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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Some times the artwork that you create can be black and white, but more often you will need to add color when working with graphics inside of Illustrator. Now until this point, we have taken a very simple method of applying colors to objects. We've either have selected an object first, and then changed its fill color by going over here to the Control panel, clicking on the Fill indicator, and choosing a color here, or we have been using Appearance panel directly by clicking on any particular object, and then directly from the Appearance panel clicking on the Fill and choosing the fill from here as well. But where do these colors come from? These colors come from the Swatches panel. You will see that the identical colors that are here also appear here as well. Let's say you want to create a color, or you want to add a color that does not exist in the Swatches panel. So let's take a look at how we actually create our own customized colors inside of Illustrator.
I'm using this file here called applying_colors. You will find it inside of Chapter 10 in the Exercise files. Let's actually pull out the Color panel so we can focus on a little bit more. I have setup this file using the Print Profile, and it's currently using the CMYK workspace, so I have chosen, for now, the Color panel to display the colors using CMYK. If I want to mix or create my own colors, I can simply select any object on my artboard, and then come over to the sliders, and either adjust the sliders manually, or if I know the values, I can simply go ahead and type in the values directly. So for example, I'm going to have 10, tab, maybe 30, tab, maybe no yellow. Let's add about 5% black, for a color like that.
Alternatively, if I move cursor over this slider on the bottom over here, I can see that these gradient colors are basically all the colors in spectrum. I can click with the Eyedropper tool, and choose any color directly from here as well. There are shortcuts to the non-attribute, the white fill and the black fill as well. Now you are not forced to use CMYK when working with a Color panel. For example, if you might be working for Web design, you might be using RGB colors. You could change between different color sliders by going to the flyout menu in the Color panel, and choosing either Gray scale slider, RGB, HSB, which stands for Hue Saturation and Brightness or you could also choose Web Safe RGB colors.
A shortcut for cycling through these is simply to come out over here to this particular slider bar that you see here, and instead of clicking once to choose a color, hold down the Shift key, and when you Shift click on this, it will actually cycle through the different ways that the Color panel can work. For example, CMYK, RGB, the regular Gray scale slider, RGB and HSB as well. Let me go back here to the CMYK slider. One of little tip that as you are kind of working with these particular sliders, if you did choose some kind of a color here, and you want to adjust maybe a tint value, or a little bit of lighter shade, you can hold down the Shift key, and then adjust one of the sliders, and then you will notice that all of them kind of scale together and move in that particular way as well.
Now while the Color panel is great for choosing colors, it's not so great when you want to start using that color throughout your file, because the Color panel doesn't save, or create a swatch that you can easily reuse over and over again. It allows you to basically, experiment with color. For example, if you want to work in a particular design, and you want to click on object and say, hum well, we would look that with this color, with that color, so on and so forth. It's great for experimenting or for finding particular color that you like, but you once you are ready to use a color, you are going to want to create a swatch for that particular color. So in the next movie, we will discuss how you can create swatches inside of Illustrator that allow you to easily save and retrieve colors as necessary.
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