In Adobe Illustrator the appearance of any object, group or layers can be modified with the help of Appearance and Graphic Styles panel. An object can also be divided into its essential parts to customize elements of the object all by itself.The basic difference between an effect and a filter is that an effect and its properties-can be changed or removed at any time, but a filter permanently modifies an object or a layer.
9.1 UNIT OBJECTIVE
Alter going through this unit, you will be able to:
• Understand and apply appearance attributes
• Learn about effects
• Apply various kinds of effects
• Transform to shape effects
• Define Pathfinder effects
• Apply Raster effects
• Learn about SVG Filter effects
• Explore Wrap and Fill effects
• Know Gradient and Meshes
9.2 APPLYING EFFECTS
There are various effects available in the Illustrates. These can be applied to an object, group, or layer to change its characteristics.
To apply. effect, follow the below procedure:
a. Choose the object or group (or target a layer in the Layers panel).
b. Perform one of the below steps,
i. Click and add New Effect in the Appearance panel and select ill effect.
ii. Choose a command from the Effect menu. When the dialog box appears, select options and click Ok.
To apply the effect and settings that were used at the end, go to Effect menu > Apply (Effect Name). To apply the effect which was used last and set its options, go to Effect menu > Apply (Effect Name).
(i) Applying effects to bitmap Images
Using effects, a special look is applied to bitmap images as well as Vector object. For instance, effects like an impressionistic look, lighting change, distort images can be applied and many other interesting visual effects can be produced.
The following points should be remembered when applying effects specifically to bitmap objects.
a. Always remember that the Effects does not work on linked bitmap objects. If an effect is applied to a linked bitmap. it is not applied to the ‘original copy of the bitmap, but to an embedded copy. In order to apply the effect to the original, the bitmap in the document can be embedded.
b. When applied to a high-resolution bitmap image, some effects can be memory intensive.
c. The plug-in effects from Adobe products, such as Adobe Photoshop and non-Adobe software developers, supports Adobe Illustrator. Once installed, most of these plug-in effects appear in the Effect menu and work the same way as the built-in effects do.
(ii) Improving performance for effects
Some effects are very intensive in terms of memory. Therefore, you can enhance the performance of these effects, by following the techniques listed below:
a. Changing the settings might be useful because some command, such as Glass, are extremely memory intensive. Use different settings to increase their speed.
b. Choose the Preview option in the effect dialog boxes to save time and avoid unintended results.
c. Change a copy of the bitmap image to grayscale if it has to be printed to a grayscale printer, after satisfying with the results, apply the effect.
Note:However, in certain cases applying an effect to a color bitmap and then changing it to grayscale, may not have the desired result as compared to applying the same effect directly to a grayscale version of the image.
(iii)Modify or delete an effect
Following are the steps to modify or delete an effect with the help of the Appearance panel:
a. Choose the object or group (or target the layer, in the Layers panel) that is using the effect.
b. Do either of the following:
i. Click its blue underlined name in the Appearance panel and then proceed to modify the effect. After introducing the desired alterations in the effect’s dialog box, click OK
ii. In order to delete the effect, choose the effect Listing in the Appearance panel and click the Delete button.
9.3 TWO TYPES OF EFFECTS
Vector and Raster effects are the main effects. In Illustrator, the top half of the Effects menu contains Vector effects. Vector effects can only be applied to vector objects or to the fill or stroke of a bitmap object. The following effects and effect categories are exceptions to this rule and can be applied to both vector and bitmap objects: 3D, SVG Filters, Warp effects, Transform effects, Drop Shadow, Feather, Inner Glow and Outer Glow.
The bottom half of the Effects menu contains Raster effects. You can apply them to either vector or bitmap objects.
9.3.1 Convert to Shape Effects
Effects can be used to reshape objects without making permanent changes to their underlying geometry. As effects are live they can be codified or removed at any time. The following effects can be used to reshape objects:
(i) Convert To Shape
Convert to Shape can be used to add a box to the text without having to make a separate shape. It converts the shape of vector objects to rectangular, circular or elliptical forms. You can set the dimensions of the shape using absolute or relative dimensions. For rounded rectangles, speedy a comer radius to determine the curvaLure of the rounded edge. Here is one may of using this effect on a text object:
a. Select a text object with the selection tool (V) and in the Appurance palette (Wndow>Apparance), chooseAdd New FE from the fly out menu.
b. Go to the Effect menu and choose Convert to Shape > Rectangle.
c. Within the dialog box in the Relative section, eater the required size of the rectangle in comparison to the text.
d. As you add more text, the rectangle grows with it. If you cannot see the text because of the box’s color, check the Appearance palette again to make sure that the Characters tab is above the Fill tab. Then highlight your text with the Type tool (T) to change its color.
