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Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image

In this exercise, we are going to save our artwork as a JPG file for use on a website, presumably, or you could e-mail it to somebody. Do whatever you want with it. Now I have called this document, I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Goodbye found inside the 12_exporting folder. So called, of course, because I got rid of the bad overprinting. Nothing wrong with overprinting in general, except when you apply it to a color you oughtn't to, such as white. So now we will be able to see our text. I'll go up to the File menu and choose Save for Web & Devices to bring up the big old Save for Web & devices dialog box.
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  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image

In this exercise, we are going to save our artwork as a JPG file for use on a website, presumably, or you could e-mail it to somebody. Do whatever you want with it. Now I have called this document, I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Goodbye found inside the 12_exporting folder. So called, of course, because I got rid of the bad overprinting. Nothing wrong with overprinting in general, except when you apply it to a color you oughtn't to, such as white. So now we will be able to see our text. I'll go up to the File menu and choose Save for Web & Devices to bring up the big old Save for Web & devices dialog box.

Oh! Look at that. I didn't check which page was active there. I'm seeing my surfboard and my skateboard here. Let's go ahead and cancel out. That's because if I look down in the bottom-left corner of the illustration window, even though I'm looking at page 1, I actually have artboard number 2 active. All I need to do is click on an object here in artboard number 1 in order to make it active. Then I'll click off in order to deselect that object. You can now see artboard 1 is active. That's what I need. Now I'll go up to the File menu and choose Save for Web & Devices again. We should see the queen in four regalia. I'm also looking at the 2-Up display, so that I can see the original version of the file over here on left and the optimized version on right. I'm going to zoom in actually on this right-hand graphic. I'm doing this the same way. I would zoom in inside Illustrator proper by Ctrl+Spacebar clicking inside the illustration or Command+Spacebar clicking on the Mac.

If you look closely, you are going to see that we have a little bit of banding associated with this gradient here and the reason is because we are using GIF. GIF reduces the size of the graphic by reducing the number of colors inside the graphic. So instead of allowing 16 million different color variations, assuming we were going to RGB here, which we are, incidentally. When we are going to the web, we are automatically going to RGB and incidentally, we are automatically going to the sRGB variety of RGB, even though this is starting out as a CMYK graphic.

Instead of being able to take advantage of the entire 16.8 million color variations that are available to RGB, we are reducing things to a maximum of 256 colors. So we are dithering the colors, that is, introducing dot patterns in order to simulate other colors that are missing, but that's not enough to make up for a gradient. We are still going to get banding inside that gradient. So where you have gradients inside of an illustration, especially, as many as we have inside of this one, then you want to switch over to JPG instead.

So let's go from GIF to JPG right there. JPEG is great for continuous tone photographs. So if you have any photographs inside of your artwork, that's the way you would work as well. It's also good anytime you have lots of gradients inside of an image or subtle transitions between colors. You want to maintain those subtle transitions. So things like blends, and gradient meshes, and other fountain fills that we will see in subsequent chapters of this series. Anyway, I'm going to switch over to JPG. We will see the gradient smooth out. You may notice still a little bit of banding, but not nearly what we were seeing associated with the GIF version of the graphic. Now currently, my JPG is bigger. Notice that, it's 117K, where a moment ago we were seeing, I believe, an 80K graphic.

We can change that, if we want to. We can reduce the quality of the graphic. Notice that we have this Quality setting right here. We can go down as low as Low, which is going to reduce the Quality setting to 10 in this case. The Quality setting here can vary from 0 to 100. So you can either enter your own value or choose one of the presets. That's the way it works. Now notice, if we go as low as 10, which is awfully darn low-- I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here-- we are going to have some horrible transitions. Notice how, for example, this frog graphic right there, Shenbop as he is called, goes from looking mighty good actually in this pixel display of Shenbop over on the left-hand side, to mighty bad inside of the JPG version.

If you look very closely, you will see what's happening is JPG is breaking up the graphics into a bunch of cubes. So there are 8x8 pixel cubes, a total of 64 pixels in these little blocks here. The blocks as opposed to cubes; cubes would be 3D, but anyway, these blocks right here. What's happening is JPG is nailing down the top-left color and then it's changing all the other colors inside of this block to be as similar to that top-left color as possible, while still maintaining some semblance of order inside of our graphic.

The amazing thing is when I zoom out, he looks terrible. Zoom this far in, but when I zoom out, he starts to actually make a little more sense. So JPG, especially this far out, it, kind of, works. It's not good. I think that graphic looks pretty awful, actually. Especially in all these little artifacts. These JPG compression artifacts around the text just look rotten. However, it's fairly amazing that it looks as good as it does, given how bad it looked when we were zoomed in. But a JPG setting of Low. The lowest I would ever go is Medium, but the thing to bear in mind is you may have certain requirements at your website.

