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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.
We know that we can arrange our swatches inside of Illustrator into groups and these color groups can be edited either in the Swatches panel itself or also working with the color wheel. For example, I can basically create a new print document. I'm going to click OK here. Notice that my swatches already have some color groups defined inside of it. Let's go to this one over here. This one is refereed to as the Brights color. I'm going to simply double-click on a folder here to actually bring up the Edit Colors dialog box, where I see each of the colors that are now defined in that group mapped on to a color wheel.
Now, I also know that I have the ability to basically move these particular colors around the color wheel itself and then click on this button here to actually create a new color group. So I can use the Edit Colors dialog box to also generate new color groups if I want to as well. Now the color themselves that appear in this particular group are all linked together meaning that the relationship between those colors are kind of locked. If I move one color, the other colors move as well. At a very basic level, the relationship between colors is what we refer to an Illustrator as a harmony. If we understand that the color wheel itself, in this case, uses HSB or Hue, Saturation, and Brightness, I can also think of this relationship as some kind of as some kind of scientific method or scientific way of defining the relationship between colors.
In fact, Illustrator itself has 23 different harmonies that are programmed into the application. Again, these harmonies are simply a way to define the relationship between colors. You can access each of these harmonies by going over here to the top of the Edit Colors dialog box and clicking on this area called Harmony Rules. Let's start with the most basic one here called Complementary. A color's complement is one that appears in the exact opposite side of the color wheel. For example, I see one color right here and then I see its complement, which is on the other side of the wheel. They are tied together by this relationship.
Meaning that whenever I move one of these colors, that one obviously moves the other side of the wheel as well. So let's take a look at some of the other harmonies that Illustrator comes with. I'm going to go back to the pop-up list here and let's choose Complementary 2. This one uses the series of six different colors; three that appear on one side of the wheel and three that appear on the other. Going back to the pop-up here, let's take a look at something here called Analogous colors. These are colors that all have the exact same saturation level. However, they are different in different values of the hue. In fact, something somewhat similar would be Monochromatic colors. Those are colors that all have the exact same hue but vary in saturation.
Going further down this list, you will actually see some of here called Triad. Triads are ones that have the colors basically split at three different parts of the color wheel. Now again, these harmonies themselves are simply scientific ways to determine a relationship between colors. There is no such thing as a good harmony or a bad harmony; it's just a way if you would identify how colors might work. This can be extremely helpful if you try to develop a palette of colors that work well for a specific task. As we'll soon see, working with color harmonies in other areas of Illustrator really allow you as a designer to focus on your designs and get inspired by color.
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