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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.
As I mentioned in one of the earlier videos in this title Illustrator itself has kind of an identity crisis, meaning that there are just so many different uses for Illustrator, there is no one particular use. Which is one of the reasons why Illustrator ships out of the box with a variety of new document profiles. As you see here in the welcome screen you have something here called a Print Document, a Web Document, Mobile and Devices Document, and the Video and Film Document. Those are the four basic types of documents that you can create for I guess four different workflows that Illustrator plays very well in.
We will start off with these, but of course you can also create your own. I'll click on Print Document and that brings up this New Document dialog box. In fact, if you look here at the bottom there is a button here called Advanced. By default Illustrator doesn't show you all the settings, but hey, we are here to learn everything in Illustrator, so let's look at the Advanced settings as well, and we will go through this very quickly and we will come back as we need to, to these different concepts. Now, first of all, you have the ability to name your document right off the bat. We can do this later when you save your document; just saves yourself a step later. Notice over here that it says New Document Profile. This is actually quite interesting because if I move this back over here, remember how we had Print, Web, Mobile Devices, so on and so forth? Well, really that's just kind of one step but you could change your mind at this point and really switch to any other profiles as well. This is important as we will talk about in a minute.
I have here the Print New Document Profile selected. Let's talk about artboards itself. For now this is actually a new feature inside of Illustrator CS4, the ability to have multiple artboards in a single document, but for now we are just going to leave it set to one artboard; in the next movie we will come back to understanding how we could use multiple artboards. Now, the size of that artboard right now is set to a Letter size, which is 8.5x11, here in the United States. I can choose let's say Legal, Tabloid, and there are a few other presets that are here as well. These are mainly used internationally; A4, A3 sizes, so on and so forth.
Now, the reason why I pointed out to you the fact that you can switch between profiles here is because if I switch to Web, for example, this same size pop-up menu gets populated by other sizes. Unfortunately, there is no way to basically customize these pop-up menus. The Illustrator team kind of decided on their own some of the basic or most used different sizes for each of these workflows and they have programmed those into Illustrator itself. But for example, if I choose let's say Video and Film, I'll see how much different film sizes for like high definition television or film or wide screen and so on and so forth.
I'm going to switch back to Print now. I'll see that I have the ability to change my units, my measurement system. Points, Picas, Inches, Millimeters, Centimeters, or Pixels. Of course, this is just the default setting; you can change these inside of Illustrator if you want to on a per document basis. You also have the ability to really use any measurement system at all inside of Illustrator in context. I could basically set my document to be Portrait or Landscape; those are these icons right here. Tall or Wide. Bleed is actually useful for when I'm actually using Print workflows where I need to add extra parts to my design so that when my paper is trimmed it actually has the artwork that prints all the way to the edge of the paper; and again, we will talk more about that when we discuss more about artboards themselves.
The reason why I mentioned the Advanced section here is because these are actually important settings. The Color mode setting is either a choice of CMYK or RGB. If you are in a Print workflow you are always going to want to stay in a CMYK workflow. In you are inside of a document that's basically going to go to a computer screen or to a television screens, meaning web design or animation, or if you are doing something let's say for your movies or for television broadcast TV, you will then choose the RGB Color mode. I won't get into details of exactly RGB or CMYK; it's a far more detailed discussion, but basically if you are in Print, CMYK, if you are on a computer screen, RGB.
We also have the ability to determine what your raster Effect Resolution is, and we will talk more about this much later on in the title when we talk about our Live Effects, which are raster based effects that you can apply to Illustrator; for example, Drop Shadows, and what resolution those get rasterized at. You can also choose Default Preview mode, and you have something called Pixel and Overprint Preview, we will discuss those later on in the title as well. I just want to point out to you though that if you switch between let's say, Print and Web, you will see that some of those change automatically. For example, raster Effects, since most screens have a resolution of 72 pixels per inch, that changes automatically here as well, and the Color mode gets changed to RGB.
So the nice thing about these profiles is basically that it's not just choosing Web or Print as just a name, it actually changes some of the settings for you and your document itself. So that's basically how you create your new document, and we go ahead and choose, for example, Print right here. All my Print settings are here, I can specify a setting here. Let's choose maybe Inches, maybe we are doing something that's like 5"x7", and then we can choose OK and that creates our new document right here inside of Illustrator.
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