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Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to save off a layered PSD file from inside Illustrator. Hopefully-- it doesn't always go right as you are about to see-- but we will hopefully include all five of our layers, but it will also include details inside of those layers. So some of the objects that exist inside this layer will be preserved and sometime we will be able to dig inside of groups and so on. You will see it's quite remarkable and sometimes you are able to retain editable text, which is also pretty groovy when it works, once again.
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  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to save off a layered PSD file from inside Illustrator. Hopefully-- it doesn't always go right as you are about to see-- but we will hopefully include all five of our layers, but it will also include details inside of those layers. So some of the objects that exist inside this layer will be preserved and sometime we will be able to dig inside of groups and so on. You will see it's quite remarkable and sometimes you are able to retain editable text, which is also pretty groovy when it works, once again.

I have got open Goodbye found inside of the 12_exporting folder and you can see I have total of five layers across the three artboards inside this file and what's interesting to note is some of the layers only appear in single artboards. For example the T- shirt layer is the entirety of the third artboard. If I turn it off the entire third artboard goes away as we can see here. I'll turn T-shirt back on. If we go to the second artboard with the skateboard and the surf board that all occurs inside the Boards layer right there.

So if I turn off my Boards, my Boards go away inside the second artboard. If I turn them back on they come back and then finally on the first of the artboards that's where we have text card and background. So I'll turn all three of those off for a moment. Here are the Background objects, here are the Card objects and here are the Text objects right there. So interesting to note, just something I want you to be aware of us how this illustration was put together, before we any further. All right I'm going to maximize Illustrator here just to prevent these weird edges we were seeing a moment ago, then I'm going to go up to File menu. Because I'm Tidy Man, that's why.

And I'm going to go up to the File menu and I'm going to choose the Export command. Now the Export command is the command you use to save out to all the file formats we haven't seen so far, that Illustrator also supports and these are generally speaking pixel formats not entirely. Now we are not going to review every single one of them because some of them are outside of my domain such as AutoCAD. BMP is just the Windows BMP format. We have got things like JPEG right there, which would include a thumbnail potentially, which is why it's not the best tool for creating JPEG graphics for the web because they would be a little bit bloated.

You could save a Macintosh picked image why would you do that? You wouldn't, but you could if you are working with some byzantine old application or something. A Windows Metafile file. All kinds of weird stuff, you can create here. We want a Photoshop PSD file. So go ahead and choose PSD and notice you have the option of using the artboards. Now if you have this check box turned off you are going to save the entire illustration including all artboards as one big massive Photoshop document. You don't want that so let's go ahead and use the artboards. If we have All turned on we are going to save all three artboards as separate Photoshop files.

All right now go ahead and click Save, now as mentioning in the previous exercise this is a CMYK graphic you can see that up here in the Title bar. So our color model is going to be sent to CMYK and that will become important in just a moment. Notice that I have the option to set the Resolution value. I'm going to go ahead and set this to Medium and the reason I'm doing this is to just save us a little bit of pain. So that we can avoid those long progress bars, but I'll tell you if you are trying to rasterize artwork for a high resolution printing then you want to go with High or even better. You could set this to something like 600 ppi, but you are going to get layered file so that would be a massive file inside Photoshop as well.

So you might want to think about sticking with 300 ppi. I'm going to think very hard about going with 150 ppi for demonstration purposes here. We do want to Write the layers. Notice we have the option of Preserving the Editable Text. So that Photoshop can actually edit the text we created here inside of Illustrator. That's not always going to work. I'm going to tell you in advance, but sometimes it does and when it does it's good maximum editability will dig inside of those layers and trying to preserve as many independent objects as possible. We want Anti-alias turned on by all means. Otherwise we are going to get chopped up edges and we want to go ahead Embed an ICC Profile, you betcha.

To show where this illustration came from so that we have consistent color inside of Photoshop. Now you can change your color model at this point I could switch to RGB or Grayscale if I switch to RGB then notice what happens. I have got to flatten; I cannot preserve my layers. So we are not going to do that but obviously. So I'm going to go ahead and switch that back to CMYK turn on right layers. These are the settings that I'm going to apply you could go ahead and apply High 300 ppi, if you want to or if you wanted to save yourself some pain do 150, click OK and then we are going to get the Progress bar.

So there is no avoiding progress bars when we are going from Vectors to Pixels from Illustrator or inside any other application for that matter, but that was pretty painless that was pretty quick. All right let's go over to the Bridge and see what we have wrought. We have got all these Goodbye overprints now. You should have probably thought about changing the name every once a while but notice that we have got Goodbye overprints-01.psd, Goodbye overprints-02.psd and Goodbye overprints-03.psd. We are going to start with 03 because it's the successful one. We will come back to these two in a moment. I'm going to double click on Goodbye overprints-03.psd here inside the Bridge in order to open it up here inside of what should be a familiar application Photoshop CS4 and I'm going to zoom in and this is as far as I can go because this is 100%.

So its like I just rendered it out at 150 ppi. Now notice here in the Layers palette. We have one layer called T- shirt so that might make you think well lot of good that does, but actually it's a layer group. It's a folder, so we can twirl that guy open and see well look we got other stuff inside here we got more layers. One of them is Editable text check that out. I can actually change that text right there. I can double click on it and it goes there and selects with my Type tool and I can type in something totally different if I wanted to and it wouldn't make any sense if I did that but still it's an option I could type in something sensible as well.

