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Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator

You know just because Illustrator is a vector-based program, it doesn't mean you have to totally ignore pixel-based images. In fact, there are many times when you might want to bring raster images, or bitmaps, into your Illustrator documents. For example, you're creating a jacket cover for a book, and you want to put a photograph of the author into your layout. Well, of course, you can do that inside of Illustrator, and in regards to placing images into your document in Illustrator, there are really two basic concepts you have to become familiar with, something called Placing a Linked Image and something called Placing an Embedded Image.

Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator

You know just because Illustrator is a vector-based program, it doesn't mean you have to totally ignore pixel-based images. In fact, there are many times when you might want to bring raster images, or bitmaps, into your Illustrator documents. For example, you're creating a jacket cover for a book, and you want to put a photograph of the author into your layout. Well, of course, you can do that inside of Illustrator, and in regards to placing images into your document in Illustrator, there are really two basic concepts you have to become familiar with, something called Placing a Linked Image and something called Placing an Embedded Image.

Let's take a look at both of these. I'm going to start with a regular document here. I used the print profile to create this document, and I'll go to the File menu, and I'll choose Place. I have three different images here. I'm going to choose the bonsai.psd file. Now, Illustrator is able to place a variety of different pixel-based formats, be it GIF files, PNG files, JPEG files, PSD, TIFF, EPS, the list goes on. For the most part, however, I'd like to use PSD files, because I generally open up all my images inside of Photoshop anyway to make sure they're all adjusted and perfect just the way that I need them.

In addition, you can apply things like transparent effects to artwork inside of Photoshop. Well, when you save your file as PSD, that transparency comes through into Illustrator as well. So, if you are working with images and you have both Illustrator and Photoshop, I find it always best to use PSD files. Notice here on the bottom, there is a check box that says Link. This currently means that when I place this image into Illustrator, it's going to become a linked image. That means that the PSD file itself remains outside of my Illustrator file, and my Illustrator document simply references that image.

However, each time that I now open up my Illustrator file, I'm going to need to know where that PSD file is, and I'm going to have to have access to it as well. Otherwise, Illustrator will throw up a dialog box asking me where the PSD image is. After all, Illustrator has no way to display it or print it unless it has that external file. If I were to uncheck this option, Illustrator would now embed that PSD file into my document, meaning Illustrator will actually copy that entire file and include it as part of my Illustrator file.

That means that now I could take my Illustrator file and send it off to somebody else, and they can open that file without needing this separate PSD file. The image itself becomes part of the Illustrator document. Of course, in doing so, my Illustrator file will grow in size, because now it has that image inside of it. As we learn more about working with images inside of Illustrator, there are other pros and cons for when you might want to use linked images or embedded images. But the one thing that I want to leave you with right here is that this check box is sticky, meaning whatever setting that you use, that setting will be available the next time you place an image.

Now, normally on a day-to-day basis, I'm working very quickly, and I often forget when that check box is turned on and off. So, what I like to do is to leave this check box on, even if I know I'm going to be embedding the image later, because as we'll see, once I'm inside my document, I'll able to select any image and tell Illustrator to embed that image later on in the process. So, I'm always safe by just leaving this Link box always turned on. Great! Now, I'm going to cove over here to the Place button, click on it and my image now appears inside of my Illustrator document.

Now, what can you do with an image once it's inside of Illustrator? Can I change it, for example, change some of its pixels, change the color of the sky? The answer is no. It basically is one image here, or one object inside of Illustrator, and I can perform any kind of transformation on it, meaning I can adjust its position, I can apply rotation, scaling or even reflecting or skewing, but I can't change any of the pixels in the image itself. I can even apply Opacity values, for example, to make the image somewhat transparent, but for the most part, it's me taking an image and just placing it directly on to my page here inside of Illustrator, and treating it as a single object.

Now, I mentioned before this difference between linked images and embedded images. Well, if you take a look over here, there is actually a button here called Embed. Whenever I have an image selected, Illustrator does display some options for that image, and we'll learn more about these settings as we continue on this chapter, but this would really be the way to embed an image here inside of Illustrator. If you are not sure whether or not your image is linked or embedded, you can very easily come over here and see that right now this image is a Linked File. If it were embedded, I could see now that Illustrator identifies it as so as well.

One of the real benefits of embedding images inside of Illustrator is that you can include them inside of a symbol. We'll talk about symbols later on in this training title, but for now we have a great understanding of how we can incorporate images or pixel-based content into our Illustrator documents.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 81549 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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