(ii) Distort end Transients
This will let you quickly reshape vector objects.
(iii) Free Distort
It lets you change the shape of a vector object by dragging any of the four corner points.
(iv) Pucker and Bloat
Pulls a vector object’s anchor points outward while curving the segments inward (Pucker) or inward while curving the segments outward (Bloat). Both options pull the anchor points relative to the object’s center paint.
It transforms a vector object’s path segments into a jagged array of peaks and valleys of different sizes. You can set the maximum length for segment paths using an absolute or a relative size and also setting the density of jagged edges per inch (Detail) and choose between soft edges (Smooth) or sharp edges (Comm).
This reshapes an object by redoing, moving, rotating, reflecting (flipping), and copying it.
This randomly curves and distorts path segments inward and outward. You can set the vertical and horizontal distortion using an absolute or relative amount
It rotates an object more sharply at the center than at the edges. While entering a positive value the image twists clockwise, whereas entering a negative value causes it to twist counterclockwise.
(ix) Zig Zag
You can transform an object’s path segments into a jagged or wavy array of uniformly sized peaks and valleys.
You can use this effect to distort or deform objects, which includes paths, text, meshes, blends and bitmap images. You can choose one of the predefined warp shapes and then select which axis the bending option affects. Specify the amount of bonding and distortion to apply. Here is one way of using this effect on a shape:
a. Create a shape with the shape tool while having a stroke selected so that the image shows up on the screen. Go to the Effect menu and choose Convert to Shape > Rectangle.
b. With the shape selected, click on object/envelope distort/ make with warp.
c. Choose the warp shape from the pull-down menu in the dialog box and then adjust the bend and distortion using the sliders below.
93.2 Path Effects and Pathfinder Effects
(i) Pathfinder effects
Vector objects can be combined to create shapes in different ways. One of them is by using the Pathfinder effects which let you combine multiple objects using one of the ten interaction modes. The interactions between objects cannot be edited when you use a Pathfinder effect.
Id) Pathfinder panel
The Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) can be used to combine objects into new shapes. The top row in the panel is called the shape modes. It lets you control the interaction between components of a compound shape. The available shape modes are:
a. Add To Shape Area
This adds area of the component to the underlying geometry.
b. Subtract from Shape Area
It cuts out the area of the component from the underlying geometry.
c. Intersect Shape Areas
This uses the area of the component to clip the underlying geometry, as a mask would.
d. Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas
This uses the area of the component to invert the underlying geometry, turning filled regions into holes and vice versa.
In the last row of the panel, Pathfinder effects let you create final shape combinations and new shapes out of overlapping objects. Pathfinder effects can be applied to any combination of objects, groups and layers. The final combination of shapes is created when you click a pathfinder button, after which you cannot edit the original objects.
To apply a Pathfinder effect using the Pathfinder panel, follow the below steps:
a. Select the object. To apply a Pathfinder effect to a group or layer, target the group or layer.
b. In the Pathfinder panel, click a Pathfinder button (in the bottom row), or Alt click (Windows) or Option click (Mac OS) a Shape Mode button (in the tee ww),
The following Pathfinder effects can be used:
This traces the outline of all objects as if they were a single, merged object. The resulting shape takes on the paint attributes of the top object.
This traces the outline of the region overlapped by all objects.
This traces all non-overlapping areas of the objects and makes the overlapping ones transparent. In case of an even number, the overlap becomes transparent and in case of an odd number of objects, the overlap becomes filled.
It subtracts the foremost objects from those in the last row and can also be used to delete areas of an illustration by adjusting the stacking order.
• Minus Back
This subtracts the objects in rear from those in the front and can also be used to delete areas of an illustration by adjusting the stacking order.
You can separate a piece of artwork into filled faces of its component. The Direct Selection or Group Selection tool can also be used to manipulate the resulting resulting faces, independent of each other. You can also choose delete or preserve unfilled objects when applying the Divide command.
This removes the part of a filled object that is hidden. It also removes strokes and does not merge objects of the same color.
It removes the part of a filled object that is hidden, also removes any strokes and merges any adjoining or overlapping objects filled with the same color.
This divides artwork into its component filled faces and then deletes all the parts of the artwork that fall outside the boundary of the topmost object. It also removes any strokes.
It divides an object into its component line segments, or edges. This is useful for preparing artwork that needs a trap for overprinting objects.
