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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
Live Trace is a great feature inside of Illustrator but it's not prefect for every task. For example, Live Trace excels at stylizing photographic content. But if you are trying to turn a low- resolution image, maybe that of a graphic or a logo for example, you may find it easier to just redraw the artwork from scratch by yourself. So I would like to share a few pointers in how to get that process started. I'll start by creating a print document, I'll click OK, just take the regular settings here and I'll choose File > Place and I'll place the image that I want to work with here on my artboard. I'll choose here this logo.gif file. It can be linked or embedded, well this doesn't make a difference here in this case, I'm just using it as a base in my artwork and I'll click on the Place button here.
Let me zoom in a little bit close over here, so you can see what we are dealing with and I'll go over here to my Layers panel and I'll double-click on Layer 1. Now let us do the setting here called Template. Template basically allows me to automatically lock my particular layer and you will see that it also dims images to 50%. I'm actually going to change that here to 30%. I want my image to be just a little bit lighter in the background, so it doesn't get in the way of the artwork that I'm going to create. Next, I'll click OK and you can see that right now, the image is here for me to look at but I can't touch it or select it in anyway. Next, I'll come to my Layers panel and I'll create a brand new layer on top of that Layer 1. Here is where I'll create the new artwork. Doing things in this way really lets me be precise, I can draw the exact objects that I need rather than worry about having Live Trace interpret that artwork for me.
For example, I see here that the logo is round. While in Illustrator I can use a very primitive tool, the Ellipse tool to create a perfect circle. So I'll choose my Ellipse tool right here inside of Illustrator, I'll position my cursor right here in the middle, I'll hold down the Option key to draw it from the center, the Shift key to constrain through a circle and I'll draw my circle here. I'll change the fill Setting to None, so that I can see the artwork that exists inside of it. And I'll change its stroke weight to about 2 point. In this way, I'm drawing my new artwork but I'm using the image that's behind it as a basis for that. Now by taking a quick look over here at the letters lynda.com, I can see that the typeface used is Avant Garde. So I'll take my Type tool here and I'll start typing the actual letters themselves. I'll select the text and then I'll switch that typeface to Avant Garde.
I will make this typeface just little bit bigger using the keyboard shortcuts, Command+Shift+> or Command+Shift+<, to reduce the point size. I also see that the letters, lynda itself here, is set in a bold weight. So I'll again use my Type tool here to just select the actual letters that I want to change and I'll change it to maybe Demi and I'll position this text right on top of it. Since I'm not exactly sure what size it should be, by positioning in this way I can make my typeface just a little bit smaller and maybe also open up the kerning just a little bit. And I'm using the Option key and the Right Arrow to do that. If you are on a PC that will be the Alt key and the Right Arrow.
And again, you can click in certain areas and just adjust the kerning as I need to, to get it just the way that I need it to be. In general, when I'm working with logo type, once I know that I have my character set the way that I need them, I'll convert them to outlines. In this way, if I ever need to send this logo out to somebody else, I don't need to worry about them not having the right font. I will go to the Type menu here and I'll just choose over here Create Outlines. You will also notice that the registered trademark symbol that need to go here. Again, I could that very easily by using my Type tool. And if I'm not really sure where the registered trademark symbol is, I can go to the Type menu choose to open the Glyphs panel. In doing so, I could actually see every single character in this typeface. So I'll use the scrollbar here to kind of go down the list, until I find that particular character, it's right over here, I'll double-click on it and you will see that it automatically appears where my cursor was, on my artboard.
I will close the Glyphs panel, because I'm done using it and I'll take this typeface. Right now, it's set to Demi but I'll reduce it back to maybe the Book weight and I'll also scale it down in size, just the way that I need it, and position it just where it has to go. And I'll basically continue on this process until I redraw the logo exactly the way that I need it. In this case here, for this artwork here, I'm going to have to use the Pen tool because there is no way to create this type of customized artwork otherwise. However, instead of worrying about trying to get it straight, keep in mind the Live Paint feature, which will allow you to draw in a more intuitive fashion.
If you are not already familiar with the Live Paint tool, check out the chapter called the Joy of Live Paints down elsewhere in this title. What's great about working in this way is that at anytime you can go over to your Layers panel and simply click on the Preview button here to see what the artwork looks like without the image behind it. Once you have created your logo, simply take this entire layer, drag it to the trash and save your file.
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