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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise we are going to take a group of colors that are associated with a harmony rule here inside the Color Guide panel and we are going to save them off as a color group inside the Swatches panel. Then we will turn around and take a custom color group from the Swatches panel and assign it as a harmony rule inside the Color Guide panel. So this is kind of reciprocal arrangement between harmony rules and color groups inside Illustrator. I've saved my changes as Colorful backgrounds.ai. What we are going to do here is start things off.
I've got my Color Guide panel set to the Tetrad 2 rule right there. So you want to go ahead and choose a different rule just to make sure that you have got all of the color selected. It's based of, of my blue t-shirt color so that's great. Now I am going to drop down here to this little folder icon and I am going to click on it in order to save the group out inside the Swatches panel. Then I will move over to the Swatches panel and there's my new color group. That's awesome. Now if you double-click on the color group you might think that would bring up a dialog box that would ask you to name the group, well, because this originally started off as a harmony rule you are going to bring up the big edit color dialog box.
I am not quite ready to show you that one yet. So here's how we are going to name this new group. Click on the group in order to select it. Then go out to flyout menu and choose Color Group Options and that will bring up a little dialog box. It's not hard to deal with, just a Name option and nothing more. We will go ahead and call this guy Tetrad colors and then click OK in order to accept that new color group. Here's another way to create a color group from the colors inside of the illustration. I am going to go ahead and zoom out and marquee all of these objects back here in the background or I could have just clicked on this black wedge in the upper right-hand corner of the backdrop layer here inside the layers panel.
Anyway, that goes and selects everybody. There should be eight different colors there. However, notice if I drop down to this little New Color Group icon and click on it and I say that I want to lift the colors from the Selected Artwork that's exactly right, I could Convert the Process colors to Global if I wanted to. If I want global colors that are going to update the objects that are assigned to those color swatches on the fly. I am not really interested in doing that at this point. So I am just going to go ahead and name this group, and I am going to call it Vibrant floral, because that's what it reminds me of where these bright oranges and reds and yellows as well, these deep greens.
Then I will go ahead and click OK, and sure enough one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, I do get colors this time around, that's awesome. However, one of the colors says C=0 M=0 and Y=0 K= 100% and 1. Meaning that it's a duplicate of a color that we already have, and that's because this guy right there is just filled with standard black. So let's fairy that a little bit. I will go ahead and switch over to the Color panel and I will introduce a little bit of Cyan, let's say maybe even more Magenta just a little bit more Yellow and I'll take the Black value down to something like 85%.
Just so that we have a slightly different color going on. You can see it's kind of darkish brown now. I will go ahead and click on that object to make it active, switch over to the Swatches panel. Let's go ahead and add that's swatch by clicking on the New Swatch icon. Its name is just fine this way. It does need to be global. This is all Okay. Click OK. Then I will drag this guy into the color group, like so. So I am customizing the color group a little bit. Then I am going to click off of my objects so I don't end up re-coloring them and I'm really going to grab this final color swatch which is a duplicate anyway and I am going to throw it the trash.
Now, this gets terribly interesting in my opinion, go ahead and zoom in here and of course you have got all these color groups and they will be saved along with your illustrations. That's great. You know what, let's open's yet another color group from the Swatch Libraries menu. I am going to go ahead and click on that little icon down here in a lower left-hand corner of the Swatches panel and I'm going to choose let's say where is Nature? Right there. Then I'm going to choose Flowers, because that gives us a wide variety of color choices. I am going to grab this guy, Birds of Paradise and all you need to do is just go ahead and drag it into the Swatches panel.
That's one way to move a color group in there. Another way is to just click on a color group. If you just click on a folder that it adds it to the current swatches panel as well. Then all of these groups will be saved along with the current illustration. I am going to closeout of that panel. Now let's see what we have got here. If I click on Vibrant floral which is the one that I created from the existing colors inside the illustration and I switch back to Color Guide, notice that becomes my harmony rule. I have got a total of eight colors now that are associated with this new harmony rule. Now it's based on the wrong color, which is fine.
All I need to do is click on the t-shirt again and then click on that blue and now we have a totally new group of colors that's associated with this base color. That means that I could grab my background rectangle for example and I could fill it with brown if I want to. Then I can grab one of these other shapes. Right now I am working with Vivid through Muted. If that's not what I want, why don't we try warm, cool this time around and see if we end up coming up with something be a little more interesting here? Although, all these colors are pretty similar to each other, but I'll try.
Well, blue is not what I am going to want. None of these are really going to work. This is a bad color scheme for me frankly. Let's go ahead and switch to something else. Like for example, we haven't seen Pentagram yet. I am going to go ahead and click on that one to make it active and I will grab this shade of orange right there. I think that looks nice. Then I will click in the leaves and I will make that what the heck? Let's make it green or even purple actually might work out pretty nicely. Maybe a dimmer purple if I go ahead and switch here to Vivid/Muted once again. I try out a slightly more muted purple.
That might work out. Obviously, I am just free forming here. If I go to Tints/Shades and try out a darker shade of the purple that might work out nicely too and I could try out a difference Blend mode. We will be seeing Blend modes in a lot more detail when we take a look at transparency in the future chapter. But I could try out something like the Screen mode in order to brighten up those purples like that against their background to create a little bit of interaction. Let's try something else. Let's try one of the other color groups and see if they might provide us with a more fortuitous harmony rule here.
I'll switch over to Swatches and I'll grab Birds of Paradise. So I will go ahead and click on it. Then switch back to the Color Guide panel. There it is. So now we have got the Bird of Paradise mixed. I will click on the t-shirt to make it active. I will click on that color swatch in order to build up the colors from that t-shirt and then I can click on this background rectangle. Let's go ahead and fill it with a deep purple, actually that looks very nice I think. Then I might try something like that light green right there, except you know what? Why don't we try something like Vivid/Muted? Then we can go with a very vibrant green like that one.
I will grab that sort of greenish leaf right there and let's switch it out with the most vivid version of that orange and we come up with these two color schemes. For better or for worse this is the effect I have ended up achieving and that is exactly the kind of thing you can do by once again saving your harmony rules from the Color Guide panel as color groups inside the Swatches panel and then turning around creating your custom color groups inside swatches and then applying those as harmony rules inside Color Guide.
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