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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
In this next project we're going to see how you can use the Scale and Rotate tools to maximum effect inside Illustrator. And we are going to have some major fun. Not Sergeant fun, not Lieutenant fun, but Major fun. If you play your cards right, we might even have a little bit of General fun, and the document that I want you to open up here is called Tonalpo-new-alli because it's a new slant on that 260-day Aztec spiritual calendar that we were playing around in the previous chapters. Now you might say, Hey Deke, it's so garish now with all these colors.
It's Vegas baby. We got a Vegas color theme going this time. It's as if we had turned the Aztec calendar into a crazy roulette table or something along those lines. Notice the gods are smiling. You've got to be lucky. So anyway, let's get to the point maybe a little bit here. I've got this calendar layer selected inside of this document and we're going to be using this calendar layer as a tracing template. Notice we've also got a progress layer here. If you turn it on, it's missing a few items and what we've got is the core objects that we're going to be scaling and rotating and power duplicating in order to create the final version of the calendar right here.
But we need to convert the calendar into a template first and I thought I'd go ahead and show you how to create a black and white template, since this is so garish and we have so many colors going on, it would be nice to distinguish the colors inside of the template, make them just sort of black and white, so that we can distinguish them from the colors in the actual objects. To do that, go ahead and make sure your calendar layer is active. Meatball it by clicking on the circle here inside the Layers palette. You're going to see a ton of selection outlines, if you're seeing selection outlines on screen.
Then go up to the Edit menu, choose Edit Colors and go ahead and choose this command right there, Convert to Grayscale, and that will go ahead and deplete the colors from the objects like so. I'm going to press Control+H or Command+H, So that we can see what this illustration actually looks like without all those selection edges. Now this is a permanent modification, meaning that Illustrator has actually gone in and recolored all of the selected objects. That's okay though, because we've got the fully colored objects here on the progress layer, so we're fine. It's a concession that we can afford to make. All right, so having converted these objects to grayscale, I'm now going to go up to the Opacity value up here in the Control palette and I'm going to change it to 35% and press the Return key in order to convert this layer into your traditional everyday average tracing template, and then I'm going to lock down that layer so we don't go modifying and wrecking it and stuff like that.
Now notice all of these ornaments that I'm pointing to with my little "no can draw" cursor here. Notice all these repeating ornaments that are going around the edge and we've got these repeating ornaments right here and these little circles right there. Those are the types of things that we'll be creating using the Scale and Rotate Tools, but first I want you to go to the progress layer, make sure it's active, and make sure it's selected as well, so that we're working on the progress layer. We're going to be doing all of this work with just two tools: Scale and Rotate.
And they are two of the oldest tools inside of Illustrator. They were in Illustrator 1.0 and they pretty much worked the way they do now. They just happen to be incredibly powerful tools that were implemented really, really well in the first place. So they live on to this day, man and you will see exactly how they live on, if you join me in future exercises.
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