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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to drag and drop swatches on to deselected objects in order to change their Fill or Stroke attributes. So, here's our Richer artwork.ai file so far. I have modified it since I opened it in the previous exercise and here is the goal that we are going for right here. Let's go ahead and turn off the Transparency Grid for the Goal, and so we can see that we have a lot of additional filling to go, and we are going to have to modify the Stacking Order quite a bit as well. So I'm going to go and switch back to our illustration in progress.
Make sure that your Swatches palette is up on screen. I'm going to go to the Flyout menu right here and I'm going to choose Medium Thumbnail View, just so that we have bigger thumbnails to grab. I also need to make sure that my fill is active and I can see down at the bottom of the toolbox, that it's not. So I'm going to press the X key to make the fill active and now I'm going to start dragging and dropping these swatches in order to color these concentric circles. So I'm going to grab the Pale Gray Swatch right there, and I'm going to move it on to the outline for this circle right here.
See that. I need to make sure that I'm hitting the outline because I'll go ahead and show you, I'll release and notice that I affect the fill, I affect the active attribute. The reason I have to hit that path outline is because I'll press Ctrl+K or Command+K on a Mac to open the Preferences dialog box. I will click the Next button. I had you turn on Object Selection by Path Only which means that you have to hit the path, you actually have to nail the path, you can't be sloppy in clicking the middle of a path, click its fill in order to make it active. You have to hit the path outline. That means you have to be more careful, but it also gives you way more Flexibility when working with complex illustrations, and every illustration ultimately gets complicated.
So, I'm going to click Cancel in my case because that was already turned on, then I'm going to go ahead and grab Medium clay and I'm going to drag it and drop it on to this path outline and change its fill. So you might sit here and think, Well why aren't we hitting these strokes? The reason is fill is the active attribute. If you want to hit the other attribute, the inactive attribute, for example I'll drag white on to this circle right there. If I wanted to change the fill, I would press the Shift key and drop and notice now I get the inactive attribute instead. That's not what I want of course. So I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac. I could also just press the X key, so Stroke becomes the active attribute and work that way.
Anyway, that's not what I want. I like what I got. So I'm going to drag white by the way and drop it on to this circle right there in order to change it to white and then I'll grab Pale clay and I'll drag it on to this circle right here with a thicker stroke and drop it. The next one I want is white, once again, on to this circle and then finally for this innermost circle of this group of circles anyway. I will go over to the one we haven't visited yet, Light clay at least we haven't visited it in this exercise and I'll drop it and there we go. At this point, we have lost a circle and so if I hover my cursor around here, I should be able to find it. There it is. There is a circle right at that location and I can tell because I have that square next to my cursor right, and I can click in order to select it, and I wouldn't be able to click and select it.
I am selecting through other objects to get to it without performing any special keyword wonkiness. I can just click and grab it and the reason I can do it is because I have this check box turned on. So it allows you to get into your illustration and select all the various bits and pieces. You get that wonderful notification of that little square next to the arrow cursor to tell you that there is an object at that location. So it's a great way to work and I'm only harping on it because it's turned off by default, which I consider to be ridiculous actually. But I guess it's great for new users, so whatever, but you are not a new user. You are going to be an experienced user. So I'm canceling out for you.
I need to go ahead and bring this guy forward because he is buried. He doesn't want to live there; he wants to live farther forward. So I'm going to right-click and notice I don't have to right-click right on the object. That would be Ctrl-clicking if you don't have a right mouse button on a Mac. You can right-click anywhere, and then choose Arrange and then choose Bring Forward. I don't want to send him all the way to the front, so I'll just choose Bring Forward and that didn't work, as he is not far enough forward apparently. So I'll right-click again, Ctrl-click on a Mac, and choose Arrange and choose Bring Forward. And this time I'm going to assign that keyboard shortcut to memory.
Ctrl+Right bracket, Command+Right bracket on a Mac, because I'm going to have to do it multiple times, because that again didn't work. Ctrl+Right bracket again, Command+Right bracket on the Mac. Ctrl+Right bracket again, Command+Right bracket on a Mac. Ctrl+Right bracket again, Ctrl+Right bracket again. Ctrl+Right bracket again, Ctrl+Right bracket again, there it is. And that's Command+Right bracket several times on a Mac. I think I did it like seven or eight times in all. Doesn't matter, there it is. All is well. That was a pain in the neck though, having to do that that many times. Turns out there is a better way and it goes by two names, Paste in Front and Paste in Back, and we will witness those two different better ways in the next exercise.
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