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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to the sample project and I'm going to explain a few ways that you can work with images inside of Illustrator that you ought not to. Then once we've gotten the worst practices out of the way, we'll move on to the best practices. So I've got two illustrations open here inside of Illustrator and we'll be switching back and forth between Photoshop and Illustrator throughout this chapter by the way. So if you do have both that's a great thing. If you don't, just sit back and watch. The names of the illustrations I have open are Healthcare.ai and this will be the base for all of the stuff that we're going to do for our sample project. Then we've got Final advertisement.ai, which I have up on screen just so as you know where we're going with this project. We're going to introduce this photograph of this woman over here on the right hand side of the document.
And we're going to introduce some masking and some softness and add a few filigrees and so on. And I should say a couple things about what we're seeing here. These filigrees come to us from illustrator Sam Alfano of istockphoto.com. And just in case you're thinking gosh! You see these filigrees all the time. They're very, very popular. And you may be wondering, gosh! How do those guys do that, what tool do they use, do they use like the Spiral tool? Actually they use a couple of tools.
One is the Pen tool and the other is their artistic vision. And talent. That's another good tool. These are hand drawn by the way. This is all hand drawing, believe it or not. It's quite the detailed artwork I'm here to telling you. So, Sam Alfano, once again. If you want filigrees, my goodness! The guy has got all kinds of stuff up there at istockphoto.com and choose from, just do search for filigrees and you'll find it. This photograph comes to us from photographer Jordan Chesbrough also of istockphoto.com. Okay, so let's say we want to introduce this photograph into the artwork, why? We'll work inside Final advertisement right now. First thing I'll do is I'll go ahead and switch over to this image layer, which is where I'm putting the image.
If you twirl that layer open, you'll see that in addition to this bleed clipper which is clipping to the bleed, notice that I have a bleed going outside of my artboard. That I have got these guides and this is actually group of guides, so you can group guides together if you want to inside of Illustrator, I'll go ahead and turn on those guides so we can see him. Then I'm going to Shift+Tab away my palettes once again so I have more room to work since this is such a wide illustration. And I'm going to switch on over to Photoshop here and I did that by pressing Alt+Tab. You can press Command+Tab on the Mac. Here's the original version of the photograph. It's called Orange woman.tif and it's found again inside the 20_images folder.
So let's say we just want to do your old standard everyday average copy and paste which you can do by the way, you can copy an image from Photoshop and then paste it into Illustrator if you have in mind. Though it's not a good idea, but it is the way to work. If you're going to go that route, which I suggest you don't, but just for the sake of this exercise here you have to press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box and you have to make sure Export clipboard is turned on. So that you can copy the image and then when you switch over to Illustrator, you will export the clipboard over to Illustrator. So Illustrator has access to it. Normally though I need to tell you, I recommend you keep this checkbox off.
And you don't go copying and pasting between applications but anyway, go ahead and cancel out here because my Export clipboard is turned on. All right, then you do a Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac to select the entire image and Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac to copy it. Once again we're working inside of Photoshop here, if you don't have Photoshop, don't worry about it. But if you have any version of Creative Suite 4, you've got access to Photoshop, every single CSQ, if you will, includes both Photoshop and Illustrator. Isn't that interesting? As well as the Bridge. So those are your core applications. Now I'm going to Alt+Tab or on a Mac, Comamand+Tab back to Illustrator. I'm going to zoom out from this image and click here and press Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac to paste the image into the illustration.
Now why is this such a bad idea? Well Illustrator is not really designed to handle pixels. It's not an efficient program where pixels are concerned. Like Photoshop really is all about pixels. It's good at compressing the images. It's good at handling the images inside of its memory. Illustrator, not so much. It's bad at compressing effects. You get enormous files if you do copy and paste like this. And it's also, not really good at just managing pixels inside memory. So now if you want to get a sense of what's going on and we'll be visiting this palette quite a bit in the future, go up to the Window menu and choose Links.
That tells you what images are linked to your illustration and you can see that I have got this image right there, Sepia image.psd. It is linked to this illustration right here. Then we have this other one, the color version of the image that we just got done pasting, and it's not linked. Illustrator doesn't know its name. We've got this little icon right there that's showing us that this image is embedded inside of the illustration. So in other words, this guy right here is not going to be saved as a part of illustration. Look how big it is. 8.95 megabytes is huge and Illustrator knows and Illustrator knows all kinds of information about these linked images we'll see. Whereas it knows nothing about this thing that came in from clipboard. All it knows is that it's like a baby left at the doorstep. It can't turn it down.
It's become a big responsibility for it and you know it doesn't even know from where it came. It's going to handle the image, which might be another 8 megabytes, who knows how big it is, but it's going to be a burden for poor old Illustrator here. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and close the Links palette and I'm going to move this image over here like this so it snaps into place. Let's actually drag by the corner so it snaps, there we go, to the Guides. However it's too big. I didn't scale it properly. So I need to scale it and I'll go ahead and grab my Scale tool because that works. You can do things to illustrations. You know big whole illustration modifications, just like you can to big old objects.
I will click in this corner right there to set the origin point and then I'll drag from down here until I snap the size of the image into alignment with this Guide intersection. That looks good. If I were to bring back my Layers palette here and move my image over on screen, then I could turn off the new image for a moment. There it is before so this is the final version, the Sepia image. That's kind of got this line drawing field to it as well. Then here it is now that I have gone ahead and imported the original image. So it's the right size, for you know what I don't know. I have no idea what the resolution of this image is.
Basically Illustrator knows nothing about this image because it came in from the clipboard. So I'm just operating on a wing and a prayer in this case because what are the things I'm going to need to do to this image is I'm going to need to sharpen its detail and sharpening, especially when you're sharpening for output, you want to know the resolution of that image. It really matters, it gets full detail. But you can check out why and my Photoshop sharpening images series tells you all about it. But when you're sharpening inside of Illustrator what you will need to do, because it ain't sharp right now, then we're just hoping for the best. You know we're just operating blind. And I'll show you what that blindness looks like if you will in the very next exercise.
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