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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
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Defining groups


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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Defining groups

As you begin working with more complex artwork inside of Illustrator you will find it necessary to work with groups. On a superficial level it makes sense to work with groups because it makes it easy to edit your artwork. However in this video I want to focus on some of the core concepts of what a group is, because when we start to understand that we see that there is a far more deeper meaning in using groups. In fact, we will find that we will create groups to help create the kind of artwork that we need. Let's take a closer look. I have this file open here called defining_groups; you can find it inside of Chapter 09 of your exercise files.
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  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
8h 25m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Making efficient use of the Illustrator interface
  • Creating text on a path
  • Using the Magic Wand and Lasso selection tools
  • Working with a pressure-sensitive tablet
  • Applying 3D extrusions and resolves
  • Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
  • Exporting files for use in Photoshop, Flash, and other applications
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Defining groups

As you begin working with more complex artwork inside of Illustrator you will find it necessary to work with groups. On a superficial level it makes sense to work with groups because it makes it easy to edit your artwork. However in this video I want to focus on some of the core concepts of what a group is, because when we start to understand that we see that there is a far more deeper meaning in using groups. In fact, we will find that we will create groups to help create the kind of artwork that we need. Let's take a closer look. I have this file open here called defining_groups; you can find it inside of Chapter 09 of your exercise files.

I basically have this background that I created, which is locked, so we can't select it. Then I have these two local elements. They are all made up of individual elements. For example, some text, some copy that's been outlined, a couple of shapes here, and an overall white shape in the background. If I go ahead and I click on them to select them, let's say marquee select them to select them all, I see that it can move them around as all as one element. Then I would just press Undo for that. However, I can't just click and drag to move, because then only one of the elements go, so that means that I have to make sure that I select each of the elements when I move this. If I accidentally leave one of the elements behind, that may be of course problematic when I'm working my design.

While it's easy in this case here, where I have locked my background to simply marquee select all these elements, this is a really small design element and in an overall design it may be difficult for me to easily select it; surely to select all the individual elements for that matter. So what we do is we create a group to make it easy to have all elements that are within the same design that work together to be part of one group. For example, in this case here where the constructs are all the same, I'll simply select all these, go to the Object menu and choose Group. Now when I go ahead and I just click once and drag it they all move as an individual unit.

I'll press Undo over here because I want to show you now that there is really a deeper meaning to what a group is. From a purely conceptual standpoint a group is actually a container that contains the pieces of artwork inside of them. To better illustrate this concept, imagine if you had a meal that you were serving at a particular table, and you didn't have any plates. So you took all the elements of your meal; maybe the steak and the vegetables and the fries, and just had them all sitting on the table itself. Now, besides the fact that this would be somewhat messy, imagine if you now decide that you want to sit on the other side of the table and eat your meal.

You couldn't simply pick up your meal itself, you would have to pick up each individual element, as messy as it were, and move them to the other side of the table. Now imagine you had a plate. If you had your entire meal sitting on one individual plate, if you wanted to move from one side of the table to the other, you simply pick up your plate, where all the elements of the meal are on the plate, and move that across the table. Well, when you create a group inside of Illustrator it's a same thing as taking all the elements in your design. In this case here the blue and the red shape and the text that you have here on the white background, and putting them all onto a plate. While this is all very nice from a conceptual standpoint, the reality is that inside of Illustrator when you do create a group you are also creating a physical entity, you are actually creating that plate where all these elements sit on top of. The only thing is though we don't see it. But let me show you an example of how you could easily understand this concept right here inside of Illustrator.

We now have since we have created a group here with the exact same design elements, although the ones on the left here are not grouped, but the ones on the right here are grouped together. Let's apply an effect like maybe, for example, a Drop Shadow to these and see how that particular effect could give a very different appearance based on the way that these graphics are structured. For example, I go ahead and I'll choose to select all these elements here. Remember, these are individual elements. In fact, let's take a look at my Appearance panel. Open up the Appearance panel. It says here right now my selection or my target actually consists of mixed objects. I'll go ahead now and I'll choose Effect, Stylize, and I'll add a Drop Shadow. I'll just use the default setting. You could see now that each individual element that I had selected got its own Drop Shadow.

Now, that may be the effect that I might want to look for but most likely it isn't. I probably wanted a Drop Shadow to apply to the entire element as a whole. Well, let's focus on the group right now. If I go ahead and I click on the group, take a look now what the Appearance panel shows as my target. My target is now my group, not mixed objects. The real meaning of a target is, when I apply any kind of an appearance, the appearance goes onto the target, not to the individual objects that I have selected. Kind of take that out of your mind for a second here. Whenever you create something inside of Illustrator you want to add an effect, like a Drop Shadow for example, or a 3D effect, or so on and so forth. Those are always applied to your target, not to the objects, not to what you have "selected", but to what you have targeted at the moment.

Now remember, before when I had all these elements selected, my target was mixed objects or all individual pieces, however now my target is simply my group or going back to the example we used before, its the plate that all these particular elements are currently sitting on. So now if I go to the Effect menu and I choose to apply that exact same Drop Shadow, the shadow applies to the overall group, or in this particular case here its being applied to that plate. So the plate itself has the Drop Shadow, but not the elements inside of it. That's the beauty of working with groups inside of Illustrator.

To further illustrate this concept let's again take another look at these elements. If I go ahead now and I use my Direct Selection tool to select just this shape right here, this blue shape. Notice that my Appearance panel says my target is my Path, and currently that particular Path has a blue fill, it has no stroke, but it also has a Drop Shadow applied to it. Using the same Direct Selection tool I now click on this particular shape. This again is my Path is my target, I have the same fill and stroke, but there is no Drop Shadow on this object. I never applied a Drop Shadow to this object, however this object is currently sitting on a plate or within a group that has a Drop Shadow on it. In fact, Illustrator is helping me out by letting me know that this path right now, which is my target, is currently sitting within another group that is sitting on top of it in the object hierarchy.

To further illustrate this point, if I take this exact same shape right now and I copy it and I go through a new document and I paste it, there is no Drop Shadow on this particular shape at all. This shape was simply living inside of a group before that had a Drop Shadow. By pulling it out of the group and putting it somewhere else there is no Drop Shadow that's applied to it because the Drop Shadow only belonged to the group. Let me close this document here; I'm not going to cut and save it. Go back to where we were before, and I want to show you one more important concept of how this works. I'll use my Selection tool to once again select this entire group. Now you can see that my target is my group and here I do see that the Drop Shadow is applied to it.

Let's say I decide now that I want to ungroup this particular shape because maybe I want to pull some parts out of it. I'll go ahead to the Object menu and I'll choose Ungroup; the keyboard shortcut is Command+Shift+G or Ctrl+Alt+G on Windows. But now look what happened, my Drop Shadow went away. That's because I threw away the plate that had the Drop Shadow on it, so now the Drop Shadow is gone. Again, further illustrating that the object itself don't get the Drop Shadow, the target gets the Drop Shadow. While in this case over here on the left the target was the mixed objects, meaning that the Drop Shadow on the objects themselves, in this case on the right we apply the Drop Shadow to the group. When we got rid of the group the Drop Shadow went along with it.

So now that we have this core understanding of what a group is inside of Illustrator let's learn a little bit more about how we edit these particular groups, which we will talk about in the next movie.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 Essential Training.


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Q: I cannot get the new brush dropdown to allow me to create either a New Scatter Brush or a New Art Brush; the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. When I go to Windows > Brush Library and choose New Brush, again the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. How do I make these work like they should?
A: In order to create a new Scatter or Art brush, you must first have artwork selected on the artboard.
 
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