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Editing an image in Illustrator

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Editing an image in Illustrator

In this exercise, I'm going to demonstrate how you can apply effects to imported images inside of Illustrator. It's very sexy. It's very cool. I do not recommend it. I recommend you to do all of your image work in Photoshop and then bring the image into Illustrator. This exercise is going to demonstrate why. So, here I'm working in that image, Pasted image.ai, into which I have pasted that image that I copied from Photoshop. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a click right there and scroll things over. Now, I'll click on the image.

Editing an image in Illustrator

In this exercise, I'm going to demonstrate how you can apply effects to imported images inside of Illustrator. It's very sexy. It's very cool. I do not recommend it. I recommend you to do all of your image work in Photoshop and then bring the image into Illustrator. This exercise is going to demonstrate why. So, here I'm working in that image, Pasted image.ai, into which I have pasted that image that I copied from Photoshop. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a click right there and scroll things over. Now, I'll click on the image.

Actually the easiest thing to do here is let's go ahead and turn off the Guide, so they're no longer in our way. This is the Guides group that's found inside the image layer right there. I'll go ahead and meatball the image itself, so that it's selected. Notice I moved it under the clipping mask that's assigned to this entire layer. Many of the layers in this illustration include clipping mask so that we're clipping all of the objects to the bleed. Anyway, I've gone ahead and selected this image. Now, let's say what I want to do, because, let me give you a sense of where we're going here, I've gone ahead and turned off the Pasted image for just a moment. This is the final effect I want and you can see that it has a very sharp quality to it, so I sharpened the details. That permitted me to achieve something of kind of a line drawing effect, definitely a posterization effect. I also went ahead and added some sepia tone and I masked the image as well, so that we got rid of the background.

So, how would you go about doing that if you just brought a static flat image into Illustrator? Well, some of it would hum along okay, and then other stuff would go just terribly, badly, as I'm about to show you. But none of it's going to work out the way we want it to. So, I'm going to go ahead and turn on the Pasted image. Let's call it pasted image so that there is no ambiguity there. Click OK and then I'm going to meatball this image. If you go up to the Effect menu, you'll see that there is a ton of Photoshop filters listed down here at the bottom of the Effect menu, including all of what used to be called the Gallery Effects filters that Adobe bought from this group called Silicon Graphics back in the old days. There is Artistic and there is Brush Strokes, and let's see, there is Sketch and there is Texture.

Now, we have a few fan inside the Stylize, actually just one inside the Stylize submenu right there. What about Pixelate? Those are Photoshop filters right there. But anyway, some of them come from the old Gallery Effects collection. Some of them come from Photoshop proper. The good ones tend to be the Photoshop filters like Gaussian Blur and Radial Blur and Smart Blur. Well not really, Gaussian Blur is good and Smart Blur is not. Then we drop down here to Sharpen and we have just one Sharpen option available to us, and that's Unsharp Mask. So, we can apply filters to imported images, if we want to, and actually all these options are applicable to vector objects as well. So you can try them out if you want to. I'm not sure why you'd use Unsharp Mask on vector objects.

You'd get some haloing effects. I suppose that might be nice. I'll go ahead and choose it and here is Unsharp Mask, which is a quality sharpening effect inside of Photoshop. It doesn't happen to be the one I used. I used a combination of High Pass and Smart Sharpen as I'll be showing you, but neither of those are available to me inside of Illustrator. So, also what's not available to me inside of Illustrator is the halfway decent preview, I can't preview the effect back here, inside the illustration window. This dinky preview inside the dialog box requires quite a bit of scrolling, you can't do that thing where you just click in order to center the preview, which you can inside Photoshop.

But anyway, I've gone ahead and maxed out the Amount value, which determines the amount of sharpening I apply. I've gone ahead and set the Radius to 2.0, and that is the size of the little hallows that Unsharp Mask draws in order to create it's sharpening effect, and that's it. These two values are one I'm applying, I'll click OK and then I'll cross my fingers and I hope it looks good and looks pretty good now. You can't really believe what you're seeing in Illustrator where imported images are concerned. However, I should say because it doesn't do a terrific job of displaying all the pixels or interpolating the pixels to match the screen preview or anything along those lines.

All the stuff that Photoshop does so very, very well, Illustrator doesn't do. So if you really want to get a sense of what the image is going to print like, you have to print it. So anyway, this will probably work out pretty nicely, and here is where I have to give Illustrator huge props. If you go over to the Appearance palette, you'll see that this Unsharp Mask effect right there has been applied inside of Illustrator CS4. It's always this way, as a dynamic effect. So you can click on Unsharp Mask and change your mind, which is awesome because in Photoshop you actually have to jump through a few hoops to make that happen.

By default, if you just apply Unsharp Mask, you're going to get a static effect inside of Illustrator. It's always dynamic, but we can make it dynamic inside of Photoshop as well. Anyway, that's cool. But then you can't apply a Blend mode independently to just the effect. If I apply, for example, the Luminosity Blend mode, which works really well in combination with Unsharp Mask. If I were to apply that mode to the filter, it doesn't really apply it to the filter. It applies to the entire image. Now we get a sepia image, but that's because we already have a sepia image in the background.

So, we're kind of cheating, as what it comes down to. I've this Pasted image on top of the good version of the image. So, of course, we're going to get a decent effect. But if it was appearing inside of a different composition, it would look the color of that composition. All right, so, let's say we really want like a guaranteed sepia effect from this pasted image. Well we go back to Appearance palette and go ahead and get rid of Luminosity there, just throw it away, or you could change things back to the Normal mode. There is no really good way to work. We could put a colored rectangle over the image and then set it to the Color mode, but then it's going to affect everything at back of it and then we'd have to mask it, which we'd have to do with this image anyway. We'd have to draw a vector mask around it, because we need to mask it away from her background and away from her shoulder and stuff.

Or if we really wanted to change the colors inside the image, then we'd go up to the Edit menu, choose Edit Colors. We don't have a sepia function here. So we'd go to Adjust Color Balance, which has this really bad, sort of limitation here. If I turn on the Preview checkbox and change a setting, it doesn't preview. It's like a little neener-neener function there, just sort of mocking you. What you have to do is turn Preview off, in which case it recalculates Unsharp Mask. That's nice. Then you turn Preview back on and then it previews. Then you think better of things, I think, and you go huh! That's not a Sepia effect.

That's like that kid that ate a strawberry or something in 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,' even though it was a blueberry. I know that. But anyway, I'll turn off Preview, and then I'll turn it back on after adjusting a few more settings. That ain't a sepia either. So let's take some Cyan out, see if that helps. Turn off Preview, turn it back on. Oh, Lord! This isn't working at all. So, okay, good, and we can't change our mind on that one. That is not a dynamic effect. That is instead a static effect that we just applied to the pixels. Bad news all the way around is what it comes down to.

So, I'm just really hammering home a point. I think you get it by now Illustrator is not a photo manipulation tool. It's great in handling images, especially if they're right ready to go, but it's not great at modifying them. Where do you want to modify the image? Where do you want to prepare this effect? You want to prepare it back inside Photoshop and I'm going to show you how that works, beginning in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21464 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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