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Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to open an illustration inside of Photoshop. We will see both how to open an illustration and how to place an illustration and what the differences are, and in the next exercise I'll show you how to from Illustrator save out a layered Photoshop file. So they both offer different advantages, as we'll see, it depends on what you are looking for. In all cases you are going to be converting the illustration to pixels, because after-all Photoshop brokers in pixels. The great thing is that you are able to basically use Photoshop as a print engine. So if you are having any problems, whatsoever printing your Illustrator graphics, you are losing your transparency, your live effects aren't working, your gradients are dropping out, anything can happen, whereas if you use Photoshop as a print engine, if you go ahead and rasterize the illustration in Photoshop, then you know it is going to print correctly.
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  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to open an illustration inside of Photoshop. We will see both how to open an illustration and how to place an illustration and what the differences are, and in the next exercise I'll show you how to from Illustrator save out a layered Photoshop file. So they both offer different advantages, as we'll see, it depends on what you are looking for. In all cases you are going to be converting the illustration to pixels, because after-all Photoshop brokers in pixels. The great thing is that you are able to basically use Photoshop as a print engine. So if you are having any problems, whatsoever printing your Illustrator graphics, you are losing your transparency, your live effects aren't working, your gradients are dropping out, anything can happen, whereas if you use Photoshop as a print engine, if you go ahead and rasterize the illustration in Photoshop, then you know it is going to print correctly.

The downside of course is that you are working with pixels, but you can specify any number of pixels you want. So I'm going to start things off. I'm working inside this Smart queen.psd document. I'll tell you why in just a moment, but for now just ignore that on screen. I'm going up to the File menu. I'm working inside Photoshop. That's very important. Choose the Open command or press Ctrl+O, Command+O on the Mac and of course, I'm working with Photoshop CS4. That's also very important. I'll go ahead and grab Goodbye here inside the 12_exporting folder, and I'll click on the Open button, and I'm greeted by this dialog box, and notice that Photoshop is savvy to Illustrator's multiple artboard. So you can select the artboard that you want to open. I'm going to go ahead and open the first one, the poster art, and then you can specify a size in which you want to work.

So I can enlarge it to actual poster dimensions, if I wanted to, I could change the width value to something very high indeed, and the height value will change in kind. Of course, I would be rendering from vector, so we are still going to get super sharp details. However, for our purposes here, because this is going to take long enough, I'm just going to keep the Width value at 7.5 inches, I'm going to Constrain the Proportions of course, Resolution, 300 pixels per inch. Now I could raise that resolution value, if I were really trying to rasterize this illustration with the intent of ultimately printing it, and I wanted my text to look super sharp, and all of my graphic elements to look very sharp as well. Then I would probably take this resolution value, up to something like 600 pixels per inch, you could even go higher than that, if you wanted to, if you are using Photoshop as a print engine.

However, that will take a while for the illustration to render, so just because I don't want things taking too long for us, I'm going to go ahead and set this Resolution value to 300 pixels per inch. That will still take long enough. You can specify any Color mode you want. We are working with a CMYK document, so one would naturally open it in the CMYK format here inside Photoshop, but you could switch to something else, you could switch to RGB if you wanted to. All right, but I'm going to leave it CMYK, Bit Depth, eight bits, per pixel, per channel, is the way to go. You can up it to 16. It's going to take longer, it's going to give you a more massive file, and it's not going to provide you with any benefits. Illustrator does not calculate its colors and 16 bit per channel, so there is no reason for you to do so within illustration that you are converting over inside Photoshop either.

So 8 bits per pixel per channel is fine, but you definitely want Anti-alias tuned on. That's very important because you are converting these smooth vector outlines to squarish pixels, right? You need Anti-aliasing to avoid the jagged edges, and that's it. Everything as we see it is the way we want it, I'm going to go ahead and click OK. Oh by the way, you can enlarge your thumbnails if you want to. So you can switch these thumbnails to a larger size, if you want to be able to inspect them more carefully. All right, I'm going to click OK. That doesn't affect the rasterization process at all. Now speaking of the rasterization process, it's quite slow, so the lower the resolution, the faster it's going to go. The higher the resolution, the slower it's going to go, and a 300 PPI file does take a little bit of time.

