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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we are going to place that Photoshop layer, which has a transparent background and an opaque foreground, into our Illustrator composition and then we are going to begin to integrate it with our vector-based layers. So this Final advertisement.ai file represents the final version of the Illustrator composition. But we are going to start right here inside of Healthcare.ai and notice what we have got. I'll go ahead and press Shift+Tab to bring up my Layers palette here. And we have got this trim layer on top. I'll tell you about it shortly and then we have got text, all the text is set on the layer. We have got the top filigree, which includes these wonderful tendrils here.
And over on the right hand side it includes these little ornaments. So all the yellow stuff actually and if you want to see it, just go ahead and turn that layer off and then turn the layer back on. And then we have the image layer, which is currently empty for all intents and purposes. It doesn't have anything that's showing up on screen right now. And then we have the base filigree layer which includes both the gradient background and that sort of light orange ornamentation. All right so I want you to go ahead and click on the image layers to make it active twirl it open, notice that there is thing called bleed clipper. And if I make my Layers palette little wider you can see that. And that's a clipping mask that's assigned to an entire layer. I'm going to show you how to make in the next chapter when we talk about transparency in Illustrator. So stay tuned for that.
But in the mean time I want you to turn on this guides group. So just go ahead and make it visible like so, then we'll zoom out a little bit, so that we can see these guidelines there, this group of guides that I'm tracing right here. So you can turn them off and then turn it back on to see which ones they are. All right now I'm going to go up to the File menu and I'm going to choose the Place command. And the Place command is how you import images and link to them inside of Illustrator. So choose Place then go get the Sepia image.psd document. Here inside the 20_images folder. Make sure the Link checkbox is turned on. If you turn it off and click Place you will get a dialog box of Photoshop Layering Options, which we'll see later. They are pretty interesting however, I don't really think they are all that practical and I'll put it that way. It's better to just go ahead and link to the file. In which case you don't get any layering options. But you do get practical results. So anyway I'm going to click Place, and notice that the image just comes in.
Now compare that to something like your InDesign or your Quark Express or your PageMaker. One of those page layout programs that either presents you with little Place cursor or in case of Cork Express you have to set up a frame in advance and then place into the frame. In Illustrator it just dumps the graphic on the page. So it just throws at the Artboard and then it's up to you to move it around. All right so assuming that you are not seeing the Bounding Box, which we are not. And also assuming that you have to select path outlines by clicking on their outlines and I know I show this to you a lot, but I want to make sure they were all on the same page.
You press Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac. You click Next, you make sure Object Selection by Path Only is turned on because that's the easiest to work in my opinion is most flexible. You click OK. In that case if you are going to move the image, you have to drag it by its exterior border. So it's far border out here. Even though you can see that X going through it, you can't drag the X, which is anyone's guess why that is. Instead you have to click on that outer border. I am going to drag the image by its upper right handle. Until it snaps into alignment with this guide intersection right there and then I'll release. And you will get that result right there and it's clipped inside of that bleed clipper path automatically because that's the way the layer setup in advance.
All right so that looks just great. The only thing is I sort of take a look at his image now, if I click off of it. So I can just see everything that's going on and you know what I'll go ahead and hides the guides group here inside the image layer twirl closed. And so now I look at this layer and I think okay it's really nice and sharp. It's graphical. It's going to print great and looks just dandy. Also all of the transparency has been retained outside in this region. So we are integrating the image with the Vector Artwork that was already here inside of this illustration, kind of a fussy little hair mask. It's a little bit of fake of mask. But it's working out pretty good, until we get down here we have got this thick sort of groups of hair down here. With some intimation of some other hair, and then we have the missing shoulder, which I just cut off and so you look at that and you go, what's wrong with this woman? Something is up with her and so what I propose we do, because I've already scattered this out in advance and decided what I want my design to look like.
I want to put a nice spirally filigree right in front of this area which will help not only to cover up the bad stuff, but also integrate her better into the design and I'm going to show you how to exactly that in the next exercise.
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