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Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow

As you already know EPS or PostScript has no support whatsoever for transparency and as such in most of the work that I do, I try to avoid using EPS altogether. Now especially when working in an all Adobe workflow, for example, I know that I'm using InDesign for page layout and Illustrator for my illustration work, it's always best that I actually save my documents that of Illustrator using the native Illustrator file format, a .AI file rather than using EPS and that's because in doing so I'm basically handling off the transparency flattening for InDesign to do, instead of doing it inside of Illustrator.

Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow

As you already know EPS or PostScript has no support whatsoever for transparency and as such in most of the work that I do, I try to avoid using EPS altogether. Now especially when working in an all Adobe workflow, for example, I know that I'm using InDesign for page layout and Illustrator for my illustration work, it's always best that I actually save my documents that of Illustrator using the native Illustrator file format, a .AI file rather than using EPS and that's because in doing so I'm basically handling off the transparency flattening for InDesign to do, instead of doing it inside of Illustrator.

In fact the way now I have to think about Transparency Flattening in my workflow in general is I want to basically delay that flattening process that would be as late in my workflow as possible. If I know that I'm printing and I'm processing my files directly out of Illustrator, then I know that I could do my flattening right when I print or export that of Illustrator. But if I know that I'm now going from Illustrator and then I'm placing that artwork into another program like InDesign, I'd much rather leave my artwork in an un-flattened state and then have InDesign handle the flattening then. Likewise, when I create a PDF document then I know that somebody else is going to be printing that PDF that of Acrobat, I may actually create a PDF file with a live transparency inside of it and let the person in Acrobat go ahead and worry about flattening of the file at that point.

In this way I just have the most amount of options available to me from a design perspective. Let me give an example of exactly what I mean. I'm here inside of Illustrator and have a file called logo_shadow. I basically created some logo and I have added la shadow to some of the elements. I did it this way to show you that normally inside of a program like InDesign, for example, I can always add/drop shadows there. But I can always add a drop shadow only to the entire artwork as a whole. But if I want to have only parts of the element have drop shadows, there is no way to do that inside of InDesign. So therefore here inside of Illustrator, I'll add drop shadows to just to the parts of my document that needed.

Next when you go to the File menu, when you choose Save As and purely for illustrative purposes what I'm going to do is I'm going to save my file both as an Illustrator file and as an EPS file. And then when we you go to InDesign, we'll actually see the difference between those two different file formats. So I'm going to start off my saving my document to my desktop using the regular AI file format, Adobe Illustrator, choose Save, I'll make sure it's set to Version CS4 and I'll click OK. Now that that file is saved, I'm going to here to the File menu and choose once again Save As. I'll go ahead at this time choose to Export or save it as an Illustrator EPS file. I'll click on Save button, remember over here on the Preset I want to specify the High Resolution Preset, click OK. Now that will save Illustrator file as an EPS document.

So now I'm going to switch over to InDesign. I'm going to create a brand new document here inside of InDesign, just a blank document and what I'm going to start off by doing is taking a rectangle or a frame here and just creating one large frame in the background and I want to fill this with the colors say for example, yellow here. I have been doing this purely because I want to make sure that you understand that when you save a file that of Illustrator that has in it a transparency effect. For example, in our case the drop shadow, that drop shadow is a transparency effect. Now if I went ahead and I save that of Illustrator without flattening it, then my drop shadow will blend perfectly to this background here inside of InDesign.

However, if I went ahead and I exported my file that of Illustrator in a flattened format such as EPS, well in that case, because my Illustrator file had a white background that file is going to show up inside of InDesign already on a white background and in that case, we'll not be able to blend with this yellow background at all. So again it just limits my design options as I'm working inside of my workflow. So I'm going to close the Swatches panel here, let me go ahead and actually hit the W key to return on my Preview inside of InDesign, it just hides all the guides. I am also going to right-click here on my screen here or Ctrl-click if it is a one-button mouse on the Mac. I'm going to choose Display Performance then I'm going to choose High Quality Display. This will allow Illustrator files to be displayed at the highest possible quality here inside of InDesign.

So now I'm going to go to File menu. I'm going to choose Place. I'm going to navigate to my desktop here and first I'll go ahead and I'll choose logo_shadow.ai. I'm going to choose Open. I'm going to place that here right into my document. Notice that over here, the background over here and the shadow blend perfectly between each other. Now deselect that I'm going to go the File menu and now I'm going to choose to place the EPS document, logo_shadow.eps. It's the exact same file but instead of saving it as a native AI file, I saved that in Illustrator as an EPS file.

Now when I place it, you can actually see that it has a white background over here, doesn't blend into the yellow background at all. And again that happened because the EPS file is flattened while the Illustrator file is not. So when you are working inside of InDesign, it's always beneficial, so just avoid EPS if you can. Now if you are working with a program like QuarkXPress, even the latest version of Quark which is Version 8, which does basically have support for native Illustrator files, it does not support the transparency amount that Illustrator has. Which means that if you have transparency in your Illustrator file, it will not display correctly inside of Quark and it may not print correctly either.

So when working with QuarkXPress, save your file as EPS that of Illustrator. However, when working with InDesign always save your files that of Illustrator as a native AI file and then bring that right here into your document inside of InDesign.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 29498 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    5. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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