Just because you are watching a video here, we are going to shorten the process a little bit, and edit it down, but your process may go slower, and there is the rasterized file, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on it, until we get it zoomed to 100%, and you can see that these details look quite fine I think. Now if I were to zoom farther than 100%, I'm just going to see big pixels, but that does afford us the opportunity to see the Anti-aliasing those gray pixels along the edge of this black line are the Anti-aliased pixels, if we didn't have them, we would have very jagged edges right there.

All right, so that's one way to work. Now notice that we do get a single layer file, but for all intents and purposes, it's a flat file because it's just that one layer. Everything has been smooshed onto that one layer here inside the Layers palette, so we might as well go ahead and convert it to a completely flat file by going up to Layer menu and choosing the Flatten Image command, and that will render out just that one background layer. Now I'm also doing that for another reason, because you I want to show you the other way to work. Now that we have a full size version of the illustration here inside of Photoshop, let's get rid of it, I know its strange advice, but let's do.

By pressing Ctrl+Backspace or Command+ Delete on the Mac to fill this image with white, because I want to show you the advantages of placing an illustration into a Photoshop document. I'm going to go up to the File menu, and I'm going to choose the Place command, and then I'm going to select that same exact document Goodbye, click on the Place button, select which of the artboards I want. It's going to be this first one. Notice I don't have all those rasterization options, because this time it's going to happen on the fly. So click OK, and you'll see this proxy of the illustration with an X through it, and in the old days that was really useful, because then you could sit there and scale the illustration to exactly the size you wanted it to be, before you rasterize it. Now thanks to Smart objects, you don't really have to make that decision upfront. You can change your mind any time you like. So I'm going to press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to rasterize that illustration, and it's going to take pretty much the exact same amount of time it took a moment ago to render it at its full size, at 300 PPI and so on, because that's what you are doing in this case too. You are pretty much performing the exact same process. Once again, we are going to perform our exact same process, and quicken this progress bar, make it go away that much faster, and here is the finished version of the Place file.

Now it looks the same, I mean, there might be a pixel difference here or there, but again, for all intensive purposes this is the exact same file we saw a moment ago. The difference is that it's rendered out as a smart object right there, which means a couple of different things. One thing is that we can transform this layer. We can scale it to any size we want to. So if I were to go up to the Edit menu, and I were to choose the Free Transform command, or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, and then I could say you know what? I want to reduce the size of this image to 20% or something along those lines, and I would click on the chain icon to make sure that I was performing a proportional resize. So once I've moved the illustration to a place where I can see it on screen here, I'll go ahead and press the Enter key in order to perform that transformation, and I have now reduced the size of the illustration, of course, to 20%.

But the amazing thing is, thanks to the fact that it's a smart object, I can transform it over and over and over again. If I were to press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac to enter once again the Free Transform Mode, notice Photoshop knows it's scaled to 20%. So it knows the size of the original illustration, and guess where that original illustration is? Inside Photoshop, it's existing inside this Photoshop document, it's not linking, Photoshop is not linking to the Illustrator file, it's actually embedded the illustration, all of the illustration as we are about to see inside of this image file, this layered composition.

So I could then say something like, I wanted to be 300%, and I'll go ahead and click on the chain icon to ensure that we have constrained proportions. Now Photoshop isn't exactly keeping up with me at this point, it's not showing, there we go. It's now showing me the 300% over there in the right-hand side. Now if I were to press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, I would wait several minutes for this to render at 300%. That's why I created the other version of the file. I performed it in advance. So I'm just going to go ahead and press the Escape key, and I'll switch over to Smart queen.psd, and this is the 300% version of that illustration. Notice I have got Goodbye overprints selected, this is my smart object, if I press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac, there is my 300% right there. The width value isn't really keeping up with me.

