Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustration by Don Barnett

The Color Management options


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

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Video: The Color Management options

In this exercise, I'm going to show you the last of the Print dialog box settings, the ones that control Color Management and Flattener Settings, and flattening is what Illustrator has to do to certain complex objects in order to make them conform to be PostScript printing standard. I am going to go up to the File menu, choose the Print command once again, Ctrl+P, Command+P, are your keyboard shortcuts. Inside the big Printer dialog box, I'll go ahead and switch to the Color Management option right there. We can see that my Document Profile, this is a CMYK document, and the profile is U.S. Web Coated (SWOP)v2, and we specified that when we setup our color settings way, way back at the beginning of this series.
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  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

The Color Management options

In this exercise, I'm going to show you the last of the Print dialog box settings, the ones that control Color Management and Flattener Settings, and flattening is what Illustrator has to do to certain complex objects in order to make them conform to be PostScript printing standard. I am going to go up to the File menu, choose the Print command once again, Ctrl+P, Command+P, are your keyboard shortcuts. Inside the big Printer dialog box, I'll go ahead and switch to the Color Management option right there. We can see that my Document Profile, this is a CMYK document, and the profile is U.S. Web Coated (SWOP)v2, and we specified that when we setup our color settings way, way back at the beginning of this series.

So that's to be expected. Now it's possible that your printer, your commercial printer uses a different profile and if they give you a different profile, and they tell you they want you to use it, then by all means, you should use it, they will tell you how load it as well, when we presume. Let's say that I know for whatever reason that U.S. Sheetfed Uncoated v2 was what I needed to use. Well, then I get this checkbox right here which is asking me, okay, what do you want to do? Do you want to go ahead and convert the CMYK colors so that they look right, so that you are maintaining the same visual appearance that you are seeing on your screen or that you are potentially proofing to a local device, or do you want to turn-off Preserve CMYK colors, and do you just want to stick with the CMYK colors you specified and hope for the best? That is entirely up to you, you are going to see different results, possibly better results one way or the other. I hate to be that vague about it but it's very likely that you decide a specific CMYK colors for a region. You may have been working with a color booklet, for example, and you may have been picking colors out of that booklet and use those colors and you want to stick with those CMYK values in which case, turn this checkbox off.

If you are unsure and you are thinking well, maybe I'll just let Illustrator do its thing and convert the colors, and hope that they will continue to look better, and you want to place your faith in Illustrator, why then turn this checkbox on? It's completely up to you right there. Now this Color Handling option, right now, we are letting Illustrator to determine the colors, if we are using a PostScript Printer, a real PostScript Printer, then it's possible, we could let PostScript to handle, the color conversions. But since I don't have an actual PostScript printer to work with, my only option is to let Illustrator determine the colors.

Now another situation you can run into when you are trying to output colors here is that you are working with a Color Composite printer, let's try something else other than this Adobe PDF. Let's say we work with this Upstairs LDC printer. Now, I don't even know what kind of printer it is. I actually do, but let's see we don't know what kind of printer it is, and I don't know whether it's a color printer or a black and white printer. When I choose it, I'll know because Printer Profile will give me a hint. It must be black and white because I'm seeing Dot Gain. I'm not seeing any of the color options. Notice these are all grayscale options that are available to me here.

So it's just telling me, well, do you think you are going to experience a Dot Gain of 10%, which is just a little bit dot gain, meaning things are just going to go a little bit darker on your printer, or is it more like a Dot Gain of 20%, what have you? This is the way it works. If your artwork is printing too dark, then you want to up the amount of dot gain and that's going to lighten up your artwork. If it's printing too light, then you want to reduce the amount of dot gain and that's going to darken your artwork. And that's what black and white printers, once again, not necessarily the best way to print a hyper saturated color document like this one. In fact, most grayscale printers are going to make all the reds virtually black, just something to bear in mind there.

Now what about the other printers here I have got this HP 1310 and I have this thing called Studio Printer. I'll choose Studio Printer and it must be a color printer because it's offering me a Print Profile of Adobe RGB. Now this may seem weird that a printer is offering me an RGB profile, but that's the way it works with Composite printers, or Inkjet printers, or your Laser printers, because their print drivers are setup to automatically convert from the RGB space, your screen space after all to whatever inks the printer uses, and they could be all over the map. They are not going to be necessarily CMYK, as we think of them traditionally, they could be any variations.

So you just need to specify what your RGB space is going to be, more likely to note, I would recommend SRGB, this guy right there with the mess of letters and numbers afterwards, because most printers are set up by default to work from the SRGB space. Then this Rendering Intent becomes very important by the way, not only do you let Illustrator determine the colors because again, I don't have any other option. Unless it's a PostScript Printer, I'm going to be able to do anything different. But the Rendering Intent becomes very important. You have four different rendering intents available to you, only two of which I recommend, Relative Colorimetric and Perceptual. Saturation is designed to create hyper-vivid graphics for business presentations.

So possibly you are going to PowerPoint with your illustration, in which case, maybe you do one Saturation. I have never had any use for it but we also have Absolute Colorimetric. Absolute Colorimetric is going to basically ignore the white point of the output device, the colors are going to be as good as they can but those that are exceeding the printer's capability is going to end up looking pretty bad. They could end up getting clipped, so lot of colors out there in the parameter end up becoming one. Relative Colorimetric is a better bet. If you are going to go to the colorimetric route and the idea here, by the way, after you choose one of these options, you can hover over it to see a description down in this area and the descriptions are quite good.

So what happens with Relative Colorimetric is that Illustrator tries to match the graphic to the white point of the printer and then any colors that still falls outside the gamut after that stunt, because some colors are moved around in the interior, any colors that are still falling outside of the gamut are then changed to the nearest equivalents. So more colors are changed then with Absolute Colorimetric but you also get better colors out there on the parameter. Now this is the best setting for any thing that's highly graphical art. I would recommend Relative Colorimetric inside Illustrator, pretty much 99 % of the time. The only exception is if you have got a lot of imported photographs inside of your image, or you have an off lot of gradients and you really want your gradients to be as smooth as possible. That's when you go with Perceptual right here.

And what perceptual is going to do is it's going to bring all of the out-of-gamut colors to their nearest equivalence, and then it's going to shift all of the colors in between in order to fill in the gaps. So basically, every single color in your graphic is going to shift to some extent or other, pretty much everything but black and white. But as a result, you are going to get better transitions inside of your graphics, so smoother gradients, smoother transitions inside your imported photographs. So that's Perceptual but for this graphic, I would say Relative Colorimetric.

Let's now switch to Advanced here and tell you what, just because we are running a little bit long after that long winded Color Management explanation, I want to tell you all about the Advanced Settings, which cover flattening, as I was saying, in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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