Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by Richard Downs

Importing vector art as a Smart Object


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Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Importing vector art as a Smart Object

In this movie, I'll show you how to import an illustration into Photoshop as a smart object, which allows you to reference the original vector-based information; so among other things you can scale the illustrations inside of Photoshop as much as you want, and you always rendered the artwork get the full resolution of the image. And in doing so, we will be able to transform the shield from its current appearance shown here without the text, to this more credible version of the image here. Now we are going to taking advantage of a fair number of Complex options inside Photoshop, so you'll be able to follow along better if you know a thing or two about the program.
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  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Importing vector art as a Smart Object

In this movie, I'll show you how to import an illustration into Photoshop as a smart object, which allows you to reference the original vector-based information; so among other things you can scale the illustrations inside of Photoshop as much as you want, and you always rendered the artwork get the full resolution of the image. And in doing so, we will be able to transform the shield from its current appearance shown here without the text, to this more credible version of the image here. Now we are going to taking advantage of a fair number of Complex options inside Photoshop, so you'll be able to follow along better if you know a thing or two about the program.

All right, so I'll go and return to Illustrator, and I am going to twirl open the new drawing layer at the top of the stack, and turn off the top most Path as well as the Clipping Group. So we have just the base star and circle shapes. Everything else is locked down, so, I'll press Ctrl+A or Command+A on a Mac in order to select the shield and its star, and then I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose the copy command, or you can press Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac. Now we'll go ahead and switch back to Photoshop. And notice that I have this file Grungebackground.psd open, which features a photograph from the fotolia image library, about which you can learn more @fotolia.com/deke.

And I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose the Paste Command, or we can press Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac. And Photoshop will display this dialog box, asking you how you would like to paste the Illustration. And this is a dialog box that comes up specifically when you've copied something from Illustrator. Now by default, the Paste As option is set to Smart Object, and I'll demonstrate how that works in just a moment. You also have the option of just converting the Illustration to Pixels, or pasting just the path outlines into the Path panel, which is useful when you are creating Clipping Paths inside the program--not something that we are going to explore inside of this chapter.

And then finally, you can paste the Illustration as a Shape layer, and we'll see how that works later on as well. But for now I'm going to select Pixels, because that's ultimately the worst solution in most cases, and then I'll click OK. And I'll get this little square with an X in it, which is Adobe's Universal sign for a placed object. What's happening is Photoshop is giving us the opportunity to scale the artwork before we convert it to pixels. And let's say I do the opposite of what you would normally do; I'll make it smaller, just to make a point here.

So, I'll go ahead and click on the Link icon up here in the Options bar, which is the equivalent of a control panel inside a Photoshop, and then I'll change the Width value W to 50%. And that will change the Height value as well, and then we'll press Enter or Return key on the Mac a couple of times in order to scale and place the artwork. Now I'll go and zoom into 100%, so that we can see that even though the Shield is tiny it looks great. But as soon as I zoom in past to 100% then I start to see big pixels, because after all I'm working inside Photoshop.

All right, now let's say at this point I want to scale the shield. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac to zoom all the way out. So many of Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts are just like those in Illustrator. To scale the Shield, you go to the Edit menu and you choose this command right here, Free Transform. So all the Transformations--rather than being handled with tools to way there is inside illustrator--it's handled with this one command right here Free Transform, which you can also get by pressing Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac.

And then you'll see this bounding box surrounding the art along with the eight handles. I want to scale my artwork from the center outward. So I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac as I drag one of these corner handles. I also what to scale the shield proportionally so I'll press the Shift key. So another words have both the Shift and Alt keys down--those would be the Shift and Option keys on a Mac-- and I'll scale the art too about the size right here let's say. Now at this point we're seeing these big, huge, choppy pixels. As soon as you press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to accept the Transformation, things are going to look a little better, because a Photoshop's Anti- Aliasing. However they're not going to look great.

We have got some big, huge, choppy pixel transitions as you can see here, and that's because we converted the artwork to pixels in the first place. Let's compare that to working with the Smart Object. So, I will once again press Ctrl+0 or Command +0 on a Mac in order to zoom out; I'll go and delete the Pixel layer, we don't need it, by pressing Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac. And then I'll go back to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command again, and this time I'll set Paste as to Smart Object, and click OK. And now let's run through those exact same steps; we are seeing the place boundary as before.

I'll go ahead and click on a Chain icon up here in the Options bar and change the Width value to 50% press, the Enter key or the return key of the Mac a couple times in order to accept that change. Let's go ahead and zoom in on the shield; it still looks like a bunch huge pixels when I zoom in to 300%. So, there is not really any reason at this point to expect things that are going to differently; but I want to see over here in Layers panel. Instead of just a Standard image thumbnail, which is what we are seeing for all the other layer. And by the way if you want to see big thumbnails like this, you want a right-click down here in an empty portion below the Layers and choose this command right there, large thumbnails.

But notice that the Smart Object layer, not only is it called Vector Smart Object, and you can change that if you want to. I'll go ahead and rename my layer shield. But it's also got this little place icon, which shows that it's a Smart Object; and what that means is we've actually embedded the Illustration inside this layer Photoshop file. Which means, among other things, that we can scale the artwork as much as we like. So I'll press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac in order to zoom out, and then I'll return to the Edit menu, choose Free Transform once again.

And then press the Shift+Alt keys or Shift+ Option on the Mac, and drag that corner handle out to approximately where I had it before, which I believe is right about here is what I'm looking for. And you can see already things are looking better we have some choppy transitions, because Photoshop doesn't shows the Anti- Aliasing as we are transforming the object. However we don't have the big pixels. So I'll press the Enter Key or the return key on the Mac in order to apply the transformation, and you can see that we have some very, very smooth transitions here at the 100% zoom size.

Now if you zoom any farther in than 100% then you're going to start seeing pixels, that's the nature of the beast inside of Photoshop. But we are actually looking at Vector based artwork, thanks to the fact that we've pasted our Illustration as a Smart Object here inside Photoshop.

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