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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.
The topic of this chapter is alighment and distribution To align objects is to organize them into even rows or columns. To distribute objects is to space them apart equaldistant from each other. Illustrator handles both operations in very much the same way just about every other graphics and design program, with two exceptions. First if you want to align 1 object, we will call it A, to another object, B, without that second object B moving you need to make the key object by clicking on it a second time.
Which sounds fairly absurd, but actually works really well. Meanwhile, the program can be a little tricky when it comes to aligning text. Point text in particular presents Illustrator with some difficulty. Naturally the following movies tell the whole story, unless you think, align and distribute, what a boring story that'll be. Perish the thought! We're going to set up a checkerboard pattern and solve a word jumble puzzle. There is a story you can tell the grandkids for years to come.
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