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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise I am going to show you a few adjustments you can make inside the Color Guide panel to give yourself as much flexibility as possible. After all, just because you start with one Color Harmony doesn't mean you have to stick with it you can mix and match colors from any harmonies you like. There are no rules here; color is ultimately a subjective determination. I have saved my changes as Baby's first color scheme.ai and what I am going to do here is re-color this background artwork, I am going to go ahead and click on this big rectangle. And notice that's its green but I'm not switching the base color to green so the base color is still the blue of the T-shirt and I'm going to switchover to this Harmony right here, Compound 1, and I'm going to select this middle sort of orangish color, right there, to fill the background with that color.
Then also like these big shapes there that are currently beige for me, they may be some other color for you, and I am going to changeover this time to Compound 2 and I'm going to switch them out with this yellow which I think might end up looking pretty good and then I'm going to click on what are currently these burgundy paths then I am going to try changing them to this base green here and see what I think, I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide the edges so I can get a feel for what's going on and that's not quite what I'm looking for so I'll switch to let's say, just looking through to list, how about High Contrast 1 and I'll click on that base red down there at the bottom.
And I think I'm getting closer to the color scheme that I'm looking for, I'll go ahead and click that background rectangle once again to select it, switchback let's say to Compound 1 and let's try sort of a lighter shade of that orange. I think that looks actually pretty darn good, it definitely helps the T-shirt to stand out. Now the only thing I don't like is that these blacks here around the edges, are not uniformly dark enough and they are quite a bit lighter than the black edge around the T-shirt. So I am going to go ahead on the black edge of one of these path outlines in order to select it, we can't see the selection edges because they are currently hidden, and then I'll go up to the Opacity panel and I will change my Blend mode from Normal to Multiply in order to darken those edges in and I get this effect right here which I am quite fond of.
All right, but that's not the only way to work I can come up with the obviously completely different color scheme if I want to. In fact, instead of seeing Shades and Tints the way that I am now, by default, I can switch to either, here inside the Color Guides panel flyout menu I can switch to Warm to Cool if I want to in order to warm up the colors over here on the left hand side or cool them down them over here on the right hand side and I can also switch to Vivid Muted, which is actually Muted Vivid because muted appears over on the left hand side and the Vivid colors appear over here on the right hand side.
I'll show you one other thing by the way that you might want to know, you have a Color Guide Options command and if you choose that command you can determine how big the variations are and notice that they actually preview in the background. So if I reduce the degree of variations here the amount of variation between the neighboring color swatches changes on-the-fly. Now if I crank this all the way down to less, by the way, there is no variation, they are all the same color in one row after another so you don't want to go that far. In fact, you probably want to keep his cranked up all the way to More or maybe just take you down ever so slightly.
I am going to leave it all the up you can also change the number of steps incidentally. So if I increase this Steps value, watch as the number of Color Swatches increases here inside the Color Guide panel as well. I think I'll take this guy up to 5 only so I am just taking it up one increment from 4 to 5, click OK to accept that modification and now let's try something altogether different. I am going to go ahead click the background and this time I think I am looking for a kind of green scheme. So I'll bring up my Harmony Rules once again and I'll switchover to Tetrad 3 this time because that green looks about right and I'll click on one of the medium saturation versions of the green and then I'll click one of the dark gray objects and let's try a different kind of green maybe one that's associated with Triad 2.
Again, I'm just flying around here, you can do whatever you want. You go the same way I'm going which is probably a little difficult to follow or go your own way which is what I'd encourage you to do. This yellow screen actually looks pretty good to me, I'll select this light gray and I could switch to one of the highly saturated reds. Primarily, I don't have anything selected however that's one of the hazards of not being able to see the selection edges so I'll press Ctrl+H, Command+H on a Mac, to make sure that I'm selecting the right object and then I'll click inside of that red, press Ctrl+H, Command+H, again in order to hide the selection outlines.
Now let's try something totally different for this dark border. Let me make sure that I have got it selected, I do. All right, I'll go ahead and switch to yet another one of my Harmony Rules. Actually I'll switch back to Tetrad 2, what the heck? And let's try one of the lower saturation sort of light browns right there and if I wanted I could burn that in, again, just like I did before I could go the Opacity Option up there in the Control panel and I can switch my Blend mode to Multiply. Actually that produces a pretty cool somewhat subtle effect right there.
I can switch it out with something else if I want a more pronounced effect My gosh, it could sit here and play around with this feature forever. But to get a sense of exactly the kind of stuff you can accomplish I am going to press Shift+Tab to hide those right side panels so we can compare and contrast these two variations on this background pattern. Both created using Color Guide, both created using a very flexible approach, don't feel like you have to stick with the single Harmony Rule, feel free to switch between Tints and Shades and Muted and Vivid and all that jazz as much as you want.
What counts is that you come up with a subjective color scheme that you're looking for.
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