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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.
One of the benefits of using Illustrator to create web graphics is that you can create entire webpage layouts or you can create individual graphics. In fact, I find the Illustrator excels at creating these individual web graphics and the new multiple artboards features that was added to Illustrator CS4 really brings this home. For example, maybe you have been asked to create an ad banner campaign. Chances are you will need to create a variety of different ad banner sizes and create a variety of art concepts as well. Rather than be forced to work with individual Illustrator files, you can create a single document that contains multiple artboards inside of it.
For example, in this case right here I have four different ad banners all within a single document, all set up using multiple artboards. What's great about multiple artboards is that Illustrator has a certain thing called an Active Artboard. Notice that right now this artboard at the top has a black line while the other ones have gray borders. That indicates the top one right here. This one is set to 468x60. It's currently the Active Artboard. To make any other artboard an Active Artboard all you need to do is simply click anywhere within the boundary of that artboard. For example, by clicking here I have now made this the Active Artboard. And Illustrator uses the Active Artboard to perform certain functions. For example, if I now go to the File menu and I choose Save for Web & Devices. Say for example I exported JPG, or GIF of this banner. I will see that none of the other artwork appears in this window at all.
Let me click Cancel, I will click on this banner right here and now again if I choose File > Save for Web & Devices because that one is now the active artboard. It appears here in this window as well. Let me show you how easy it is to create your own artboards. Say we need to create now a new artboard of like 250X60 pixels for example. I will select the Artboard tool from the toolbar over here and that immediately puts me into something called Artboard Edit Mode. Notice now that the Active Artboard has these dotted lines around it, it becomes selected. What I can do is simply come over here and click-and- drag to create a new artboard.
When I release the mouse this becomes the active one and I could change the dimensions to make it precisely what I need it to be. I will go over here where it says Width, and we'll type-in 250, and I will change its height to be 100. I could position it just so, just where I want it and then just simply tap the Escape key on my keyboard to exit Artboard Edit Mode, and now I have created a new artboard. What I really love about working with artboards though is that I can simply go to the File menu at any time, choose Save As and for the Format here choose Adobe PDF. This will allow me to create a multi-page PDF file, meaning that each of these banners will get their own page and a single PDF file which I could then email to my client for review.
For more detailed information about all the things that you can do with artboards and how they work, check out one of my other titles here on lynda.com called Adobe Illustrator CS4 Essential Training.
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