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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

Optimizing web graphics


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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

with Mordy Golding

Video: Optimizing web graphics

When you export your web graphics from Illustrator there are several different file formats that you can choose. And while sometimes you are asked to deliver a specific file format, such as JPEG or GIFF, many times as a designer it's your choice to choose which ones you want to use. So of course the question comes down to when do you save your files as a GIF, or when do you save your file as a JPEG? What about PNG? Well if you go back a couple of years, designers who worked in web design were required to export their files in a variety of different formats and then open them up each inside of a web browser, and see what they look like to find out the best one. Obviously that's a lot of work and it's very time consuming.
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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Understanding pixel- and vector-based web graphics
      1m 36s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 10m 27s
    1. Using the Web New Document Profile
      1m 56s
    2. Creating your own New Document Profiles
      1m 57s
    3. Taking advantage of web templates and content
      1m 48s
    4. Setting up a custom web workspace
      4m 46s
  3. 23m 42s
    1. Setting measurement preferences
      1m 11s
    2. Setting preview bounds
      2m 38s
    3. Setting grid preferences
      2m 18s
    4. Understanding Pixel Preview
      3m 54s
    5. Understanding anti-aliasing
      5m 3s
    6. Disabling anti-aliasing
      2m 35s
    7. Setting up color management
      6m 3s
  4. 9m 49s
    1. Comparing pixel dimension and resolution
      2m 26s
    2. Grid is good, grid is great
      4m 45s
    3. Working with multiple artboards
      2m 38s
  5. 10m 1s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal
      4m 31s
    2. Pulling colors from Kuler
      1m 43s
    3. Using the Color Guide with web-safe colors
      1m 48s
    4. Converting art to web-safe or limited colors
      1m 59s
  6. 22m 5s
    1. Understanding slicing
      1m 36s
    2. Using manual slicing
      2m 16s
    3. Using object-based slicing
      2m 33s
    4. Comparing user slices and auto slices
      1m 57s
    5. Applying settings to slices
      4m 59s
    6. Defining an image map
      3m 46s
    7. Working with slices
      4m 58s
  7. 10m 45s
    1. Making text look good on the web
      2m 58s
    2. Adding reflections
      2m 42s
    3. Applying rounded corners
      1m 7s
    4. Creating dynamic text buttons
      3m 58s
  8. 19m 54s
    1. Optimizing web graphics
      2m 41s
    2. Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files
      6m 38s
    3. Setting up transparency and matte
      2m 52s
    4. Adjusting image dimensions
      2m 7s
    5. Optimizing to a specific file size
      2m 27s
    6. Editing output settings
      3m 9s
  9. 4m 3s
    1. Understanding Illustrator and Flash workflows
      2m 42s
    2. Understanding SVG
      1m 21s
  10. 19m 14s
    1. Defining symbols in Illustrator
      5m 23s
    2. Editing symbols in Illustrator
      2m 19s
    3. Choosing a symbol type
      2m 7s
    4. Setting the Flash registration
      1m 23s
    5. Using 9-slice scaling
      4m 34s
    6. Defining static and input text
      3m 28s
  11. 14m 17s
    1. Setting preferences in Flash
      1m 27s
    2. Copying and pasting elements
      1m 50s
    3. Exporting entire files
      4m 35s
    4. The Save for Web & Devices dialog
      2m 58s
    5. Exporting SWF files
      3m 27s
  12. 16m 11s
    1. Converting layers to frames
      3m 17s
    2. Working with blends
      3m 11s
    3. Releasing to layers
      3m 44s
    4. Defining static layers
      2m 43s
    5. Adjusting timing
      3m 16s
  13. 11m 29s
    1. Working with Photoshop
      2m 18s
    2. Working with Acrobat Pro
      2m 54s
    3. Working with Dreamweaver
      2m 14s
    4. Working with Flash Catalyst
      4m 3s
  14. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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Illustrator CS4 for the Web
2h 56m Intermediate Jan 23, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Differentiating between pixel- and vector-based web graphics
  • Creating screen-friendly typography
  • Adding reflections
  • Creating Flash animations
  • Using multiple artboards
  • Bringing art into Dreamweaver
  • Utilizing Flash Catalyst
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Prototyping Web Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Optimizing web graphics

When you export your web graphics from Illustrator there are several different file formats that you can choose. And while sometimes you are asked to deliver a specific file format, such as JPEG or GIFF, many times as a designer it's your choice to choose which ones you want to use. So of course the question comes down to when do you save your files as a GIF, or when do you save your file as a JPEG? What about PNG? Well if you go back a couple of years, designers who worked in web design were required to export their files in a variety of different formats and then open them up each inside of a web browser, and see what they look like to find out the best one. Obviously that's a lot of work and it's very time consuming.

And that's precisely the reason why Adobe offers a feature inside of Illustrator called Save for Web. In fact, you may already be familiar with this feature because it also appears inside of Photoshop. So I'll go to the File menu and I'll choose Save for Web & Devices. By looking at the tabs that appear on the top of my screen, I could either view the Original artwork, an Optimized version, a 2-Up version, or a 4-Up version. By choosing the 4-Up version, I have the ability to compare my Original artwork against three other possible formats that I could save my artwork for the web.

In doing so, I take away all the guesswork and I find just the right file format for the job. On a basic level for example, I'll go ahead and I'll use my Slice Select tool to click on this one slice right here. Notice over here it says this is my original. Now I'll go ahead and I'll click on this window and I'll specify that this one should be set to JPEG. I'll come down over here. Click on this one right here, I'll set this one to GIF, but I will reduce the number of colors to around 16 Colors. Finally, I'll come down to this option right over here. And I'll choose the Wireless Bitmap option. Notice that the Save for Web dialog box not only lets me see all these pieces of artwork at once and compare their visual appearance, but I could also see the file sizes that it creates as well.

This JPEG file is 9.5K in size. This GIF file is almost half of that size, at 4.5K, and the Wireless Bitmap format is even smaller. Taking your original artwork and then specifying a certain file format and adjusting its settings is a process that we refer to as optimizing web graphics. And here the name of the game is trying to find the best possible quality for your image from a visual perspective, and at the same time making the smallest file size. In this way, the artwork that you create will download fast, no matter where a person is trying to access it. It's also important to pay attention not just to individual graphics but in the case like here where you have several slices, even though this one image might be just 9K in the JPEG version, you still have to total up all the slices to see how long it would take to download that entire page.

So for a web designer, the Save for Web & Devices dialog box is really your best friend. It not only offers a quick way to export your graphics in the file formats that you require, it also helps you make those tough decisions to find out how to optimize your graphics in the best way.

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Illustrator CS4 for the Web will be retired from the lynda.com library on April 24, 2014. Training videos and exercise files will no longer be available, but the course will still appear in your course history and certificates of completion. For updated training, check out Illustrator for Web Design in the lynda.com Online Training Library.


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