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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
All right everyone, welcome to the final exercise in the advanced portion of this series, in which I'm going to show you how to export your artwork from inside Illustrator to a raster file format, namely the Tiff format. I've gone ahead and fixed my document as we saw in the previous exercise and saved my changes as Rich masks.ai found inside the 21_transparency folder. Now in order to save this is as a raster file, which I hasten to say is the right way to go because the entire darn thing is going to get rasterized anyway. We saw that in the Flattener Preview palette. So why not go ahead and rasterize it in a controlled environment, so that we can see what the final artwork looks like and we can confirm that it looks the way that we want it to.
Go up to the File menu and choose the Export command, and this is just an alternate to opening the files inside of Photoshop. It's not a better way to work. It's not a recommended way to work, or anything like that. In fact, I prefer to use Photoshop to rasterize my artwork just because it does a better job on the anti-aliasing, as we'll see in just a moment. All right, inside of this Export dialog box, I want you to change Save File As type to Tiff, but I'll say this. If you encounter some kind of problems, you may have luck by changing your file format. For example, the very first time I tried this with this file right here, I ended up saving out a Tiff file that dropped a lot of the elements and it basically it just featured Sammy's face floating against the backdrop and that was it. So I'll lose all of the other elements like the bench and the piano and all that jazz.
Then I went ahead and exported the artwork as a JPEG file, it worked great and then I came back to Tiff, and it work great too. So who knows? You may have luck with that but hopefully, you won't have any problems whatsoever. I'm going to go ahead and choose the Tiff file format. Make sure Use Artboards is turned on. That's going to give you a better effects because otherwise, you're going to have a bunch of extra stuff outside of the artwork and what's the point of that. Then go ahead and name your file as desired and click the Save button. Inside the Tiff Options dialog box, which comes up next, make sure Color Model is set to CMYK. I suggest that rather than setting the Resolution to High or never Medium, you want to set it to Other and then raise that value to at least 600ppi, pixels per inch, not dpi. A dpi is a measurement of printer resolution. But anyway, it's either going to be 600 or as high as 1200, is what I recommend to you.
Then Anti-Alias on, LZW Compression definitely on, Byte Order does not matter and then Embed ICC Profile turn that on and then click OK in order to begin saving out the file. Now you're going to get this Progress bar. It's going to take a few minutes in order to save out your file. I'm going to go ahead and click Stop and by the way, if it goes by too fast, if it goes zip, zip, zip, expect the artwork to be in bad shape because that means that Illustrator without telling you what's going on, without producing any error messages, drop some objects. I'm just going to click Stop because I've already exported the artwork in advance. I'm going to now press the Windows key along with the Tab key here on the Windows environment, in order to get this wonderful thing and then I'm going to keep pressing Windows +Tab until I get to Photoshop here.
On the Mac, you would press Command+ Tab to switch between applications. Here I'm inside of Photoshop and I have two versions of the image open. First of all, we've got Photoshop raster 600ppi.tif which is the version of the file that we rasterized inside of Photoshop a couple of exercises ago. So this was the bad old version of the illustration. And then we now have Correct & export 600ppi.tif, which is the new and improved version that I just so happened to export from Illustrator. But what really matters is that we've corrected the illustration before exporting it. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on the image on right until I'm seeing it at the 50% zoom level. Then I'm going to go up to the Window menu, choose Arrange and choose Match Zoom, so that both images are zoom to the same level. Then I'm going to take advantage of this really wicked cool keyboard shortcut, you press Shift and Spacebar, so both Shift and Spacebar to get the Hand tool and then with those keys down, you can drag one image and you'll scroll both of them together. Let's thanks to having the Shift key down that you can see that on left, I have these faint lines inside of Sammy's jaws. On right, they've gone away, excellent. Shift+Spacebar drags some more in order to check out the stumps down here below the piano.
The stumps are slightly faintly evident in the left-hand image. They are gone in the right-hand image. Excellent. All right, then I'm going to Shift+Spacebar drag my way up to the drop shadows and you know what? I need to zoom in, so I'll press Ctrl+Plus a couple of times on the right-hand image. That's Command+Plus on the Mac. Then I'll go back to the Window menu, choose Arrange and choose Match Zoom again in order to match to that same zoom level. You can see that sure enough, we have some chunky drop shadows over here on the left-hand side and nice smooth drop shadows over here on the right-hand side.
I don't know that you're even going to notice the resolution of the shadows and print, but you will notice this harsh cut-off right there, this sharp drop-off whereas it starts to go away at higher resolution. So if you wanted to go away even more, you would raise that resolution for the document raster effect settings to 300 pixels per inch or even higher. You could take it all the way to 600 pixels per inch if you want to. So give that a try, see what you think. You know something else I want you to notice while we are here. I'm gong to go ahead and zoom in even further like that and do that Window > Arrange > Match Zoom thing, so that I match the two zoom levels and I want you to notice the anti-aliasing.
Let's see if you can get a good shot of this anti-aliasing right here, this is a good area. All right, so you see that stroke how it wavers back and forth and then we have some slightly choppy anti -aliasing out of Illustrator and some smoother anti-aliasing out of Photoshop. So the artwork that was open in Photoshop is smoother than the artwork that was exported from Illustrator. By the way, the artwork that's saved from Photoshop is also going to be smaller. Photoshop does a better job of applying LZW Compression than Illustrator does.
So once you've open the artwork in Photoshop, you may want to go ahead and save over the original artwork with that LZW Compression turned on in order to get a smaller file. Let's go ahead and scroll upward to a higher point in the document. Now the thing is normally inside of a Photoshop you can toss the image around, they call it flick panning. You can't do it when you're scrolling multiple documents at a time though. So you just kind of have the scroll your way up to a different portion of the image over and over again, especially when we're zoomed in like this. Now you can see in this region that we have a very smooth drop shadow or relatively smooth drop shadow over here on the right-hand side and a choppy drop shadow on the left-hand side, but again smoother anti-aliasing on the left, a little bit choppier on the right.
Now I doubt you're going to notice that in print. This is such a high resolution image. In the first place, you almost don't need any anti-aliasing but still it's a slight concern I believe. All right, but what's even more important than anything else on earth is the fact that, whether it was exported from Illustrator or was open inside of Photoshop, this image is going to print reliably. It's going to print exactly the way you see it here, because there is no post script intervention, there is no mixing of objects, there is no Flattener Preview stuff to worry about. It's just a bunch of pixels. So all of that work has been done. The only thing that could wrong at this point is that somehow your colors could go awry.
Thanks to whatever color settings that you have set up, but otherwise this artwork is going to print exactly as you see it. I advise you work this way with all of your illustrations. Really honestly, this is the way I do just about everything anymore and there you have it, folks. This brings us to the end of the advanced portion of this series. If you liked what you saw and you want to learn more, I have much more for you. Just check out Illustrator CS4 One-on-One Mastery. If it's not available today, it will be soon and I have much, much more to share with you. So please stay tuned.
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