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Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.
Anti-aliasing, as we have learned, is both a blessing and a curse. While it allows us to see beautiful, clean graphics on a computer screen, it can also do certain things to our web graphics that are somewhat less appealing. In fact, there are times when you may want to disable anti-aliasing, and one of the great things about Illustrator is that you can do so on an object by object basis. Let's take this file for example. I am going to go to the View menu; I am going to turn on Pixel Preview. So I can now see the anti-aliasing that's going to appear on this particular document. Now, right off the bat, you will notice that this particular object in the middle looks better than the ones in the left and the right of it. That's because on this object the stroke for that object has been set to align towards the inside of the path.
I can do the same, let's say, for this object and for this one as well. And that may be great, but sometimes you will find that text becomes unreadable because of how blurry it gets when it turns anti-alias. In those cases there isn't much that you can do except to disable the anti-aliasing for that particular object. Now remember, anti-aliasing does smooth out objects so they look better on a computer screen. So what it really boils down to is do you want something that looks a little bit prettier but is too blurry to read, or do you want something that does not look as great but that you can easily see the words? That's the decision that you as a designer will always have to make.
So let's take a look at this example. I will use my Selection tool to select this object right here; a regular text object. This is currently set now to Myriad Pro, Regular, and its set at 14 Points. The anti-aliasing that gets applied does make it somewhat blurry. So what I will do is I will go over to the Effect menu and I will choose an option here called Rasterize. Now, when you apply things to the Effect menu inside of Illustrator that effect gets added as we call a live effect; meaning it's added in a nondestructive fashion. So even though this object is text, I am performing now a Rasterize effect on it. Meaning I am turning it into pixels, but because it's a live effect, the text still remains text, therefore it's still editable.
If you look towards the bottom of the Rasterize dialog box, you will see where it says Options; Anti-aliasing is currently set to None. That means this object will not receive any anti-aliasing. If I click OK, I have rasterized that object without getting any of the anti-aliasing effects. So you can clearly see that these objects on the left and the right side have an Anti-aliasing applied, but this text object right here has no Anti-aliasing applied. Likewise, I can do the same for the rectangle as well. I can click on it, go to the Effect menu, choose Rasterize, and then click OK, making sure that the Anti-aliasing setting is still set to None.
Depending on the artwork that you create, you may find it easier to disable Anti-aliasing rather than trying to get it to look just right. At the end of the day though, it's all in your hands, the designer, to decide when objects should be anti-aliased and when they shouldn't.
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