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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you are migrating from Freehand to Illustrator, here are a few quick pointers that you could use to help ease the transition. First of all, Illustrator CS4 ships with a workspace that's already programmed to look and feel just like Freehand. Instead of using these Essentials one, choose down over here, the one that's called 'Like Freehand,' that's as if your screen to look pretty much similar to the way that it does inside of Freehand. Illustrator also has the ability to open up native Freehand files, and in fact in doing so, Illustrator does a really good job in converting elements to native Illustrator elements. For example, if you already have your hard drive filled with Freehand files, simply go to Illustrator, go to the file menu, choose Open, as if you're opening up any other Illustrator file, but just choose the Freehand file. If the Freehand file had multiple pages defined inside of it, those multiple pages will automatically be converted to multiple artboards inside of Illustrator. Likewise, Blends and Gradients and so on and so forth, also come in as editable objects.
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