This week’s Deke’s Techniques video demonstrates the relatively simple, but oh-so-useful method for filling your Illustrator type with a photographic image. The steps are straightforward, but you’ll need Illustrator CS5 or better in order to use the handy (and crucial to this technique) Draw Inside mode. With Draw Inside mode active, it’s just a matter of selecting the text you’d like to alter and placing your photographic texture of choice inside the type.
If you want a stroke or a drop shadow, you’ll need to use the Layers panel to select your text independent from your image texture, then skillfully navigate the Appearance panel in order to add stroke and drop-shadow effects to the appropriate object inside of Illustrator. (Rookie’s note from a fellow Illustrator rookie: Make sure you choose the Stylize menu item from the top of the Effects menu, not the second half.) The final result is this formerly boring text on the left turned into the editable, tweakable barn-stormin’ effect on the right.
For members of lynda.com, Deke’s also has another member-exclusive video this week called Adding strokes behind photo type that shows you how to create a double stroke around this effect. It sounds simple, but it’s Illustrator, so you’ll be happy Deke is by your side with answers to the oddly complicated nuances you’ll encounter when tackling this technique.
See you back here next week when Deke returns with another quick and useful technique!
This week’s free Deke’s Techniques is the first recorded in Illustrator CS6, but aside from the new dark interface atmosphere, there’s nothing in this technique that can’t be done in earlier versions of Illustrator. Which is to say, placing type on the top and bottom of what appears to be the same circle still requires some finesse, even in this era of Illustrator CS6. In today’s tutorial, Deke will show you exactly how it works.
This technique is ultimately a matter of understanding how to stack two different circles, using the alignment setting and Smart Guides to your advantage, and then adjusting the scale and tracking of the text to finish the effect. The result is type placed on a circular path, with the center of each letter aligned, like you see in this fiercely aligned logo:
For members of lynda.com, Deke’s got an exclusive follow-up movie called Making flared type on a circle that demonstrates how to convert your text to an art brush for those times when you need your letters to bend and flare with the curve of your circle, rather than aligning at the center of each letter. This technique is especially handy when you need to change a long word like tortellini to a word like milk that is much shorter and contains a very wide first letter.
See you back next week when Deke shares another free technique!
In honor of yesterday’s announcement of Adobe’s Creative Suite 6, and the six newly released CS6 New Features courses on lynda.com, I thought this week’s Featured Five collection should expand to showcase six free movies from the lynda.com library. All of our new CS6 New Features courses (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks, plus Premiere Pro and After Effects CS6 which were released on April 12, 2012) are designed to help you discover the latest software updates, and how the new features may fit well with your workflow needs. With the introduction of the new Adobe Creative Cloud subscription model, which allows you to pay a flat fee to access all of the Suite applications, finding out what’s new across the Suite may now be more important than ever as you’ll be faced with new decisions during the upgrading process. To give you an idea of what our CS6 New Features courses have to offer, here are six free-to-everyone movies that discuss some of the interesting new abilities of the CS6 flagship applications. After you’ve checked out the featured six, make sure to let us know in the comments section which CS6 features have you the most intrigued.
1. Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features
You may have explored the Photoshop version of CS6 already, given that a public beta has been available for a few weeks. In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features, Chris Orwig reviews the key features that are going to make a difference specifically for photographers. Some of the new features in Photoshop are pretty significant (not to mention extremely cool), but the one that might actually affect the most Photoshop users is the revamped Crop tool. In this free movie Chris demonstrates how the new Crop tool works in a much less destructive way than Crop tools of the past:
2. Illustrator CS6 New Features
Having just celebrated its 25th anniversary, Illustrator is a fairly mature product in the software world. Despite it’s industry years, there is no lack of interesting upgrades to the vector graphic program this year. For one thing, you’ll notice that like Photoshop, Illustrator has gone to a dark interface, which gives it quite a modern look despite its advanced age. There are also a few cool new ways to tackle old tricks, including a vastly updated pattern creator. Here’s a free movie from Justin Seeley‘s Illustrator CS6 New Features course that shows how the new Pattern Options panel works:
3. InDesign CS6 New Features
When I asked the author of this course, Anne-Marie Concepcion, what her favorite feature from InDesign CS6 was, she said, “I think my favorite feature would be the Auto-Size text frames option. It’s not exciting like the neat-o Liquid Layout, but Auto-Size is something I can use right now and something I will be using every day.” It’s always those features that you use every day and can’t remember living without that make a software upgrade significant, even if they’re not the sexiest new technology options. In this video from the InDesign CS6 New Features course, Anne-Marie talks about the new Auto-Size text frames option and why it makes her life easier:
4. Dreamweaver CS6 New Features
Dreamweaver CS6 has a bunch of new features, including interface, optimization, and FTP support enhancements, but it’s the CSS capabilities that have author James Williamson intrigued. By employing the CSS Transitions feature housed in a convenient new Dreamweaver panel, you can easily add and manage your transitions. You don’t need to take my word for it, though, you can hear the enthusiasm for Dreamweaver CS6′s support of CSS transitions in James’ voice in this free movie from the Dreamweaver CS6 New Features course:
5. Fireworks CS6 New Features
Fireworks is the Creative Suite app that helps you produce optimized web graphics for any device. In this excerpt from Fireworks CS6 New Features, Ray Villalobos shows off his favorite new Fireworks feature, which is support for creating and exporting CSS Sprites. In the video, Ray demonstrates how you can now use Fireworks to simultaneously help with graphics and the hover state of graphics:
6. Flash Professional CS6 New Features
The CS6 version of Flash Professional has new support for 3D, and a new framework for exporting HTML. In this free movie from Flash CS6 New Features, Anastasia McCune focuses on the new Captive AIR runtime option for creating Android, OSX, or Windows apps. You can now decide if you want your Flash apps to run with Captive AIR embedded or if you want to require that users download the AIR runtime. In this video, Anastasia considers why you might want to choose one option or the other:
If you’d like to see more free CS6 tutorials, we’ll have a lot more coming to lynda.com in the next few weeks. While you’re checking out the new CS6 Suite, also keep in mind that 10 percent of all lynda.com content is free to try. Just click on any of the blue links on any course table of contents page in our library to watch unlocked videos.
I’ll be back next week with five more free selections—but in the meantime, I’ll be checking out what CS6 has to offer. Which CS6 features do you have your eye on?