New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency
Illustration by John Hersey
Watching:

The history of vector transparency


From:

Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency

with Mordy Golding

Video: The history of vector transparency

Any discussion around the topic of transparency fuels debate around printing issues or incompatibilities, and misunderstood or cryptic functions. So I thought it would be helpful to start out by painting a broader picture around transparency in general to dispel any myths and to lay the groundwork for what this course will cover. Now in Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials, I spoke of two significant eras in Illustrator's history, before transparency and after transparency, and how with Illustrator 9 Adobe introduced not only the transparency feature itself, but changed the underlying file format from PostScript or EPS to PDF.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. The history of vector transparency
      4m 2s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      26s
  2. 6m 21s
    1. Transparency living in a world of PostScript
      2m 56s
    2. Transparency...it's everywhere
      2m 13s
    3. Transparency across Adobe applications
      1m 12s
  3. 42m 20s
    1. Deconstructing the Transparency panel
      7m 48s
    2. Adding transparency to gradients
      4m 59s
    3. Using the Isolate Blending setting
      5m 20s
    4. Understanding how overprints and knockouts work
      6m 26s
    5. Using the Knockout Group setting
      6m 47s
    6. Using the Knockout Group setting without a group
      6m 2s
    7. Understanding the Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape setting
      4m 58s
  4. 36m 26s
    1. What is an opacity mask?
      3m 37s
    2. Learning from channels in Photoshop
      7m 20s
    3. Creating an opacity mask
      6m 44s
    4. Editing an opacity mask
      5m 31s
    5. Using a gradient as an opacity mask
      4m 44s
    6. Using image pixels as an opacity mask
      4m 4s
    7. Using a complex appearance as an opacity mask
      4m 26s
  5. 53m 30s
    1. Understanding transparency flattening
      5m 58s
    2. Learning the two rules of flattening
      8m 1s
    3. Understanding the concept of complex regions
      7m 47s
    4. Exploring the Transparency Flattener options
      11m 44s
    5. The relationship between flattening and stacking order
      8m 22s
    6. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      8m 3s
    7. Creating and sharing flattener presets
      3m 35s
  6. 24m 37s
    1. Working with PostScript (EPS) files
      7m 22s
    2. Placing Illustrator files into InDesign layouts
      3m 59s
    3. Copying graphics from Illustrator
      2m 41s
    4. Saving PDF files
      4m 41s
    5. Using the PDF/X standards
      4m 36s
    6. Printing files from Illustrator
      1m 18s
  7. 34s
    1. Next steps
      34s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency
2h 50m Intermediate May 10, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this installment of Illustrator Insider Training, Mordy Golding shows experienced Illustrator users how to create transparency effects and ensure reliable printing results. This course reviews the history of vector transparency and covers features such as knockout groups, opacity masks, and transparency flattening. Mordy also shows how to establish a safe workflow when placing Illustrator graphics containing transparency in PostScript, PDF, and InDesign files. A free worksheet is included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how transparency works across the Adobe applications
  • Deconstructing the Transparency panel
  • Adding transparency to gradients
  • Understanding how overprints and knockouts work
  • Using a gradient or complex appearance as an opacity mask
  • The rules of transparency flattening
  • Working with complex regions
  • Understanding the relationship between flattening and stacking order
  • Creating and sharing flattener presets
  • Saving PDF files and using the PDF/X standards
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

The history of vector transparency

Any discussion around the topic of transparency fuels debate around printing issues or incompatibilities, and misunderstood or cryptic functions. So I thought it would be helpful to start out by painting a broader picture around transparency in general to dispel any myths and to lay the groundwork for what this course will cover. Now in Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials, I spoke of two significant eras in Illustrator's history, before transparency and after transparency, and how with Illustrator 9 Adobe introduced not only the transparency feature itself, but changed the underlying file format from PostScript or EPS to PDF.

Let's take a closer look at what actually happened. Upon its release, the design community was instantly enamored with Illustrator 9. Adobe had finally delivered the designer's dream: true vector transparency. This wasn't some cheesy effect that looked like transparency. This was real opacity with blend modes and soft shadows and glows, just like designers would come to love in Adobe Photoshop. It was almost too good to be true and as design world began to find out, it was indeed too good to be true.

Illustrator 9 in its initial release was unstable and crashed often. It also had a knack for corrupting your files and it lost hours and hours of work. Adobe immediately got to work on a free update and they addressed those issues shortly after with version 9.1. But that wasn't the real problem. The real problem was related to transparency itself. While designers were quick to employ plenty of transparency effects in their designs, they were unaware of some of the technical challenges that were involved specifically around printing these effects.

As we'll explore in detail throughout this course, printing files with transparency requires a process called transparency flattening. Adobe in an effort to optimize print speed and allow designers to quickly print proofs of their artwork, set Illustrator's default flattener Settings to a lower quality. The Adobe engineers assumed that service bureaus and print service providers, those who actually print film separations that are used for finer printing, that they would adjust the flattener Settings to get better looking output on their devices when they received the files from designers.

But Adobe did such a good job making Illustrator 9 look and feel the same as previous versions that no one thought they needed to adjust anything. Printers just handled files the way that they always did. The result was printed output that didn't look so great. In fact, the flattener would sometimes even produce artifacts or seem to drop elements from artwork altogether. This caused the tremendous uproar into design community. Designers would get jobs back from their printer that looked incorrect. The designers would demand that the job should be reprinted at the expense of the printer, but the printer felt that they did nothing wrong at all.

Printers were losing money left and right and they were faced with really only one solution. Printers began to tell designers they would no longer accept files that were created with Illustrator 9, or alternatively they would charge a hefty premium for handling such files. So it wasn't long before designers begrudgingly went back to using Illustrator 8. As wonderful as transparency was for the designer, it simply wasn't worth the hassle of trying to get it to print correctly. However, 10 years have passed since Illustrator 9's release and things have definitely improved in regard to both using and printing artwork with transparency.

We certainly don't have to be afraid of it anymore. So why did I create this course Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency? Well first, by explaining how transparency works, I hope that you can learn how to anticipate potential issues and address them before they become big and expensive problems. Second, transparency itself can be used to create fantastic designs and apply a wealth of effects. Learning all the nuances and getting the inside information on all the transparency settings will help you build artwork for practically any need.

There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.