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Layer comps and editable text


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Layer comps and editable text

All right, I'm back in Photoshop and I have opened an image called Layer comps.psd. And if you are new to Photoshop you have probably never heard of layer comps, whereas if you have been using Photoshop for years and years, you have probably never heard of layer comps. They are just a really obscure feature but they are also really super useful. They allow to save different states inside of a single layered composition, so you can save which layers are turned on or off, you can save opacity settings, and blend modes, and layer effects, and the physical position of a layer inside of a composition if you so desire.
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  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
12h 54m Intermediate Jul 09, 2009

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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.

Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Working with compound shapes in the Pathfinder palette
  • Ghosting shapes with Fill Opacity
  • Understanding gradients and the gradient tools
  • Cloning and coloring a blended path
  • Saving tile patterns and applying them to a shape
  • Importing and linking images from other applications
Deke McClelland

Layer comps and editable text

All right, I'm back in Photoshop and I have opened an image called Layer comps.psd. And if you are new to Photoshop you have probably never heard of layer comps, whereas if you have been using Photoshop for years and years, you have probably never heard of layer comps. They are just a really obscure feature but they are also really super useful. They allow to save different states inside of a single layered composition, so you can save which layers are turned on or off, you can save opacity settings, and blend modes, and layer effects, and the physical position of a layer inside of a composition if you so desire.

So, here is what we are going to do. I want you to go to the Window menu, and I want you to choose Layer Comps to bring up the Layer Comps palette. And you can see that I already have four layer comps ready and waiting for us. And these little arrowheads indicate that each of the Comps has a comment associated with it. And Illustrator can see layer comps and comments. You don't have to have them in order to dissect a layered file inside of Illustrator, but it is one way to work and it is actually a really powerful way. Now, you switch between layer comps by clicking on the icon in front of the name of the layer comp. So, in this case we are seeing this unfortunately sharpened version of the image. The bad news is that layer comps are not savvy to Smart Filters. So, either they are on or off for all layer comps, so I have gone ahead and left them on. Even though the image in its current state makes you want to go out and corner the market in Visine. Anyway you can also use these little arrowheads to switch from one layer comp to the next. So, I'm going to click on the Next button.

This is the masked version of the women. This is the, much better, Sepia toned version of the women and this is the highly graphical version right there at the end. Now, the one layer we are missing is this Graphic layer up top right there. And so I'm going to switch back to Last Document State by clicking in front of it, which for some reason is coming up with the image with the mask turned off. So, I'll go ahead and Shift- click in order to turn the mask back on or I could just press the F12 key in order to revert the image because that is the keyboard shortcut for reverting inside of Photoshop as well.

All right, and now we have some live editable text, which is theoretically editable inside of Illustrator as well. So, let's give it a try, but first let's go ahead and save our own layer comp. So, I want you to go down to the bottom of the Layer Comps palette. Click on the little page icon. Let's call this guy Text. And let's add a comment. By the way, Visibility and Appearance, leave those two turned on. Position should be off for this demonstration because we are not moving layers around inside of the image window. And the comment I'm going to add is something to the extent of live editable text ready and waiting. That should be good. And then an exclamation point of course and click OK.

All right, now let's go up to the File menu and choose the Save As command so that we don't save over the original, and I'm going to call this one With editable text, like so. And make sure everybody is turned on and then click on the Save button. And this images does contain the same alpha channels that we saw earlier. Now, the interesting thing about it is it is an RGB image. So, if you switch over to the Channels palette, notice it is RGB, Red, Green, and Blue not Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. But we also have a few alpha channels at our disposal here.

Okay, so switch over now to Illustrator, why don't you? And I have gone ahead and restored the original Wrap file and I would like to work on the text layer just because that way the Photoshop image will appear in front of the text. Actually you know what I'm going to do, I'm going to hide the text for now by twirling open the text layer and just turning off all three of the text layers right there, which are these top three, which are Your Health, Or so they, and Before creating. All right, then I'll twirl that close once again, go up to the File menu, choose the Place command. Scroll down the list to With editable text right there. Turn off the Link check box. You have to do that if you want to have access to the various layers inside of a layered composition. Click on the Place button, and you will see a preview of each one of your Comps. Not only will you see a list of the layer comps by the way, all the ones that we already saw, Sharpened, Masked, Sepiatone, Graphical, and Text, but you will also see the comments that go along with them, right here in this Comments area. And if you turn on Show Preview, you will see a little preview of the image.

