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Animated Character Design with Illustrator
Illustration by John Hersey

Opening files


From:

Animated Character Design with Illustrator

with Angie Taylor

Video: Opening files

When you open a file in Illustrator, you get different options presented to you, depending on the file selected. And if I go to file, Open, or hit command O, or control O on the PC, to set up the open file dialog box, you'll see that I get access to the files, as you would expect. Now I'm going to select this multi-layered PSD file called open layers PSD, and that's in the bringing artwork in folder. As I open it, I'm presented then with a dialog box, which is the Photoshop import options dialog box. Now in here I have got various features that I can show you. First of all, I can have a preview of the file and you can see that as showing me the top most visible layer there.

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Animated Character Design with Illustrator
2h 33m Intermediate Jan 14, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This workshop from author and animator Angie Taylor teaches how to use Illustrator's tools and features to prepare 2D files for animation in Adobe After Effects. Discover how to make the most of Illustrator's drawing tools and Autotrace feature, and to how use Live Paint and Kuler to recolor artwork. Plus, get a ton of tips and tricks for giving artwork a hand-drawn look and find out how to set up layers, aspect ratios, and transparency options for importing into After Effects. The lessons are focused and solution-oriented, and all the project files are included.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the work area
  • Bringing artwork into Illustrator
  • Tracing artwork manually
  • Creating complex shapes
  • Working with paths
  • Using Live Trace
  • Coloring artwork
  • Applying 3D effects
  • Exporting artboards
  • Options for saving files
Subjects:
3D + Animation Design Illustration Character Animation video2brain
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Angie Taylor

Opening files

When you open a file in Illustrator, you get different options presented to you, depending on the file selected. And if I go to file, Open, or hit command O, or control O on the PC, to set up the open file dialog box, you'll see that I get access to the files, as you would expect. Now I'm going to select this multi-layered PSD file called open layers PSD, and that's in the bringing artwork in folder. As I open it, I'm presented then with a dialog box, which is the Photoshop import options dialog box. Now in here I have got various features that I can show you. First of all, I can have a preview of the file and you can see that as showing me the top most visible layer there.

I can also convert the Photoshop layers to objects an Illustrator meaning that each layer in Photoshop will be an object placed on its own layer in illustrates or so. Its kind of like converting the layers from Photoshop to straighter layer. You can also choose to flatten the layers if you want to, I'm going to convert it to objects and click on Okay. Now, instantly even if you have hidden layer, you can import those layers too. I'm going to click on Okay. And here, you can see my little stop frame animation of a dog if I hold down the Alt key and click on the Eyeball for the bottom layer.

To silhouette, I can look at them 1 by 1 as they're stacked in Illustrator. Now, you can also output these as animated frames once you have your stop motion animation in separate layers. Now, if you open a flattened PST or another single layered bitmap image such as a TIFF, JPEG ,or PMG it will automatically open as a single layer and here I've got an open image dot JPEG which is in the same folder bringing our work in and I'm going to click on open and since I do that it just places it into the last used template or the last used art board that I had set up. Now notice it brings the image in and I can scale the image down if I want to choose the scale too.

And just bring that down into the composition. And for some reason it's brought in two, so I'm just going to delete that other one, not sure exactly what happened their but we'll ignore it for now. Now, I've got my image in and what I want to do here is use this rough sketch to create effect character in Illustrator. It's important I make this fit inside the safe zones of the format that I'm going to use. So if I double-click the art board tool, I can open up the art board options. And just make sure I've got the correct preset chosen. So I'm going to chose PAL, D1, DV widescreen.

And I'm also going to ask it to show the center mark crosshairs, and video safe areas. And now when I click Okay, you'll see all the safe areas that are normally set up when you choose a document profile have been added to my document, and I can now go and work on this in Illustrator.

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