into layers. So, like I showed you, everything, these are all separate layers, but within each one. So, in a layer here you can go and see what makes up that layer because obviously there's lots of different elements that are within that. So, within this single burst straight here, a little baby guy, it's showing you all the shapes that go into making it. It says it's grouped, which means you'll see it says group right there. So, that just means I've grouped that and it's giving you the breakdown. So, this is what makes up that group, all those paths. You can do the same thing with the burst. You can break it down into all of its tiniest little elements and find all the details and you can manipulate just certain aspects of each one. So, really cool, a lot of control, and you can have more or less control depending on how you like to work, or what's too confusing, or what have you. So, that's the basics there. You can make new. So, let's just make layer. So, if you're going to start and make your own layer, a lot of times people build in-layers. So, I have a harder time building in-layers because I don't think of it as much. I have to make them afterwards. but we'll do both ways. So, if I'm building a layer, I'll create one here, I'll click the little Add a New Layer icon, and you'll notice that it pops there and then I can move that wherever I like. Let's say I want this on the top. So, now if I make another shape, let me make it a different color so you can see it. Now, if I make a shape, anything I create from here on out is going to be in layer four. I can get rid of that, I can get rid of that layers by hitting the trash can. But let's say I wanted to add something to this one, you can go ahead. If you have it highlighted, anything I make is just going to be added to that exact layer. So, that's how that works if you're going to be making one from scratch. Now, if I had something, if I had this and this is all on one layer, I could take elements, I could copy them, and then delete them, start a new layer, may open it at the very bottom. I just hit Command-F to paste in place. It will put it exactly where I had it on the other layer, but now it's in its own new layer. So, that's how I end up creating things just because I'll make it and then I realize, I probably should have had this in separate layers just to make my life a whole lot easier. Let's go over here and let's make sure we have so we can create a new layers appear as well. You can create sub-layers. Make sure you have one of these highlighted. You can go to New Sublayer, and I'm going to create more, a whole new section underneath it. But I don't like to work with sublayers, it gets a little bit too complicated, so I don't deal with them. But if you choose to, go ahead, it just gives you more control. Let's go back on another one. So, you can duplicate it and make that same layer, and you can delete it up here. So, most of these options, everything that you have over here will basically be the same thing that you can do over here, or up here. So, you can do the options for the details, you can have it changed, and you can dim the images, you don't have to if you want to have those knocked back a little bit. All the things you can do. You can lock it if you choose, make it as a template, whatever. Those are some options that you have available or rename it there. Let's going to Enter Isolation Mode. Now, there's a few ways to do this, but if I click it right here, basically, what it does is, it just highlights that layer only with that one part within my layers. So, that's just within the details. So, you'll notice that these are the only things that I'm going to work in, so if I try to touch anything else, it won't work. Only the things that are within this layer I'm going to be able to work on. You'll notice that this little pops up only when you're in Isolation Mode. So, if I get out of that Isolation Mode, everything moves back, I can touch anything. So, sometimes it's nice to just be able to focus in on something. Another way to do that is just to click on it, double click on it, and then now you have access to this and now you'll notice that it put another layer of isolation which is you have the groups. So now, I can't touch anything else, only what I double clicked and I highlighted that object. But if I go to Details, then I will open up all the things within that layer, and then if I go completely out, it'll take me back to all the layers. Or I can double click here if I wanted to just to get out of it. Okay. Now, if we go down, so you have Isolation Mode, look at object, but it's already there so, let's talk about it. If I have a certain object in there, I want to find are there other the ones like it, but I don't want to have to go- I know where they're, but maybe I don't want to have to go and click each and every one of them, to highlight them. Sometimes it's nice just to go to hit Locate Object and it'll show to you right in here, and it will give you all the details about it. So, it'll show you exactly where it's at, and all the details. So, that can be extremely helpful and that's what Locate Object is. Now, if we want to merge, you can merge different layers, which can be handy. If you decide that those don't need to be separated anymore, you can merge them into one and it will take the name of whichever one you have highlighted. So, if I have details highlighted first, if I go ahead- sorry, it's the last one you click on. Caught me lying right in the middle of that. So, whichever one of the last one you clicked, it's going to keep that name, and it'll merge those layers together. You can flatten all your artwork and get rid of the layers completely. Sometimes people like that. If