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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

Understanding Pixel Preview


From:

Illustrator CS4 for the Web

with Mordy Golding

Video: Understanding Pixel Preview

One of the great things about vector graphics in general is that you can scale them to any size, and no matter how big you make them, they always look clean and sharp. For example, let me zoom in right over here on this little button. If I zoom in really close, even though I have these nice rounded rectangles, I have this text here, I can go even closer to look at these beautiful sharp lines. However, that isn't the case for graphics for the web, especially so for pixel based graphics. Have you ever tried downloading an image from the Internet and then zoom in really close and see it becomes pixilated? That you could actually see the individual pixels themselves? Well, let me zoom back out here for a second. Illustrator is almost giving us this full sense of reality. Here I am inside of this wonderful vector based application, but at the end of the day my graphics are going to get rasterized, and how will they look when that happens? Rather than cross your fingers and wait to find out what happens when you do so, Illustrator provides us with a different way to preview our graphics.
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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Understanding pixel- and vector-based web graphics
      1m 36s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 10m 27s
    1. Using the Web New Document Profile
      1m 56s
    2. Creating your own New Document Profiles
      1m 57s
    3. Taking advantage of web templates and content
      1m 48s
    4. Setting up a custom web workspace
      4m 46s
  3. 23m 42s
    1. Setting measurement preferences
      1m 11s
    2. Setting preview bounds
      2m 38s
    3. Setting grid preferences
      2m 18s
    4. Understanding Pixel Preview
      3m 54s
    5. Understanding anti-aliasing
      5m 3s
    6. Disabling anti-aliasing
      2m 35s
    7. Setting up color management
      6m 3s
  4. 9m 49s
    1. Comparing pixel dimension and resolution
      2m 26s
    2. Grid is good, grid is great
      4m 45s
    3. Working with multiple artboards
      2m 38s
  5. 10m 1s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal
      4m 31s
    2. Pulling colors from Kuler
      1m 43s
    3. Using the Color Guide with web-safe colors
      1m 48s
    4. Converting art to web-safe or limited colors
      1m 59s
  6. 22m 5s
    1. Understanding slicing
      1m 36s
    2. Using manual slicing
      2m 16s
    3. Using object-based slicing
      2m 33s
    4. Comparing user slices and auto slices
      1m 57s
    5. Applying settings to slices
      4m 59s
    6. Defining an image map
      3m 46s
    7. Working with slices
      4m 58s
  7. 10m 45s
    1. Making text look good on the web
      2m 58s
    2. Adding reflections
      2m 42s
    3. Applying rounded corners
      1m 7s
    4. Creating dynamic text buttons
      3m 58s
  8. 19m 54s
    1. Optimizing web graphics
      2m 41s
    2. Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files
      6m 38s
    3. Setting up transparency and matte
      2m 52s
    4. Adjusting image dimensions
      2m 7s
    5. Optimizing to a specific file size
      2m 27s
    6. Editing output settings
      3m 9s
  9. 4m 3s
    1. Understanding Illustrator and Flash workflows
      2m 42s
    2. Understanding SVG
      1m 21s
  10. 19m 14s
    1. Defining symbols in Illustrator
      5m 23s
    2. Editing symbols in Illustrator
      2m 19s
    3. Choosing a symbol type
      2m 7s
    4. Setting the Flash registration
      1m 23s
    5. Using 9-slice scaling
      4m 34s
    6. Defining static and input text
      3m 28s
  11. 14m 17s
    1. Setting preferences in Flash
      1m 27s
    2. Copying and pasting elements
      1m 50s
    3. Exporting entire files
      4m 35s
    4. The Save for Web & Devices dialog
      2m 58s
    5. Exporting SWF files
      3m 27s
  12. 16m 11s
    1. Converting layers to frames
      3m 17s
    2. Working with blends
      3m 11s
    3. Releasing to layers
      3m 44s
    4. Defining static layers
      2m 43s
    5. Adjusting timing
      3m 16s
  13. 11m 29s
    1. Working with Photoshop
      2m 18s
    2. Working with Acrobat Pro
      2m 54s
    3. Working with Dreamweaver
      2m 14s
    4. Working with Flash Catalyst
      4m 3s
  14. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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Illustrator CS4 for the Web
2h 56m Intermediate Jan 23, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Differentiating between pixel- and vector-based web graphics
  • Creating screen-friendly typography
  • Adding reflections
  • Creating Flash animations
  • Using multiple artboards
  • Bringing art into Dreamweaver
  • Utilizing Flash Catalyst
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Prototyping Web Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Understanding Pixel Preview

