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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.
All right, in the previous exercise I was alluding to Illustrator's inherent inefficiency in handling images. Now it's telling you that you're going to get a bigger file when you do a copy and paste than you are when you do a place, which performs a link which we'll see in the future, not too long from now actually. But I really want to drill this home, so that you understand what I'm talking about. So I'm working inside the Bridge and I have the Bridge trained on the 20_images folder right there inside of my Exercise Files folder. I have selected Final advertisement.ai, which is that final version of the illustration that we saw in the previous exercise.
Notice you go to the Metadata panel and you get to the Metadata panel by going out to the Window menu and choosing Metadata panel, big surprise there. Then there's this File properties option,. You just want to make sure that it's twirled open, so you click on its triangle to open it up and then you'll see file size and it's 7 megabytes. So it's a pretty big illustration. All right, and then this is worth noting. Inside of that illustration is this Sepia image.psd file and notice that it's 8.96 megabytes. So it's 9 megabytes and it fits inside of a 7 megabytes illustration. So you might be thinking "hey! Deke, that seems pretty efficient to me. Actually Illustrator made the file get smaller when it brought it in." No, it's only linked to it. So this image is not really inside of the illustration. It is just linked to the illustration.
So that way everything that's inside the illustration that's taking up 7 megabytes, I'll go ahead and select it again, is inherent Illustrator stuff. It's not the image itself. There is some overhead associated with the linked images but not much. Compare that to what happens when we go ahead and paste the image into the illustration. Now there's the image I pasted, so this one was already linked to it and we saw it in a previous exercise. It's called Orange woman. It takes 3.32 megabytes on disk. That's it. Once we paste it, and this file called Pasted image.ai is my progress document. So this is the result of what I did in the previous exercise.
Notice by adding a 3 megabytes image to a 7 megabytes file, it turns into 21.29 megabytes. That's an enormous growth. So this file is 14 megabytes. Actually it's three times as big as that file but is 14 megabytes larger. Thanks to the introduction view of the clipboard of a 3 megabytes image. So it just absolutely balloons when you bring it into Illustrator. That, my friends, is moral of the story. Don't paste like this. Link and we'll see how linking works in the future exercise. I'm going to dwell just a little bit more and stuff you don't do because it's some sexy stuff that I don't recommend you do in the next exercise.
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