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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.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to access a custom color library, one of the predefined libraries that are available to you here in Illustrator, and how to dial in a slight color variation as well. So here I'm working in a slightly altered version of the tone Ton -po shapes document, mostly consisting of having selected the Paths layer and changing the color of the green stroke circle to a black stroke circle. All right. Let's say now I want to fill this circle with a regal purple, a nice super saturated violet. I'll go up to the fill icon there in the Control palette, and I'll check out what purples I have available to me. I have got plum. No. Not really. I've got lavender, no way, I have got God forbid, baby pink, so I want something different so you have go a lot of options available to you. If you go down to the bottom corner of your Swatches palette, either your dropdown Swatches palette or your Persistent Swatches palette right here, click that little folder icon in the bottom left corner and then notice all these categories of color libraries that are available to you.
I am going to drop down to this category right here, Nature, and I'm going to choose Flowers to bring up a handful of highly saturated colors. Notice that these colors are arranged inside of groups, and each one of the groups has a name, such as this first one, Edelweiss. And then we have got Red Rose and so on. Drop down list, and we come to violet, and in fact this last color in the violet group, notice it is the one that I want, let's say. So I'll click on that specific swatch. So you are not applying some sort of combination of all three of them, you can click on a specific swatch in order to change the color of the active attribute, which in our case is Fill, and if you are ever curious about what the active attribute is, you can see it down here at the bottom of the toolbox.
So in my case Fill is active, I'm going to go ahead and change it to the darker violet however. Now let's say you want to go ahead and add this little group of colors to the Swatches palette. You can either click on the slab menu icon and choose the add to swatches command right there, or if you prefer you can just drag and drop the folder over into the Swatches palette, and now this becomes a permanent member of the illustration. If I were to choose the Save command, I would not only changes to the illustration, but these new swatches as well.
All right, I'm done with the Flowers palette, so I'm going to go ahead and close it just by clicking on the close box, up at the top of the palette. Now let's say I'm looking at this and I'm thinking that looks nice. It's a nice jumping off point for the violet that I want, but I want to customize this color. Well then, you have got yourself the Color palette right there which you can get to by going to the window menu, and choosing the color command. You have also got keyboard short cut F6 key, or you can get to this Color palette from both the Control palette and from the Appearance palette, so I'll switch back to swatches up here, want to show you how to get to it from either appearance or control, and notice if you hover over one of these attributes here, you will see hold shift key to bring up an alternate color UI, well, guess what your alternate color UI is. If I Shift-click then I get the Color palette.
That means then I have control over the primaries, the theme like CMYK primaries in this case that make up this color, and I can tweak them as much as I like. So I could go ahead and bring the C value up to 65, and I could take that K value down to 0, so that we are just looking at Cyan and Magenta ink mixed together which is going to give us thoroughly saturated violets and purples. We will be talking more about mixing your own colors in a couple of exercises, but in the mean time in the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to open up the ultimate color library inside of Photoshop which is PANTONE. Stay tuned.
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