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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.
I'm still working away inside Photoshop and I've saved my progress as Beveled knot layer.psd found inside the 21_photoshop folder. Now in this exercise, what I want to do is I want to take this Smart Object here, and I want to edit it inside of Illustrator and then I want to pass my changes back to Photoshop, and that is something you can do very easily as you'll see. However, it might not work the way you would predict. Many folks assume because we have an Illustrator file inside of this Smart Object that it must be linked to an Illustrator file on disk.
So you would make changes inside Illustrator to the original file, and then those changes would be updated here inside Photoshop. That's not the way it works, because the Smart Object is not a link, the way that a placed image is a linked graphic inside of Illustrator. Instead it's an embedded Illustrator file, and that's the only way it works currently with Smart Objects. So what's happened here is that even though Photoshop has no knowledge of things like Live Paint Objects and Custom Guides and all sorts of other stuff that Illustrator can do, why that entire illustration is actually embedded inside of this PSD graphic right here.
If you want to modify that illustration, then you have to do so from Photoshop. So you need to initiate the process in Photoshop, and you do that by double-clicking on the Smart Object thumbnail here inside the layers panel. Now If you don't have big layers thumbnails the way I do, and you want them, you dropdown to this empty area below the layer list, and you right-click and then you choose Large Thumbnails which I think is the best way to go, at least that's my preference when working on large monitors. So that's why I've got it set up this way. But regardless you'd find that thumbnail, double-click on it and that goes ahead and automatically switches you to Illustrator and opens the Vector Smart Object.ai file here inside Illustrator.
Now here is where the confusion comes in. I also have opened my progress file from a couple of exercises back, which is called Just the knot.ai found inside the 21_photoshop folder and this is the collection of path outlines, that I copied, they are still selected here, and then I pasted them into Photoshop. So you would think this would be the collection of objects that are linked to the Photoshop Smart Object but that's not the way it happened, because for one thing we transfer the objects via the Clipboard and a Clipboard doesn't keep track of where the illustration came from.
It doesn't keep track of the file name. But even if we've placed the file directly inside of Photoshop, it still wouldn't work out, it would not be a link; it's an embed. So this is the file that we need to work with right here that's created on-the-fly. It doesn't really exist inside the Photoshop Smart Object container. Let's say what I want to do is I want to take this area right here, and I want to scale it closer. So we go ahead and squeeze these threaded portions of the knot together, so that they're absolutely adjacent to each other, so we don't have these little holes showing up. And I am going to do that using a combination of the White Arrow tool and the Scale tool, but I have got to work pretty carefully here in order to pull it off.
So for starters I am going to press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac, so I can see my original path outlines in the Outline mode, and I am going to marquee around them in order to select these anchor points right here. So these six interior anchor points should become selected. You may end up selecting the Guide Object as well. If so, go up to the View menu, choose Guides and choose Lock Guides to go ahead and lock them down. Having selected these six interior points and nothing else, press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch back to the Preview mode and go ahead and double-click on the Scale tool.
And what you want to do is you want to reduce this uniform value to about 78%, works out very nicely. Notice that it takes these intersecting elements here and grows them so that they're tied to each other. So we get rid of the gaps. If you go too low though with this value, if you take it down to for example I believe it's 71%, yes, then you break the Live Paint Object. So you don't want to go too small with the value. 78 as I say works out nicely. I might even take it up just a little bit. I wanted it as big as it can be and still close off these gaps, because we end up with this other problem we have to solve here and I want to reduce the number of problems we encounter.
So maybe something like 80% is going to work well, and then I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Now let's zoom in, notice these little things that are showing up right there, and I want to get rid of them, using the Live Paint Bucket tool. So go ahead and select the Live Paint Bucket. You may have to go to the Shape Builder tool and switchover. Also, by the way, if you double-click on the tool, make sure that Paint Strokes is turned on, because that's what we need to get rid of. Notice what we lost here. This is a real pain in the neck in my opinion. We lost the swatches.
The Swatches were part of that original file, but because the file gets embedded inside Photoshop some things do get changed, and this is one of them. We end up with a swatch representing None, one for Registration and then one for Violent gradient, which I don't even think we are using, and that's it. Anyway, I am going to switchover to the Color panel and I am going to make my Stroke active and then I am going to switch back to Swatches and I'm going to click on None, in order to make that my active stroke attribute. Then I am going to hover over this little bit of path here, and I'm going to click on it and you should see None above your cursor.
You don't want to be pressing the arrow keys to go back and forth between swatches, because if you do, you will select the gradient and you will go back to the Fill and you will mess everything up. So leave it set to None, click, and that will hopefully get rid of something there, good. I have got rid of that little bit, that we are showing up. So you may have to click twice in order to get rid of this thing, or you maybe able to get rid of it in one click, if you click at the right location, I guess. Here I will click, again it's going to take at least six clicks, because we've got six problems going on. And here is another problem might there, that I want get rid of, and then finally, there's this guy.
I'll go ahead and click on it to get rid of it as well. I think that's it. I think everybody else is in good shape. I'll go ahead and zoom out here in order to take in my modifications, yes indeed. Now at this point we need to hand these changes back to Photoshop, and here is how you do that. I recommend you don't go to the File menu and choose the Save command which works just fine by the way or you could press Ctrl+S, Command+S on the Mac. Because you get in good habits over time, you want to save your changes to a different file, or something like that. So you maybe tempted to choose Save As or press Ctrl+Shift+S, Command+Shift+S on the Mac in order to save your artwork as something that goes inside Photoshop for example.
If you choose Save As, and you save the file to disk someplace, you are going to break the link and you're not going to update your changes in Photoshop. So here's the way I work and the way I recommend another people work as well. I am going to go ahead and escape out of the menu, and I'm just going to close this illustration. So close Vector Smart Object.ai and then Illustrator will ask you if you want to save your changes, click Yes here on the PC or click the Save button on the Mac. And then what you are really doing is you are saving your changes into Photoshop.
Now it's not going to look like anything happened, because you're still working inside of Illustrator. So what you have got to do is switch back to Photoshop, and then wait for a moment, and you'll see that Photoshop is working on updating your object, and then wait for the change to occur, and you'll end up getting this result here. And that is how you modify a Vector Smart Object inside Illustrator and then turnaround and hand off the changes back to Photoshop.
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