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Tracing options: The raster functions

Tracing options: The raster functions provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke … Show More

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Tracing options: The raster functions

Tracing options: The raster functions provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
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  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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Tracing options: The raster functions
Video Duration: 8m 2s 14h 53m Intermediate


Tracing options: The raster functions provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

View Course Description

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing a pixel-based image
  • Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
  • Creating and editing gradients
  • Creating multi-colored blends
  • Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
  • Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
  • Designing advanced type effects
  • Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
  • Making the most of symbols
  • Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
  • Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks

Tracing options: The raster functions

In this exercise, we are going to begin the tour of the settings that are available to you inside the Tracing Options dialog box. Those settings are divided into two groups. First, you've got the Raster settings, which determine how Illustrator converts the pixel-based artwork before tracing it. Then you have the Vector settings, which determine how Illustrator generates the vector-based path outlines. So we are going to start with the Raster settings inside this exercise, then move on to the others in subsequent exercises. I have saved my progress as Black white &, found inside the 13_live_trace folder.

I will go ahead and select that Live Trace object by marqueeing around it with the Black Arrow tool, and then in order to further modify this artwork, in order to customize my Live Trace settings, I'll click on this little dialog box icon available to me in the Control panel, which brings up the Tracing Options dialog box. Now notice here at the bottom of the dialog box that we have these preview options, they are divided into the Raster preview settings, which are the exact same settings that are available to us from this jagged pyramid up here in the Control panel, and then we've got the Vector settings, which are those settings that are available from the smooth pyramid.

Now not only are the preview settings divided into Raster and Vector down here at the bottom of the dialog box, but they're divided in exactly the same way, that is, the settings throughout the dialog box are divided into Raster over here on the left inside and Vector over here on the right-hand side. So every one of these left side adjustments effect how the image is converted before tracing it. So right now the image is left in color, we could convert it to Black and White if we wanted to, which would wake up the Threshold option and make dim the palette and Max Colors options.

However, I am going to leave the image set to Color for now. You can change the number of colors using this Max Colors option, which works exactly the same as it does in the Control panel. I am going to skip Palette for now, because if you were to click on Palette, you are only going to see Automatic, you are not going to see Twelve plus B&W yet. We are going to come to that in a moment. You'll only see Automatic until you load another Swatches palette and I'll show you how that works in just a moment. But for now, we'll skip this option. You can Output to Swatches by the way, after you get done Tracing however many colors you decide to work with, then you can output those colors as swatches inside the Swatches panel.

You also have the option - I am going to drop down here - of changing the number of pixels inside the image. So I could go ahead and actually increase the number of pixels if I want to, and let's say I decide to change this value to 200 pixels, and then press the Tab key. I can either click the Preview check box in order to see what's going to happen in advance or I could just click Trace, I could just decide in advance that I am going to trace my artwork, because what I want to do is I want to not only trace the artwork, but I also want to go ahead and zoom in.

Now that's going to cause Illustrator to do this on this particular machine. It's not only showing me a Progress bar, but for a moment it's showing me that it is not responding. If you have that problem, just go ahead and click inside of Illustrator, seems to take care of the problem, and the program gets back in business. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and zoom in on my artwork here, kind of down in the lower portion, and notice that increasing the resolution of my artwork in advance of the image has not done me any good whatsoever. It's in fact, it's made my letters much more jagged, and that's because essentially what I am telling Illustrator is to trace each and every pixel in detail, instead of applying any of its smoothing algorithms and that's not what I want at all.

So up sampling your image is a very bad idea when you're tracing. You may want to down sample, but that's it. In other words, you may want to reduce that resolution value, you will not want to increase it. Anyway, I am going to go back up here to my Tracing Options icon, click on it, and I'll change that Resample value to 72, and to see the difference, this time I will turn on the Preview check box, and notice that all of my letters go ahead and smooth out quite dramatically. They also have this Blur value, it is set to 0.2, because I start things off using that Comic Art preset.

What Blur is doing is it's blurring the original image in order to smooth over any defects. Once again, if you have dust and scratches from your scanned artwork, why then, you can blur some of those dust and scratches away. I consider that to be a very sloppy solution. You're much better off cleaning up the artwork in Photoshop in advance. If you apply much of a Blur value, for example, I'll take this buy you up to 4 and press the Tab key, then you are going to round off these letters like crazy. They are going to get extremely gummy indeed, and that goes for all of your other artwork as well.

I would never, ever, ever take this Blur value beyond 0, leave it set to 0 and you're going to get the best results. All right, there is one option outstanding, over here on the left-hand side, and that's palette. Let me show you how that works. I am going to go ahead and click the Trace button in order to apply my settings so far. Now you may recall, when we bumped up the number of colors, we got all kinds of weird colors inside of our traced artwork. For example, if I take this Max Colors value up to let's say 14, which is the number of colors I really need, that's how many colors are used in the original image.

So I'll go ahead and apply that value and then we get all these Progress bars and all these weird colors with all these sort of additional edges going on that I don't want. For example, around this 9, we have got a couple of different edges. Well, if you really want to isolate exactly the colors that you used, it's a lot of work, but what you can do is you can turn off your Tracing results, you can switch to Outlines or No Tracing result whatever, and then bring back your original image, which I already have displayed, so that's good.

And then you would switch to the Eyedropper tool, and you would click inside of one of these characters in order to lift its exact color, and that would nail that color here inside the Color panel. Then you would switch over to the Swatches panel, you would add a new swatch for that color and so on, and add one swatch after another. As I say, it's a big pain in the neck, and then you have to save those swatches out as an independent Swatch palette, which you do by go into this little Folder icon right there in the bottom-left corner of the Swatches panel and then you choose this very first command, Save Swatches.

What I want you to do is instead of going through all those steps, might as well just load the swatches I've created for you, and it's a file called Twelve plus BW, you'll go ahead and select the Other Library command by the way. Navigate into the 13_live_trace folder, and then open this file, Twelve plus B& I am going to go ahead and just select this option, because I have opened the file in advance and that gives me this palette of swatches right here. Now then, I can switch back to Tracing Result, so I can see my tracing.

I can click on this little Tracing Options dialog icon and I can say, okay, I want to go ahead and use that Twelve plus B&W palette, and that is 12 colors plus black-and-white for a total of 14. Max Colors is now going to be set to 14, and it's going to be dimmed, because that's the number of swatches that are available inside this palette. If I turn on the Preview check box, I may or may not see some kind of change happen in the background, in fact, I do actually, and it's a good change. So I have given the 9 a better color.

That isn't to say, I am necessarily not to going to have any intermediate paths, I may, but at least I will go ahead and assign the proper colors to the proper path, and now I'll click on the Trace button, in order to apply those settings for real, and let's go ahead and zoom out from the artwork and see what we have come up with. Now it's very important that I not only nailed every single color inside of this image using that Eyedropper and adding swatches to the Swatches panel, and the whole number, but it was also very important that I added a swatch for black and for white.

You have to have those two swatches in order to make this technique work. Now I am not suggesting you are going to do it very often, but those are the various Raster settings that are available inside the Tracing Options dialog box. In the next exercise, I will begin to show you the Vector settings.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."





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