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Breaking down the Recolor Artwork feature

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork

Video: Breaking down the Recolor Artwork feature

In the previous movie, we have seen an example where we can take a group of colors and edit those colors as a single unit, using the Edit Colors dialog box. We also saw that there was another side to that dialog box called Assigned Colors. In this movie we are going to take a closer look at that functionality, again before, we're talking about changing the colors inside of a group; specifically colors inside of a Swatch group. However, what happens when you want to make changes to colors that already appear inside of artwork in your document? That's where the Recolor Artwork come in and comes into Play.

Breaking down the Recolor Artwork feature

In the previous movie, we have seen an example where we can take a group of colors and edit those colors as a single unit, using the Edit Colors dialog box. We also saw that there was another side to that dialog box called Assigned Colors. In this movie we are going to take a closer look at that functionality, again before, we're talking about changing the colors inside of a group; specifically colors inside of a Swatch group. However, what happens when you want to make changes to colors that already appear inside of artwork in your document? That's where the Recolor Artwork come in and comes into Play.

Now in this movie I want to focus purely on the concepts of what Recolor Artwork does inside of illustrator. Then we'll use the Recolor Artwork feature throughout the rest of this title in a variety of different examples and workflows. Here is the first rule in using the Recolor Artwork feature inside of illustrator. You have to make a selection, you see as we are going to find out, the Recolor Artwork feature allows to take existing artwork and make changes to that artwork but the changes that will happen will only happen to artwork that is selected.

This is key to understand because we will be able to make precise changes throughout an entire document but only where we want these changes to take place. Keep this in mind if you're working with artwork that has several elements locked or hidden. You want to make sure to unlock those before we get started. I am ready to make my selection. Let's say right now that I want to make some changes or adjustments to the artwork that appears here on the far left. I don't want to touch these two designs, so I am simply going to select just this one design right here.

There are really two ways to actually access this Recolor Artwork dialog box. One way is to go to the Edit menu, to choose Edit Colors and then choose Recolor Artwork. Another way is that whenever you have any artwork selected on your Artboard, you'll see a little color chip wheel that appears inside of your control panel, as when you mouse over it, it kind of lights up and turns colorful. I am actually going to click on that button and that will open up my Recolor Artwork dialog box. I am going to leave it right about over here and at first glance, it looks incredibly complex.

So in this movie here, I really want to talk about what all these different elements and parts do inside of this dialog box. As we saw before when we were editing colors this area over here is our storage area that shows us all the Swatch groups that we have to find inside of this document. Now in this document I don't have any regular swatches, but I have global swatches that appear inside of three different groups and I can see those three different groups right here. I can even click on the twirl down arrows to view each of the color swatches that appear inside of those color groups.

Now later on inside of this title we'll see how these buttons at the top here, help us actually create or modify the color groups inside of our document. We'll find this can be very, very helpful as we are working. Now the top part of the document is again where we saw harmonies before but we are not working with any of this specific harmony rules that Illustrator has, meaning Complimentary colors or Left Complement and when not working with colors that live necessarily inside of our group, we are actually working with the colors that live inside of this artwork. So you can see over here that illustrator is letting me know that I am currently displaying the colors that appear inside of the artwork or my artwork colors.

As we are working throughout our process here inside of the Recolor Artwork dialog box, there isn't an undo button, that means if I start to make some changes and I realize I want to step back one or two steps, I unfortunately have no way to do that. I can either click on the Cancel button to kind of start over again, or I can come to this button over here which is called Get colors from selected art. If I click on this illustrator reloads the original colors from the artwork into this dialog box, it is if I just launch this dialog box from scratch.

So as we are working that button there is going to be the closest we can get to some kind of an undo function. Now you will notice that because we had artwork selected when we open up this dialog box, we now see the section over here in the middle which is currently set to the assigned button this was grayed out before when we were editing the colors in a Swatch group, because there is no way to assign other colors to swatches that live inside of a group. This allows us now to assign colors to different artwork. Now if we click on the Edit button here for a moment, we see that color wheel which has now become familiar to us and we see the little dots that appear on that color wheel and we've already established that right now, those dots represent the colors that are in my artwork.

So right now any color that is used in my artwork is being displayed to me where they live on this color wheel. If I wanted to make adjustments to one of these colors, I can do so here just by dragging one of those dots around. However, if I am in the assigned part of this dialog box I see a very different view of my colors, they're the same colors, I am just viewing them in a different fashion. Illustrator provides a list of all the colors that currently appear inside of my artwork, right now there are seven colors. And Illustrator also gives me a list of new colors; these are the colors that my artwork is now going to turn into.

