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Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.
I would like to take a moment to take a closer look at slices inside of Illustrator. You may have noticed that when you are creating slices, it appears as if there is two types of slices. To illustrate this, I am actually going to create a slice in this document, I will use the Regular Slice tool and I click and drag to create a slice. Notice that when I release the mouse, I see that I have created a slice here but take a look at some of the numbers that were created. See this one over called 1, this slice is number 2, this slice is number 3, 4, so and so forth. But take a look at the actual color of the box here. The number is 3 is in a bright colored grid, whereas these are tilted back. They are grayed out somewhat.
Well if you understand really what a slice is; a slice is simply a cell within an overall table and that table fills the entire art-board that I have set right now inside of Illustrator. So Illustrator doesn't just create a table of just one region right here, it actually uses the entire art-board as one large table. Since I have created a slice in just this region over here, Illustrator automatically filled in all the other regions to basically fill-out the rest of that table. When working inside of Illustrator, when you specifically create a slice, that slice has its very dark color that appears here. The slices that Illustrator creates are the ones that are grayed out. We refer to these as User Slices; the ones that you have created and then Auto Slices; those are the ones that Illustrator automatically creates to fill-out the rest of the grid.
You will notice that as you create and draw more slices, the ones that you create will always appear in the darker color and the ones that Illustrator creates, the Auto Slices always appear in the lighter color. For some web workflows, it really doesn't make a difference if slices are User Slices or Auto Slices. At the end of the day, they are just slices. However, there are some certain workflows where it's important to create these User Slices because we will be able to take advantage of that. For example, when we are exporting all of our artwork, Illustrator does give us the option to say let's export only the User Slices and not the Auto Slices. As we explore more usage for slices inside of Illustrator, we will find more and more uses for these user slices.
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