All right I'm going to press the Escape key in order to restore my original text, see how it suppose to work when you press the Escape key anyway. That's just me I like the way Photoshop handles that better. I'm going to go ahead and twirl open this group right here and you can see that we have got some other text. Now this text is no longer editable it has been converted to pixels. The reason being that I applied a little bit of a Warp to this text the Warp effect which we will see in a future chapter of this series, but Photoshop is unable to accommodate a live warp even though a Photoshop can warp text, it doesn't understand Illustrator's warp text.

So I'm going to go ahead and turn off though this red text just so you can see in a background we have got some white strokes. So it actually peeled apart. There is one object into two separate layers that got back granular about things. So there is just a stroke by itself two attributes on two different layers that's amazing and then we have the Card, the Card look at the Card how detailed it is. Good luck if you are interested in plowing through is what I'm saying. Good luck with it. I'm not going to go through that with you for obvious reasons. It's a lot of stuff. Everything is broken apart on independent layers it's just amazing and these are completely independent Photoshop layer.

So it did much, much, much, more than we anticipated it would, good job Illustrator for creating such a highly detailed Photoshop image. There is a lot I can do with this but I'm going to close it because now I'm going to show you the bad news. Start with the good news right. Go to the bad news. Bad news is back here at the Bridge. Let's go ahead and double click on Goodbye overprints-01.psd. Big disappointment. Look at that guy. Let's go and zoom it into 100%. It looks good, it's a good looking image but Background+Card+Text+Board. That's what that is+Boards. Isn't that interesting.

Nothing from the Boards layer is actually part of this artboard and you have Boards got involved. So that's a clue as it turns out they went ahead and smoosh together, all four of those layers. T-shirt is missing because T-shirt it was able to handle successfully by itself on the third artboard. So something went terribly wrong there. We will just close it for now I'll show you the solution in just a moment. Let's go to Goodbye overprints-02 he is our bad guy this is our culprit this is where everything went wrong. You see that we have got our transparency intact that's nice and we have got these very smooth softer off shadows. So all of the outfit channelness that's associated with that illustration is completely intact, but again we have one flat layer and it's called Background Card, Text and Board.

So somehow Illustrator is getting mixed up and combining both the first and the second artboards and I tell you I have done everything I can think out to separate them. I have experiment with this file for hours now and I was unable to come up with the solution to get these various layers from communicating with each other across the two artboards. Now you might be able to find a solution to this, but no matter what I do I cannot manage to get the skateboard and the surfboard to raster as independent layers. I just can't get it to occur. No matter what I do, and I have a feeling that the culprit might be the clipping paths, the spaces are represented as clipping paths that have objects inside of them. That may be what's going on also. By the way it's not the faces because that's happening on the T-shirt, that's happening over in the poster as well.

The gigantic clipping that's happening is the actual surfboard and the skateboard here are clipping this artwork as well. So we have clipping paths inside of clipping paths that might be your culprit. I'm not sure, but I know our solution where the first artboard is concerned not the second, like I said I don't know what to do about that one, but for the first artboard let me show you and you might be able to solve your own problems this way too, not sure. Go back to Goodbye here inside of Illustrator and I'm going to turn off the Boards layer. Just get it out of the picture so that if I were to the switch to the second artboard. The second artboard is now free and clear doesn't have anything on it. I'll go back to the first artboard. I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose Export once again make sure that it's set to Photoshop and instead of all artboards I'll say a Range of just artboard number one and then I'll click in the Save button and then it's going to ask me all that standard stuff. I'm going to answer the exactly the same way click OK.

So I'm not making any changes there. I do want to replace Goodbye overprints-01.psd so I'll click in the Replace button there and we are going to wait for the Progress bars to go by but hopefully they will go by relatively quickly and they did good. Now I'm going to switch back to the Bridge and there is Goodbye overprints-01.psd. Let's double click on it again to open it on up and see. Look at that. We have got the text layer represented as a group, we have got the Card layer represented as a group and we now have-- look at that. Just wonderful, wonderful layeredness there and then we have got the Background layer represented as a group as well and we have got that green gradient as one layer and then the purple gradient in front that has those wacky effects applied to it. It's represented as several more layers. The total of it looks like we have got four different layers that are representing it.

So we have this granular molecular level of control thanks to the fact that we just got rid of the bad guy which was the Boards layer which is unfortunate because I would love to have that one layered as well but as I say was unable to figure that one out. Might have been able to just render that out as a separate illustration or something along those lines but this to gives you a sense a how to be a detective and how to solve these problems when they occur because Illustrator frequently has these sorts of problems when it's trying to render out layered artwork layered Photoshop artwork. I do want to show you one more thing that I'm going to go back all the way up to the top to the text layer here let's go ahead and collapse Card and background those groups inside of this group here not only do we have. I'll go ahead and zoom out not only do we have this stuff right here this text is available to us as editable text, so I can double click on it to select that text. So Photoshop is able to handle the vertically formatted text from Illustrator that's great.

It couldn't do this text over there and I believe the problem is then I was working with these wacky characters. I was throwing in some strange non-roman characters into the mix here and I think that through Photoshop, but The Kween Of Myrder survives. Check this out. If I go ahead and expand group now it does not have a transformation applied to it. That's why this text, which has a warp affect applied to it down here, is not editable. This text is not warped up at the top. So my red text notice this guy right here, he is editable, so if I were to double click on it I can select those letters. Those are the red filled letters.

The Stroke effect though is rendered out as a separate non-editable layer, that is it's not editable type. You can still edit it with a Painting tool or something along those lines if you wanted to. Anyway, fascinating don't you think? Just amazing how granular you can get. I already said that. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you something far less fascinating in my opinion but it's practical. How to save your illustrations for use in Microsoft programs. Hmm-hmm!

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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