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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
In an ironic twist, one of the most common types of color adjustment that designers need to make inside of Illustrator involves the removing of color. For example, when we need to take a full color document like I have right here and convert it to grayscale. Now, if your document contains gradients or patterns or symbols, that may be a very tedious process. However, with the Recolor Artwork feature inside of Illustrator that only can we do in one step, but we have a variety of different ways to make that process happen. In this video, I'll show you three specific ways to do that. First, I'm going to select all of artwork, I'm going to choose Command+A on the Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows. I'll go to the Edit menu, I'll choose Edit Colors and then I'll choose over here Convert to Grayscale. So there it is just one step, pretty simple, pretty easy.
Now, I want to show you the other two possible methods as well only because it gives you the ability to control different aspects of that conversion. So, I'm going to press Undo, go back to our full color version here and with all my artwork selected, I'm now going to go and choose to open up the Recolor Artwork feature by clicking on the Recolor Artwork button here in the control panel. Now, I don't need to worry about colors and so on and so forth because I'm simply going to convert all this to grayscale and I'll do that by using one of the Global Adjust settings. So I'll click on this little pop-up down over here and I'll choose Global Adjust, it doesn't make a difference if I'm in the Assign tab or the Edit tab because those are both available at the bottom of the Recolor Artwork dialog box. Now what I want to focus on here is the Saturation slider, by reducing the saturation of my document I'm actually removing the color and I'm turning everything into a neutral color till it grays.
So, I'll just click on this slider right here and drag it all the way to the left where it's -100. In doing so when I release the mouse you will see that everything becomes black and white. Now depending on your artwork you may see better results in this method as opposed to the other method we have done so far which simply use that one click option of converting things to grayscale. Let me click Cancel here and I'll show you one other way that you could use the Recolor Artwork feature inside of Illustrator to convert your artwork to grayscale. This way while it's little bit more complex, it does give you more control of what you can get with this conversion. I'll start over here by opening up the dock here and I'm going to focus on the Swatches panel here, I actually want to load some additional color groups to my document.
Now, if I'm working with a regular plain document by default Illustrator adds a grayscale version of a group. Since I don't have that in this particular document, I'm going to go over here to this button called Swatch Libraries menu, I'll chose to load Default Swatches and I'll choose Basic CMYK. You can see over here there is a color group which is called Grays. I'm going to take that entire folder right here, click and drag it here to add it to my document. So now you can see that the Grays color group has been added to my Swatches panel. I can close this panel right now. I don't need it anymore. I just needed to make sure that these got into my particular document.
So, now what I'll do is with all my artwork selected, I'll choose once again to open the Recolor Artwork dialog box and I'll have Illustrator remap all my colors to that gray color group. Now, the reason why I have more control over this is because now I'm able to map a specific color to a specific shade of gray and I can click on the button over here to randomly change the color order so I could experiment with different possible ways this can be converted to grayscale. Likewise I can click and drag on any color to adjust specifically how that she gets switched. So, there you have it, three possible ways to convert your full color artwork into grayscale version. And it doesn't make a difference what your artwork is made of with of course the sole exception of placed images. However, if you are working with artwork created inside of Illustrator, you can easily convert it to these different shades of gray always by going to the Edit menu and choosing to Convert to Grayscale, by desaturating your image or by converting all of your colors to a specific group made up entirely of gray colors.
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