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Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.
I've always believed that Illustrator suffers from somewhat of an identity crisis. I mean, there are so many different types of projects or design tasks that you can do with Illustrator, and because of that Illustrator has many different settings and preferences, each of them optimized towards each of those workflows. Rather than just jumping in and creating a brand-new file and then worrying about getting all those settings right, Illustrator allows you to be proactive. And you do that by creating a new document based on a profile. In this way, you're really telling Illustrator what type of document you're about to create, and that way all the settings would be correct once that file is opened.
When you launch the program, Illustrator presents you with this Welcome screen, and on the right side where it says Create New, you can choose between Print, Web, Mobile and Devices, and also Video and Film Documents. Since we're creating web graphics, let's get started by creating a web document. Since we're letting Illustrator know what type of graphics you want to create, there are a couple of settings that right off the bat will be done correctly for us. For example, notice that the measurements are now being done in pixels. I'll also come down here where it says Advanced and I'll click on this button. I'll see that the Color Mode for this document is already set to RGB, which is correct for web graphics.
My Raster Effects are set to a low enough resolution for the web, 72 pixels per inch, and I also see there is a Preview Mode here. Right now it's set to Default but as we'll soon see we could also choose an option called Pixel. The Pixel Preview Mode is a completely different preview that allows us to view optimized graphics right on our screen. Now, one of the things to note about Illustrator CS4 is that you now have the ability to create multiple artboards in a single document. For example, maybe we're creating some kind of a web graphic where we want to show different possible design ideas to a client, maybe we want to show them three possible different ideas.
I come over here where it says Number of Artboards, and I'll change that number to 3. I'll create the document and I'll see that I now have three artboards created, each of them are sized to 800x600 pixels. Most importantly, by creating documents in this way, all the settings that we need for creating web graphics are done right at the beginning of our document. In this way, we don't have to worry about color shifting later on in our workflow.
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