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Print Production Fundamentals
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with effects


From:

Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: Working with effects

Illustrator includes a lot of really fun Live Effects. And they are called Live Effects because you can edit them for ever, so let's look at some of them. I'm going to start with a simple one. I am going to click on this star, go to Effect > Distort & Transform and just the name is amusing, Pucker & Bloat. I can move the slider between Pucker and Bloat and I can make a flower and pretty much nothing flat. So remember I started out with a star and now I have what sort of looks like a little daisy. Click OK. Actually that shape hasn't changed.
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Print Production Fundamentals
4h 26m Beginner Jun 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Claudia McCue on a journey that introduces the printing process and reveals the keys to designing a document that prints as well as it looks onscreen. This course takes you on the floors of two commercial print houses (BurdgeCooper and Lithographix), to better understand the life cycle of a print job and observe printing presses in action. Along the way, discover how to better communicate with your printer, choose the correct paper, inks, colors, and fonts for your project, and how to correctly lay out your documents in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This course is designed to help you and your printer produce a professionally finished print job, whether it's a business card, brochure, or multipage magazine.

lynda.com thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at www.burdgecooper.com and www.lithographix.com.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the importance of contact proofs
  • Handling corrections and alterations
  • Choosing from offset, letterpress, thermographic, or digital printing options
  • Understanding how the inks, colors, and paper interact
  • Building a document at the correct size
  • Folding and trimming
  • Choosing fonts
  • Working in Illustrator with swatches, effects, and more
  • Laying out a document in InDesign
  • Generating a final PDF
  • Troubleshooting print issues
  • Preflighting your print job in Acrobat
  • Submitting files to the printer
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Claudia McCue

Working with effects

Illustrator includes a lot of really fun Live Effects. And they are called Live Effects because you can edit them for ever, so let's look at some of them. I'm going to start with a simple one. I am going to click on this star, go to Effect > Distort & Transform and just the name is amusing, Pucker & Bloat. I can move the slider between Pucker and Bloat and I can make a flower and pretty much nothing flat. So remember I started out with a star and now I have what sort of looks like a little daisy. Click OK. Actually that shape hasn't changed.

If I go up to View and Outline, you'll see that it's really still that star. And what that means is that I can edit this over and over again. And here is a little tip, if I want to change the state of that Pucker or Bloat, I don't go back up to Effect, let's see what happens if I try that. Illustrator says, well, now this is going to sort of double up; are you sure you don't want to change this. Maybe you want to the Appearance panel instead, and I do. So I click Cancel. A little word of advice, when you go to edit an effect you don't go back to where you got it initially, you go over to your Appearance panel, which is a wonderful little thing that's often overlooked.

And there you can see Pucker & Bloat. So if I click on that entry, there is my Pucker & Bloat. Maybe I want to change it to Pucker instead. It's still the star underneath, but what if I want to edit it, what if I want to move one of those little lobes. I kind of can't do that with the effect itself, but if I want to turn this into literal vectors, I can go up to Object > Expand Appearance. The appearance of it is a Live Effect, it's sort of like a little costume it has on. So when I choose use Expand Appearance, now you can see, and I can prove when I go into Outline mode, it's now literally that shape.

So I've lost my flexibility that I have with the Live Effect, but now I have editability on a little finer basis, so I can pull out on little handles and modify this if I want to. I am going to go over to this little star here, and I'm going to apply what's called a Graphic Style. And the panel for that sucked right in behind the Appearance panel. So these are little combinations of attribute strokes and fills and gradients and glows and all sorts of fun stuff. Here we're using a pattern. But this isn't enough; we have to have more, right? So I go to the Graphic Styles panel menu and I can open up other Graphic Style libraries that are included with Illustrator.

And I am going to choose the Neon Effects because there is one I really like called Blue Neon. It looks just like Neon tubing, isn't that amazing. So how does this happen. If we look at the Appearance panel, look at all the stuff that's going on in there. So all of those little separate attributes, little bunches of little strokes; that's what constitutes that Neon Effect. So you can create your own Graphic Styles, just fiddle around with a shape till you like what you have, and you can save it as your own Graphic Style and use it over and over again.

There are some 3D effects in Illustrator. Now it's not a 3D program, but you can add dimensionality to a simple shape. So I'll start with this little cartoon balloon. Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel, and of course my gigantic dialog covers up my shape and I can't tell what's going on until I click Preview. This little cube acts just sort of a trackball so that I can rotate the shape, and see it in different angles. I can change the depth of that extrusion. I can make it enormous.

This is a little bit fiddly trying to get your Extrude Depth. Here is what I like to do, rather than trying to use that pesky little slider, click in that Extrude Depth field and just use your arrow keys. I am just hitting the down arrow key on my keyboard. It's much easier to fine-tune that way. You can do interesting things like add little bevels on it, and I can even add different Lights. So I can click the New Light button. I can move that around and that adds a little more depth. When I click OK, there is my little shape. And again a little reminder, it's really still that original shape, little cartoon balloon. It just has that wonderful attribute added to it--that Live Effect.

For the big finish here I am going to select this shape and I'm going to apply the 3D > Revolve. You might think of Revolve as being sort of like using a lathe and what you've created is actually the cross-section. When I click Preview, you can see that it revolves into a vase. I have made a vase out of just a line, and as I rotate it, eventually I can pour the water out. Notice how slow this is. There is a lot of thinking going on to create this. I'm going to return to the Off-Axis Front, which is the default view here.

It's shiny, it sort of looks like a real-world vase, so this is very cool that Illustrator can give you dimensionality when you just start with a simple shape. And again all it is--is just that simple cross-section that you started with. Now you remember that I expanded this star down here. There's no reason to expand stuff unless you need to edit it. It doesn't save any time in the print process and you're going to lose some flexibility. So if you don't need to expand your appearance and turn it to literal vectors, don't. But I am going to expand my vase just so you can see how tough this would've been to draw if you'd had to build it from scratch.

I'm going to go Object > Expand Appearance, and then when I go into Outline mode, holy cow, aren't you glad you didn't draw that. So remember these Live Effects in the future, when you have a simple shape, but you want to make it a little bit more interesting, let Illustrator kind of do the work for you.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Print Production Fundamentals.


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Q: The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4/CS5). What should I use?
A: This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4 or CS5, IDML files are provided.
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