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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, we are still working inside of Photoshop, ladies and gentlemen, and for those of you who are thinking "hello! McFly, I'm under the impression that this is an Illustrator series. Will we by any chance be returning to Illustrator any time soon?" And the answer is yeah, pretty soon. We have got a few more exercises here inside of Photoshop because I really want to highlight a few things. First of all, one of many ways to go about preparing an image inside of Photoshop for use inside of Illustrator. But I want you to really understand, Photoshop excels at photographs in particular and pixels in general and that's where you do your pixel work and you get all of your pixel work done inside of Photoshop, if you are smart. Best practice before you bring the image into Illustrator where you can work the vector magic.
So I have to gone ahead and saved my progress as Masked filters.psd. In this exercise we are going to masking this woman away from her background. Now notice that she has got this shoulder with this hair sort of popping up in the background and actually it's a chair, isn't it? It's a very, very out of focus chair. That doesn't really serve my purposes. If you switch over to Illustrator and take a look at Final advertisement. ai also inside the 20_images folder, you will see that I masked her hair like so and then we have got a little bit of hair down here and then this things just sculpts through her shoulder.
So her shoulder is gone; we don't have shoulder over here. Instead we have got all kinds of wonderful, beautiful filigree. All right, so what I have done is I have made a decision. So, if you go over to the Channels palette, you can see the decision I made. Here is Hair Mask and I did a pretty darn good job of tracing her hair. Her hair was a little difficult to mask, because there's so much softness going on there. And I didn't really want to spend the rest of my life on the project so I did a basic hair mask and you can see that I'm tracing these hairs down there, and then I'm just sculpting right there, notice that.
So I'm tracing this line. I want you to see White represents the area that will be keeping, Black represents the area that will be going transparent, that we'll be getting rid of, and that means right there I'm making a cut and if I go back to the RGB image, by clicking on it, that cut goes right through this location there, and you can actually view the image in the mask at the same time by clicking on the eyeball in front of Hair Mask like so and you will see this edge right there. You may not see the mask represented in CYAN, the way mine is and may be represented in Red instead, but you should be able to make out this edge right there. Again that's just something I decided to do. All right, so what do I want you to do, I want you to go ahead and turn that hair mask Off, so we are just seeing the composite RGB image and I want you to Ctrl-click or Command-click in a Mac on hair mask in order to load it as a selection outline, because you have to convert things, the selection outlines and then back to masks often times inside of Photoshop.
That's a non-destructive modification, selection outlines and masks are actually under the hood the exact same thing Anyway go back to the Layers palette, smart object is active as you can see, make sure it is for you and then drop down to the bottom of the Layers palette and click on this little Add Layer Mask icon and you have converted the mask to a layer mask, so you have cut her away from the background. So, everything that appears checkerboard is transparent now and everything that doesn't appear checkerboard, where you don't see the checkerboard at all is completely opaque and then anywhere where you have some pixels and some checkerboard is translucency.
Now, if I were planning and compositing her against the different photographic image, this mask would not be the best mask on earth and you can learn all about that inside my Photoshop Channels and Masks series. However for the effect I'm about to achieve, it's going to work out very, very nicely indeed. In the next exercise I'm going to show you how to apply the Sepia effect using Independent Adjustment layers.
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