Hrm. That might get me somewhere. Thanks!
The other thing is that I was thinking that I needed to make the swirl first, but maybe I need to do the colors first and then twist it after. I'm actually hoping to avoid using gradient meshes... hah! So maybe a blend between 2 -3 symbols that I can then re-color stragegically with the symbol stainer?
Any other approaches?
I wanted that to be the silver bullet for my situation but after playing around with it and reading the tutorial, I couldn't see how it would help me. I have to admit, I've never really messed with gradient meshes all that much to begin with so I might be missing something. Is there some function in there that applies?
Jesse, I am a bit surprised.
As far as I remember, you are a conversant illustrator. Therefore, I think, you've already created a couple of drafts about that kind of design, haven't you?
Show and describe what you've done so far, complain about the shortcomings and then see if someone will give some advice :-)
Hah. Ask me about your font cache and then you can call me conversant.
So, as I said above, I was hoping to avoid the gradient mask in the name of simplicity and started off as such:
Divide up a circle into 120 slices. Make it twist with an Envelope Distort (mesh), take one of the now-twisted slices, toss the rest,
Give it a gradient somewhat like the middle of the range of colors, make it into a symbol.
Make another smaller slice that's feathered a good bit and fits within the thicker (outer part) of the larger slice, make it yellower (part of my problem - it gets darker towards the outside, nolt lighter) and make that a symbol.
Effect->transform->transform to rotate around 119 times to get back to round. Expand appearance to get 120 slices made of 2 symbols each. Select-> same symbol instance and re-group as 2 groups, one of each symbol. Use the symbol stainer to add variance.
Oh and make a version of the larger slice that's white with a dark inner glow, set to multiply, to add the dark lines. I put a gradient/difference cloud opacity mask over it to try to dull it some - it was still too strong in the end.
would do better to be a blend between the symbols rather than using one feathered but can't because when you expand the rotate, you expand the blend.
the symbol stainer doesn't work very well, or very directly anyhow. Adding yellow to red somehow gets green. I would prefer it pull it towards yellow.
My next thought was to make a neutral starting slice that could be rotated around and adjusted with some randomly placed highlight/shading slices that would be blurred somehow. That killed my afternoon, waiting for Illustrator to do a radial blur on ~2 dozen blends. I thought my iMac would catch on fire. Here's where I sit, with no blur:
And I feel cautiously optimistic, based on the possibility of actually performing the blur I imagine.
I guess I was hoping that someone could suggest a new starting point since my starting points seemed to be falling a fair bit short. Maybe some insight as to how the original piece was created would help me to recreate it.
At this point, it's looking like I would have saved more time by doing gradient meshes! :-)
I have a hard time believing that someone manually adjusted all 1200 gradient mesh nodes...
You don't have to manipulate MeshPoints (in Grad Meshes or Envelope Meshes) one-at-a-time. You can subselect whole rows of MeshPoints at once with the white pointer or even make a "weaving" selection with the Lasso around MeshPoints, and then perform ordinary transformations on the selected subset.
Thanks, James. That's good info as well. It seems to me that in order to really pull this off accurately, they all have to be individual objects though. So make one slice, set up the mesh the way you want it, dupe it around, adjust hundreds of colors, warp it.
The concept of the symbol stainer seemed appropriate since there are adjustments made to multiple slices that fade from a point, but there is no such tool to recolor mesh points, is there?
Luckily for all of us, I have moved on from this for the time being. Perhaps to revisit later on.