• Hard Mix
This combines colors by choosing the highest value of each of the colored components.
• Soft Mix
This makes the underlying colors visible through the overlapping artwork and then divides the image into its component faces. The percentage of visibility can be specified in the overlapping colors.
This compensates for potential gaps between colors in an artwork by creating a small area of overlap (called a trap) between two adjoining colors.
(iii) Pathfinder Options
Pathfinder Options can be set from the Pathfinder panel menu or by double-clicking a Pathfinder effect in the Appearance panel. The following options are available:
This option affects the precision with which Pathfinder effects calculate an object’s Path. The more precise the calculation, the more accurate the drawing and consequently the more time is required to generate the resulting path.
b. Remove Redundant Points
It will remove unnecessary points as you click a Pathfinder button
c. Divide and Outline
This tool deletes any unfilled objects within the selected artwork.
9.3.3 Rasterize Effects
(i) About raster effects
The effects that generate pixels, rather than vector data are known as raster effects. They include SVG Filters, all the effects at the bottom of the Effect menu, the Drop Shadow, Inner Glow, Outer Glow and Feather commands in the Effect > Stylize submenu. When these effects are applied, Illustrator uses raster effects settings of the document to determine the resolution of the final image.
On the resulting artwork these settings have a large impact, hence it is important to check the document’s raster effects settings before starting to work with effects. To apply rasterization options to a document:
Go to Effect menu > Document Raster Effects Settings.
Increase the document raster effects resolution if an effect looks good on the screen, but loses detail or appears jagged when printed.
(ii) Rasterization options
Set the following options for all raster effects in a document or when a vector object is going to convert into raster object.
a. Color Model
Determines the color model that is used during rasterization. An RGB or CMYK color image (that depends on the color node of the document), a grayscale image, a I-bit image (that may be black and transparent or black and white, depending on the background option that has been selected) can be generated.
In the rasterized image, resolution determines the number of pixels per inch (pp). Select Use Document Raster Effects Resolution to use global resolution settings when rasterizing a vector object.
Determines the manner in which transparent areas of the vector graphic are converted to pixels. White needs to be chosen to fill transparent areas with white pixels, or Transparent has to be selected to make the background transparent. If Transparent is selected, an alpha channel needs to be created (for all except 1-bit images). If the artwork is exported into Photoshop, the alpha channel is retained. (This option anti-aliases better than the Create Clipping Mask option.)
Anti-aliasing is applied to reduce jagged edges in the rasterized image. While rasterization options for a document are set, deselect this option in order to maintain the crispness of fine lines and small text. Select None while rasterizing a vector object and apply no anti-aliasing. The hard edges of line art can be retained when it is rasterized. To apply anti-aliasing that is best suited to the artwork without type, select Art Optimised. To apply anti-aliasing that is best suited to type, select Type Optimised.
e. Create Clipping Mask
A mask which makes the background of the rasterized image look transparent is created. Clipping mask is not to be created if the Transparent option has been selected for the background.
f. Add Around Object
Using the specified number of pixels, a padding or border is added around the rasterized image. The resulting dimensions of the image appear as the original dimensions as well as the Add Around Object setting value. This setting can be used, for example, to create a snapshot effect. To create a snapshot effect, a value for the Add Around Object setting needs to be specified. After that choose White Background and remember not to select Create Clipping Mask. The white boundary added to the original object becomes a visible border on the image. You can then apply a Drop Shadow or an Outer Glow effect to make the original artwork look like a photo.
9.3.4 SVG Filter Effeets
(i) About SVG
Bitmap image formats for the internet, i.e., GIF, PEG, WBMP and PNG illustrate images that use a grid of pixels. As a result the files tend to be bulky, restricted to a single (often low) resolution and use great amounts of bandwidth on the internet. On the other hand, SVG is in a vector format that illustrates images as shapes, paths, text and fitter effects. Consequently, the files are compressed and provide high quality graphics not only on the Internet and print but also on resource-constrained, handheld devices.
The view of an SVG image can be magnified on-screen without compromising on the sharpness, detail or clarity. Along with this, SVG provides better support for text and colors, which guarantees that users will see images as they are represented on the Illustrator artboard. The SVG format is based completely on XML and it offers many benefits to developers and users alike.
The Save For Web and Devices command is applicable to web-oriented work and it provides a subset of SVG export options. The manner in which the artwork has been set up in Illustrator will affect the final SVG file.
