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This installment of Illustrator Insider Training shows an expert's approach to color choice and control in Illustrator. Mordy Golding guides experienced designers and artists through what he sees are the three stages of applying color to artwork: creation, inspiration, and editing. The course also shows how to build art in a way that allows artists to make changes quickly and how to take advantage of the newer features that have been added to Illustrator over the recent versions.
The more we understand about what makes the Color Guide panel work, the more we can harness its power to make sure that it gives us the suggestions that we can use for the illustrations that we are working on. So in this movie, I want to focus on exactly what the Color Guide is doing, and that way we can derive the most benefit from it. I'm going to start by clicking on the pop-up here and I'm going to choose the most basic of harmony rules, something called Complementary. Now, this only has two colors; basically, whenever I choose a base color, the Color Guide will now also identify that color's complement.
We've already discussed in the beginning of this title that complementary colors are colors that appear opposite each other on the Color Wheel. So, for example, as I choose different base colors here, like red, I can see that its complement is green. If I choose another color like yellow, for example, it shows me its complement. Now, to help us understand a little bit better what the Color Guide is doing, I'm going to go to the flyout menu of the Color Guide and I'm going to choose Color Guide Options. Over here I have different Steps that I could choose, and I have a minimum number of 3; the maximum number is 20, but I'm going to let it sit right now at 3.
And I'm going to make sure that my Variation slider is set to More. Now I'm going to click OK, and let's take a closer look at exactly what happens inside the Color Guide. Whenever I click on a swatch color, that color now becomes my base color. The Color Guide then identifies that color and its own complement, because that's the harmony rule that I've chosen. It then takes these two colors and puts them at the direct center of the panel right here. So if you can just imagine taking these two squares right now and turning them on their side, where right now the first color appears on top, the second color appears directly beneath it, I now see these two colors displayed vertically in the center of my Color Guide panel.
Then to the left, the Color Guide now provides three different Shades and three different Tints of each of those colors. That happens because before when I've changed the options for the Color Guide, I've chosen a value of 3 for the number of Steps. If I use a value of 10, for example, I would see 10 different Shades and 10 different Tints for each of the colors inside of my harmony. In this case, I'm now seeing Shades and Tints as variations for my color, but if I go to the flyout menu here, I can choose to show Warm or Cool variations, or Vivid and Muted variations in my colors as well.
Now, if I go back to Color Guide Options for just a moment here, we have this slider here of Variations. More variation means that there's a bigger difference in each step of the Shades and Tints that are provided, where if I use less of the variation, then I would see that I only have very subtle differences between each of the Shades or Tints that I'm seeing in these colors. So just as an example here, if I wanted to change the number of Steps here all the way to 20 and click OK, I could then maybe make this Color Guide actually a little bit wider by stretching it.
And I can see that Illustrator generates a tremendous amount of variations, actually 20 in each direction, 20 different Shades and 20 different Tints, which would give me a total of 41 different values; the color itself, plus 20 in each direction. If I were to choose a color harmony that had more colors, let's go to the pop-up here and use something like, for example, Right Complement, I would now see, again, my base color plus all the colors which are now displayed vertically to the center and variations of either of those in different directions.
So in other words, the Color Guide panel provides use for me by me first selecting a base color and then the Color Guide will now, based on the color harmony that I choose, suggest a range of colors that might work well with my base color. It's a powerful way to derive inspiration around the use of color directly inside of your design environment here inside of Illustrator.
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