You may have to keep your graphics under a 30K or something horrible like that, in which case you want to reduce the size of this graphic. In the case of this one because it's awfully big, or you would want to reduce the quality, but let's say we would prefer to reduce the size. So I'm going to take this up to High which is a great setting. High, Very High, and Maximum are going to look very, very good inside of a web page. I'm going to go with High. You don't want Progressive turned on. Progressive, what that does is it displays the image progressively in three different swipes. So it looks terrible at the beginning and then it comes in with a second swipe and it looks better, and in the third swipe it looks better still.

It was designed for the old days, when graphics took a really long time to display, when our connectivity was very slow. The idea was it would allow people to see that there was a graphic there and it was coming into view as they waited. So they would be encouraged to wait for your graphic. It's a terrible idea though because it increases the size of the file and it just ensures these days that your graphic looks hideous at the very beginning of the process. So I would leave it off. ICC Profile, there is no reason to turn that on because most browsers don't support them. Blur, you definitely want Blur set to 0. You can get smaller files sizes, if you increase the Blur value. Watch, I'll set the Blur from 0.

117.7K right now. I'll set it to its maximum of 2 and press the Tab key. That reduces the size of the graphic down to 57.91K. That's great. Look at my graphic. It's blurry. Why would I want that? That's worse than the JPG Compression. Gee-whiz. All right, so let's go ahead and reduce that Blur value to 0. Then Matte would be, if we have any masking, if we have any transparency, what happens to those transparent areas. In this case, they would turn white, but we don't have any revealed background inside of this file. We will see that later. Everything is covered up, in other words, by graphics at this point.

There is my Color Table. That's only useful for GIF. If I switch over here to Image Size, however, I can reduce the size of my graphic to better fit on a web page. That's something you have to bear in mind is that this has to go on a page. Now it may be you are just going to e-mail this to somebody, in which case, leave it big. This is actually going to be a very small e-mail attachment. So it's nothing to worry about, but if you are going to make it part of a web page, you need to think about how big it's going to be, how much space you wanted to occupy? I would probably knock down the size of this graphic, it's still be very big, but I would knock it down, let's say 400 pixels wide and 514 pixels tall.

Then if you want to see this applied inside of your window here, you click on the Apply button and you will see the graphic becomes smaller. You would want to constrain the proportions, what I think, Anti-Alias is a good idea. That way you are not going to get jagged transitions and we are clipping to the artboard of course because the artboard serves as our trim size. Now, I'm not sure that I'm really liking what I see here. This graphic looks like it's being pretty munched by these resizing settings. So I'm going to go ahead and restore my original size, which is 504 pixels for this graphic. I can see that up here in this Original Size value. All right, so let's go ahead and apply that just for the sake of good looking graphic on screen here.

Finally, if you want to further complicate your life, you can go over here to this Layers option and export this document as cascading style sheet layers. You could turn that on and that would give you control over specific layers inside of your document. For example, I could say, "I don't want to see the text." So I'll go ahead and select the text layer and say Do Not Export that one. That would take that out of the loop, but that's not what we are going to do. We want to be able to see all of the layers inside of this flat JPG file. This is a flat file, no matter what you do. All right, then go ahead and click on the Save button in order to save out your image. You will be invited to locate your image some place on your hard drive.

It will go ahead and name your image, notice that, so that it's compatible with a Windows system, or a Mac system, or a Unix system. So just go ahead and most likely leave that file name alone, but you can change it, if you want. If you decide to change it, just be sure to use standard alphanumeric characters and don't use spaces. Either use dashes or underscores. Then click on the Save button in order to export that graphic and the deed is done. You now have a JPG image that you can open inside of a web browser or inside Photoshop as well.

So the deed is done, we have now exported a JPG image to that same 12_exporting folder. I'll go ahead and switch over, so that we can see it here. I'm looking at the file inside of the Bridge. There is Goodbye overprints.jpg. If I were to double-click on it, it would open up inside Photoshop. I could also of course post it to a web page, if I wanted to, but here is the final version of the graphic at 100%. So it looks pretty sweet as a fairly small JPG file. Notice that it's 956K, almost 957K in memory inside Photoshop, but the file itself, back here inside the Bridge, only consumes 117K on disc and that's what counts.

That's the file that's going to go over the web. That's the file that's going to be posted to your website. That's the file that's going to be an e-mail attachment, and so on. In the next exercise, we will check out how to export a GIF graphic. Stay tuned.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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