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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
In this movie I'll show you how to change your color settings so that all the CS6 applications align with each other, and you're afforded the most optimal working experience. Now, you can see here I've added another rectangle with a gradient inside of it, just so that we can see. I'm going to go up to the Edit menu, choose Assign Profile. This is not a command that you typically use inside Illustrator unless you've opened an unprofiled EPS image from long, long ago. Otherwise you probably don't want to flit your profiles back and forth.
I'm just doing this for the sake of demonstration. So I'm going to choose Assign Profile. In the previous movie I assigned Adobe RGB. I'm going to switch it back to my working space, which is sRGB, and I'll click OK. I want to watch these rectangles in particular. Both of them end up dimming down, as you can see. Now, you may say, well, I like this shade of purple better than the other one anyway, that's not really the point. You can achieve this shade of purple inside just about any RGB space, it's just a matter of modifying the color values inside the Color panel; but I want you to see that switching the profile switched the illustration's appearance.
Now I want you to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Color Settings command. What this command does is it changes the workspace that's available to you when you're creating future illustrations and it assigns that profile to those illustrations. So this is going to change what we do in the future, not what we've already done. Go ahead and choose Color Settings, and then the only change I'm suggesting you make is switch RGB from sRGB to Adobe RGB (1998); otherwise the settings are just fine as is, with one possible exception, and that being the CMYK value here--that you would want to change to accommodate your commercial printer.
So if they've got a different profile for you, you should use it, or they may just tell you to stick with the default. Now, the next thing you want to do--particularly if you work with other Creative Suite applications, if you have one of the full Creative Suites that includes Photoshop and other programs-- then you want to note the fact that you're seeing Unsynchronized up here in the upper left hand corner, which is telling you that at least according to Illustrator the other applications are not synced up. If you want to synchronize those apps, then you click on the Save button and you go ahead and save out a file.
I've already done this using Photoshop. I'll create a new file however that's specifically geared toward the settings I'm creating in Illustrator. So we'll call this Best Workflow AIcs6, let's say; you can call yours anything you want. Make sure to save it to this default location, then click the Save button, and then click OK. And notice, by the way, when I clicked OK, my rectangles did not change in appearance. Even though I switched from sRGB to Adobe RGB, I didn't change the profile that's associated with this document.
This document is still specked. If I go up to the Edit menu and choose Assign Profile, it's still specked to sRGB. So the change I just showed you is not going to affect any documents you've created in the last ten years, as long as they're profiled as by default. All right! I'm going to Cancel out of here. Now, again, if you've got the Creative Suite-- and only if you have the Creative Suite--then you want to synchronize all your applications from Bridge. And you do that by going to the File menu and choosing Browse in Bridge, or you can press Ctrl+Alt+O, and then inside the Bridge go up to the Edit menu and choose the Creative Suite Color Settings command.
If you don't see this command, you don't have the suite, or at least Bridge doesn't think you do. Also, if you choose the command and you get an error message, same thing. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and select those settings that I just saved out a moment ago, Best Workflow AIcs6. Notice even Bridge is telling us that things are not synchronized; but as soon as I click on the Apply button and then go back up to the Edit menu and choose that command again, then I can see that everybody is now synchronized, and we should have absolutely perfectly matching colors across the various applications.
So I'll go ahead and Cancel out there. Now, there is just one more thing I want to show you. I'm going to click on the boomerang icon in order to return to Illustrator, and I'll switch over to the Skateboard only.ai file, and I'll go up to the File menu and choose Save for Web. And here's the deal, I'm going to change the Width of this artwork to 400 pixels, and cross my fingers and hope it works; of course it didn't. So I'll turn off the link icon and then turn it back on, and that went ahead and sized my art, so that I have a better view of things.
And I want you to see, look side-by-side of these guys, compare them--the one on the right is brighter, the colors have become more vivid, and that's a function of having Convert to sRGB turned on. If I turn it off, watch the image on the right- hand side is going to dim down, did you see that? That is not to say that Convert to sRGB is a problem, you still want to always choose it when you're going to the web, you don't want to send out an unprofiled Adobe RGB image, which is what we'd have now. So go ahead and turn that option on. You're just going to have to accept the fact that things are going to shift on screen and here's the reason why: because this dialog box is broken.
This is the one place inside of Illustrator where you do not have a color-managed workflow, and so Illustrator, when it converts the Adobe RGB colors to sRGB in order to maintain their appearance--believe it or not, that's what it's trying to do--in order to maintain the appearance of all the colors, it has to modify those colors. Problem is, Illustrator is not switching them back to Adobe RGB on-the-fly, instead it's just sending us this unfiltered view. You just have to know that's the way it is; just accept it, it's going to look fine. You can see that now if I go ahead and click on the Save button and I'll call this guy, just so that we know, sRGB Skateboard, and then I'll click on the Save button, and I'm saving this by the way as an uncompressed full color PNG file.
Then you can see if I open that PNG image inside of a browser that we've got the same colors. Now, they may look a little different side-by- side, that's a function of your screen display by the way; when you're working on an LCD screen, colors tend to drift from left to right, but if I move this guy in front, you can see that we've got the same colors as we did before and it becomes even more evident if I move the browser version down. And that color similarity abides despite the fact that the illustration in the foreground is specked to sRGB and the illustration in the background isn't RGB at all, it's specked to CMYK.
And that's the beauty of working in a color- managed workflow and sticking with the best color space possible, which for RGB graphics is Adobe RGB when working inside of Illustrator and sRGB when exporting to the web.
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