All right, I want you to switch to Text and then go ahead and turn on Convert Layers to Objects. And we don't need to Import Hidden Layers at this minute because we don't have any hidden layers, but we do want to see if we can make text editable where possible. Then notice it says this file's color mode does not match that of the AI document, meaning that this is an RGB image. This is the CMYK illustration. Any transparency effects between layers will yield different results. They don't really mean that, they mean blend modes. Blend modes might trick you up a little bit, but anyway we are not too worried about that, go ahead and click OK in order to import that photo illustration right there with text.

All right, here it is on the text layer. Let's twirl open the text layer. There is the object itself. Let's twirl it open. It is kind of Group I believe. Yes it is. It is a Group we can see that up here in the Control palette. And it is a group that contains single item, smart objects, so the text is not editable. All right, let's switch back to Photoshop, the culprit my friends, and the reason by the way that we are only seeing smart object and nothing more is because Adjustment layers get merged, the Smart Objects and Smart Filters get merged. Illustrator doesn't understand any of those things. But it does understand live editable text if we get rid of the Drop Shadow. So, go ahead and drag that Drop Shadow on the Trash, go over to the Layer Comps palette, go ahead and update that text item right there by clicking on the little Update icon. And just to make sure everything is copasetic, click on Sharpened. All right, no layer effect right there, no Drop Shadow, click on Mask, click on Sepiatone, click on Graphical. I'm racing through them a little bit here just because I'm trying to check them out. Click on Text, nobody has got a Drop Shadow.

Let's try the Last Document State. Darn it, Last Document State. That can ruin it. We need to go ahead and get rid of that too. Hopefully, that will do it. Let's just leave it that way with Last Document State set to whatever it is. And let's click on Text and then click on Last Document State. Good. It is clean. We don't want that Drop Shadow associated with the text. It has got a totally go away in my experience. Go up to the File menu and choose Save in order to update the file. Now Alt+Tab or Command+Tab over to Illustrator.

And of course Illustrator will ask us whether or not we would like to update the photograph, please Illustrator, what's the problem? Well, the problem is we had to turn the Link check box off, so this is no longer a linked graphic and you can tell because the Embed button is in bed. It is sleeping, dormant, and also dimmed. And so that tells us that we have embedded the graphic and it is not linked to the file on disk, so we have got to re-import it. So, press Backspace or Delete to get rid of the one we just imported, go back to the File menu, choose the Place command. And then scroll down, find With editable text, make sure Link is turned off, click on the Place button. And there is Last Document State, if you want that or Text. If you want that.

I'm going to go ahead and switch to Text. Convert Layers to Objects, you betcha. Let's see if that works. Click OK. Hold breath, twirl open this object, and there is the Graphic, which is text actually. Isn't that an interesting sort of ironical statement? The Graphic item right there is in fact text because it is the word Graphic. Now, what you can do is you can get your Type tool if you want to and you can select that text and you can say No, I'm Text, if you want to or something along those lines. And then click off the text. And then you could add a Drop Shadow here inside of Illustrator if you wanted to.

Now, what I'm going to tell you is even though that's kind of cool, it is a nifty trick that Illustrator supports Photoshop like that. It is adorable. But I don't find it to be particularly useful because you have got to do an embed, and so I don't know. It is up to you. But I just want you to know it is there. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go up to the File menu and I'm going choose the Revert command to get rid of that junk. And then with my original graphic back intact, I'm going to turn on that trim layer, I'm going to go the View menu and select Hide Guides in order to hide those Guides right there.

I'm going to Shift+Tab away my palettes and then I'm going go to the View menu and choose Fit Artboard in Window. And there it is folks, our final image illustration. Thanks to Illustrator's ability to introduce and integrate photographic pixel based imagery into your artwork.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: In the lesson on pressure sensitivity, exactly what kind of Wacom tablet is the instructor using?
A: The instructor is using a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet
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