The following guidelines should be followed:
a. To control the transparency of the objects on different layers, adjust the opacity of all the objects and not of the layer. If opacity is altered at the layer level, the final SVG file will not show transparency as it appears in Illustrator.
b. Raster data cannot be edited like other SVG elements and is not scalable in the SVG Viewer. If possible, refrain from creating artwork that will be rasterized in the SVG file. The Gradient meshes and objects that apply the Rasterize, Brush Strokes, Pixel, Artistic, Blur, Distort, Sketch, Sharpen, Stylize, Texture and Video effects are rasterized when saved in the SVG format. Likewise, graphic styles that consist of these effects also generate rasterization. Add graphic effects by using SVG effects without causing rasterization.
c. Layers have to be used in order to add structure to an SVG file. When artwork is saved in the SVG format, each layer is changed to a group () element. For example, a layer named Button1 becomes in the SVG file. Nested layers convert to SVG nested groups and hidden layers are presented with the SVG styling property ‘display:none’.
e. To improve SVG performance, use symbols and simplify the paths in the artwork. If performance is a high priority, refrain from using brushes that produce a lot of path data such as the Charcoal, Fire Ash and Scroll Pen.
f Use slices, image maps and scripts to add web links to a SVG file.
(ii) Apply SVG effects
SVG effects can be used to add graphic properties like drop shadows to the artwork. SVG effects differ from their bitmap counterparts in such a way that they are XML-based and independent of resolution. In fact, an SVG effect is actually a series of XML features that describe numerous mathematical operations. As a result the effects rendered to the target object and not to the source graphic.
Illustrator gives a default set of SVG effects. The effects can be used with their default properties to edit the XML code to generate custom effects or to write new SVG effects. You can use a text editor to modify Illustrator’s default SVG filters and edit Adobe SVG filters.svg files in the document and settings//Application Data/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator CS6 Settings/ folder. Existing filter definitions can be modified or deleted and new ones can be added.
a. Choose an object or group (or target a layer in the Layers panel)
b. Follow one of the below step:
i. In order to apply an effect with custom settings, go to Effect menu> SVG Filters> Apply SVG Filter. Choose the effect in the dialog box and click the Edit SVG Filter button. Edit the default code and click OK.
ii. In order to apply an effect with its default settings, choose the effect from the bottom section of the Effect menu> SVG Filters submenu.
When an SVG filter effect is applied, a rasterized version of the effect on the artboard is displayed. The resolution of this preview image can be controlled by modifying the resolution setting of the document. When an object uses multiple effects, the SVG effect should be the last effect. This means it must appear at the bottom of the Appearance panel (just above the Transparency entry). If other effects follow an SVG effect, the SVG output will comprise of a raster object.
9.3.5 Wrap Effects and Exploring Fill Effects
You will find Fills, strokes, transparency and effects in the appearance attribute of the Illustrator. Appearance attributes are characteristics that affect the overall image of an object without changing its basic structure. If appearance attribute is applied to an object and later that attribute is either edited or removed, it does not affect the underlying object or any other attributes applied to said the object.
Appearance attribute can be set at any level of the layer’s hierarchy. For example, if a drop shadow effect is applied to a layer, all objects in the layer take on the drop shadow. However, if the object is moved out of the layer then it will not have the drop shadow because the effect stays with the layer and does not move with each object within the layer.
If you want to work with appearance attributes, it is necessary to have the Appearance panel. Because it helps to apply appearance attributes to layers, groups and objects and often to fills and strokes too, thereby making the hierarchy of attributes in the artwork quite complex. For instance, if one effect is applied to an entire layer and another effect to an object within the layer, it may become a bit difficult to determine which effect is causing the change in the artwork. The fills strokes, graphic styles and effects that have been applied to an object, group, or layer are reflected in the Appearance panel.
9.5 APPLYING FILTERS
Earlier Illustrators had effects and filters, but from Illustrator CS4 version, it includes only effects (except SVO Filters). The basic difference between an effect and a filter is that an effect and its properties can be changed or removed at anytime, but a filler permanently modifies an object or layer. A filter, if applied to a path, modifies the original configuration of the path. This does not happen when an effect is applied. Filtered items are rigid in terms of experimenting. They maintain their original appearances within their shape. If you save a document and then reopen it, filtered objects are undeviating in their shape when opened. Filter menu can be applied to embedded and rasterized objects. When you click on the filtered object, it will only display the stroke and fill characteristics of that object in the Appearance palette. It is not possible to edit rounded corner values of a filtered object. The reason for this is the adherence of the feature which makes the object permanently rounded at the corners. To change the rounded corners back to square shape, you can only use the Undo command.
