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In one of my other titles that focus on Illustrator, namely Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, I introduced the concept of working with groups and layers inside of Illustrator. But really, again, it's kind of arbitrary. Inside of Illustrator you don't have to use groups and you don't have to use layers. It's simply a matter of being organized. It's not merely for organizing artwork, but it also allows you to take advantage of a tremendous amount of functionality inside of Illustrator. When it comes to working with drawing inside of Illustrator, I can tell you that the benefits of working with groups and layers do have a lot to do with simple organization inside of your document.
Let's take a look at this piece of art right here. It's a document called MisterZee. And if I look at my Layers panel here, I see that I have a Sketch layer and I also have an Artwork layer. We're going to find out that many times when you're working with sketches inside of Illustrator, you want to be able to separate the two so you can easily jump back and forth between them. But beyond just layers itself, it's also important to organize your artwork into groups, not just arbitrary groups but groups that make sense. In this case here with MisterZee, if I take a look at my Artwork layer and I expand it, I see that I have a single group called MisterZee.
And inside of that group, I also have a Head and a Body group. And inside of the Head group, I have other subgroups here as well and inside of the Body group, I also have other subgroups. And I've gone through the trouble of actually naming these groups so that as I'm working, I can easily jump to a specific part of my image. The reason why this is important is because if I'm using groups, I have the ability to take advantage of Isolation mode inside of Illustrator. It can be sometimes a pain to have to navigate through all these different objects inside the Layers panel when many times I just want to work on just the artwork itself right here on my screen.
Again, I want to work kind of visually than having to deal with everything that's here inside of the panels. So if I'm using my regular Selection tool and for example I decide that I need to make a modification, maybe I need to add another stripe to his body or maybe I need to make some other kind of adjustment, if I double-click on MisterZee, you can see right now that I've isolated MisterZee and you can see over here in the gray bar I have my Artwork layer and I've now isolated the group called MisterZee inside of that layer. Now if I double-click on the body, I now see I've gone a group deeper.
I'm now working in the Body group that is inside the MisterZee group that's on the Artwork layer. And if I double-click again over here on the stripes, I'm now dealing with the Stripes group. And I can even double-click one more time and now I'm dealing specifically with one of the paths that live inside of the Stripes Body group that's inside the MisterZee group, that's inside of the Artwork layer. We can almost make a song out of this. But you can see though how important this is, because as I'm working inside of Illustrator I have the ability to quickly add elements or make edits and those edits happen directly inside of the groups as I'm working.
So as we start to draw more and explore more about different ways of drawing inside of Illustrator, we're going to find that it's really important that we actually create groups and we work with layers inside of our document. Just know that it's important to keep your drawings organized and that will save you a lot of heartache as you work on more and more complex drawings inside of Illustrator.
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