they want to save it as a separate AI file, they can flatten their artwork just to save on space, the file size, make it a lot smaller and send it out for print or for whatever. That's an option. But make sure you just save another one just so you have the layered version and your flattened version. You can collect in a new layer. That's just clicking on multiple shapes within your design, and then just say Collect in a new layer, and it will make it in its own layer. So, it'll take those elements and just put them in their own layer, which is nice. Now, Release to Layers, this is just one way to confuse you a little bit more. It really is to give you a lot more flexibility with working with the new layers but you can go like that. It will break it all into these separate layers. It'll take that layer, break it down to a whole bunch of layers. Too much information for me. I'm not a fan, I like it to be all underneath in the one layer. But you can definitely do that and you can do the opposite with the build, or you can make it into a template right here. Let me highlight it so you can see it. I can make it into a template or you can hide others, you can outline others, which is nice. So, if we wanted to hide, we clicked on Hide Others, it would hide all the other ones besides the layer that you're on. You can do that or you could outline the others, which is nice as well because then they're all outlined and you can see what they're made of and you can see that they're there, but the colors are all knocked out and the widths and anything like that it makes a whole lot easier for you to just focus on what you're focusing on, which is maybe just this layer, another option there. You can lock other layers if you so choose. Then, you have your Paste Remembers Layers, which is kind of cool because you have a layer in another job. Let's just say, let's open up another project and I have this square and it's in this layer. I have Paste Remembers Layers on. So, if I was going to take this object, copy it. I always do Command-C as copy, so id you didn't see that, it's just copy, bring it over here and then I'm going to paste it. So, I'll paste it and you'll notice that it's on its own layer, it remembered that layer and remembered its name. So, a nice little tool that you have to go in there. Then, you have your Layers Panel options. That is the Layers Panel. You know how to make them, you know how to manipulate the artwork that you have and be able to work on all the layers. So, I'm looking forward to continuing on for the next video. Thanks. 4. 4. Actions: For those of you who are familiar with Photoshop, you're probably familiar also with Actions. Now, in Illustrator, Actions work the exact same way. They save up all the different moves or changes that you've made to your art, saves that and then whenever you want to use it on another piece of art to do the exact same thing, it saves up all the steps you may have done, and then plays that all within one click of a button. So, you can save a ton of time. I'm going to show you a really easy action just, we'll make a quick one, so you know how to make your own folders and be able to apply these. So, I have a couple of shapes here, I'm going to make something happen here. So, let's go find our action first, it looks like the play button. You have all these little folders in here and these are full of different actions. Now, these are the Illustrator defaults here. I can go ahead and click and you can see that this action says, if I go down below it, it just has one simple move, it was just change the transparency to 60 percent. So, I'm going to go ahead, click on it, and then I can click Play. That's how I use an action and it applies it to whatever I had highlighted. So, if I go back, I can go and do that with, there's a bunch of different kinds. I have this one as well it applies a default style. So, let's go ahead and push Play on that, and then this is the style that I had defaulted to, so it's just the white fill and a black stroke. So, that was something that was created, made and then saved. So, it's a combination of a few things that we've gone over and been able to save like your swatches, but this can save a series of different things from colors, to moves, to the textures or to effects, all types of different things like that. So, let's go ahead and create one out of what we have here. To start, let's make the folder here, let's create a new set. Let's call this our test set. Go ahead. Then, I want to create my first actions, so I'll go ahead and create a new action, I'll name that action. I want to name it knockout because I'm going to knock this shape out of that shape and it's going to be under this set, test set Then I go ahead and click Record. So, now I'm recording. So, anything you'll notice that if I move this at all, it's going to record that move and it's going to apply it to whatever I click on next time. So, if I just save that, I could have it, it would stay that way, and it would apply that, it would just have whatever I have here and move it up just a little bit. But, I'm going to keep going. So, I want to knock this out of here. So, let's highlight both of these things. Let's go to my Pathfinder down here. Let's go to minus front, knock that out, then I go back up to my Actions. It's still planes, so I'm going to stop it, and then once I have that, so now I have my test set. When they go down and go to now I have knockout and that's a whole new action that I've just created. I'm going to delete this. I want to put any two random shapes here. Let's go and just put two other random shapes. No, they'll have to be the same thing. But, I want it to do exactly what I did in the last with those last two