Now don't worry about the specifics of each of these different color bars here they're actually quite complex within themselves. We are going to talk about them in detail in the next movie, but for now just know this the way for your Illustrator to allow me to view the colors that currently exist in my document and it gives me some kind of a method where I can indicate to Illustrator, what I want those colors to turn into. There are some icons that appear across the bottom of this as well and again we'll discuss that in the future movie, but for now I want to get one point across here, the real benefit or the real power that we need to appreciate about what Recolor Artwork does for us is it allows us to kind of separate the color from the artwork itself so that we can work and focus on that color.

Let me explain what I mean by that, in another title here at the lynda.com online training library, something called Illustrator insider training rethinking the essentials. I spoke about a concept inside of Illustrator where we were kind of separating the underlying vectors instead of our artwork from the actual presentation or appearance of our artwork. On a similar level and Recolor Artwork allows us to do the same thing, you know inside of illustrator we have these things like fills and stroke attributes or for dealing with things like symbols or gradients or patterns.

There may be colors used in all different kinds of fashions within those kinds of attributes. Unfortunately in order for us to make those kinds of changes to colors if we're working directly on the Artboard we always need to have just one fill in our focus or one stroke in our focus meaning if I wanted to change a color and that color is used both in a fill and a stroke, I would have to make those two changes separately. However, what I'm doing here inside of Recolor Artwork is I am kind of extracting the color information added that artwork.

I don't really care about paths anymore, I don't care about fills or strokes, all I care about is a specific color and I can tell Illustrator; you see this one color of here, no matter where it's used, whether that be inside of a gradient mesh, as a single gradient stop inside of a gradient, as a single element inside of a symbol or pattern or even as a fill or a stroke attribute, I am telling Illustrator I want to do something to that one color and that's why it's so important to understand this concept. Notice that I have selected the entire piece of artwork, I have text in here, I have all the different elements of the flower in the background.

I may only want to make a change to one or two of those colors in their. I don't have to worry about only selecting the objects that contain the colors that I want to change. I can select everything but tell Illustrator to ignore certain colors, but to change others. Again, this allows me to focus purely on their color and not on the objects themselves, that's the true power of what Recolor Artwork does for us inside of Illustrator. Now that we understand that, in the next movie we are going to dive specifically into the functionality of these areas here which I have called color rose.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork
Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork

48 video lessons · 13014 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 6m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Adobe Illustrator: A colorful history
      3m 25s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      27s
  2. 32m 35s
    1. Getting to know the color models
      9m 5s
    2. Understanding the difference between process and custom colors
      7m 7s
    3. Understanding how the HSB color wheel works
      11m 2s
    4. Working with color harmonies
      5m 21s
  3. 43m 55s
    1. Deconstructing the Color panel
      6m 36s
    2. Working with "phantom" colors
      5m 16s
    3. Defining and using process colors
      6m 15s
    4. Defining and using global process colors
      7m 51s
    5. Defining and using spot colors
      8m 37s
    6. Accessing color libraries
      9m 20s
  4. 46m 22s
    1. Organizing colors into groups
      13m 59s
    2. Creating swatches and groups from artwork
      7m 19s
    3. Removing unused swatches from documents
      3m 48s
    4. Replacing and merging color swatches
      5m 38s
    5. Creating and managing your own color libraries
      6m 10s
    6. Making custom libraries permanent
      2m 50s
    7. Adding custom colors to new documents
      6m 38s
  5. 19m 42s
    1. Accessing Kuler from within Illustrator
      2m 20s
    2. Getting inspiration from the Color Guide panel
      2m 41s
    3. Understanding how the Color Guide works
      3m 58s
    4. Setting limits on the Color Guide
      10m 43s
  6. 40m 54s
    1. Editing color groups with the color wheel
      12m 51s
    2. Breaking down the Recolor Artwork feature
      8m 16s
    3. Understanding what color rows represent
      6m 34s
    4. Protecting black, white, and gray
      6m 24s
    5. Finding colors quickly with the magnifying glass
      3m 28s
    6. Randomly changing colors
      3m 21s
  7. 53m 34s
    1. Making global color adjustments
      3m 48s
    2. Remapping colors in an illustration
      6m 13s
    3. Fixing colors in a document
      8m 57s
    4. Understanding color reduction
      13m 29s
    5. Reducing colors intelligently and precisely
      7m 42s
    6. Changing the colors within patterns
      4m 39s
    7. Using color groups to your advantage
      8m 46s
  8. 21m 24s
    1. Converting color to grayscale
      3m 25s
    2. Converting to grayscale with the Grayscale color group
      4m 45s
    3. Converting grayscale to color
      2m 27s
    4. Finding spot equivalents of process colors
      6m 48s
    5. Producing color matches intelligently
      3m 59s
  9. 16m 26s
    1. Proofing colors for color-blindness
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding book color
      9m 11s
    3. Previewing color separations
      2m 19s
  10. 3m 20s
    1. Taking color further with the Phantasm CS plug-in
      2m 30s
    2. Next steps
      50s

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