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blend tool - Adobe Illustrator Windows

hi all, I need a little help with the first step of this tutorial <http://www.ayatoweb.com/ae_tips_e/ae17_e.html> This is the second time that I use Illustrator combined with AE so I'm not really confident with that. By now I can only blend between a white and a black rectangle and the result looks really bad. I hope you can help me :>...

  1. #1

    Default blend tool

    hi all,

    I need a little help with the first step of this tutorial

    <http://www.ayatoweb.com/ae_tips_e/ae17_e.html>

    This is the second time that I use Illustrator combined with AE so I'm not really confident with that.

    By now I can only blend between a white and a black rectangle and the result looks really bad.

    I hope you can help me :>
    abcdefghijklmnop@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: blend tool

    abcdefghijklmnop,

    You might have more luck asking the author of that Ayato tutorial to provide more detailed steps. He or she starts by stating:

    "It is introduced The method which used "Gradient Wipe". Since it is a
    quite advanced technique, please understand.




    But then the only instructions for that "quite advanced technique" are

    Use "Blend Tool" of Illustrator. Create the Gradation which order of a
    writing character.




    It seems to me quite unrealistic for any tutorial author to expect a reader to "please understand" an "advanced technique" with no more guidance than that!! And the screen shot is pretty much undecipherable. There is no clue as to what the numerical annotations next to the brush strokes mean. Since some numbers appear multiple times, and many other numbers are skipped, it can't be just a creation sequence.

    The nearest I can guess is that you are supposed to create multiple blends, one for each simulated brush stroke, in which the blended objects are circles or ellipses, and the order in which those blends are stacked from bottom to top in the artwork corresponds to the order that you want the animation to run.

    Anyway, I am going to show how to go about creating a blend in Illustrator of one simple comma-shaped stroke. For the After Effects lesson, presumably you would need to repeat this process for each stroke of the calligraphic character.

    First, on a separate layer, make a drawing or image of the strokes you want to create. Most likely for calligraphic characters like in the tutorial, you would want to place either a scanned image or an image you have made in Photoshop. But you might also want to make them in Illustrator using a Calligraphic brush. Lock that layer. You are only going to use it to position your blends.

    Second, draw some ellipses at the places where each stroke begins, reaches a maximum or minimum size, or changes direction. Make sure that the leading edge ellipse is in back, the final one is in front, and the others are in "stroke order". Here I have chosen to place four ellipses:



    Eventually we will give them solid fills, but for getting the placement right it is a lot easier to see what is going on if you use a thin stroke and no fill. Next select the ellipses and do a Make Blend. Set the spacing to specified steps with a fairly small number of steps. (This is using the default of 8.) Again, we will increase it later. You want enough steps to see how the shape will develop, but not so many that you can't easily see the centerline.



    Now, you will notice that the blend is much too zig-zaggy. Take the Convert Anchor point tool, and pull out direction handles on the anchor points of the blend spine path. Adjust the curve until the intermediate blended shapes follow the contour of your template image.



    You are likely to have some places where the blend is still too fat or too narrow. With the direct select tool, adjust the shapes or placement of the ellipses until it gets good enough.



    Finally, increase the Blend steps to a higher number to get smooth contours, and apply various tints of your desired color to introduce shading.



    Here is how this blend looks exported as an animated gif (using ImageReady, not AfterEffects):



    I have never used AfterEffects, so I don't know what kind of preparation may or may not be needed to turn an Illustrator blend into an animation. That Ayato site is extremely sketchy, so I suspect you will run into many more places where it is not clear what the author is intending for you to do.

    (By the way, we prefer to use real names here. It makes it easier to address you.)
    Teri Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: blend tool

    Looks like an animation you'd find on proctology.com, if you ask me...
    Bert Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: blend tool

    Wow,

    big thanks for the tutorial you have written :)
    I've already searched for a tut on the blend tool but never found any.

    It's a pitty Mr. ayato :) didn't do more steps because the results of his tuts are really nice. I mastered most of them but I hardly can master the steps with Illustrator.

    Anyway I'm sure with your help I can at least do a big step forward!
    abcdefghijklmnop@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: blend tool

    abcdefghijklmnop,

    Try these:

    ftp://tpettit.best.vwh.net/AI_10_Blend_demos.zip

    Also,

    <http://tpettit.best.vwh.net/adobe/morphing_faces.html>
    Teri Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: blend tool

    Okay I succeeded at least in creating the blend. You really helped me out but I've problems to save it as an animation. In relation to the tutorial above I don't know how to do this

    'Select the blend and Release to Layers (Sequence) from the Layers palette menu.'

    I can't find a 'Release to Layers' button or whatever.

    I hope you know where it is :)
    abcdefghijklmnop@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: blend tool

    abcdefghijklmnop,

    The Release to Layers commands are on the menu of the Layers palette, like it says.


    But you may not need the Release to Layers for importing a blend into After Effects. That step is needed if you are going to use ImageReady to make an animated gif, and until CS2 it was also necessary to export a Flash animation (CS2 can export blends directly to SVG without expanding them). Like I said, I am not very familiar with After Effects, but I suspect that it may be able to use blends directly too.
    Teri Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: blend tool

    Well,

    I Don't get it. I try to do this tutorial

    <http://tpettit.best.vwh.net/adobe/morphing_faces.html>

    I stuck at where I should do the animation in Image Ready but I think I made mistakes before. Maybe I would prefer the way of importing it in AE directly but I also don't know anything about it. It's harder than I thought :[
    abcdefghijklmnop@adobeforums.com Guest

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