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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
All right, so here I'm once again looking at the welcome screen inside of Illustrator CS4. We can see a list of my most recently opened documents here on the left hand side. Your list is going to vary of course. In fact, you may see no list whatsoever; you may just see an Open button. Now if you click on the Open button right there, or you go up to the File menu and choose the Open command, and note just a little side bar here, you can see a list of recently opened documents inside this Open Recent Files, sub menu as well. But if you choose the Open command or press Ctrl+O or Command+O on the Mac, you are going to bring up the standard Open dialog box, which allows you to navigate your hard drive and find illustrations using the metaphor that should be familiar to you from working with your operating system, whether it's Windows Vista, or XP, or Mac OS 10.4, 10.5, whatever variation that's out there. The main reason I want you to show the open dialog box is not to show you how to use it. That's fairly straightforward. You just navigate around, find the illustration, click on the Open button, and so on. But I want to show you just how many file formats Illustrator thinks it can open. If you go to File of types right here, notice it says All Format. I'm going to click on that, look at all those file formats. These are all file formats that Illustrator will at least attempt to open, and I say attempt, because it's going to be able to open these files with varying degrees of success.
Obviously, it's going to get native AI files, which are just standard illustrations that you've saved that of Illustrator. AITs, by the way, are Illustrator template files. If you go and save a template that you are going to use to base future artwork on for example. PDF, it will do a brilliant job of opening up Adobe PDF files. But some of these other file formats it's just going to try to open. For example, consider the FreeHand 7 file format. That's a really old file. That would be more than a decade old essentially. FreeHand never published its document specs. So Adobe had to dig in and figure out how those files were put together, and the Adobe engineers didn't necessarily figure everything out. So if you open a FreeHand 7 file, some things may be broken. You know, what when once one object is broken into several objects, or a text block is broken into a bunch of words, or letter fragments here and there and so on.
So it's very possible that the ultimate integrity of the files maintain, so that you could print it, and it would look fine. That might happen, but probably where editing is concerned, your ability to edit the file is going to be compromised. So it's just something to bear in mind. But you should be able to grab some objects here and there and then repurpose them inside of a different illustration, which is really what this recovery ability on Illustrators part is about. Now many of these file formats are vector based file formats. Such as FreeHand, and an Encapsulated PostScript, and this guy right here, Illustrator EPS, and even things like AutoCAD drawing, DWG format is ultimately a vector format.
Others are text formats. For example, you can open a Word document, you're actually going and place the Word document into a new illustration, and still others are image formats. For example, JPEG. That's strictly pixels. That would be a photographic image presumably. If you open it up inside of Illustrator, you are ultimately placing that image into a new illustration. You aren't going to be able to access the pixels directly. You can't do any painting or any of that kind of stuff that you can do in Photoshop. But you can apply image wide transformation, such as Scale and Rotate. You can distort the image using the envelop distortion function, and so on.
So anyway, just so you have a sense of what to expect from Illustrator, it's amazing, just what it can do. All right, so let's go ahead and cancel out. However, I'm going to cancel out of that dialog box, and I'm going to open an illustration that I opened up in the past. And that's just got right here, Living on a heart Grunge. Now this file is actually included along with Illustrator CS4, so you should have access to it. I'll show you how to get to it in a couple of exercises. But for now I'm just going to go ahead and open it all up, just by clicking on that link. It's that simple. And notice we have got this illustration by this guy named Dhanank Pambayun, and he is an Indonesian artist incidentally. Wicked cool illustration as you can see. And always a wicked cool, it contains three different artboards. So we have got the poster version of this wacky heart thing, and then we have got -- as you can see here we have got a couple of skateboards, and then over here on the right hand side we have a couple of T-shirt variations, and tell you what. What I'm going to do in the next exercise is we will make some modifications to this documents, we will add a few different pages. We will go ahead and Save it off. And then in the Exercise after that, I'm going to show you how you can open illustrations with little more clarity, a little bit of preview, and you can also manage your illustrations using the Adobe Bridge.
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