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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.
I'm still working inside the Guides are go.ai document that I opened up in the previous exercise, and as you may recall I went ahead and grabbed all the guides inside of this illustration and relegated them to their own independent Guides layer down here at the bottom of the Layers palette. In this exercise I'm going to take all of the lines on the Horus layer, and make them translucent and the idea is I want to turn this Horus layer into a tracing template. By making the lines translucent, I can easily distinguish them from the lines that I'll be drawing in subsequent exercises. All right so here's what we're going to do. I'm going to go ahead and twirl open the Horus layer here so that I can see its contents, and I went ahead and clicked on the twirly triangle, in order to reveal all of the paths that are on the Horus layer.
And I also want to devote a little more room to my Layers palette so I'm going to collapse the Appearance palette above it by clicking in this neutral gray area above the Appearance tab. Now I can see that I have a total of seven objects including this group of paths here on my of Horus layer. Now if I wanted to select an independent object I would just click on its meatball like so. By clicking on this path meatball here I go ahead and select this straight segment, down here underneath the Horus eye. What if I want to make everything on this layer translucent? Why then I would click on the meatball that's associated with the layer itself, that way I can assign the translucency as an attribute to the layer so that any other items that I add to the layer become translucent as well. So I clicked on the meatball to the right of Horus inside the Layers palette. Now I'm going to go up to the Opacity value, up here inside the Options Bar/Control palette, and I'm going change the opacity value to 25% like so, and then I'm going to press the Enter key.
Now you may wonder why, up here in the Control palette, why some of these items appear as little hyperlinks. That means if you click on the little hyperlinks, you're going to bring up a subpalette of options and we don't need this subpalette, I just want you to see what these little hyperlink options do. They bring up still more options. Anyway I've changed all of the contents of this Horus layer to 25% opacity, that means that we can see through these objects and we can easily distinguish them from the objects that we'll be drawing in the next exercises on the Draw here layer.
All right having done that I'm going to go ahead and twirl close the Horus layer and I'm going to go ahead and lock this layer as well because I don't want to take any chance of modifying the contents of this layer, and that's how you make a tracing template inside of Illustrator. It's not the only way to work, but it does turn out to be the easiest way to work in my opinion. Now all I suggest you go ahead and click on the Draw here layer and turn it on. Click it's eyeball so that you can see the contents of this layer. I've already gone ahead and drawn, I've gone ahead and given you the couple paths that I drew with the Pen Tool and we'll be seeing how the Pen Tool works in a later chapter.
But for now note that we've got one open path and one closed path, and what that means is the open path is a line and the closed path is a closed shape in which all the points join each other with curved segments here. So we've got those paths in place. In the next exercise we will begin adding other paths to the illustration, starting with this vertical line right there.
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