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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the Magic Wand tool


From:

Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

with Justin Seeley

Video: Using the Magic Wand tool

Up until now we've been using very precise methods of selection, wherein we clicked on something and it became selected. However, there may come a time when you need to select objects that are similar to one another, or you're working on a complex piece of artwork and you need to select multiple objects at a time. Performing a task like this with tools like the Direct or Group Selection tools could prove to be quite tedious, because you have to point and click and point and click, and you have to hold down the Shift key or other modifier keys to make your selection more accurate. Enter the Magic Wand tool.
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  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
8h 48m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks, from illustration to app development. This course demonstrates core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow—for print, the web, or building assets that will find their way into other applications. Author Justin Seeley explains the elements that make up vector graphics (paths, strokes, and fills) while showing how to use each of the drawing tools, and demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths and organize them into groups and layers. The course also covers text editing, working with color, effects, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Understanding vector graphics
  • Creating and setting up files for print or web destinations
  • Selecting and transforming objects on the page
  • Creating spot colors
  • Applying fills, strokes, and gradients to artwork
  • Adjusting appearances and effects
  • Working with anchor points and paths
  • Drawing with the Pen tool
  • Creating text
  • Managing layers
  • Creating and using symbols
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Using the Magic Wand tool

Up until now we've been using very precise methods of selection, wherein we clicked on something and it became selected. However, there may come a time when you need to select objects that are similar to one another, or you're working on a complex piece of artwork and you need to select multiple objects at a time. Performing a task like this with tools like the Direct or Group Selection tools could prove to be quite tedious, because you have to point and click and point and click, and you have to hold down the Shift key or other modifier keys to make your selection more accurate. Enter the Magic Wand tool.

The Magic Wand tool allows you to make selections of multiple items simply by clicking on one of them and then finding other items with similar attributes and making them part of the selection automatically. Let's take a look at exactly what I mean. First off, I'm going to show you just how tedious the direct selection method can be. If I come up and grab the Direct Selection tool, let's say that I wanted to select everything on my page. Now I could make a marquee selection like this and hopefully encompass everything, or I could simply come in here and click, hold down my Shift key and click and click and click.

But you notice, by doing that, I've only selected the top part of this artwork and the top part of this artwork. The bottom piece is not selected. That would take a long time for me to go through and select all of these different objects. Even if I'm using the Regular Selection tool, I would click, hold down Shift, click, Shift, click, click, et cetera, and so that takes up a lot of time, time that I probably don't have. The Magic Wand tool works in a much different way. When I grab the Magic Wand tool, you can see it turns into little wand, and I can then hover over a piece of artwork and then simply click and it automatically selects artwork based on the attributes that I've clicked on.

If you want to refine how the Magic Wand tool works, you simply come over here and double-click the Magic Wand tool. This opens up the Magic Wand tool preferences or options. These are not located anywhere else. You have to double-click the Wand tool in order to bring them up. When you first open up the Magic Wand tool preferences, you're going to see the basic options of Fill Color and Tolerance. By default, the Tolerance should be a lot lower than this. Mine is actually set to a 100 to encompass a broad range of objects. The lower the Tolerance, the closer the objects will have to be in appearance to the original object in order to become selected.

Right now I've got the Tolerance set up to 100, so it's a very broad selection. If I were to take that down to something like 10, watch what happens. I'll set it to 10 and then I'll click away from the objects to deselect them. Remember before when I clicked on this piece of artwork, almost everything on the page became selected. Clicking this object now, it only selects the objects that are really close to that neutral gray that I've selected. Notice this area over here did not get selected, the bottom part of the apple did not get selected, neither that this heart down at the bottom either.

Now in some cases, this is okay, because then you can just go grab the Direct Selection tool and finish off selecting the little parts and pieces that you missed. So for instance, if I wanted to select the apple and the heart, I just grab the Direct Selection tool, hold down Shift, click, click, and I'm done. But you see how much faster I got with that selection now that I'm utilizing the Magic Wand tool. Adjusting the Tolerance is going to be somewhat of a trial and error process. So just take the Tolerance and remember, dragging it to the left, makes it more precise; dragging it to the right makes it more broad.

So if you need to select a lot of objects on screen, try taking the Tolerance up. If you need to select one or two similar objects, just take it down. Let's go up here to the panel menu of the Magic Wand options and turn on Show Stroke Options. This is another way that you can control how the Magic Wand tool works. You can actually base the Magic Wand tool on Stroke Color and Stroke Weight as well. The Tolerance level here works much the same way as it does with Fill Color. For Stroke Color, you determine how closely the stroke color has to be to the original color in order for the object to become selected.

Again, dragging it to the left makes it more precise; dragging it to the right makes it more of a loose selection. Stroke Weight, works the same way, except this time it's not based on color; it's based on the thickness of the stroke. In this case, the stroke is the border surrounding an object. So for the Stroke Weight here, dragging that to the left means it has to closely match the stroke Weight or stroke Thickness. Dragging it to the right means that it can be a wide range of either thick strokes or really thin strokes and anywhere in between.

If I open up the options again, you'll notice there's one more section I can turn on. It's Show Transparency Options. Clicking this automatically opens up the bottom panel and I can choose Opacity. Opacity works much the same way that the others do, but in this case instead of colors or weight, it's actually based on Opacity level. So you can adjust the Tolerance level to be closer to the original Opacity, or you can encompass a broad range of Opacity levels by increasing the Tolerance level as well. You can also choose to select objects based on the blending modes.

Now we haven't covered blending modes yet, but just know that these are ways that objects interact with one another when they're overlaid on top of each other, and so blending modes are a great way to also select objects around the canvas as well. If you want to turn these off, just uncheck the box, and if you want to hide those options, just come right back up to the panel menu and choose Hide Stroke Options and Hide Transparency Options. To close the Magic Wand Tool panel, simply click the X in the top right corner. Once you do that, you can then go back to the Magic Wand tool and continue using it with the settings that you specified.

As you start to work with more complex artwork in Illustrator, you might find that the Magic Wand tool becomes very useful when making selections. And it might even help you get a little bit more efficient and faster along the way.

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