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Preparing a template in Photoshop

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Preparing a template in Photoshop

In this exercise, I want to show you how I went about preparing my tracing template inside of Photoshop so that it would work best for me inside of Illustrator. This might seem sort of strange that we're going to switch to Photoshop for an exercise, but it really is a great way to work, because it's much easier to sketch out an idea on a piece of paper, throw it on a scanner or even take a picture of it with a digital camera than bring it in a Photoshop, prepare the image so that it's going to work nicely as a tracing template inside of Illustrator, and then of course, bring it into Illustrator.

Preparing a template in Photoshop

In this exercise, I want to show you how I went about preparing my tracing template inside of Photoshop so that it would work best for me inside of Illustrator. This might seem sort of strange that we're going to switch to Photoshop for an exercise, but it really is a great way to work, because it's much easier to sketch out an idea on a piece of paper, throw it on a scanner or even take a picture of it with a digital camera than bring it in a Photoshop, prepare the image so that it's going to work nicely as a tracing template inside of Illustrator, and then of course, bring it into Illustrator.

So I'm looking at this document called Ghost robot.ai and you may recall if I go ahead and turn off these layers right here from Backdrop up to Type and we just have Ghost vectors and Ghost template left. What I did was I went ahead and traced this Ghost template item right there and I really just grabbed the pencil, piece of paper, sketched it down, scanned it, brought it into Photoshop, then brought it into Illustrator. That's simple. It really doesn't take that much time. Then most of my time, where putting the ghosts together was concerned, was spent actually assembling these vectors right here and tracing the various elements that I needed to use in order to build my robot.

Now the nice thing about this template, I'll go ahead and zoom in on it, is that at all times here, I can see it and keep track of my objects at the same time, my vector-based objects, because I went ahead and made sure that my Ghost template was sketched in orange, which is just a color that stands out nicely, especially if I go over here and Ctrl- click on this eyeball or Command-click on the eyeball in front of the Ghost vectors layer. Then I can see the Wireframe or Keyline version of my illustration right here as black outlines, and of course, transparent fills. So I can very easily keep track of what are the vectors, which are black, and what is the sketch, which is orange. So how do you go about preparing such a tracing template? You do most of the work inside of Photoshop.

So, I'll go ahead and switch over to Photoshop right here, which I have running at the same time. Now what we're seeing right here is an image called Robot ghost gray.jpg and this is the image as I scanned it. So I went ahead and as I say, sketched it out using a pencil and a piece of paper, scanned it and then opened it up inside Photoshop. Now the lines look awfully dark. That's because of the automatic shadow compensation provided by my scanner. So my scanner went ahead and made the pencil lines as dark as possible. We also have some grayish paper going on.

So what I want is black and white. I want to get rid of all that extra gray stuff. So I go up to the Image menu and I would choose Adjustments and I would choose the Levels command. You may think, well, you could apply an adjustment layer, right, if you wanted to keep everything nondestructive and protect your original image and all that jazz. In this case, it's just a tracing template. So I'm not going to get too hung-up on making permanent modifications to this image. So I'll choose the Levels command. You can see, this hump over here on the left side of what is known as a histogram inside of this dialog box. This, up right there, represents the darkest colors inside of my image. So these would be the pencil lines, which aren't quite black. Then this area of colors right there, this hump over here on the right-hand side of the graph, that would be the paper colors. I know that because the darkest colors are on the left and lightest colors are over here on the right.

So if I drag this white slider triangle over to the left, like so, to be left side, i.e., of this right hump, then I'm going to make all of those paper colors nice and white, which is what I want. Then I'd go ahead and darken up the pencil lines by dragging this black point over to the right side of the little sort of shadow hump over here. So I have Input Level values of 40 and 170. We're not concerned about this so-called Gamma value in the middle here. We're just concerned about the Shadow value of 40 and the Highlight value of 170. If you are unfamiliar with the Levels command and you don't know what's going on quite, then check out my "Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced" series. The very first chapter inside of the Advanced series covers Levels and Curves, and I think you'll find it quite insightful.

All right, I'll go ahead and click OK. Now I want to make all of my black lines orange, like this. This is the final version by the way. This one is called Robot ghost color.tif. This is the very image that is placed into the Ghost robot.ai illustration. So how do I make those lines orange or some other color? Well, what you do is you go back, of course, to the grayscale version of the image. I did go ahead and scan this as a grayscale image. So it's not going to allow me to add colors at this point. So notice, if I go up to the Image command and choose Adjustments, then all of the color correction options right here, anything that has to do with the actual Hue and Saturation values inside of an image, they are all dimmed, because I can't add any colors to the image at this point.

What I have to do to allow colors to occur, I have to go to the Mode submenu and I have to switch from Grayscale to RGB or CMYK or something along those lines, but RGB is your best bet. Again, this is just a tracing template so we don't care, we don't need it to be CMYK because we're not going to be printing it. So go ahead and choose RGB color, and then, you go up to the Image menu, you choose Adjustments. Now notice all of these commands are available to you. The one we want is Hue/Saturation. So what you can do is you can say, well, I want to colorize this image, which we do, and I want to colorize it orange, which happens to have a Hue value of 30 degrees.

Let's go ahead and take the Saturation value up, way up to like 75, and we are starting to bring out some oranges inside of the robot. But the core lines are still black. They are not being colorized with orange. If you want that, if you want to make those orange, which is what we ultimately want, then you need to bring up the Lightness value. Now normally I don't monkey around with the Lightness value, but when preparing a sketch like this one that works out beautifully, I'll go ahead and take this Lightness value up to +50, and now we have a nice, orange robot. So it will be really easy to trace. Click OK and then go ahead and save it out, of course.

Then you would go back to Illustrator, you would set up your Ghost template layer, right there. You create a new layer. Then you'd go up to the File menu. You would choose the Place command in order to bring in your illustration. We've seen this before. That's why I'm just kind of running though it briefly here. Then you would double-click on the layer in order to bring up the Layer Options dialog box here and you would turn on Template, turn on the Template checkbox and then set Dim Images to whatever you want it to be. By default, it's 50%, but I raise mine to 65% and then click OK. You've got yourself a delightful template that you can use to set all of your objects exactly into place.

Now you can see that I sometimes went my own way when setting up my vector objects here in front of the tracing template, which is of course just fine. You can make any decisions at any point in time that you like. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to fuse objects together, fuse simple objects to make more complicated objects here inside Illustrator.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21463 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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