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Color palette tips and tricks


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Color palette tips and tricks

In this exercise we are going to set about assigning the proper desired colors to our illustration, instead of these wacky colors, and along the way I'm going to convey to you a bunch of tips and tricks that apply to assigning colors inside of Illustrator. So using the black arrow tool, I'm going to go ahead and select a bunch of objects right here. I'm going to click on this group, Shift-click, Shift-click on this circle, Shift-click on this group, and Shift-click on this one. And notice if you are working along with me, and you turned on object selection by path only, it's easy to miss the paths, as you are trying to select them, just watch for that square underneath your cursor.
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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

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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

Color palette tips and tricks

In this exercise we are going to set about assigning the proper desired colors to our illustration, instead of these wacky colors, and along the way I'm going to convey to you a bunch of tips and tricks that apply to assigning colors inside of Illustrator. So using the black arrow tool, I'm going to go ahead and select a bunch of objects right here. I'm going to click on this group, Shift-click, Shift-click on this circle, Shift-click on this group, and Shift-click on this one. And notice if you are working along with me, and you turned on object selection by path only, it's easy to miss the paths, as you are trying to select them, just watch for that square underneath your cursor.

All right, and then I come up here to the control palette, it is telling me mixed objects, and I would click on the question mark there, because these objects have different fills associated with them. That's why we have the question mark, and then I would click on white in order to fill them all with white like so. Then I want to click on this outer shape, the one that is currently sort of this deep purple color right there, I'll Shift+Tab back my palette, so that I can see them on screen. I want this to be a specific shade of CMYK. Now I'm going to Shift-click once again to bring up my color palette, and notice it's telling me this is PANTONE color now. It's a spot color. You can't even access any of the other sliders, well I can, if I choose a different color model, and notice that we have these two icons right here, one of which tells me we have a spot color click to covert it, and the other says CMYK click to covert, if you click on either of these two colors, you are going to covert over to the CMYK values, to the nearest CMYK equivalent at any rate.

Now I just want to show you how these other guides work there is a few other color models that we have not discussed, there is gray scale which allows you to assign a certain amount of black. That's what K is right there. So from none whatsoever in which case you get white, to full on black in which case you get black. So not a big surprise, let's go ahead and undo that, take ourselves back to the colorful purple right there, right after we converted to CMYK. It's always just pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z a few times in a row. Now HSB is great when you are creating RGB graphics, we aren't, but I'll still show you how it works. You have got this Hue slider at the top, so it's Hue Saturation and Brightness. I'm going take brightness all the way to 100%. Which is obviously going to brighten the color. I could take it down to 0% to darken the color. If I leave it at 100%, you can see the full on Hue value, this is basically a rainbow spectrum going from red and all the way around the color wheel back to red again, and this is how the colors work inside of a standard rainbow for example. So you just grab the Hue value that you want to work with, and saturation determines the color intensity, starting with 100% for full on color, this is too bright for our CMYK document to accommodate, so we are seeing a more muted color on screen, and then you take it down to white in the case of this particular variation on the model. If you wanted something more in the neighborhood of a gray, you would have to take the brightness value down to something like 50% for a medium gray.

All right, let us go ahead and undo those guides so as well just to get back to some more colorful variation. And then finally we have got Web Safe RGB, which is designed to give you access to only those colors that will not change between the Mac and the PC, if those computers had 8 bit monitors attached to them. Now the thing is 8 bit monitors are very rare these days. In old days they use to be the standard, but that's back when I was a child, believe me, it's been a long time now. Now-a-days 16 .8 million colors are available on both your Macs and your PCs. Even if you just bought one for grandma, she has got a great monitor by comparison with older days.

So you do not need to worry about Web safe RGB. Especially since we are working inside of a print document so I'm going to go ahead and switch back to CMYK, and here are the values I want to dial in, I'm going to dial in 0 for Cyan, and then we are going to nudge up the Magenta value, and I can nudge up the value right now at 0 for me anyway, but I could press the up arrow key, notice that in order to increase the magenta value there, that number, by in 1% increments, I could press the down arrow key to reduce it in 1% increments, or if I take it all the way down and press Shift+Up arrow, I'm going to increase the value in 10% increment. And of course if I tab now, press the tab key to advance the color, and I have got a Yellow value of 87.32%. If I press Shift+Down Arrow, I'll reduce that value that value to the nearest 10% increment, and I'm going to press Shift+Down Arrow a few times until I get down to 30, and then I'll press the down arrow several times in order to reduce that value to 25%.

Then I'll just tab to the K value, and change it to 25%, so we get the color that you see right here inside of the circle. So tab advances up by the way from one value to the next, to back up, you press Shift tab, to just say the heck with it, apply the color and hide the palette. You press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. All right, a couple of other things to notice, I want to bring up the color palette for a moment so that we can see these icons right here the Fill/Stroke icons, which you can also see at the bottom of the toolbox, it's just that they don't show up so good on my screen at the bottom of the toolbox, because I'm almost at a screen space by that point. They are also a little bit larger inside the color palette. So fill is active right now, if we wanted to make the stroke active you would click on it and then it becomes the active attributes.

In our case, we want to just go ahead and make that stroke black just by clicking on this black swatch here inside of my CMYK spectrum bar. You can also switch which color is active, by pressing the X key. So notice X makes the fill active. Then X again makes the stroke active. If you want to swap with them each other you press Shift+X, which swaps the two, notice that, and then Shift+X again puts them back where they were. Also, worth noting by the way, I'm going to press the X key to make the fill attribute active. If I click in side of my spectrum bar, I'll lift what ever color I click on, and assign it to the fill, I'll go ahead and undo a couple of times in order to return to my good fill color right there. If you want to change the stroke instead when the fill is active. Then you press the Alt- click and that would be the Option key and click on the Mac. So Option or Alt clicking is changing the inactive attribute, whether it's Fill or Stroke, I'm going to undo that modification as well.

Finally, you can Shift-click on this spectrum ramp to advance to the next color model. So if you Shift-click once, we are going to go Web Safe colors, Shift-click again, we are going to go to Gray Scale right there. Shift-click another time, RGB, Shift -click for HSB, and then finally Shift-click for CYMK. So that's just taking us right around, just cycling through these five color models right here. And the brilliant thing is even though we cycled all the way through Web Safe, which messed up the color, and then Gray Scale, which really messed up the color. We come back to our color. That's pretty amazing, I got to say.

All right, so that gives you a sense of all the different things you can do inside the color palette. It doesn't matter whether the color palettes - the actual color palette or the one that drops down from the Control palette when you Shift-click on the swatch. In the next exercise we are going to do more coloring, and I'm going to show you how to create and save your own color swatches.

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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