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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

Releasing to layers


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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

with Mordy Golding

Video: Releasing to layers

So we have created a Blend here inside of Illustrator, but what we haven't done is converted them to layers, so that they will actually be animated when we export the file. So how do I get this Blend that has all these steps in it to turn into a whole bunch of layers? I don't want to use a manual process. I don't want to have to expand the Blend and then basically take each of these individual objects, create a whole bunch of layers, and add them manually to those layers. Instead, I will use a feature inside of Illustrator called Release to Layers. I will show you what I mean. What I am going to do is I am actually going to take the Blend and turn them into layers but without touching any artwork on my page.
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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Understanding pixel- and vector-based web graphics
      1m 36s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 10m 27s
    1. Using the Web New Document Profile
      1m 56s
    2. Creating your own New Document Profiles
      1m 57s
    3. Taking advantage of web templates and content
      1m 48s
    4. Setting up a custom web workspace
      4m 46s
  3. 23m 42s
    1. Setting measurement preferences
      1m 11s
    2. Setting preview bounds
      2m 38s
    3. Setting grid preferences
      2m 18s
    4. Understanding Pixel Preview
      3m 54s
    5. Understanding anti-aliasing
      5m 3s
    6. Disabling anti-aliasing
      2m 35s
    7. Setting up color management
      6m 3s
  4. 9m 49s
    1. Comparing pixel dimension and resolution
      2m 26s
    2. Grid is good, grid is great
      4m 45s
    3. Working with multiple artboards
      2m 38s
  5. 10m 1s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal
      4m 31s
    2. Pulling colors from Kuler
      1m 43s
    3. Using the Color Guide with web-safe colors
      1m 48s
    4. Converting art to web-safe or limited colors
      1m 59s
  6. 22m 5s
    1. Understanding slicing
      1m 36s
    2. Using manual slicing
      2m 16s
    3. Using object-based slicing
      2m 33s
    4. Comparing user slices and auto slices
      1m 57s
    5. Applying settings to slices
      4m 59s
    6. Defining an image map
      3m 46s
    7. Working with slices
      4m 58s
  7. 10m 45s
    1. Making text look good on the web
      2m 58s
    2. Adding reflections
      2m 42s
    3. Applying rounded corners
      1m 7s
    4. Creating dynamic text buttons
      3m 58s
  8. 19m 54s
    1. Optimizing web graphics
      2m 41s
    2. Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files
      6m 38s
    3. Setting up transparency and matte
      2m 52s
    4. Adjusting image dimensions
      2m 7s
    5. Optimizing to a specific file size
      2m 27s
    6. Editing output settings
      3m 9s
  9. 4m 3s
    1. Understanding Illustrator and Flash workflows
      2m 42s
    2. Understanding SVG
      1m 21s
  10. 19m 14s
    1. Defining symbols in Illustrator
      5m 23s
    2. Editing symbols in Illustrator
      2m 19s
    3. Choosing a symbol type
      2m 7s
    4. Setting the Flash registration
      1m 23s
    5. Using 9-slice scaling
      4m 34s
    6. Defining static and input text
      3m 28s
  11. 14m 17s
    1. Setting preferences in Flash
      1m 27s
    2. Copying and pasting elements
      1m 50s
    3. Exporting entire files
      4m 35s
    4. The Save for Web & Devices dialog
      2m 58s
    5. Exporting SWF files
      3m 27s
  12. 16m 11s
    1. Converting layers to frames
      3m 17s
    2. Working with blends
      3m 11s
    3. Releasing to layers
      3m 44s
    4. Defining static layers
      2m 43s
    5. Adjusting timing
      3m 16s
  13. 11m 29s
    1. Working with Photoshop
      2m 18s
    2. Working with Acrobat Pro
      2m 54s
    3. Working with Dreamweaver
      2m 14s
    4. Working with Flash Catalyst
      4m 3s
  14. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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Illustrator CS4 for the Web
2h 56m Intermediate Jan 23, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Differentiating between pixel- and vector-based web graphics
  • Creating screen-friendly typography
  • Adding reflections
  • Creating Flash animations
  • Using multiple artboards
  • Bringing art into Dreamweaver
  • Utilizing Flash Catalyst
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Prototyping Web Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Releasing to layers

