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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this next project, we are going to take a look at the Scale and Rotate tools, which rank among the oldest tools in Illustrator. They were available in Illustrator 1.0, for example, and they worked pretty much the same way they do today which is, in word, awesomely. So we are going to experience these tools but first, I want you to go ahead and open this document. It's called Tonalpo-new-alli.ai found inside the 07_edit_transform folder. This is an updated snazzier version of that 260-day Aztec spiritual calendar. I have given it more of a way vibrant, sort of Vegas color scheme, something analogous to a kind of Aztec roulette wheel with a God smiling luckily right there in the center of things.
Now in order to concoct this specific version of the illustration, we are going to start here with this progress layer. So you can see that many of the objects are missing, we are going to scale and rotate them into place. We are going to use the calendar layer. I went ahead and turned off the progress layer. We are going to use the calendar layer as a guide with this sign, just to show you a different approach; we will create a gray scale template. That way we can easily the colored objects on the progress layer from the gray scale objects on the calendar layer. So here is what I want you to do. Go ahead and Alt-click or Option-click on the calendar layer to select the entire contents of that layer. Then I want you to go up to the Edit menu, and choose the Edit Colors command and choose this command right there, Convert to Grayscale, which will convert the colors of all of the objects on this layer to black and white versions of their former self.
So we will retain the luminance information, that is to say how bright or dark the objects are, but we will get rid of all the hue and saturation information, all the color information as it were. We are left with this illustration right here. Now that's a permanent modification but that's okay, because we have all the colored objects ready and waiting for us right here on the progress layer. So it's a sacrifice, in other words, that we can afford to make. Still working on the calendar layer, I clicked off of it in order to deselect it. I'm going to now meatball that layer in order to make the layer itself active. Now let's change the Opacity value there inside the Transparency palette, or in the Options bar, if you prefer, to 35% and then I'll press the Return key or the Enter key on the Mac to accept that modification. Finally, I'll lock down that layer, so we don't mess it up. I'll turn on the progress layer, click on it to make it active, and we are now ready to go.
So you have successfully made a gray- scale tracing template here inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to work with the Scale tool.
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