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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.
In this exercise we are going to take a collection of path outlines from Illustrator. We are going to copy them and paste them into Photoshop. We are going to make some pixel level modifications and save our work as a layer PSD file. Then we are going to place that PSD file with all of its transparency intact here in the Illustrator. I'm working inside a file called Unlikely dinosaur story.ai, found inside the 21_photoshop folder. And I don't know if you've read this text or not, but it's a story about how dinosaurs are going to wage this battle with teens from the future and these are them right there, flying through the sky.
Now they're not terribly realistically rendered which is fine, but I would like them to be a little soft and a little bit glowly as well. That's something I can do in Illustrator, but it's not handled as efficiently or as elegantly as it is inside of Photoshop. So I prefer to take the objects over to Photoshop, make my changes there since Photoshop does a brilliant job of handling blur and other pixel level of effects, and place the results back here in Illustrator. So I'm going to click on the path outline of one of these guys with a Black Arrow tool to select it and I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose the Copy command or I could press Ctrl+C, Command +C on the Mac and then I will go up to the Object menu and I'll choose Hide and I'll choose Selection.
You can also pres Ctrl+3 or Command+3 if you want to. You could also turn off the objects inside the layers panel if you prefer. I just want to get them out of there. I don't want to delete them. I just want to hide them, so that we can replace them in just a moment. Now I am going to switchover to Photoshop and inside Photoshop I would like you to start things off by going to the Window menu and choosing the Info command. Inside the Info panel you will see there is this little X, Y item. Click on it and switch to Pixels. It's important that you're working in pixels almost all the time when you're working inside of Photoshop, because that gives you the most accurate feedback.
Anyway, assuming that you're working in pixels, go to the File menu and choose the New command or press Ctrl+N, Command +N on the Mac and you should see Preset set to Clipboard automatically, meaning that Photoshop is sensitive to the contents of the clipboard and is automatically creating a document big enough to accommodate that clipboard. Now it's possibly a Resolution value is set to 72 pixels per inch, in which case bump it up to 300 and you're also going to have to raise your Width and Height value and the values you see there onscreen are the ones I want you to use. So Width should be a 1052 pixels, Height should be 1413 pixels, Resolution 300 pixels per inch, Color mode RGB is just fine, after all these teens are just white at this point.
They are just kind of these white objects. So it doesn't matter what color mode we are in. Then in Background Contents you should set that to Transparent. That is important. We need transparency in the background if we are going to convey that transparency to Illustrator. The rest of the stuff doesn't matter that much. I am going to go ahead and call my file Future teens just so that I'm prepared when I go to save it. I will click OK and I end up with this checkerboard pattern right here. Now my checkerboard pattern may look a little different than yours. Don't worry about that. The next thing you're going to do is go to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command or press Ctrl+V, Command+V on a Mac.
You'll get this familiar dialog box, leave it set to Smart Object, click OK. And we now have the Smart Object layer as soon as you press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to accept the placement of the file. Now I want you to hide that Info panel by double-clicking to the right of the Info tab. We need to get rid of this layer 1 thing that's left over from creating the final in the first place. Just click on it, press the Backspace key or the Delete key of a Mac to get rid of it. Now go up to the Image menu, choose the Canvas Size command.
Here inside the Canvas Size dialog box what canvas size allows you to do though, is to essentially either crop or uncrop the image. In our case we are going to uncrop. We need some additional room up top and at the sides and so on. So we are going to add some empty room to the file by turning on the Relative check box. That's very important. Then I want you to enter a Width value of 100 pixels and a Height value of a 100 pixels as well. This center chiclet right there should be selected so that you're going to expand in all different directions.
That would be 50 pixels up, 50 pixels down, 50 pixels to left, 50 pixels to the right. Why 50 pixels? Because half of a hundred in each direction. Click OK and you get this effect here. Next I want to blur these guys just a little bit. We can zoom in on them if you want to so that you can see this amazing artistry that I applied to these guys. Go up to the Filter menu with this layer selected. So the Vector Smart Object layer needs to be active here in the layers panel. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and choose Gaussian Blur.
Now that is an effect that's available inside of Illustrator. It doesn't even come with the preview. You can't even see what you're doing whereas here inside Photoshop, brilliant preview. You can see exactly what you're doing out here inside the Image window. You can also click on one of these guys in order to see him inside of the dialog box. A Radius of 2 pixels is what I want for this blur value. Click OK. Now let's give these guys a mysterious futuristic glow by going down here to the fx icon, clicking on it, choosing the Outer Glow command.
I've got my glow set up so that it's white and that's what I suggest for this effect too. So click on your little swatch icon there and go ahead and drag this little circle to the upper left hand corner. Now your field might be yellow, that's fine, it doesn't matter so long as you drag the circle up to the far upper left corner then you're going to white. Click OK. I want you to take the Opacity value down to 70% and then I am going to take the Size value up to 30 pixels like so, so that we have just this outstanding amount of blur and then I want you to go up to the File menu and choose the Save As command or you can choose Save if you like, either one is going to work and go ahead and point to the 21_photoshop folder as I've done and let's call this file Future teens.psd, the layers check box should be turned on.
You want the format to be the native PSD file format. Make sure that the ICC Profile check box is turned on as well and click the Save button. Now then because we have a transparent background as you can see here that transparency is going to be conveyed to Illustrator. Let's go back to Illustrator now and I'm once again working away inside this Unlikely dinosaur story file, the work in progress, with the teens turned off. I'm going to go up to the File menu and choose the Place command. There is Future teens.psd.
Click on the Place button, make sure by the way, Link is turned on, Template should be turned off. Click Place and there is your Teens right there with all transparency. Look at that! We can see right through them to the dinosaur. We need to move them over, like so. So I will drag one of the edges of this image to this location here, so that these sort of spectral figures are sort of floating in the sky and I don't know who's more terrified, them or the dinosaurs. Definitely, an epic battle. Thanks to the power of Illustrator and Photoshop working hand in hand.
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