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Introducing the Color Guide panel

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Introducing the Color Guide panel

In this exercise I am going to introduce you to the Color Guide panel which is a really awesome feature inside of Illustrator, quite useful indeed, we haven't seen it so far. It's the tip of a group of features that used to be known as Life Color inside of Illustrator, now Adobe, in sense, abandon that term. However, it's useful to think of these features, whatever you call them, as being linked together, as working together because they most certainly do even though they're strewn all over the place. So we got the Color Guide panel, we've got Color Groups inside the Swatches panel, we've got the Edit Color dialog box, we've got the Recolor Artwork command.

Introducing the Color Guide panel

In this exercise I am going to introduce you to the Color Guide panel which is a really awesome feature inside of Illustrator, quite useful indeed, we haven't seen it so far. It's the tip of a group of features that used to be known as Life Color inside of Illustrator, now Adobe, in sense, abandon that term. However, it's useful to think of these features, whatever you call them, as being linked together, as working together because they most certainly do even though they're strewn all over the place. So we got the Color Guide panel, we've got Color Groups inside the Swatches panel, we've got the Edit Color dialog box, we've got the Recolor Artwork command.

We'll be seeing all of those over the course of this chapter and once you come to terms with them they are very useful indeed for coming up with color schemes for your illustrations. For example, here I am working in that Two-up tees.ai file, found inside the 19_advanced_color folder, and I have already establish the colors that I want to work with inside of the T-shirt, so let's say this light color is the fabric color of the T-shirt and the this dark color is trim, and I have setup some various objects in the background that will complement things.

However, this color scheme that I have in work right here is not the color scheme I'm going to go with, it's not going to work out at all. I only have all these grays set up because I want to be able to tell the various objects apart from each other, other than that they bear no resemblance to the final colors I want to use. Now, having said that I have gone ahead and constructed this graphic to keep it as straightforward as possible, even though we've got all these complicated path outlines going on structurally the graphics is fairly straightforward. I'll go over to the layers panel and twirl open a background layer and unlock it so we can work on it.

Then notice that we've got two sets of repeating objects, one group of four objects and a background that is over here in the left have art board, the same group repeated over on the right hand art board for comparative purposes. And so all of my black path are grouped together, I've got this dark gray rectangle in back of it, I've got all of my lighter gray objects grouped together and then my lightest gray objects grouped together. But kind of so what, what do I do at this point? Even though it's going to be easy to select these four groups of objects now I am going to you have to define the colors of those objects and I am going to have to pick and choose and what? I guess dial in my colors here inside the Color panel so maybe I want a kind of shade of brown or something for what it were formerly those light gray objects.

Then maybe I want to switch the background object to some other color that I would dial here inside the Color panel or I can go over to the Swatches and say, maybe, this shade of orange or something like that, I want this ghastly, or I can get some help from Illustrator. I can ask Illustrator to give me some guidance in the form of the Color Guide panel and what the Color Guide panel does is it generates these little micro swatch groups on the fly based on some harmony criteria that I can set up.

So I am going to start things up by selecting a key color and so you specify a key color by selecting an object that contains that color. So I want to come up with some form of colors that are going to complement the blue of the T-shirt so I'll go ahead and select that T-shirt, I'll make sure that my Fill is active, here inside the Color panel, and then I'll switch over to Color Guide which you can also get to by going to the Window menu and choosing the Color Guide command or you can press that keyboard shortcut of Shift+F3 and that's going to switch you to this Color Guide panel.

Now notice, by default you're going to see a group of five colors that may or may not be the five colors you see on my screen and they really so far have nothing to do with the color that I've selected but I can see my base color right there, there is that color that's in work inside of the T-shirt. In order to wake up this little group of colors here and base it on my selected color I need to click on it and that goes ahead and tells Illustrator to recalculate those colors. Now that may seem like an unnecessary step, after all you should just be able to select the object that contains the color and the Color Guide panel automatically works from it.

