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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
Few people know this, but Illustrator lets you create charts and graphs, things like bar charts and pie graphs, from actual spreadsheet data. The program automatically takes numbers and turns them into graphs. But here's the thing: if you're a creative professional, you might regard graphs as downright dull, and as though to confirm your prejudice, Illustrator's initial attempts at graphing are the dullest things you've ever seen. Remarkably, there is nothing you can do about this. Illustrator starts each and every graph as a gray, blocky, horrifying monstrosity.
All right, so between you and me, it's an old feature; that is to say it's a bit clunky. But see, it's Illustrator. A graph might start awkward, but you can dig in and do everything and anything you like: change the colors, attach a few design symbols, or just break the chart apart and use it as the basis for a really cool piece of art, which is why in the potentially dull context of graphs, I offer you what might be the most beautiful piece of artwork in this entire course. Because the fact of the matter is, I don't care what you start with in Illustrator, you can make that thing gorgeous.
And if ever you've been disinclined to believe, just watch the following movies.
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