I Completed the Last of my CS5 Video Courses, “Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery”

‘Tis the Season, so I suppose ‘tis likewise a bit optimistic to think squillions of folks are paying attention to my site this week. But, hey, what with the solstice and the full moon and the lunar eclipse and everything else that’s been going on these last few days, anything could happen.

So I figured I’d write and let you know that I managed to wrap up my final general-training CS5 video course before the end of 2010. The course in question, Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, won’t go live until late January, but my work on it is done. While it’s just eight chapters long, it comprises 134 movies. (Which, frankly, is diminutive by my standards.) And as usual, the course sports all-new project files, including the incredibly uncool one below.

Naturally, this course will be part of the massive and exhaustive lynda.com Online Training Library. In the meantime, here’s the breakdown:

Chapter 23, Dynamic Effects

If I had to name a favorite group of features in Illustrator, this would be them. Dynamic effects are editable, flexible, convenient, and reasonably intuitive. Not to mention, wicked powerful. Here’s a snowflake made live and on-the-fly from a mere handful of paths.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 23: Dynamic Effects

Chapter 24, Gradient Mesh

Illustrator’s gradient mesh lets you create multipoint gradients, in which one color flows into another in any direction. In other words, you can airbrush your paths. With deliriously spectacular results.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 24: Gradient Mesh

Chapter 25, Liquify and Envelope

A mesh is not only good for rendering a multipoint gradient. It’s also useful for creating a multipoint distortion. This enhanced version of a winged horse, alight at night, demonstrates how.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 25: Liquify and Envelope

Chapter 26, Working with Brushes

In Illustrator, a brush is one or more vector-based path outlines stretched across the length of another path outline. Which means a brush can look like a brushstroke, an ornament, or anything else you might want. Including text.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 26: Working with Brushes

Chapter 27, Graphs and Pictographs

Few people know this, but Illustrator lets you create charts and graphs, automatically, from actual spreadsheet data. It starts out very dull at first but gets terribly exciting in the end. (The initial island graphic accompanies this chapter.)

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 27: Graphs and Pictographs

Chapter 28, Perspective Drawing

Illustrator CS5’s new perspective grid tool allows you to define a perspective scene as well as draw and move objects into perspective. To help you make sense of it, I provide a 21-movie discourse on the art of perspective drawing.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 28: Perspective Drawing

Chapter 29, 3D Effects

These days, both Illustrator and Photoshop flirt with 3D. Photoshop is ultimately more powerful. But Illustrator offers some unique tricks, including the ability to revolve a path outline around a central axis, which I employ to create this apple.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 29: 3D Effects

Chapter 30, Actions

Like Photoshop, Illustrator offers an Actions panel and a Batch command. The first lets you record a sequence of operations. The second lets you play an action back on a folder-full of files. Learn how both work in this final chapter.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, Chapter 30: Actions

What I love about this course is that each movie builds on the one before it. And by the end, we’re at something resembling a fever pitch (by video-training standards, at any rate). For example, near the end of “Chapter 30, Actions,” I show you not only how to build a power-duplication series, but also how to switch it out so one set of objects replaces another.

When I recorded the last movie, I felt a sense of accomplishment. But I also felt the strange and immediate pang of missing it. Here’s hoping you’ll feel the same when way you get to the end.

Next entry:Martin Hour (Takes a) Holiday 2010

Previous entry:Martini Hour 095, In Which Chris Brings the List (and Deke Drools over the Items on It)


  • Can’t wait!


    Love your work! I’m in the middle of AI CS5 Advanced, and it’s been very helpful.  I will be one of the first to check out the Mastery course when it arrives at lynda.com!

  • Best Way to export Illustrator diagrams to Visio or Omnigraffle

    Hi Deke,

    I like to do my process flow design work in AI but have a hard time converting to Visio or Omni Graffle for repurpose editing by my team who use either of prior mentioned design tools.  I use save as PDF but parts of my design do not always transfer cleanly when they open in other tools.

    Do you have any suggested best practices to fixing this?  Also I too can not wait for the AI Mastery class.

  • awesome

    be a master like deke


  • Eyedropper Tool


    I am just brushing up my CS5 illustrator with Deke’s greay course on Lynda.com.

    In “Lifting Colors from a tracing template” Deke mentions that in CS4 and CS5 Adobe had fixed the annoying bug that if the image is a template at 50% or whatever then the eyedropper lifted the color at 50%. Strangely in my Illustrator CS5 it still merrily lifts the color at 50%. Does anybody have any advice on what settings I might have to adjust? Thanks!

    Ian David Marsden

    Illustrator | Cartoonist


  • Tip for setting perspective grid

    I’ve just watch the “setting up a perspective grid” lesson and I think there is a easier way to set up the grid

    • Draw lines across best perspective objecs in the picture

    • Scale the lines in order to get the intersect points

    • Prioritice the most oblique lines, they are the most accurate

    Now you have a decent horizon line and points to set the perspective.

    It’s not going to be perfect, because of the thirt “missing” perspective points, lens aberration etc…


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