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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 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.
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