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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

Working with blends


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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

with Mordy Golding
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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Understanding pixel- and vector-based web graphics
      1m 36s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 10m 27s
    1. Using the Web New Document Profile
      1m 56s
    2. Creating your own New Document Profiles
      1m 57s
    3. Taking advantage of web templates and content
      1m 48s
    4. Setting up a custom web workspace
      4m 46s
  3. 23m 42s
    1. Setting measurement preferences
      1m 11s
    2. Setting preview bounds
      2m 38s
    3. Setting grid preferences
      2m 18s
    4. Understanding Pixel Preview
      3m 54s
    5. Understanding anti-aliasing
      5m 3s
    6. Disabling anti-aliasing
      2m 35s
    7. Setting up color management
      6m 3s
  4. 9m 49s
    1. Comparing pixel dimension and resolution
      2m 26s
    2. Grid is good, grid is great
      4m 45s
    3. Working with multiple artboards
      2m 38s
  5. 10m 1s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal
      4m 31s
    2. Pulling colors from Kuler
      1m 43s
    3. Using the Color Guide with web-safe colors
      1m 48s
    4. Converting art to web-safe or limited colors
      1m 59s
  6. 22m 5s
    1. Understanding slicing
      1m 36s
    2. Using manual slicing
      2m 16s
    3. Using object-based slicing
      2m 33s
    4. Comparing user slices and auto slices
      1m 57s
    5. Applying settings to slices
      4m 59s
    6. Defining an image map
      3m 46s
    7. Working with slices
      4m 58s
  7. 10m 45s
    1. Making text look good on the web
      2m 58s
    2. Adding reflections
      2m 42s
    3. Applying rounded corners
      1m 7s
    4. Creating dynamic text buttons
      3m 58s
  8. 19m 54s
    1. Optimizing web graphics
      2m 41s
    2. Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files
      6m 38s
    3. Setting up transparency and matte
      2m 52s
    4. Adjusting image dimensions
      2m 7s
    5. Optimizing to a specific file size
      2m 27s
    6. Editing output settings
      3m 9s
  9. 4m 3s
    1. Understanding Illustrator and Flash workflows
      2m 42s
    2. Understanding SVG
      1m 21s
  10. 19m 14s
    1. Defining symbols in Illustrator
      5m 23s
    2. Editing symbols in Illustrator
      2m 19s
    3. Choosing a symbol type
      2m 7s
    4. Setting the Flash registration
      1m 23s
    5. Using 9-slice scaling
      4m 34s
    6. Defining static and input text
      3m 28s
  11. 14m 17s
    1. Setting preferences in Flash
      1m 27s
    2. Copying and pasting elements
      1m 50s
    3. Exporting entire files
      4m 35s
    4. The Save for Web & Devices dialog
      2m 58s
    5. Exporting SWF files
      3m 27s
  12. 16m 11s
    1. Converting layers to frames
      3m 17s
    2. Working with blends
      3m 11s
    3. Releasing to layers
      3m 44s
    4. Defining static layers
      2m 43s
    5. Adjusting timing
      3m 16s
  13. 11m 29s
    1. Working with Photoshop
      2m 18s
    2. Working with Acrobat Pro
      2m 54s
    3. Working with Dreamweaver
      2m 14s
    4. Working with Flash Catalyst
      4m 3s
  14. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

Video: Working with blends

So we know that in Illustrator, in order to create what looks like an animation, we need to have frames and we can basically take our layers and turn those into frames. However, there is yet another way to create frames for an animation and that's using a feature inside of Illustrator called Blends. I actually find that somewhat ironic because blends predate gradients. Back in the day when Illustrator first came out and you wanted to create a gradation of color, say from yellow to blue, you would take a yellow and a blue object and blend them into each other. Now when creating interactive content for the web, we can use that same Blend feature to create an animation. Let's take a look at how that's done. I'm going to take this shape right over here, which is right now a symbol, this surfer dude. I'm going to hold down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows and create a copy and drag it somewhere over here.

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Illustrator CS4 for the Web
2h 56m Intermediate Jan 23, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Differentiating between pixel- and vector-based web graphics
  • Creating screen-friendly typography
  • Adding reflections
  • Creating Flash animations
  • Using multiple artboards
  • Bringing art into Dreamweaver
  • Utilizing Flash Catalyst
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Prototyping Web Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Working with blends

So we know that in Illustrator, in order to create what looks like an animation, we need to have frames and we can basically take our layers and turn those into frames. However, there is yet another way to create frames for an animation and that's using a feature inside of Illustrator called Blends. I actually find that somewhat ironic because blends predate gradients. Back in the day when Illustrator first came out and you wanted to create a gradation of color, say from yellow to blue, you would take a yellow and a blue object and blend them into each other. Now when creating interactive content for the web, we can use that same Blend feature to create an animation. Let's take a look at how that's done. I'm going to take this shape right over here, which is right now a symbol, this surfer dude. I'm going to hold down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows and create a copy and drag it somewhere over here.

So now I have two of these particular symbol instances. I'm going to hold down the Shift key and now I'm going to click to select both of them. So now I have both instances, the one over here and the one over here selected. I'm going to go to the Object menu, I'm going to choose Blend and then I'm going to choose Make. In doing so, Illustrator automatically adds the individual steps that appear between these two shapes. If you're using Flash, you may know of a term called a tween. Basically, these are the steps that appear in between the start and the end point of a blend. In this way, I can easily establish the points that I need in order to create an animation inside of Illustrator.

Now, once I've created by blend, there are a couple of things that I can do with it. For example, I have the ability to go to the Object menu here and I'll choose Blend and I'll choose Blend Options. Now it's important to realize that a Blend itself is made up of three separate objects. I have the start object, the end object and then a line that gets created automatically. That line is what we refer to as the spine of the blend. Basically, Illustrator makes sure that the artwork follows along the path as it creates the blend. Now right over here where it says Spacing, it's set right now to Smooth Color. But I can change that and choose Specified Steps. For example, say I want that to be ten steps of my blend.

Now in the case of working with Illustrator and creating animations, the more steps that I create, the smoother my animation will be. But at the same time it could slow down performance and how that plays back on a computer screen. Since I'm working with symbols here inside of Illustrator, I really don't have to worry about adding to file size but just by adding more steps. I'll go ahead and I'll click OK. Now as you can see, the surfer basically is going to start from this point and then slowly animate towards this side of the banner. But I want to make it look like there is some motion in the waves here. Let's make the surfer kind of bobbing up and down on the waves. So what I can do inside of Illustrator with a blend is rather than using just a straight line, I could actually substitute that straight line for a curve line.

In fact, in this file over here if I open up the Surfer layer, I can see that there is a path here which I've turned off basically. I'm going to turn that on right on and you can see the path that I created right over here. I use my Regular Selection tool to select that path and I'll hold down the Shift key to select the blend. With those two objects selected, I can choose Object > Blend, and then I could choose Replace Spine. In doing so you can see that right now this surfer follows that path that I just used. At this point, we have created a blend but we haven't turned them into layers yet.

But now that you know how to create your blends, you understand the basic functionality of creating animation inside of Illustrator.

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