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Although Illustrator is a vector editing program, you still have the ability to work with pixel-based images inside of Illustrator by placing them into your documents. These could be photographs, or images that were created in Photoshop, or Fireworks, or any other raster-based image editor. In this movie, I'll walk you through placing a raster-based image into your Illustrator file, and also how to work with it a little bit. I'm going to go up to the File menu, and inside of the File menu, you're going to be looking for a command called Place. Now, you could also utilize the Adobe Bridge as well, select your image, and then place it into Illustrator that way, but if you're already in Illustrator, it makes more sense to utilize the File menu. I'll go down, and I'll select the Place command.
Once I click on the Place command, I need to then find the folder where the file lies on my hard drive. In this case, I'll go into the Chapter 12 Exercise Files folder, and there's an images folder inside of there. Inside of the images folder, I'm going to find red_paint, and it's just the JPEG file. Once I find that, I'll hit Place. Illustrator then places this raster-based object into my document. You'll notice that it gets a bounding box around it, just like any other piece of vector art.
However, it should be noted that you're dealing with a pixel-based image here, so blowing it up and shrinking it down isn't nondestructive like it is to vector objects. Let's take a look. If I were to take this image, and come to the corner, and attempt to resize it -- I could hold down the Shift key and the Option key on Mac, Alt key on PC, click and drag towards the center, and it would automatically resize on both sides. When I release my mouse, it resizes. The issue here is that it's still the same JPG; it's still got the same amount of bulk and size in it.
So therefore, if you place a really big 300 dpi JPEG file in here, it doesn't really matter if you shrink it down really far or not; it's still that same file size. So working with images inside of Illustrator can really bulk up the file size of your Illustrator files. That's why you should be very careful when using images inside of Illustrator. If it all possible, I would actually recommend not putting the images into your Illustrator files, but actually placing them into InDesign later on, because InDesign actually handles these a little bit better. But if you have to work with bitmap images inside of Illustrator, this is the way to do it.
Now, you can maneuver these around, just like you can anything else. You can click and drag to move them around, you can rotate them, resize them; anything you need do to them, you can do. You can also run special effects on the images as well. Those can be found inside of the Effect menu, and going down, you can run various Photoshop effects, and also some Illustrator effects as well. Anything you need to do to an image can be done, although Illustrator is not the best thing for editing raster graphics. That's better left to programs like Photoshop, but like I said, if you need to put them in here, this is how you do it.
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