Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Linking versus embedding


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Linking versus embedding

In this exercise I'm going to discuss the difference between linking an image into an illustration as we've done so far and embedding that image into the illustration. I'm still working inside Image in I've selected the image. It's got a big X to it, showing me that it's a linked graphic. Now couple things to note here. When you have a graphic linked to an illustration and you take that illustration to your commercial printer for output, you've got to give him the images too. You have got him all those linked files so that they have those links to call from, because the pixels are not actually part of the illustration.
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  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
    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
    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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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
14h 53m Intermediate Nov 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks
Deke McClelland

Linking versus embedding

In this exercise I'm going to discuss the difference between linking an image into an illustration as we've done so far and embedding that image into the illustration. I'm still working inside Image in I've selected the image. It's got a big X to it, showing me that it's a linked graphic. Now couple things to note here. When you have a graphic linked to an illustration and you take that illustration to your commercial printer for output, you've got to give him the images too. You have got him all those linked files so that they have those links to call from, because the pixels are not actually part of the illustration.

Illustrator is having to go out to that image file on disk in order to bring that pixel information in. Another thing to note is if you take a look at this information up here in the Control panel you can see that it lists Spanishtown dinosaurs.tif which is the name of the linked file of course, and RGB. I saved this out as an RGB image. I did not convert it to CMYK before bringing it into Illustrator. Now a lot of folks would tell you, you've got to convert that image into CMYK before you bring it in, but you don't really. Because both Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign and the rest of the CS5 programs all use the same color engine.

So the conversion from RGB to CMYK is going to happen exactly the same way here inside Illustrator as it does inside of Photoshop, as it does inside of InDesign and so on. So you can let Illustrator be in charge of that process if you want. In any case, the other option is to go ahead and embed the pixels into the illustration file. That way if you have an embedded image you don't need that linked image file. So you have got everything inside of one Illustrator document, you don't have any moving pieces. That may sound like a great thing, but here's the problem.

Illustrator is not well suited to handling internal pixels. It doesn't do such a hot job with it. We saw that with dynamic effects when you start upping the resolution of your drop shadows and so on, the program starts slowing to a crawl, and that's true if you start embedding images as well. So, I am not necessarily recommending embedding, I'm just showing you that it's here, and why you might on occasion use it. For example, let's say that you want to take an image and you want to turn into a symbol. And I was telling you back in the Symbols chapter that's not really technically possible, but I'll bring up the Symbols panel for moment and I've seen this recommended as a technique by the way.

I think it's a bad technique, but still I'll address it here. I'm going to go ahead and drag the image into the Symbols panel. So the idea is you want to repeat the image over and over again throughout your document, and of course by golly, if you want to repeat something a lot inside of Illustrator then the symbol is the way to go, except where images are concerned. But anyway I'll go ahead and do it. I'll drop the image into the Symbols panel. Up comes the Symbol Options dialog box. So I guess I lied. I told you, you can't do it and here we can do it. So I'll just go ahead and call this placed image and then I'll click OK in order to create that symbol and that's when Illustrator turns around and says, oh actually no, you can't do that by the way.

I just wasted some of your time there entering the name inside that dialog box. So I click OK. Well, what you can do instead is you can go ahead and embed this image and notice up here in the Control panel you have got an Embed button. That's going to change a little bit of information over here on the left-hand side of the Control panel as well. So keep an eye on that. As soon as I click Embed a few different things to notice. First of all, I lose the big X. So I still have the image selected, but I don't have an X through it anymore, because it's no longer a placed graphic. So that X is Illustrator's way of telling you have got a link, when the X is gone, it's Illustrator's way of telling you, you've got all the pixels embedded inside of the image file.

Also, and this is just wacky. If you go over to layers panel and twirl open top story layer, right below you'll see this Spanishtown dinosaurs object. Go ahead and twirl it open as well. It's a group, and you can see it's a group over here in the Control panel. That's because Illustrator decided, hey, now that this image is embedded, I'm going to put it inside a group. I have no idea why it does that. There's no reason for it. I could just drag this item out of the group and drop it at the top and then the group goes way and it's no longer inside of a group. It doesn't want to be inside of a group anyway, it's just a silly construct.

Notice also up here in the Control panel the word Embedded telling you that it's an embedded image and it's CMYK. So Illustrator automatically converted that RGB to CMYK, because this happens to be a CMYK graphic. We've also got this word Image over here so you can click on it to bring up the Links panel and you'll see right there this little icon to the far right of that image thumbnail, and that tells you, you have an embedded graphic. Also if I click on Embedded, notice the pixels per inch there, 279.333 pixels per inch.

