Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by Richard Downs

Establishing the optimal Color Settings


Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Establishing the optimal Color Settings

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.
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  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Deke McClelland

Establishing the optimal Color Settings

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 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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