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Join author Nigel French in Designing a Book Cover as he walks through several approaches to creating professional, engaging book covers using Adobe Creative Suite applications. This course covers document setup, composition and layout, illustration, typography essentials, and printing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In an earlier movie we were looking at how past designers have designed the cover for Animal Farm. We see that over the decades it's very hard to avoid the image of a scary pig on the front cover, and we are going to do our own version of the scary pig. We are going to do this in Illustrator. Just before we go to Illustrator, let's look at the finished version here in InDesign, combined with the type of the author name and the book title. So, it's tracing over a picture of a pig and then modifying the tracing result, and then placing that Illustrator document into InDesign.
So, let's switch to Illustrator where we have this picture of a cute and cuddly pig, which we are going to make look really scary and ominous and sinister. Let's begin by selecting the pig and come to the Live Trace button. Now, we are going to change the Live Tracing options by clicking on the Tracing Options dialog. There are a few things here that we want to change. The Mode is what we want. we want a Black and White trace.
We might experiment with the Threshold value, we move this to the right, a higher number and you'll get more black areas. Move it to the left and you get more white areas. I can tell you, because I just did it earlier, the 128 Threshold is pretty much what we want. I am going to choose to blur the image slightly, which is hopefully is going to round off some of the sharp edges that we are going to get in the tracing result. So, I am just going to nudge that up to about 0.4, and I am also going to make sure that we don't trace the white areas, that we ignore the white areas.
As I am making these changes take a look at what's going on here, the number of paths and anchor points that you are going to get. So, if you get a massive number here, if you got a million anchor points, then you might want to think again about that. So, I am going to check Ignore White and I am also going to make the Minimum Area a little bit bigger. Hopefully, it won't then trace over lots of detail that we don't want. Let's just preview that. So, you can see that we've simplified things a little bit from the way they were before.
That's looking good. I am now going to click Trace. Next step is we want to work with the tracing result, but before we can do that we need to expand it. Then I am going to come and ungroup it. With Ungrouped, I am now going to come to my Blob Brush. Let's just check the Blob Brush options by double-clicking on the Blob Brush tool. We need to make sure that this Merge Only With Selection is not checked. So I am now going to click OK. Because what we want to have happen is when we paint over these white bits that we don't want, they're added to the solid black areas.
So, I am just going to go over those areas and if there are any detail,s like we can still see that up in the ear here there is sort of identifying tag that was in the pig's ear, we want to go over that. You can increase and decrease your brush size with the left bracket and right bracket, the brackets to the right of the P key. So, I am now just going to quickly fill in these areas in the foreground that we don't want.
We can now save this and then place it in the InDesign document. You don't need to see me do that. You've seen me do that many times before. But there is an approach that might be a valid one depending on where is it trying to go. Take an image, trace it, and then work with the tracing result.
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