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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.
In this exercise, we are going to get away from the theory, I mean, my God, haven't you had enough theory, already? Yes, I have too, but the thing is you have got to go through it, right. You have got to go through your CMYK, you gotta go through your Rich Blacks and all that jazz, if you are to get good results out of Illustrator. I am working inside this illustration called Richer artwork.ai found inside of the 06 fill_stroke folder, and it's called Richer artwork for two reasons. First of all, I use this Rich Blacks, now all the strokes are set to Rich Blacks, plus it's a richer piece of artwork, it has more stuff in it.
So you are going to have to switch to this illustration if you are following along with me because there are several more objects in order to create the wonderfulness of the Tonalpohualli calendar, festive thing that it is, and I also have opened this other illustration that's available inside that same O6 fill_stroke folder, and it's called Our goal. Just to give you a sense of where we are going with this illustration, this is where we were going. All right, I'm going to switch back to Richer artwork here and the most obvious problem is that the face is purple. So let's go ahead and select that face graphic. Make sure that the Fill is active, and we can check on that in the Color palette right here, and for me it's not the stroke that's active right now. So I need to press the X key to make that Fill active, you could also see it down here at the bottom of the toolbox of course, and now I'm going to bring up my Swatches palette and we are just going to work from the Swatches palette, because it's going to make for easier work, then going up here, and clicking, and clicking, and clicking, and so on.
So, sometimes the old ways are the easier ways. Anyway Swatches palette, I'm going to change that fill to white. Now what I want you to do is select the outermost ring inside of this illustration, and I'm going to fill it with Pale Clay like so. And then I'm going to move in the inner ring and I'm going to fill that guy with the next one, Light clay. And then I'm going to select the next one in and I'm going to fill it not with Medium clay, no, with White in order to achieve this effect right there. And then I'll select the next ring in, so we just keep going in one ring after another. Just click in with the Black Arrow tool and I'll set that one to Medium clay like so, and then I'll click on this double shape right there, notice that this is two rings in one, if I were to drag it to move it to a new location, this is what's known as a compound path.
I will show you how a compound path works in a later chapter, but basically the inner ring is cutting a hole in the outer ring. So we have kind of a Donut effect, and I'll go ahead and undo that movement by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and let's fill that donut, very slim donut, very healthy donut, with white like so. All right, now neither of these shapes here should have strokes, so I'm going to go ahead and marquee around them like that. Just marquee around a fragment of them. I don't want to go too far, or I would select that third ring as well. I just want the two outer circles, and now I'll press X key in order to make the Stroke active. I just know it's active. I don't even have to look around, because the Fill was just active so X is going to make the Stroke active, and I'll press the Slash key to make the stroke None.
And then if I click off, you can see we are getting this diminishing shadow. And we will be able to see it better if we go to View menu and turn off the Transparency Grid, which we really don't need anymore because it's not serving any purpose. We know everything outside the outer ring is transparent; everything in is opaque. So let's hide the Transparency Grid, and we can get a better sense of what this is going to look like on Page White, which is where we are bound for this particular illustration. Now I have managed to cover up a lot of stuff, and to get a sense of what that stuff looks like, I could either go to the Outline command under the View menu, or I could press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, and you can see this all, this stuff right in here. That I'll go ahead and marquee just so that we can see it. Then when I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to return back to the Fill & Stroke illustration, the actual printing version of the illustration, you can see that a lot of this stuff is covered up. So what do we about it? Well, we are going to select those outer shapes that's we have been filling and stroking, and we are going to send them to back. So I'm going to go ahead and marquee like so around these four shapes. Notice, I'm getting four shapes here, but I'm not getting these two rectangles. I was very careful to avoid them.
That's why I started it at sort of corner of this circular affair here. So I have marqueed all four of these guys and they are selected, and then I can Shift-click on the donut. Not really necessary to do anything with the little donut there, but we will. And now right- click or if your Mac mouse doesn't have a right-mouse button, go ahead and press the Ctrl key, and click, and then choose Arrange, and then notice, you have these options here for controlling the stacking order. So you can bring these shapes all the way to the front in order to cover up everything like so, or I'll right- click again, choose Arrange, choose Bring Forward, that was to send it another step forward. There is no forward around this layer, so that'll be silly. We could send it one step backward, and we will reveal something, one circle got revealed, right-click again, choose Arrange, or we could choose to send them all the way back.
Before I actually choose this command, because that's our guy, notice that we have keyboard shortcuts for everybody. So they rely on the square bracket keys. Press Ctrl+Right bracket or Command+ Right bracket on the Mac in order to go a step forward; press Ctrl+Left bracket, Command+Left bracket on the Mac to go a step backward. Add Shift to the mix and you will go all the way forward or all the way back. And as bizarre as these shortcuts may seem, they are consistent across the Adobe application. So learn them here, know them elsewhere, I'm going to go ahead and choose this command, bang they go to back, that's a really great thing. So far, so good. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to assign fills to shapes that are not selected by dragging and dropping Swatches.
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