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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.
Before we get started on the topic of transparency I want to take a few moments to go over some important concepts as they apply to transparency. Now, transparency in its vector form was first introduced in Illustrator 9, Acrobat 5 and InDesign 2. That's InDesign 2, not InDesign CS2. So all the topics and the concepts and the techniques that we cover here apply to any of the versions of software that have been released after those versions. Obviously any versions of software before those versions do not support transparency.
PostScript or EPS, which stands for Encapsulated PostScript, does not support transparency and in fact, this is going to be the reason why we have to deal with these transparency issues altogether. And that's simply because EPS is a format that's universally used around the world and just about all the printers that are used in the professional workspace are actually PostScript printers. Now Illustrator itself has a fantastic toolset for how to apply transparency in your files but if we know at the end of the day we are going to actually print our file out on a PostScript device we are going to need to find some way to have that transparency translated so that PostScript itself can understand those kind of constructs.
Keeping that in mind we'll know that Illustrator must flatten transparency when printing your file to any PostScript device or when you are saving your file to EPS. Now you may be familiar with the term flatten if you have used a program called Adobe Photoshop. You may have several different layers and by flattening your document you are turning those multiple layers into one single layer. In addition, that layer has no transparent pixels in it everything is completely opaque. Well, in the world of vectors and again this applies to Illustrator, Acrobat and InDesign as well, flattening transparency is somewhat similar to that, although of course it applies to the world of vectors.
Now don't worry. We are going to learn everything there is to know about what flattening means insides of Illustrator but it's important to know what transparency flattening can either be done manually, meaning that you could actually perform the steps on your own, or Illustrator could handle that flattening process automatically. As we'll see it's far more beneficial to have Illustrator handle this than to have you do it yourself. But throughout this particular training title we are going to be employing some of the methods manually and I'm only going to be doing that so that you could actually see what's happening behind the scenes. But again I want to emphasize here that we don't really need to do anything.
As long as we understand when this transparency flattening is happening that would be enough and that's simply because we are going to let Illustrator do all the work for us. So keeping these important concepts in mind, let's get started learning about transparency in Illustrator.
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