One of the great things about vector graphics in general is that you can scale them to any size, and no matter how big you make them, they always look clean and sharp. For example, let me zoom in right over here on this little button. If I zoom in really close, even though I have these nice rounded rectangles, I have this text here, I can go even closer to look at these beautiful sharp lines. However, that isn't the case for graphics for the web, especially so for pixel based graphics. Have you ever tried downloading an image from the Internet and then zoom in really close and see it becomes pixilated? That you could actually see the individual pixels themselves? Well, let me zoom back out here for a second. Illustrator is almost giving us this full sense of reality. Here I am inside of this wonderful vector based application, but at the end of the day my graphics are going to get rasterized, and how will they look when that happens? Rather than cross your fingers and wait to find out what happens when you do so, Illustrator provides us with a different way to preview our graphics.

If we go to the View menu here, we see something here called Pixel Preview. By choosing Pixel Preview, Illustrator now renders my graphics to the screen, the same way that they would display inside of a web browser. For example, watch what happens now when I zoom in really close on this button. See how I see the pixels themselves. No longer the actual sharp vector graphics that I saw before, Illustrator is rendering that artwork as pixels. This way I know exactly how this artwork is going to look when displayed on an electronic screen. I will zoom back out again because I want to show you a great way how as a designer you could really take advantage of the regular Preview Mode inside of Illustrator and also this Pixel Preview Mode as well.

First, I will come back to the View menu and I will just turn off Pixel Preview; now I am with a Regular Preview Mode. Illustrator has a wonderful feature that allows me to see my artwork in two different possible states. I will go to the Window menu here and I will choose New Window. This actually takes my exact same artwork but creates a new window for it. Take a look. I have two tabs here at the top of my screen. I have this one here called groundswell_728x90, and then I have this one called groundswell_728x90. Its basically two ways to look at the same document, but the beautiful thing about doing things in this way is that I can change the Preview settings for one of these views but not for the other.

First, let's change how Illustrator displays these documents. Right now I am using Illustrator's new tabbed user interface that allows me to have tabs across the top of my screen, displaying the documents that are currently open, and I could swap or basically click on these to go back and forth between the two. But I would really like to see both of these at the same time. If I go up over here to the Application Bar, there is a setting here called Arranged Documents. I will click on that, and then I will choose this option here, which will allow me to choose 2-Up and basically lay these documents so that I can see both of them at the same time. I will click on the top document here and adjust my setting here so I can view it, and I will do the same for here as well. Now I am looking at the exact same document but through two different windows.

Notice over here I have a 1 and over here I have a 2. I will click in this window to make this one active, and I will go to the View menu and I will choose Pixel Preview. What I am basically seeing right now is my original artwork here, and then this is the exact same artwork but with the Pixel Preview turned on. Let me zoom in a little bit closer here on this part of the file. I will do the same down over here. Here I can see all the pixels and the way that this artwork is going to get rasterized when displayed on the web. Here is the way the vectors display. As I make adjustments to my artwork I will see them updated automatically in that window.

Notice here I can click on it, no matter what I do on either of the windows it happens exactly in the other window as well. When working this way I could very easily create things and see things just the way that I want to on the top window inside of Illustrator and get an immediate preview of what that's going to look like when its displayed on the web. If you have two monitors, feel free to actually display both these windows; one on one monitor and one on the other, in this way you can design everything that you want in a high res preview inside of Illustrator and then take a quick glance at the monitor to see what it looks like when rasterized in Pixel Preview.

Overall, when using Illustrator it's really important to take a look at how Pixel Preview renders your graphics. In doing so you will always know how your graphics will look like when they are displayed on the web.

There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator CS4 for the Web.

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Illustrator CS4 for the Web will be retired from the lynda.com library on April 24, 2014. Training videos and exercise files will no longer be available, but the course will still appear in your course history and certificates of completion. For updated training, check out Illustrator for Web Design in the lynda.com Online Training Library.


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