Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustration by John Hersey

Inserting an unresponsive menu item


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Inserting an unresponsive menu item

In this exercise I am going to show you what to do if Illustrator ignores one of your operations as you're recording an action, and this does happen with an alarming degree of frequencies. So the way it works inside of Photoshop, basically, is just about everything that you can choose from a menu gets recorded inside of an Action. In Illustrator it's about half of the commands get recorded, the other half get ignored. But you can always force a command if need be. So, let me show what I am talking about. I'm going to go ahead and clean up my Actions Sets a little bit.
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Deke McClelland

Inserting an unresponsive menu item

In this exercise I am going to show you what to do if Illustrator ignores one of your operations as you're recording an action, and this does happen with an alarming degree of frequencies. So the way it works inside of Photoshop, basically, is just about everything that you can choose from a menu gets recorded inside of an Action. In Illustrator it's about half of the commands get recorded, the other half get ignored. But you can always force a command if need be. So, let me show what I am talking about. I'm going to go ahead and clean up my Actions Sets a little bit.

That testSet turns out to work really well. So I'm going to call it something like successSet and click OK and then I am going to double-click on dekeSet and I am going to called this one badSet and click OK. Just so I remember that I don't want to use those, although they were the basis for the successSet. So I might as well keep them around until at some later date I decide to throw him away. Next, I am going to click on Save for Web PNG 8/64. Let's say, what I want to do right before I really save out the PNG file I want to include a Copyright Statement and I want to go ahead and build that into the Action.

So I'll click on the Action name, click on the Record button, then I'll go up to File menu and choose the File Info command. Or you could press the keyboard shortcut if you want, but if you are working along with me just actually choose the command so you're you sure everything is working. Then inside of the dialog box go ahead and mark it up any old way you want. Now I could sit here and fill out all the fields manually. However, it's going to turn out to be a little bit of a waste of time. If you decide to fill out the fields, because I'm warning you in advance Illustrator is going to ignore you why then, take the precaution of after you get done filling out those fields choose the Export option from the lower right corner of this dialog box here and go ahead and Export out an XMP Metadata Template.

That way later on when you need to bring that information back, so you don't have to retype it all, you can go ahead and choose Import and then choose that template. Or if you're lucky it'll appear automatically down here at the bottom of the menu. In my case I have already saved one in advance. So I am going to just click on TNG, those are the initials for my company. Then I'll say, sure, I want to clear the existing properties. That's fine. Click OK and I'll end up adding information about me, my company, my site, and so forth, and then I'll click OK. Now of course, I mean how could Illustrator ignore this? I just spent like, four or five minutes or something inside this dialog box and yet it did.

It was just like -- Not paying attention to a darn thing I am doing! So anyway, what I've got to do instead, I want to keep recording by the way. I'm going to go up here to the flyout menu and I'm going to choose Insert menu Item. You can enter the menu item if you want to and then can do a Find or you can just go up to the File menu, in our case, and choose File Info. So now that you've really got Illustrator's attention you can choose the command and it's going to say, oh yeah, File Info. I heard of that one.

Then click OK and it gets added to the list. Now stop, because that's the best we are going to do. So I'll go ahead click that Stop button. I wanted it to happen before actually Export the File. So we'll do File Info first and then save the file. Just to check whether this works or not I am going to have to go ahead and revert this file by going to the File menu and choosing the Revert command and then I'll say sure, yeah, I want revert. That sounds great. Then wait a few moments for Illustrator to do its thing. You'll know that it's reverted the file when it throws the Title tab to the right-hand side.

All right, now I'm going to go ahead and play back this Action by clicking on it and then clicking on the Play button. Up will come the File Info dialog box. This is the minor tragedy of things, and when I say minor I mean absolutely major. It doesn't know anything about what I entered into the dialog box. It just knows that I want to bring it up on-screen. There is no way to turn off the dialog box, because this little area is blank. So it's always going to come up. So that's why you really need that button down there. You're going to have to babysit this one, as I say, a little bit tragic.

Go ahead and click on that button for that XMP Template you created and then click OK, what have you, click OK again, and then it'll go ahead and save out that file. Let's see if it worked. Once again, I'll click on Go to Bridge and then I'll go ahead and scroll up to Musical-revue.png, which should have just gotten saved over, because Illustrator automatically saves over those files as you export them. Now I'll go to the File menu and choose File Info here. I should see all that information I entered a moment ago, and it didn't.Well, now that's good, actually, in a way because I can show you what the problem is.

I wish it had worked, but if you run into the same situation let me show you what's up. I am going to cancel out of here, dad gummite! I'm going to go ahead and click on the boomerang to return to Illustrator and I'll go ahead inside of this Action, Save for Web PNG 8/64. I'll double-click on Save for Web, right there. Because I do have my File Info inside of this file, that's all good to go, because that played successfully. Here is the problem: you go up to this tiny, little dinky flyout menu right there and you choose Edit Output Settings, you really have to dig for this one, you go to HTML and you choose Saving Files and then you drop down here to this check box; this is comical, and you turn on Include XMP.

Isn't that just the best interface designed you've ever witnessed? Then click OK in order to accept that modification. Now click on the Save button and then click on Save. Notice it's going to replace the file by the way. I'll click on save. It doesn't ask. Just does it. That's so awesome. Now I am going to switch back to the Bridge in order to see if it worked this time. There is my file, Musical-revue.png. Let's go ahead and click on it. Go back to the File menu, choose the File Info command and celebrate. Woo hoo! There is all of my information.

See how easy that is. This might not actually be the best way to annotate your files with copyright information, but it does give you a sense of some of the hoops you have to jump through when recording actions and how to foresee inclusion of a Many command using the Insert menu Item option inside the Actions panel.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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