‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.