It's not 20%; it is 300%. That's true. So the Height values got it figured out properly. Anyway, I'm going to press the Escape key, because I don't want to perform any further modifications, but now if we zoom it in, and notice I'm always zoomed in 25% right now. I will go ahead and zoom it into 100%, there we go, and you can see that we have just as gorgeous smooth artwork sitting here. You can even, if you look closely right here, you could even see the drop off between our rich blacks, and our weaker blacks right here over on the right side, inside of the queens face. It's amazing just how much detail we can get out of Photoshop, and then finally this can still be edited inside of Illustrator. Check it out.

All I have to do is double-click on this Goodbye overprints thumbnail right here to open the embedded illustration, the illustration that's embedded inside of this Photoshop composition. I'll double-click and I'll open it up inside of Illustrator. Now I'm going to see this warning that's telling me, hey, what you want to do is you want to make some changes inside Illustrator in this case, and then when you are done, choose File > Save, and that won't save the file to disc, I'll save it back to Photoshop's Random Access Memory, and then later you would have to save the file from Photoshop, if you wanted to. I am going to go ahead and click OK, because it's my only option, and then notice I have got Vector Smart This is the name of this thing that's been opened from Illustrator and this is the part that just blows your mind.

I think it blows my mind. All of the artboards are here, they are all sitting there inside of Photoshop. It's just that it's only seeing the first one, because that's what we told it to do. Now I don't know of a myth that to tell Photoshop, hey, switch to the second artboard instead, other than to replace the document. I wish there was way that you could do that, and perhaps there is. I have dug all over the place, and I can't find a solution there. Other than of course, we could grab the skateboard and surfboard elements, and move them over to artboard one, and then grab the poster, move it over to artboard two. That would work and then when we came back into Photoshop, we would miraculously see the skateboard and surfboard instead, but why don't we make some other kind of chains? So like for example, let's just experiment here. Let's see what happens if we just go ahead and spell things properly, so I'll just go ahead and spell this, The Queen of Murder, the regular old way, and then press the Escape key, and then I'll close the document. So we could save or we could work this way, close the document and then say Yes, I want to go ahead and save back to Photoshop, in this case it's saying Save Changes, as if there is this file sitting on disc. That's not the way it is. I'll click Yes. It goes and saves back into Photoshop. Now we are still sitting here in Illustrator looking at the Goodbye file, the original file. Let's switch back over to Photoshop, and see what it's up to these days, and it's sitting there working on absorbing those changes into the layer composition. Now this is going to take quite a bit of time, I should tell you, as I said, it takes several minutes to render out these modifications, especially when we are working with a super huge version of that illustration file. Your job of course is to go ahead and wait for it, go get a cup of coffee, whatever it is you want to do, go work inside of a different application if you are bound and determined to stay at your computer, but we are going to go ahead once again and quicken the process quite dramatically in this case.

Now of course that doesn't happen to have changed anything that's visible inside of this version of the illustration, because the text is above the frog and the Queen's head. So here is what we are going to do. I'm going to press and hold the Control key or the Command key on the Mac, which gets me the Move tool all on the fly, and I'm going to drag down so I can see there is my revised text. So there it is; the Queen of Murders spelled properly. I could do a before and after view for you. Actually, how about we could go up to the History palette. Since I'm such an obsessive compulsive, let's go ahead and see here, if we were to move up to this move right there. Yup, that's the original version of her. If I were to drag her down, yes, that's the misspelled queen. Check it out, because that's going to wreck my history.

Excellent. So you can see it was different before. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that, and then I'll switch to the more recent version. Excellent, excellent. I'm finally learning how to use the software. I avoided any progress bar, it's good for me, and that gives you a sense of what you can accomplish. So the advantage of working this way, of placing the file into Photoshop, you get a flattened version of the file. That's important to keep in mind, because in the next exercise I'll show you how to create a layered Photoshop file. You get a flattened version of the file, but you also get a smart object, which is scalable forever more and you still have access to the original illustration.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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