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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.
The Recolor Artwork feature inside of Illustrator is incredibly complex. To launch the feature, I actually select all of my artwork, I'll press Command+A on the Mac, or Ctrl+A on Windows, and then I'll click on the Recolor Artwork button that appears here in the control panel. Now between the Assign tab and the Edit tab is a whole lot going on inside of the dialog box. But in this movie I want to focus specifically on working with the Edit tab. So let's take a look at what we have here. First of all, I'm actually going to click on this button here. I'm actually going to choose to Hide the Groups. We don't really need to see that, we don't need to focus on that information right now, we are not working with the color group themselves, so let's not get distracted by it.
Now as we know here, I'm looking at the HSB color wheel. I'm seeing every color that's currently in my illustration that's been selected, and those colors are mapped on to the color wheel. The dashed line that I see here actually indicates that I can move each of these colors independently of each other. If I go down over here to the bottom right, and I click on this Link icon, I can lock the colors or I can say I can lock the relationship between the colors. That way when I move one color, all the other colors move with it. As far as the color wheel itself, as I move in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise rotation around the wheel itself, I can change the hue of that color, I can change the saturation of colors by dragging colors towards the center to desaturate, or towards the outside of the circle to saturate them.
And I can also drag this slider to adjust the brightness levels of the color wheel. However, I may want to work with the color wheel in a different way, and if I click on this icon right here I basically swap the saturation or brightness values. Right now, I have the hue and the brightness settings here, and the saturation values are now here on the slider. So this button over here actually toggles this slider to either be Brightness or Saturation. Likewise, I have three possible ways of looking at this color wheel and the colors that are mapped to it. Right now I'm seeing all of these colors here around the wheel, but I can click on this option over here to actually display the wheel as a segmenting color wheel. Alternatively, I can get rid off the wheel altogether and just look at my colors as if they were displayed by bars.
They go back to the original color wheel, and you'll notice that when I go ahead and I click any of these circles to select those particular colors, I see in the bottom here these HSB Sliders which allow me to see the values for that color. We've always been moving colors around on the wheel, but that's really no precise way of working with color. If I know a specific value I want to go to, it will be very difficult to eyeball that on the wheel itself. So for example, if I unlock my colors right here, I can actually adjust these sliders here and see that color changing on in my particular color wheel. Now if I don't want to work with HSB, that's actually okay, because I can go to this little icon right here and click on it, and change my sliders to either RGB, CMYK, a Web Safe RGB panel, or I can work with Lab colors as well.
If these colors would have been global or spot colors they would also be able to adjust their Tint values here. For example, here I'll choose CMYK and I'll see that I have the CMYK sliders that I can adjust the same way that I would normally adjust colors, had I been using the Color panels inside of Illustrator. Now why wouldn't they just do that inside of Illustrator with the Color panel? Well remember, I actually selected all of my artwork right here, but even though all of my artwork is selected, I can click on only one color to modify. In Illustrator, there would be no way for me to do that directly to the Color panel. Now I made a few changes here, I'm going to click on this button over here, to actually reload my color wheel with the original colors that were found in my selection, because there is no actual undo inside of the Recolor Artwork dialog box, as I make changes to my artwork here, and I make changes over here, as you can see with the colors. I'll click on the Recolor Art button, and if I want to go back or reset or start from the beginning again, I can simply click on this button here to reload the color wheel with the colors that come from that particular selection.
Finally, you may remember that when working with the color guide itself, we had to the ability to limit the color guide to only work within a certain range of colors. Well, that same functionality exists here inside of the Recolor Artwork dialog box, and that could actually make this incredibly powerful. For example, the colors that I now have selected are all being mapped onto this color wheel. But let's say I want to find the nearest Pantone colors to all these colors that I'm working with. Well, I can come to this icon right over here, and actually load a specific library. When I load a library, the color wheel will only be allowed to use the colors that are present in that library.
So for example, if I choose now Pantone Solid Coated, notice the color wheel itself will be limited to only working with Pantone colors. I no longer see those smooth variations of colors. These are the colors that are available as Pantone colors. In fact, if you look at my selected colors, you'll see now that they have all been mapped depends on colors here. If I wanted to capture this information, let's expand this so that I can see the groups that I'm working with, and create a new group with the colors that I have just specified. If I don't want to actually change the colors here, but I just want to see what those Pantone colors look like, I can uncheck the Recolor Art box. Now when I click OK, I'm going to add up a new group inside of Illustrator that contains all the Pantone colors. But I haven't adjusted any of the artwork on my page.
I'll give you another example of where this might be helpful. Say you've performed some kind of a Live Trace or you have some piece of artwork that somebody else created, and you now need to modify the colors in that to match just something specific. Well, all you need to do is, go over here and make sure that you sample your original colors in the beginning of your artwork. Come down here and limit your particular color wheel to a specific library. For example, let's say this Corporate Library actually has lot of colors that I want to use. By choosing that library, I could only work within those particular ranges of colors. And if I click on the Recolor Art button here, I can now see that all of the artwork that I've created has now been removed over, and only uses colors found in that library.
I'll reload the colors once again here from the original piece of artwork, and I'll show that you can also double- click on any color to bring up to actual color picker where you could choose to modify the colors manually in this way as well. In fact, this is also a great way to just simply copy and paste the hex color that you might need for working inside of HTML, or Dreamweaver, or Fireworks, or Flash, or any other web design application. I'll cancel out of this, and you can obviously see that the Edit tab here in the Recolor Artwork dialog box, has lots of functionality built into it. Now it may seem like a lot, but remember you don't need to use all these features all the time, but just take things one step at a time and you'll do just fine.
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