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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
The Live Trace feature inside of Illustrator is wonderful for starting off with photographic content and turning that into vector artwork. However, there maybe times when you want to take vector artwork and actually turn that into pixel based artwork. Starting off with something that's vector and then turning to pixels is called rasterizing it. You may do that if you want to create some interesting design element like purposely scale something up in size that you can actually see that pixels in the file. Alternatively, you may need to turn something to raster so that we can display it on the web using a GIF or a JPEG format for example as well. I have opened this file called rasterizing_artwork, which you can find inside of Chapter 15 in your exercise files. I'm simply going to start off by selecting it, going to the Object menu and choosing the setting here called rasterize.
I can choose, which resolution I want to rasterize it at. For example, I could use a very low resolution; I could also choose Other to go into a really low resolution. For example, should I rasterize this to maybe 20 pixels per inch, I might get a really interesting and cool effect again depending on what I might be working with. I'll press Undo here because I want to show you that I also have the ability to export this for the web. There is a setting inside of Illustrator in the File menu called Save for Web and Devices. If I choose this option, I could take my artwork right now and view it what it might look like in several different versions.
For example, right now this is what my artwork would look like rendered in a browser using the GIF file format. However I can choose to preview that as a JPEG image or as a PNG for example. Once I choose a particular image for example maybe a GIF, I can see what that particular image would look like if I reduce the number of colors inside of it or if I change some of the settings. For example, interlacing it or turning on some of the Dither settings. Once I'm done, I could either click on this button down here to preview it inside of my default web browser. So for example, this is what my image would like when displayed in a web browser. It tells me the settings here, it even gives me some of the code that I could use to copy and paste into a web page if I wanted to. But I would come back into Illustrator here. Once I'm done, I can either click on the Done button or I could choose Save to actually save my image as a GIF.
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