So we have created a Blend here inside of Illustrator, but what we haven't done is converted them to layers, so that they will actually be animated when we export the file. So how do I get this Blend that has all these steps in it to turn into a whole bunch of layers? I don't want to use a manual process. I don't want to have to expand the Blend and then basically take each of these individual objects, create a whole bunch of layers, and add them manually to those layers. Instead, I will use a feature inside of Illustrator called Release to Layers. I will show you what I mean. What I am going to do is I am actually going to take the Blend and turn them into layers but without touching any artwork on my page.

I am going to come over here to the Layers panel and in the Surfer layer. I am going to click on the word Blend. By selecting the Blend in this way, I have basically selected the Blend layers but I have not touched any artwork on the screen itself. The function called Release to Layers applies to the Layers panel and not to the artwork itself. So with the Blend highlighted, I am now going to come to the flyout menu of the Layers panel, I am going to choose an option called Release to Layers. Now, Release to Layers comes in two different flavors: Sequence and Build. The Build option basically adds each of the surfers one after the other. However, Sequence will make it appear as if he is moving across the screen.

So I will choose the Release to Layers (Sequence) option, and you will see right away that Illustrator created all these layers for me. It basically broke apart the Blend for me and put them on to layers. So now I am ready to see the animation. I go to the File menu. I will choose Save for Web & Devices. I will choose SWF for File Format, and I will make sure that my layers are being converted to SWF frames. Let's change my Frame Rate to something smaller, like 3 Frames per Second. Then I will go ahead and I will choose to Preview in Browser. Here you can see that that Blend now got turned into an animation. You will also notice by the way that the surfer is going backwards.

Let's take a look at how we can correct that. I am going to have it come back into Illustrator; let's Cancel out of Save for Web. I am going to press Undo once to go back right before I applied the Release to Layers command. I will simply come over here and select the Blend one more time. I go to the Object menu, and I will choose Blend, and then I will choose Reverse Front to Back. In this case I have now basically told the Blend to go in the other direction. Rather than ask to repeat the steps that I just showed you before, let me show you yet another way that you can actually convert a Blend into an animation. The beauty of the method that I am about to show you right now is that it does not require you to expand the Blend at all. So we are not going to use the Release to Layers feature. In doing so, I will always have a live Blend that I can work with. So not if, but when my client request changes, I can easily make those changes.

Let me deselect my artwork here, and rather than choose the Save for Web command, I am going to go to the File menu, and I will choose Export. From this menu where it says Format, I am going to choose Flash or SWF, and I will choose to export that and I get this dialog box. Here I can choose to export my file, not only as a regular static Flash file, but I can convert all of my layers to SWF frames. I will also Clip my artwork to the Artboard Size, and I will click on the Advanced button. Because I have specified that I want to turn my layers into frames, there are many different options now available specifically for animation that I can adjust.

For example, for Frame Rate, I am going to go ahead and change that to 4 Frames Per Second. I will set the animation to Loop, and take a look at this option, Animate Blends. That basically tells Illustrator, hey, whenever you find a Blend, just simply go in and animate it, and in this regard, I don't need to manually release them to layers. I will choose to animate this in sequence, and now I will click on the Web Preview to see what that looks like. So now you can see that I have actually converted my Blend into an animation. I have also reversed it, so that now the surfer is going in the correct direction, and I have created all the elements that I need to create a really cool Flash animation inside of Illustrator.

However, there are a few things still missing. First of all, for example, notice how it rotates between all the different layers. I really would like that Background layer to appear in every single frame of my animation. Likewise, I also will need to adjust the timing of this animation. But don't worry. That will all come in due time. For now, you have the elements that you need to create the animation that you want.

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