So that's still the resolution, but if I click on Embedded and I choose Link Information, that same command we saw in the previous exercise. This time it's going to tell me, all right, the Size is 0 bytes. What that means? It's nowhere near 0 bytes, by the way. It's huge actually. But it's zero bytes on disk, because there is no linked graphic. There is nothing linked to it. So it's zero. Anyway, also notice that all this NA stuff, because there's no links. Then here inside Transform, it tells me this thing is transformed to 25.776%. Where did that come from? It was just 100% a moment ago.

I didn't scale this graphic. Well, it's telling me what the image would be. At 100% it would be 72 PPI. So because it's 279.333 PPI, why then, it's actually scaled down to about a quarter size. So that's all that means. Anyway, I'm going to click OK. I just wanted to show you that. I'm going to drag this image now by its edge and I'm going to drop it into the Symbols panel. Now up comes the Symbol Options dialog box and I'm going to call this guy embedded image, and then click OK. Now I can create a symbol. So no problem.

So now I could replicate this image over and over inside of my graphic. Problem is, you could already do that with the linked file just as efficiently as if you were using a symbol. So there is no reason to go this route. Also, I'll go ahead and undo that modification by the way and hide that Symbols panel. So I press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. There are a few other things you can do with embedded images. For example, you can go up to the Edit menu choose Edit Colors and choose of this really bad old- school color editing commands.

For example, you could Convert the image to Grayscale and it will look like this. This might be the single worst way to convert an image to black and white that there is. Photoshop offers a gazillion ways to do it, all of which are several times better than what we're seeing here. So again, there's no reason to go the embedded route, except you've got one file that contains the image and you're not going to lose your linked graphics when you take that image off to a commercial printer. So it's kind of up to you. I'm going to undo the conversion to grayscale by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac.

Now some folks will recommend you do embedded images so that you can take advantage of the Photoshop effects that are down here at the bottom of the Effect menu, but you can apply for example Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. That's the command that you can apply to a linked graphic or an embedded image, it doesn't matter which. It is a pixel level modification, but it's applied as a dynamic effect from the Appearance panel however you go. I have to say where editing images is concerned I don't recommend you apply Photoshop effects to placed images inside of Illustrator. All of these effects are found in Photoshop proper, so that's the better place to apply them.

Then finally here's what I want you to see. This is the big thing about embedded images. I'm going to switch over to the Bridge by clicking on the Go to Bridge icon up here in the application bar. Notice I've got a couple of different versions of this file. Image in front, which is the one with the placed version of the graphic. That is 20 megabytes on disk. If you're not seeing the size of the file, what you do is you press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box. You switch from General here to Thumbnails in the left-hand list, and then you go ahead and turn on your Show options.

And one of them will be Size, for me it's the last one. You could just turn on a check box and choose Size from the list as well. Then you click OK in order to accept your modifications. I'm going to click Cancel, because I already had it set up that way, but I can see that this is a 20 MB file. Still pretty darn big, but as I soon as I embed that graphic, check it out it grows to 47 MB almost 50. So it more than doubles in size, thanks to the fact that I embedded that image and again, Photoshop is very good at handling pixels, Illustrator very, very bad.

So I don't recommend you go that route, but I did want you to see it. Now what do you do? I'll go ahead and return back to Illustrator. What do you do if you have embedded an image and you want to undo the damage? Well, obviously, in my case I could press Ctrl+Z and Command+Z a few times to get back to the linked image. But here is another way. You can go up to Image, that image link up there in the Control panel to bring up the Links panel and then you can click on Relink and that will bring up the Place dialog box and then you click on Spanishtown dinosaurs.tif file again, and make sure Link is turned on. Notice Replace is going to be turned on automatically even though it's dimmed.

Then I'll click on Place and then Illustrator goes ahead and replaces the embedded version of the graphic with the linked file and we'll see an X through it as well. If Illustrator hangs for you, if you're not seeing a change, it's just acting like it's working or something. Just click someplace in the interface and it should update. That is the difference between linking and embedding. The simplest explanation is linking good, embedding bad where photographic and pixel-based images are concerned. The more elaborate version of the story is go ahead and link your images if you want to keep things lean and mean inside of Illustrator and you want the program that turn along at a nice pace.

If you're more concerned about making sure that every single piece of the file is inside the larger document container here in Illustrator, then embed, but do that as your last step before you hand the file off to your commercial printer.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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