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Color groups and custom harmony rules

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Color groups and custom harmony rules

In this movie, I will show you how to take a collection of colors that you've applied from a bunch of different harmony rules and save them off as a color group inside of the Swatches panel. And a color group is just what it sounds like; it's a group of colors. These folders here full of colors inside the Swatches panel, those are groups. And then you can take a color group and employ it as a custom harmony rule, which provides you all kinds of flexibility. So I am going to start things off by selecting these black shapes right here in the first artboard. And I want to change the color, because after all right now the color is just 100% black, which isn't really going to do us any good.

Color groups and custom harmony rules

In this movie, I will show you how to take a collection of colors that you've applied from a bunch of different harmony rules and save them off as a color group inside of the Swatches panel. And a color group is just what it sounds like; it's a group of colors. These folders here full of colors inside the Swatches panel, those are groups. And then you can take a color group and employ it as a custom harmony rule, which provides you all kinds of flexibility. So I am going to start things off by selecting these black shapes right here in the first artboard. And I want to change the color, because after all right now the color is just 100% black, which isn't really going to do us any good.

So I will switch over to the Color panel, and I am going to dial in a Cyan value of 50%, a Magenta value of 50% as well, I'll skip Yellow, and take the Black value down to 50%. So, it's 50, 50, 0, 50 in my case. And now if I press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+ A on the Mac, you can see we get this effect here. All right! Now, I want to select all of the colored objects on the backdrop layer, and I will do so by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking the backdrop layer here inside the Layers panel. And that selects a ton of objects that are filled with a total of eight colors.

Now, I'll switch over to the Swatches panel, and all you need to do to create a new color group is click on this little folder icon at the bottom of the panel. That will bring up the New Color Group dialog box. I am going to call this guy Floral Scheme. I do want to create my swatches from the selected artwork. You also have the option of converting these colors to global swatches, which means that the swatches and the objects that are either filled or stroked with those swatches are linked together. But, I am just going to accept the default settings for now by clicking OK, and we now have a new group filled with eight different colors as you can see here.

The first color in the group will serve as the base color, incidentally, when we employ this group as a harmony rule, as you will see shortly. Another way to create color groups is to load them from the color libraries that ship along with Illustrator. So, if you're working along with me, go ahead and click the Library icon down here in the bottom-left corner of the Swatches panel, and you can see that you have just a ton of these things to choose from. I am going to select Nature, and then Flowers, and that will bring up this independent panel right here.

And notice that all of the swatches are organized into groups. That's the way it works for most of these custom libraries. And so, you can see down here toward the bottom I've got Poppy, I've got Iris, I have Bird of Paradise. Let's say I'm interested in that one, the second group from the bottom. A couple of different ways you can import a group into your illustration. Well, before I show you, I should make sure to deselect my artwork; otherwise I am going to muck things up. So I will press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac. One way to import a group is to drag it and drop it into the Swatches panel.

But if that seems like too much work, which it is, then you can just click on the group here inside the free-floating flowers panel. And that will add Bird of Paradise as a group to the active illustration. Now you can go ahead and close the Flowers panel. Now, at this point, I am going to click on Floral scheme in order to make it active. Then I will switch back to the Color Guide panel, and look at that: the active group is automatically assigned as a harmony rule. So I've got the base color, which is currently red, along with seven others.

If I want to switch the base color back to the blue of the T-shirt, then I click on the T-shirt to make it active. My Fill is active, so I'm seeing that shade of blue as the base color. Go ahead and click on it, and all the other colors are going to update in kind, based on the de facto harmony rule that you've established with your color group. Now, I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+ A on the Mac in order to deselect the shirt, and let's employ the rule. I'm going to start by clicking on the background rectangle in the first artboard, and I'll change it to a vivid shade of this purple here; and then I will click on a yellow leaf for example.

And I am going to switch my Color Guide settings from Muted/Vivid to Warm/Cool, so that I have some very warm shades to work with over here. I'm going to select this color swatch; you can of course go your own way, apply any swatch as you like. Then I will click on this red leaf down here in order to select the red objects. And I'll fill them with this shade of orange right there, which is pretty similar to the other one. If I click off, you can see that my shapes don't look all that different from each other; but perhaps that's exactly what I am looking for. Or I could switch to these objects--click on them, the dark ones--and I will go ahead and switch my settings to Show Tints/Shades this time around, and I will select one of the very dark colors over here in the left- hand column in order to apply it.

And you know, I am thinking better of those previously red leaves. Go ahead and click on this leaf again in order to select all those objects and switch over to Vivid/Muted. Obviously, I am winging it here. I will try this most vibrant shade of red and see how it looks. And I think I like that better. And by the way, you can do this with any color group. So if I switch over to the Swatches panel again and select Bird of Paradise. Who knows how that reconciles as a harmony rule until, of course, you go ahead and select the folder; switch back to Color Guide, and it is now assigned as a harmony rule.

Click on, in this case the T-shirt over here in the right-hand artboard in order to select it; click that blue base color, to make it the base color for the harmony rule; and then let's go about assigning some of these colors. I will select the background rectangle once again, and I'll change it to this shade of brown. Then I will click on this shape. I will fill it with this brightly colored green, and I will click on the red leaf, and I'll change it to this intense shade of purple right there in order to complete the effect. I might as well change those dark shapes as well. I will fill them with this very saturated blue over on the far left hand side. All right! Now, I will go ahead and scoot over my artwork, and press Shift+Tab in order to hide my right side panels so that we can see both of the artboards at the same time.

And that's how you save a collection of colors as a color group inside the Swatches panel, and then turn around and employ that color group as a custom harmony rule inside the Color Guide panel.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14376 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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