Well, actually not so. If you think about it you're going to be selecting a bunch of different objects whose colors you want to change and if every time you click on one of these objects, for example now if this little color right there is orange if every time the Color Guide panel kept updating then you wouldn't have any uniformity across these various object. So anyway, at this point I have now established as I say this little group of colors that I can select from this, little group of Swatches that goes beyond anything I might have inside the Swatches panel.

Now if you want to vary the kinds of colors that you're seeing here, the arrangement of colors, then you can select a different Harmony Rule by clicking this down pointing arrow head right there and then you got this huge list of Harmony Rules. Now a lot of people immediately see this and go oh no! No way am I going to somehow sift through this ridiculous list, especially, because of the naming conventions and everything else that are going on. And what on the world does harmony even mean! Well, there are color patterns, is essentially what's going on and I don't want you thinking that somehow they've been invented by a team of color scientist who have figured out that these are the colors that go together and you need to use these colors and nothing else but how would you know which group of these colors to choose.

These are just color patterns that some engineers have come up with, that basically subscribe to some interesting but ultimately very flexible rules, for example Tetrad 2 which is selected by default. What Tetrad means is that the colors are going off in four different directions inside the big color wheel and we'll see what that looks like an upcoming exercise but for now just know Tetrad means 4. Doesn't necessarily mean 4 colors, the first Tetrad is actually four colors long, the second one is five colors long because two of the colors are resembling each other, they're going off in the same direction inside the hue wheel.

Triad is colors that are going off in three direction so the first Triad is just three colors after that there are five colors because pairs of colors are going off in the same direction and then if we go up the list, all the way up, we'll see Complimentary, that's pretty straightforward. So, you are going to start with the blue and then you are going to off in the opposite direction for your other colors, you are going into the orange area which is a color complement for blue. Left Complement is going to warm things up; in this case Right Complement is going to cool things down. Then we have got an Analogous that are colors that are going more or less at the same direction.

Monochromatic are all going in the same direction and doesn't become a little more clear what I mean by direction we see these colors represented inside the Edit Color dialog box as I say that's coming up. The Compound Harmonies are a kind of combination of Complementary and Analogous working together. High Contrast don't really have anything to do with each other, they're high contrast versions of some of the other patterns that we've seen so far and then Pentagram goes off in five directions just so as you know. Now, what I want you to do is just select the one you like.

Select the one that seems to have a bunch of colors that you think you want to work from, go ahead and choose that. For example, let's start with Tetrad 2 since that's the default and then you'll see in addition to these five colors up here in this Color Bar these same five colors appeared right down the middle of the panel underneath this arrow and then we see lighter tans over on the right hand side and darker shades over here on the left hand side, once again by default. The shades by the way are going to loose saturation.

So you are going to get more and more drab colors as you get darker and there's two reasons for that, Illustrator is trying to mimic the same color as it gives you a shade and secondly it's giving you more black but it's taking color way from cyan, magenta and yellow but also it can't make the color too dark because then you would violate the total ink limit and your inks would and smear and so on. So, let's just try applying one of these colors for starters to anything, inside this background, totally up to you, you don't have to get the same results I'm getting.

I am going to try out this burgundy shade right there just by clicking on it and that goes ahead and applies that color to the selected objects in then I might try this background and I might think, oh gosh! You know light green might work out pretty well. Now let's try those paths that are filled with a darker gray, this time around I'll try kind of a drab brown for those guys and then finally I might select my black objects there is like one of the very dark colors, let's say in the dark blues, in order to get this color scheme here.

Now I may or may not like what I've come up with but the brilliant thing about it is it happened that quickly. And with total no-brainer, I'm just able to sort of swim around inside this Color Guide panel, make some quick decisions, decide if I like it, if I don't like it, if I do I'm done, if I don't I can play around some more. And I'll show you a few ways to play around in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

153 video lessons · 28087 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
      39s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
      44s
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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