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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.
So you are cranking away at your awesome illustration and there comes time to actually apply some colors. Now you may have some colors to start with, but maybe you are looking for some inspiration. You want to be able to actually add additional colors and you also want to make sure that there is new colors that are used actually work well with your existing colors. Well, Illustrator has the perfect tool for you. It's called the Color Guide. Let me move my artwork just a little bit over here to the side and I'm actually going to pull out my Color Guide panel right over here. I'll march the panel just a little bit and let's take a look and see exactly how this works here inside of Illustrator.
First, let's identify a few basic things or parts about the Color Guide itself. There is a button here, which allows us to set the base color to our current color from a variety of Harmony Rules. If I click on this button over here, I can actually choose between 23 different Harmony Rules. The Color Guide itself then displays a variety of shades and tints of color, based on the harmony that I have chosen. So let's see exactly how this works. Now what I can do is I can come over to my Swatches panel and I can click on any color here, for example, this one right here. In doing so, it will basically generate how much of the colors based in the harmony that's chosen.
These colors which all exist now inside of that harmony are actually displayed here in the center of the Color Guide. To the left of those colors are all shades or darker versions of that particular color and to the right are tints or lighter colors of those colors as well. If I like any of these colors, I can simply click on them and drag them into my Swatches panel to add them to my swatches. Alternatively, I can hold down the Command key and click on several of them and then click on this button over here to actually define a New Color Group inside of my Swatches panel. For example, let's say I want to work with Complementary Colors. I'll actually click from this list over here, Complementary 2.
Now, whenever I click on any color on my Swatches panel, the color guide will suggest colors that are complementary to my color. Now there are also a few various settings that I could use to control exactly how the Color Guide actually makes these suggestions. For example, I'll come out over here to the flyout menu or the panel menu over here for the Color Guide and I'll choose Color Guide Options. Notice it over here where it says Variation Options. It says for a number of Steps 4. What that means is that for each version of Tints and Shades, it gives me four different steps in that particular direction.
So remember here at the center area of the swatches here are actually these colors that appear in the harmony itself. So the first color is actually the color that I clicked on right over here. The other colors are automatically generated based on the harmony that I choose and then all of these colors are displayed down here in the center row. Because I have my Step set to 4, I'm now seeing four shades of each of those colors and also four tints of each of those colors as well. Now the amount of variation that appears between this particular color and this one and this one are set to the More value, but if I would adjust this slider to be Less then I would see that the variation from here to here is obviously not as sharp and I could, of course, adjust that as well.
So now the colors somewhat change little bit more so in nature but as we'll go towards the More area, they take a more exaggerated approach as they move down the line. Now if I want, I can reduce the number of the steps here. Three is the fewest number that you can use and you can even go all the way up to #20. In doing so, you generate lots of different variations of your color. I'll click OK and show you that if you want to, obviously, there are lots little tiny swatches here. What I can do is stand my Color Guide this way to see more variations of my colors. Now the number of colors that you see here is actually tied directly to the numbers that appear inside of your harmony. For example, if I were just to choose the Complementary 1, which is a harmony made of only two colors, I only see two rows of colors here. But one of the really nice things about the Color Guide is that it also works for color groups. Meaning if I go over here and I click on not just a regular swatch itself but the actual entire group, the entire group gets loaded here into this and variations of that group are also offered as well.
In theory, I can have a group that contains something like 50 colors and I would definitely see a row of 50 colors here as well. So the color guide is a great tool to use when you need to get inspired around working with color. That I'll tell you then in the next movie, we are going to see how to take this Color Guide to a whole new level entirely.
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