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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
I am back in Illustrator, looking at the contents of the Big artboard.ai file found inside the 21_photoshop folder and in this exercise, we are going to turn off that rear items layer there in the layers panel. We are going to turn on the knot layer and we are going to go ahead and select this knot, copy it and then paste it into Photoshop and that will provide us with a world of additional creative options. So here's what I'd like you to do if you are working along with me. Go up to the View menu, choose Guides and choose Lock Guides to turn the command off. So we want the command off so that we can select that little guide that target guide in the center there.
Then I want you to press Ctrl+A, or Command+A on the Mac, to select every visible object inside of this illustration, assuming, of course, that you turned off the rear items layer and you turned on the knot layer. Then go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command. Now, at this point, it's probably useful to review your Clipboard options, your Clipboard Preference settings, although it's unlikely that they've got changed because I didn't tell you to change them and probably nobody else did, but let's just make sure everything is honky-dory. By pressing Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac, to bring up Preferences, then switch to this option right there; File Handling & Clipboard, and notice, our Copy As options down here.
Copy As PDF, we definitely want that turned on. You also want AICB that is Adobe Illustrator Clipboard turned on. That doesn't offer transparency support, but that's okay because we'll have two variations on this artwork ready to go and then Photoshop can pick and choose which one it needs and we want Preserve Appearance and Overprints turned on as well. So as I say, these are the defaults settings but they do need to be active for this technique to work. I am just going to go ahead and cancel up because I already had it set up that way. And then I am going to switch over to Photoshop here, and notice inside Photoshop, I already have Raster background.tif open and that file is found inside the 21_photoshop folder.
Then go up to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command or you can press Ctrl+V, Command+V on the Mac. Now you should see this dialog box right here. If you don't, if you end up pasting something weird that you didn't intend to paste or you paste a piece of artwork that you'd last copied inside of Photoshop, what you need to do is quit Photoshop and then restart the program. Sometimes Photoshop has a problem of importing the active clipboard from the operating system. Anyway, quitting and restarting should solve the problem, then copy the artwork again inside Illustrator and then try pasting it in Photoshop, and you get four Paste As options.
We are going to take a look at Smart Object last, so let's start with Pixels. What Pixels does is it goes ahead and converts your vector-based artwork to raster arts so you go ahead and rasterize the art at the current resolution of the image. So in our case, it's going to exactly match the background just as it did inside of Illustrator. Those new pixels will arrive on an independent layer so we can modify them independently of the background art, which is great, by the way, that's really awesome, but it's not the best solution. Next is Path and what that does is it goes ahead and pastes the path outlines into the Paths panel.
That's useful if you want to generate a selection inside of Photoshop; there is other stuff you can do, but here's a caveat. It's got to be just like one or two path outlines or a compound path because you are going to lose the Fill and Stroke attributes and the Paths panel isn't going to have the vaguest idea of what to do with our Live Paint objects. So it won't work; we don't want that. Shape layer is going to do pretty much the same thing except it's going to result in a vector-based shape layer here inside Photoshop. The problem is it's still governed by a path outline that's housed inside the Paths panel.
So again, it's good for one or two path outlines or a compound path; you are going to lose your Fill and Stroke attributes; it's no good for a Live Paint object like we have. If you want to retain everything about that illustration including editability so you can go back and the Illustrator make changes then you want Smart Object. This guy is the way to go, and if you are not familiar with Smart Objects inside Photoshop, don't fret because I am going to walk you through how they work. But here's the deal, it's like a special container inside of Photoshop that holds all of the editable information, and it means that you are rasterizing the artwork on the fly; you'll get the best possible results.
So go ahead and click OK, and then you'll end up seeing the knot onscreen; it's going to look choppy and awful; don't worry about that. Illustrator hasn't really render things out properly. You can go ahead and zoom in if you want to and you'll see better resolution, but you won't see any anti-aliasing. So you'll see jagged pixel transitions. Anyway, you will see this X through your artwork. So this X is just like Adobe's universal sign for a strange element. We saw it associated with a linked image inside of Illustrator. Now, we see it associated with a rasterized vector object here inside of Photoshop.
Well, it only appears during the place process right at the beginning here. You can make modifications to the size if you want to and I am going to do that just for the sake of demonstration. I am going to reduce the size of this object and I am going to do that by Shift+Alt+Dragging one of the corner handles, that would be a Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac in order to reduce the size of that knot. It's not really something we want, but it's going to be useful for demonstrational purposes. So I'll reduce the size of the knot ultimately, let's say, just so that we have a memorable number.
I'll go up here to the Options Bar which is analogous to Illustrator's Control panel. Make sure that you turn on the Chain icon so that we are linking both the Height and Width values, and I am going to change its value to 50%, either Width or Height and we'll get 50 for both, of course. Then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times to accept that modification and rasterize the artwork on the fly here inside Photoshop. I am going to zoom in so you can see that the artwork is super-smooth because now Photoshop has gone ahead and applied its anti-aliasing which is the way that Photoshop reconciles the fact that you have curving segments here that are cutting through square pixels.
And so it ends up creating a smoothing effect, it's where you'd be coming, looks totally awesome. Now also notice I want you to see that we have a Vector Smart Object over here inside the layers panel, and that little Page icon right there indicates that we have a smart object which is full illustration with all the vector objects, the Live Paint information, all the gradients, everything, that's embedded inside the Smart Object container here inside Photoshop, and we'll see what that all means and why it's so great in the next exercise.
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