shapes. I want to have that exact same set of commands done here. So, let me go ahead and get this. I'm going to make this a little bigger here so you can see. Then, I'll highlight both of these and then I went on Knockout, click Play. Move it around did all those little moves that I had. Then, it knocked out that last one, the shape on the top knockout of the bottom shape. That is how you use an Action. Then you can save as many actions as you please and save those and save yourselves a lot of time. One other timesaver I want to show you really quick would be creating shortcuts. Now, you have your short keys. If I open up anything here, well, let me just bring my spring out of shape, so it has something to work with. Okay, so I have object. You'll notice that on the right hand side it'll show the shortcut if it has one. You go over here, you'll have it right here, more shortcuts. I want to create my own shortcut, so I can go over here. So nice, it doesn't have what I want. I want to customize them to something it's a little easier maybe I have a specific thing that I want to set. You can go to Edit, go all the way down and go to Keyboard Shortcuts. In your Keyboard Shortcuts, these are the Illustrator defaults that I use. But, if you wanted to, you can go into and you can change those individually or if it doesn't have one, you want in a group selection, you wanted to add one, you could add the letter there or whatever command you would like. Then, it would save that and then you can use that throughout working. So, that's just another added time saver I thought I'd throw in there that I haven't mentioned before. So, yeah, go ahead and play around with your actions and see how much time that can save you. 5. 5. Graphic Styles: All right, so as I promised, we're going to be going over Graphic Styles, how to save them, how to create them, and overall how to use them because Graphic Styles are basically swatches that save all the attributes of your object that you've created. So, for example, let's use our Appearance Panel. I'm going to click on this object here, has a drop shadow, has a couple of different strokes on it, on this star that I've created, hideous as it may be, it will serve its purpose here. So, let's go over to the Appearance Panel like we are now familiar with and we can go down and see all the different details. There's a drop shadow, there's a stroke, and all these different things, not super complex but there's enough going on that you'll not want to have to memorize exactly the point size of your stroke and exactly what opacity you used on the drop shadow. Lots of things, just so you can save it, is super handy. So, lets go and go to Graphic Styles, so now like I said, these are the swatches that'll save all of those attributes. Easiest way to create one, so again, if you don't have Graphic Styles open, it should be right next to your Appearance Panel. I was keeping mine right next to each other, but Window, and then Graphic Styles. So, let's take, in order to create our own, let's take what we've made and just drag it over into the Graphic Style, just like we do with patterns, just like we do with everything else, or colors this is how you make your swatches. So, now we have it. Now, you have your own Graphic Style and let's see in practice. So, we just have a flat circle, no stroke on the outside, just a plain black circle. So, we can go ahead and click on the one that we've just created. You'll notice it apply to everything that I had on this star to this shape over here and same over here. It would even do the same thing on your, HELLO, on your type. Now, if I need to edit that, I can double-click to name it but if I need to edit that original one, I can go ahead and do so with the Appearances and then save it again. So, you have all that flexibility to work within. So, now we've learned how to create a Graphic Style and what the purposes for it because it'll save you a lot of time for making a lot of different elements and you just don't want to memorize everything. But if you remember, just as a little to tie it back to one of our lessons earlier, you have the Eyedropper Tool, remember and it does the same thing as like the Graphic Styles if you use it correctly. So, I'm going to take this square back off from that style and I'm going to double-click on my Eyedropper Tool. Right now, if I click on my object I want to have change, and then eyedrop, that means, my Eyedropper Tool on this, it'll create, it'll put the stroke and then it'll put the fill, nothing more. But if I was to take the Eyedropper Tool, double-click on it and then click on the appearance right here, so it'll pick up all of this. It'll pick up the effects, it should pick up transparencies, everything. So, let's go, okay, and then we'll go back over here, do the same thing. You will notice it did everything, picked up all of the attributes of my star here. So, that's just another shortcut way. I just wanted to make sure you knew that those two are, that's how those two go together with Graphic Styles and that part of the Eyedropper Tool, so kind of a neat thing. But I don't always like it turned on just because sometimes I just like the color and I don't want to pull like all the different attributes from it, so I'll just make sure that that is turned off, so I double-click on the Eyedropper. I make sure that's turned off but cool. Now, for Graphic Styles, another cool thing is that Illustrator like everything else. They give you options of libraries, full of different effects that you can use or Graphic Styles I should say. So, they're not beautiful and rarely do I ever get it. I don't think I've ever used one straight out of the box here and just picked one and then fine