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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.
In this movie, I will introduce you to the Color Guide panel, which automatically generates a library of swatches that are related to a base color. So for example, in this case I have two side-by- side versions of this t-shirt art. And let's say the t-shirt is colored exactly the way I wanted to be, with a slight blue for the fabric and then this darker blue for the trim. But the background art, even though it's structurally sound--in other words, I like the path outlines themselves--and by the way, this background comes to us from Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke.
But the colors that I have assigned here, these shades of gray aren't what I'm going for at all. So I need to recolor this artwork. Now on one hand, I have made things easier for myself by grouping related objects, so for example, if I click on one of the light gray leaves, that selects all of the light gray shapes; and then I could dial in a different color for example, I might increase the Magenta and Yellow values and take the Black value down for a vivid shade of deep scarlet. And then I'll click on this background rectangle that's located right along the bleed here; and let's say I want to replace its color with a swatch.
So I'll click on first Swatch icon up here in the Control panel and I'll select what, this light shade of orange, let's say. And I end up with this very garish effect. And part of the problem is that the swatches that are included along with the new document-- whether a print document like this one or a web document--they tend to be very bright colors, as you can see. We have a few shades of brown, but we don't have any pastels, we don't have any real complementary colors here; instead we just have bright cheerful swatches that are not necessarily the kind of thing that you are going to be applying on a regular basis.
And so what I'd have to do if I don't like this color, I'd have to manually manipulate the color here inside the Color panel until I come up with something I like better, which can take 10, 15 minutes just to color a simple artwork like this; or you can let Illustrator do the work for you by using the Color panel. So I am going to start things off here by clicking on this light blue t-shirt, and the easiest way to select the shirt is to click along the bottom of it between the two leaves. And then I'll go up to the Window menu and I'll choose the Color Guide command, or you can press that keyboard shortcut, Shift+F3. Aand notice now that we have a series of related colors--actually we don't.
This first color right there, that's the color upon which this harmony is based. And that happens to be the last color that I applied to the background art. If you want to update this list of colors, you need to click on that very first color swatch, which will be the color of the selected object and then that goes ahead and updates the list. Now you might think, Gosh! It seems like an unnecessary step, shouldn't Illustrator do that automatically? Well, actually no, because watch this. Now I want to use this base color in order to update my background art, so I'll click on this dark gray shape in order to select all the dark gray objects.
And Illustrator wisely does not update my list; after all I want to be able to work from that list of colors. Now you can see here that we have a list of four related colors by default and we also have a variety of tints and shades located here inside the panel. So that central column of colors, that represents that row of colors that we see above; and then we have tints, which are reduced shades of the color. In other words, we are mixing the color along with the white of the paper. And then these darker shades, notice that they become not only darker, but also less saturated because Illustrator is peeling out the CMY values and adding in K, that is to say, Black.
Now you don't have to stick with this specific harmony by the way. You can select a different one by clicking on this down-pointing arrowhead and then you have got this huge list of harmonies inside this menu. Now, this is the point at which a lot of people just check out and think, eh! What does this even mean, I mean analogues versus right complement, left complement, what in the world is going on? And especially, some of these guys are even less intelligible like Triad and Tetrad and so forth. Well, I am going to show you what's going on with every single one of the main harmony groups in the very next movie, so that you'll have no doubt about how it works.
But for now, I am just going to select something that's pretty straightforward, Complementary 2. These are color complements to my blue, and with this new list of swatches, I can apply them--assuming that my fill is active, which it is--by just clicking on them. And so I'll click on this brown here in order to apply that to what were formerly the dark gray objects, and then I'll click on one of these scarlet objects here to select it, and I'll replace it with this light shade of Warm Brown. And then I'll select the background rectangle right there at the bleed, and I will replace it with the medium brown right there in the center, and then finally I'll select one of the black objects and I'll replace it with the darker shade of blue, second down in the left-hand column.
If I click off the shapes to deselect them, I come up with this effect here. Now, I may or may not like what I've gotten, but it took me less than a minute to color my artwork; whereas it would take me several minutes without Color Guide. So there is your basic introduction to the Color Guide panel inside Illustrator. In the next movie, I'll show you how each one of the major categories of these harmony rules works.
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