Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustration by Don Barnett

Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Cool Bridge tricks

In this final exercise, I'm going to throw a few last minute tips and tricks at you for working inside of the Bridge that are specifically geared toward organizing digital illustrations. I say that because a lot of the Bridge is about digital imagery. That is, a day shoot. You go out there with a digital camera, you come back, you are reviewing your 200, 300, 400 images. You are giving them star ratings. You are prioritizing them. You are accepting some, rejecting others; it's that kind of thing. That's far less important when you are reviewing illustrations, for most folks anyway.
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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

Cool Bridge tricks

In this final exercise, I'm going to throw a few last minute tips and tricks at you for working inside of the Bridge that are specifically geared toward organizing digital illustrations. I say that because a lot of the Bridge is about digital imagery. That is, a day shoot. You go out there with a digital camera, you come back, you are reviewing your 200, 300, 400 images. You are giving them star ratings. You are prioritizing them. You are accepting some, rejecting others; it's that kind of thing. That's far less important when you are reviewing illustrations, for most folks anyway.

If you are the graphic artist, if you are putting the illustrations together or the designs together if you prefer, then it's unlikely you are going to say hey, this one is a five star illustration and this one is a one star illustration, because you did them all, you like them all. You put a lot of time and effort into them. The situation where you might want to star rating things is if you are an Art Director and you are getting assets from a bunch of different people, a bunch of different contractors, and you are trying to decide which ones you like and which ones you don't like, then it becomes a star rating game.

The easiest way to assign star ratings is to go ahead and select a thumbnail in the Content panel, and then notice you have got these five little dots underneath the thumbnail. Then just click on one of them. In this case I get a three star illustration, for example. Then I'll click over on this guy and I say well, he is a five star illustration or something along those lines. Then if you don't want the star rating, if you want to remove it, you just go ahead and click on this little ghost buster's icon; its very tiny right there, but that will go ahead and remove that star rating from the mix. You can also filter items by star ratings, using this little star guy right there. So you could just show the ones that are two stars or more, that sort of thing.

Now, in terms of customizing the interface, I want you to go up to the Edit menu, and I want you to choose the Preferences command or you could press Ctrl+K, that's Command+K on the Mac, and of course Preferences is available from the Bridge menu. I am going to go over here to General, and notice that you have separate controls for adjusting the Image Backdrop, so that you can see the illustrations in our case against the very dark background or a very light background, depending on how you want to work. I usually like to work against a pretty dark background actually.

Then you can also change the Interface Brightness. So currently the interface is quite bright, but you could dim it up, and if you dim it far enough, you are going to get white type against the dark background instead of dark type or black type against the light background. So those are your options there, so you can set that up however you prefer, completely up to you. Now, notice this guy. I like this option. Ctrl-click Opens the Loupe When Previewing or Reviewing, and that's going to be Command-click on the Mac. If I click OK now, notice that I no longer automatically get the magnifying glass when I'm working with this illustration here inside the Preview panel. I have to actually press and hold the Ctrl key and click to get the loupe. That would be a Command-click for the loupe on the Mac.

By the way, I don't know if I showed you this, but you can actually zoom the loupe if you want to. I'm using the Scroll Wheel to do it. You could also press the Plus key to zoom in and the Minus key to zoom out. I'm going to go ahead and hide it. I really love that, because that way you are not accidentally bringing up the loupe at any given time, which I have found to be something of a pain in the neck with Bridge CS3. All right. I'm going to go over to the Edit menu and choose Preferences again. That would be Bridge > Preferences on the Mac. Let's go ahead and switch to Thumbnails. All these items will preview in the background, so you can get a sense of what things are going to look like.

You can show Additional Metadata underneath the thumbnails. Currently we are just using the file name, but I could see the date created if I turn on Date Created; you can see it right there. I can see the Dimensions, which can be kind of useful for illustrations, even more useful, I think; I'll turn that off as Size, so that you can see the size of the illustration on disk, which is nice. Then I'm going to click OK for a moment so you can see this. If you decide you just want to see the thumbnails by themselves. Let's say I have made the Contents panel pretty big so I can see all these thumbnails, and I want to see the thumbnails without all the garbage underneath it, then I would just press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac. To bring that information back up, it's Ctrl+T or Command+T again. Think T for thumbnail of course.

You know what, why don't we do this from the keyboard, Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac, to bring up the Preview dialog box. The only other item I want to show you is this guy right here, Cache. My recommendations have varied over time where keeping track of the Cache is concerned. I will tell you what the cache is. Basically, the Bridge is doing things and the biggest thing it's doing is it's trying to keep track of these thumbnails. It's giving you this big old previews or the small previews or however big a preview its giving you, and it actually goes ahead and saves those, so it doesn't have to continually regenerate those previews over and over again. They get saved to a centralized cache, which is in this location right here, C:\Users\your username\ blah, blah, blah; it's a little different on the Mac of course. You can specify different location for the cache if you want to.

You can also ask to Automatically Export Cache To Folders When Possible, which is a pretty darn good idea. If you are, for example, generating CDs and DVDs and you want that cache to be there, and you are all using Bridge CS4, so you want to be able to save time for everybody, and you want people to see your sort orders, for example, or if you are working on a network volume, and so you are trading information with other people. What they see in their Bridge and what you see in your Bridge needs to be the same. Then you want to go ahead and automatically Export Cache.

Problem with Automatically Export Cache, I use to say do it all the time, no matter what, the problem is where I have gotten fatigued by this is each version of the Bridge seems to not support the cache files from the previous version, and that means you can end up with this folder that has like ten cache files inside of it, from the first Bridge and then the second Bridge; which was CS3, and then a third Bridge here, which is CS4. So unless you really have a reason to do it, I just say turn it off and just let it deal with it itself. The good news is you have got a cache size. So rather than letting the caches completely take over your system; in the old days you could end up with 2 gigabytes, 3 gigabytes of cache on your hard drive that you didn't even know about, and that's just crippling when you are working on a laptop, because your laptop, hard drive is only so big.

That now you can say okay, only cache 10 ,000 files, or you can cache more files if you want to; if you are working on a tower and you have got a ton of hard drive space and that kind of thing, then you can go nuts. But I would keep it low if you are working on a laptop. This is actually a pretty low value, but you can take it lower still if you want to. You can Compact the Cache if you are running into problems. You can click on that and it's going to compress the cache files, or you can just get rid of the darn thing. If you are running out of hard drive space and you go, what the heck, I wonder if it's a cache. Give this a try, Purge that Cache, and see if you don't recover a lot of hard drive space. You very well might. Especially if you have been working with the program for more than a year.

All right. I'm going to go ahead and cancel out of here, because I didn't actually do anything. The one other additional item that I want to show you; if you are running into problems where you are not seeing your thumbnails properly, or they are not previewing properly, or something is just going haywire, here is a top secret command that you should know about, very important command. Go up to tools, go down here to Cache, and go to this guy right there, Purge Cache For Folder, and whatever is the name of the folder you are working in. That will Purge all of those cache files, and it will regenerate them. Now, that will take a moment, but that is going to get rid of all of the bad stuff.

So you are basically breathing out the bad air, taking in the good. It's regenerating all of these thumbnails, and it's going to give you the proper results. Go ahead and choose Cache, Purge Cache, out with the bad air, in with the good, and we have properly generated thumbnails now, and we will see actually properly generated previews as well. Everything is going to be generated anew, and everything should be in good shape. That is your tour of opening and organizing illustrations in Illustrator and Bridge CS4.

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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