with it. But what it does do is, it allows me to go ahead and use those for kind of pick apart and to see how it was built and then I can alter it myself. So, let me move this up here so you can see what I'm looking at. I want to keep it all on screen. Okay, so if I go down here, I can go ahead and see that there's some Graphic Styles that are already pre-made. If I want to go into, I'll just do one. Buttons and rollovers is one that may come in handy so you can see how they did, made like a concave or convex surface, so they added a sheen on this side. Sometimes, it's nice if you're working in that way and so I can click on one of my objects and then you'll see that it does that for you. So, play with it and use it at your own risk, I guess. It's just if you need the help, it's there for like this HELLO here, you can use one, the neon lights, figure out how that's made, can be neat effect but, yeah, so okay. Now, that we've exhausted everything related to that, let's put it back in here. Okay, so I want to go ahead and I like the styles that I have here and I want to bring them into another file or want to send it to a friend. Same thing as we did with the swatches, exact same thing. You can go in there and you can save your Graphic Style library. So, I can go in here and say, Graphic Styles. I'll just save it to my desktop. Now, all I have to do is go open, desktop. Where did I put it? Probably should have set out a little better. Okay, Graphic Styles. All right, so now that we have the new file, you'll notice that all your Graphic Styles are saved. Before, if I was just to open up a new one, just randomly, those won't be there. Okay, so there you have it, Graphic Styles, use them, they'll save you a lot of time, they're very, very handy and again, remember that the Eyedropper Tool can do the same thing as picking up as a Graphic Style swatch or however you want to call it, can be created. You can use it the same way so, all righty. Have fun, thanks. 6. 6. Masks: Clipping Masks are great for patterns or textures, pictures, any of those types of things that you want to fit into a certain shape, want it to conform. You need to have a layer mask which has to be a vector shape. So, it sounds a lot more difficult than it is. It's very simple. So, let me show you. If we take a photo that I've just imported from my Facebook. So, here's my son Hezekiah, and so basically what we're going to do, is maybe I just want to take in this much of the image. I don't want him to be in this square but I also don't want to cut out that part of the image, I just want to be able to see and focus on one area. So, what I do is I just take a basic shape and make sure it's on the top layer, it needs to be on the very top. So, I'm going to go ahead and put this over top. Then you can resize it however you like to fit over the image, and if you can't see it, can hit your shift X to go into your stroke and no fill. Will go over here and make sure that you don't need to have a stroke or anything on these. So, I'm going to shrink it down maybe to about, about there is good, maybe that's what I would like. So, I'm going to go back fill it in, I'm going to just go over and highlight both of those things, and then I need to go to my object. Let's go down here to clipping mask and then hit Make, and there you go. So, it didn't actually get rid of any of this information in the photo. So, if I double-click on it, I can see that I can move that photo around in there and rearrange it how I please with that mask staying intact. But if I were to click on the actual vector, it'll change that, you'll be able to move that instead of the image. So, you can still have control by going into your isolation modes which is good. So, if you want to release this, I can go on it and I can right-click, and it just says release clipping mask or I can go to my object, go back down and just go to release, and you'll notice that I have my image still here, if I hover over here you'll see that I also have that oval. That oval's just took out the fill and the stroke. It's just what it does with the Illustrator. So, it's still there. If I want to see it again I can go over and actually a good way to do, it would be going to your view and just going to outline and then you can see clearly where it is and you can click on it. I'll bring it down here and I go back to my preview mode, get out of outline and then I can give this a fill once again. So, very easy to use, just plop it on top. Make sure it's a vector that you're using as your stencil basically and then it will go ahead and fill that in there. So, same thing with the texture. If you wanted to add, skew a little bit of color to this, maybe I wanted to, there we go. Yeah, that's fine, whatever, doesn't really matter where the color is. So, we'll do the same thing over here, I'm going to bring that over top, that I'm going to copy this though. Bring it back down here, just so I can have it as a reference over here. So, now it's on top, I'm going to highlight both of these. I can right-click it and now that we know how to do that, it's quicker, we can make a clipping mask and I'll do it now, notice that'll take out the color of the shape. If you want that color to be under there still, another way that you can do this is by taking your shape on top and then copy it. So, in this case, we're going to have to merge these layers here. Let's go ahead and merge these layers which we now know how to do. So merge this selected layers. Okay. So, now I'll bring this over top and then I need to have one on top, we basically have to sandwich whatever you want in there. If you want to have this color stay there, so I still want that green color, I just want this texture to be cut