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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.
So now from the Appearance panel's perspective, we understand that objects themselves have different appearances, such as, fills and strokes. We know that there is a stacking order even inherently within a single object itself and that we could adjust or change that stacking order using the Appearance panel. We also briefly discussed this concept that's something called a target, like we discussed before, the word Path over here refers to the fact that this is now the target; the path is the target. So let's discuss exactly what the word Targeting means. As we actually start to learn about groups and layers, the word Targeting becomes far more important.
Even on an individual level here, I'm working with a single object because of the targeting is important. Let's take a basic example. I have this overall shape and maybe I want to change its opacity. So, for example, I can come over here to the Opacity over here in the Control panel and maybe I could change the opacity of the overall object to maybe 50%. So that means now that I can see through that whole shape, if I were to put another shape behind this or better yet. If I go to the View menu, I could turn on something called the Transparency Grid. That allows me to select a checkerboard pattern, almost like Photoshop has, and you could see that I could really see through the object itself; the object is now truly transparent.
Let's say, however, I want only the Fill to be transparent but not the Stroke to be transparent. Maybe I want a full- strength stroke, but I want the Fill to be somewhat transparent. So in the past, you may have thought that you would have to create two shapes, right now we create a shape that has a transparent fill. Then I would create a second shape that has a non-transparent stroke with no fill on top of that. Well, now in Illustrator, using the Appearance panel and this concept called Targeting, I don't need to do that. So I'm going to press Undo, so I'm going to come back now to my full-strength of the whole object. The object itself has no opacity. What I'm going to do though right now is I'm going to click on just the Fill itself or I'm going to target just my fill. Now I'll change the Opacity to 50%. When I do so, you will see that the stroke stays at full strength, but only the Fill change is in opacity.
In fact, if you look over here in the Fill itself, it's a little twirl down, right little triangle. If I click on that, I see that the fill itself has a separate opacity setting of 50%, while the overall opacity of the path itself has default opacity setting. So when you think about it right now, the shape itself has two opacity settings. The overall shape has default opacity but the fill has its own opacity setting. In reality, if you click on this little twirl down here next to the stroke, you will see that the stroke also has a default opacity. In fact, to make things more complicated, every object really at a very basic level has three opacity settings: an opacity setting for the overall object as a whole, an opacity setting for the fill and an opacity setting for the stroke as well, and each of those are different.
So just because I make some opacity across the whole object, does not actually mean that I can have something different also within that object there as well. But that's why this whole concept of targeting becomes even more important as we start to learn more about doing more complex things inside of Illustrator. I'll find that I can apply certain attributes or certain things to a target; that target could not only be a single object in a group, it could be a single attribute like a fill or a stroke inside of a single object. That really becomes significant when you think about the fact that, well objects can really have more than just a single fill and a single stroke, objects can have multiple fills and multiple strokes.
So now in the next movie, we will discuss what that concept brings to the table.
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