Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator

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.
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  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
14h 53m Intermediate Nov 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks
Deke McClelland

Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator

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 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 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 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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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