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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
All right in this exercise we're going to assign the actual real desired color to this circle that I've selected inside of the Ton-po shapes.ai file that's available to you inside the 05_Fill and strokes Folder. And along the way, as we assign the proper color here, I'm going to show you a few tips and tricks that I think you're going to want to be aware of here when dialing your own colors. Some I'm going to Shift-click on this swatch here, the first watch here inside of the Control palette, in order to bring up the Color palette and notice I'm looking at the RGB colors right now. You can switch between Grayscale, which just gives you a black slider and allows you to dial in a shade of gray.
You've got RGB, we've seen that. You've got HSB, which is hue, saturation and brightness. I'll go ahead and switch to that for a moment. The hue is basically the rainbow color, you can see this little rainbow slider right there, and I'll make it more vivid by tweaking up the saturation value. Saturation determines how vivid or how gray the color is. And then brightness determines how light or how dark it is. It's just another way of assigning colors inside of Illustrator, typically best used when you're working inside of an RGB document and you're going to screen. We're not, so probably not the best way to work. We've got CMYK, saw that. We've got Web Safe RGB, which is just the Web safe palette, that Web safe palette that's ensured to work just as well on either a Mac or a PC or any other platform that, with the computer that can only display 256 colors. You don't see folks use the Web Safe RGB palette nearly like they used to in the dim old days of the Web.
I want to switch from RGB to CMYK and I can switch to CMYK just by choosing it or here's a little trick you might want to be aware of. Notice this spectrum bar down here at the bottom of the palette, that allows you just to click on a color in order to select it. Well, if you Shift-click on that bar then you'll switch to a different color model. You'll cycle through the color models in the list, and by Shift-clicking I went from HSB to CMYK, which is exactly what I wanted. Now I'm going to go ahead and select my cyan value, and I'm going to dial in 0, because I don't want any cyan, and then I'm going to tab, I'm going to press the Tab key, to advance the next value. Another little trick for you to be aware of.
I'm going to enter 10, or by the way I could also nudge this value up if I wanted to from the keyboard. Notice that. Or nudge it down. I'm pressing the up and down arrow keys. If you want to nudge it in 10% increments you press Shift along with one of these arrow keys. So notice that takes you to the nearest 10% increment by pressing Shift and the up or down arrow. Next I'm going to tab to yellow, change it to 25, tab to the black, change it to 25 as well and we get a nice, cool sort of terra-cotta color going on there. So a low saturation color that I think is better suited to this ancient 260-day Aztec calendar. Next I want to dial in the stroke color, and there's a couple different ways to switch to stroke. One is to Shift-click on the stroke icon here inside the Control palette, so that I'm still working inside of the drop-down Color palette here.
Or I could click on the stroke icon here inside the Color palette all the way over here in the upper right corner of the screen. You can also switch between these colors, between emphasis that is, switch focus between the fill and stroke by pressing the X key. Notice how those guys switch back- and-forth that way when you press the X key. And if you press Shift+X, you swap them like that. There's Shift+X for you. Okay, just something to be aware of. All right now that I've got my stroke active I can go ahead and click on black, click on this little black guy right there, in order to zero out the CM and Y values and set the K value to 100%.
Just one other thing to note, if I click, notice if I click inside the CMYK spectrum, I would just go ahead and lift a color for this stroke, but if I Alt-click inside of the spectrum, I'll go ahead and Alt-click or Option-click on a yellow color here, I assign it to the opposite attribute, to the inactive attribute, in this case fill. So yet another way to work. And of course since I just went and obliterated my good colors, note that you can undo color applications inside of Illustrator by pressing Control+Z, Control+Z a couple of times in a row in my case. Command+Z, Command+Z a couple of times in a row on the Macintosh for you Macintosh people. So we've finally done it. We've gone ahead and assigned the proper CMYK values to this circle right here. We're going to do lots more coloring starting in the next exercise.
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