9.6 APPLYING A GRADIENT
To apply a graduated blend of colors, use gradient fills as any other color is applied. A good way to create a smooth color gradation across one or more objects is to create a gradient fill. A gradient can be saved as a swatch to make it easy to apply to different objects. If a single, multicolored object on which colors can flow in different directions uses a mesh object.
(i) Gradient panel and Gradient tool overview
The Gradient panel (Window> Gradient) or the Gradient tool can be used to apply, create and modify gradients. Along the gradient slider, a series of stops define the gradient colors. A stop marks the position at which a gradient transforms from one color to the next and is recognized by a square just below the gradient slider. The squares exhibits the color presently assigned to each gradient stop.
A multicolored object where colors can spread in various directions and transform smoothly from one point to another is called a mesh object. When a mesh object is created, mesh lines or multiple lines criss-cross the object and furnish a way to easily manoeuvre color transitions on the object. The intensity of a color shift or the extent of the colored area on the object could be changed by just moving and editing points on the mesh lines (Figure 9.5). The figure consists of A. Mesh Line b. Mesh Patch c. Mesh Point d. Anchor Point
A special kind of anchor point known as a mesh point is situated at the intersection of two mesh lines. Appearing like diamond, mesh points have the same properties as anchor points but they also have an added capability of acquiring color. Mesh points can be added, deleted, edited or the color associated with each mesh point can be changed.
Also appearing in the mesh (differentiated by their square rather than diamond shape), anchor points can be added, deleted, edited and moved like any other anchor points. Anchor points can be placed on any mesh line. They can be choked and their direction lines can be dragged to modify them. Mesh patch is the area between any four mesh points. The color of the mesh patch can easily be changed using the same methods as changing colors of a mesh point.
(i) Create Mesh Objects
Mesh objects can be created from vector objects, with the exclusion of compound paths and text objects. Mesh objects cannot be created from linked images. For better performance, the size of mesh objects should be kept to a minimum magnitude.
Complicated mesh objects can reduce the performance to a great extend. Therefore, rather than creating a single, complicated mesh object it is better to create a few small, simple mesh object. Hence, use the Create Mesh command for best results while altering complex objects. Spot colors are conserved for EPS, PDF and PostScript output while printing mesh objects.
(ii) Create a mesh object with an irregular pattern of mesh points
a. Choose the Mesh tool and select a fill color for the mesh points.
b. Click where the first mesh point has to be positioned. The object is altered to a mesh object with the minimum number of mesh line .
c. Click to add more mesh points. Shift-click to add a mesh point without changing to the present fill color.
(iii) Create a mesh object with a regular pattern of mesh points
a. Go to Object menu > Create Gradient Mesh.
b. Select the direction of the highlight from the Appearance menu, after setting the number of rows and columns:
Applies the original color evenly across the surface of the object in such a way that there is no highlight.
(ii) To Centre
Highlight is created at the centre of the object.
Highlight is created on the edges of the object.
c. Enter a percentage of while highlight to apply to the mesh object. For example: a value of 100 per cent implies maximum white highlight to the object. Similarly, a value of 0 per cent implies no white highlight to the object.
(Iv) Convert a gradient-filled object to a mesh object
a. Go to Object menu > Expand after selecting an object.
b. Choose Gradient Mesh and click OK
The object that was selected will be altered to a mesh object which takes the form of the gradient. This can be either rectangular (linear) or else circular (radial).
(v) Convert a mesh object back to a path object
Select the mesh object and then go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path. After that enter zero for the offset value.
(vi) Edit mesh objects
A mesh object can be edited by adding, deleting and moving mesh points. It is also possible to convert the color of mesh points and mesh patches and change the mesh object back to a regular object (see Figure 9.6).
By performing any of the following, edit a mesh object:
a. Select the Mesh tool to add a mesh point after which a fill color for the new mesh points has to be chosen. Then click anywhere in the mesh object.
b. In order to delete a mesh point, (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the mesh point with the Mesh tool
c. Drag a mesh point with the Mesh tool or the Direct Selection tool in order to move it. To keep the mesh point on a mesh line, shift-drag a mesh point with the Mesh tool. This is an appropriate way to move a mesh point along a curved mesh line, without disrupting the mesh line.
d. Select the mesh object and then drag a color from the Color panel or Swatches panel onto the point or patch. In this way one can change the color of a mesh point or patch. Else, deselect all objects and select a fill color. Choose the mesh object and use the Eyedropper tool to apply the fill color to mesh points or patches.