out inside this circle but still have the green background. So, a way to do that, you can just do, now hit command C, you want to copy it and then you hit Command F. Now, you have two, but let's take that and let's send this one all the way arrange and send it straight to the back. So, now it should be there as this circle on the bottom, textures in the middle, and then we have another circle on the top. Highlight all three, let's right-click again. We have make clipping mask, and there you have it. So, now you got to keep that color under there. A lot of times I use that for what I'm illustrating because I like to have the texture on a specific part of my illustration and it keeps it all nice and neat in there. You can see that I can manipulate all these separate elements within that clipping mask. So, it's super handy, I use it quite a bit especially when I'm bringing in textures and I can go ahead and I can copy that and add, maybe I want it to look a little bit more like that, but very cool, like all of them you can right-click and you can release that clipping masking all those pieces again. Generally, opacity masks work the same way clipping masks work. In just generally, just in how you would actually create them and be able to work with them. The difference is you don't have to be working with a cut and dry shape, I'll explain. First of all, when you're using opacity masks, you're going to be working with grayscale basically. So, if you're going to be working with it or you're going to have to use whatever you put on is white or is a grayscale gradient or whatnot. So, for the first one we'll take this picture of my son again. We'll go ahead and just do a circle here. So you already saw it was like with the clipping mask. Let's take this circle and let's give it an effect. Let's give it a Gaussian Blur which actually I've already opened it up before but it's right here under the effect Blur, Gaussian Blur and so preview and I give it quite of few, well let's give it a little bit of a soft edge. You'll see what I can do here. So it doesn't have to be as cut and dry edge when you have this. So, let's do the same thing we would with a clipping mask, let's just highlight both of these, remember this has to be on top. So, what we'll do is we'll go over to our transparency panel over here on the right. You'll notice that there's a make Mask section here as well. So, let's go ahead and click on that and you'll notice that it's now vignetting the image, and we don't have that cut and dry edge on there. So, you can see potential uses for this and you can have a little bit more flexibility in that realm. So, pretty neat. Okay. Now let's go over to if we had just a full image. Let's see what we can do. We can make this into, if we want it to be like a gradient version where the parts where it's becoming more opaque and more transparent and other portions we can do that. That comes in handy when you're trying to layer colors, or textures sometimes. Let me just show you how to do that. So, let's take a rectangle and go over this image here, will cover, remember has to be white or gray scale gradients. So, let's go over to our gradient right here and let's click on just the standard gradient right there, white to black. Then we'll highlight the whole thing, we'll go back over to our transparency panel and we'll go make mask and there you have it. So, I hit a little vector circle behind there just so you could see that it's now transparent. So, it's taken this image and it's making it transparent but not completely on both sides. This isn't turning it white or anything like that. That's when it's lighter there that's just means it's more transparent. So, if I go back over here, you'll see that it's less transparent in those areas where you have the black. So you can manipulate that however you'd like by go back to your transparency, make sure you click on your gradient. So that it has that highlighted, go to your gradient file there, or your gradient panel and then you can go ahead and change that. So, remember more white is going to be your transparency. So, you can play around with those and figure out where you want that to be more exposed or less exposed. Okay. So, then the last thing here with the opacity masks. If I was going to take this. So I have that same texture or that same art that I had before. Then I'm going to have these words on here that I want to have knocked out here, but I want these to be more transparent. So, I want to take this but I also want to use a gradient in there. The way you can do that would just be taking it and making these also with a gradient. Now this would be for each one will have their gradient applied to each of these letters, a way around that would be if you wanted to make it into a compound path. Go up to Object, Compound Path and you make it. So, what that does is anything you apply to here will apply to the span of all these letters, not they won't make these. These aren't individual anymore in terms of if you're going to be masking anything over top of them. For example, I'm going to add that to it now, you'll notice that the gradient now spans all the way across and doesn't divide it by letter, and you can also release that if you'd like. If I release it, it will put it in each one. I'm going to go back I like it like that. Then now that this is on top, I can go ahead and click the background there in this one, go back to my transparency and go make mask and then I have space there with the nice little gradient and they can lay that over top of something else if I wanted to already. I hope that helps there's lots of different things that you can play around with there. So, go have fun. 7. Explore Design on Skillshare: way.