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The pitfalls of manual adjustments


Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: The pitfalls of manual adjustments

In this exercise, I want to give you a sense for some of the pitfalls associated with making manual adjustments to your graphs inside of Illustrator. Now these problems are totally the fault of Illustrator's antiquated graphing feature. They are in no way, shape, or form intended to put you off making manual adjustments. You have to make manual adjustments; otherwise, your graphs are going to look absolutely ugly. Rather, I just want you to see what problems can occur, how you correct for them, and how you go about avoiding them in the future. I've saved my progress as More nuanced
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  1. 37m 22s
    1. Welcome
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 34s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 56s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 24s
  2. 1h 35m
    1. My favorite features in all of Illustrator
      1m 21s
    2. Introducing the Transform effect
      5m 30s
    3. Repeating the last effect you applied
      4m 52s
    4. Applying multiple passes of a single effect
      5m 21s
    5. The wonders of editing dynamic artwork
      7m 13s
    6. Applying effects inside effects
      5m 11s
    7. Assigning an effect to an entire layer
      5m 42s
    8. Building a complex bevel effect
      5m 44s
    9. Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
      4m 55s
    10. Editing that Smart Object in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    11. Rotating continuously overlapping objects
      5m 34s
    12. Adjusting a dynamic transformation origin
      6m 22s
    13. Vector vs. raster effects
      5m 46s
    14. Introducing the Scribble effect
      5m 23s
    15. Copying effects between layers
      4m 20s
    16. Introducing Graphic Styles
      6m 50s
    17. Controlling the Filter Gallery preview
      2m 28s
    18. Document Raster Effects Settings
      4m 31s
    19. Combining and saving styles
      4m 32s
  3. 1h 25m
    1. Airbrushing with points and handles
      1m 45s
    2. Introducing the gradient mesh
      6m 10s
    3. Working with the Mesh tool
      6m 12s
    4. Lifting colors from a tracing template
      5m 47s
    5. Finessing the colors of mesh points
      4m 17s
    6. Creating a mesh with the Mesh tool
      7m 19s
    7. Adding a gradient mesh to a circle
      4m 37s
    8. Adding a gradient mesh to a slender shape
      8m 7s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 56s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 29s
    11. Editing a linear gradient mesh
      5m 6s
    12. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      8m 19s
    13. Editing a radial gradient mesh
      8m 15s
    14. Creating credible cast shadows
      5m 32s
  4. 1h 15m
    1. The best of static and dynamic adjustments
    2. Adding wings to a horse in Photoshop
      6m 52s
    3. Introducing the Warp tool
      6m 29s
    4. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 24s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      6m 13s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      5m 55s
    7. Creating a mind-blowing custom starburst
      4m 29s
    8. Introducing Envelope Distort
      5m 21s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      5m 20s
    10. Warping an envelope mesh
      5m 20s
    11. Liquifying the contents of an envelope
      7m 7s
    12. Creating and editing an envelope mesh
      7m 59s
    13. Blending an envelope into a background
      4m 35s
  5. 2h 1m
    1. Outlines along a path
      1m 13s
    2. Weaving a pattern throughout an illustration
      6m 24s
    3. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 21s
    4. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      8m 28s
    5. Applying and scaling art brushes
      6m 6s
    6. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 29s
    7. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 40s
    8. Editing the path outlines of an art brush
      6m 2s
    9. Replacing an existing art brush
      6m 46s
    10. Creating and refining an art brush
      8m 3s
    11. Tiling pattern vs. pattern brushes
      5m 12s
    12. Creating a pattern brush
      8m 20s
    13. Designing the perfect side pattern
      7m 1s
    14. Start, end, and corner tiles
      8m 58s
    15. Expanding and filling brush outlines
      6m 49s
    16. Text brushes vs. type on a path
      6m 55s
    17. Combining a text brush with the Width tool
      8m 43s
    18. Introducing the bristle brushes
      5m 43s
    19. Adjusting the hairs in a bristle brush
      5m 24s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. Charts can be beautiful
      1m 17s
    2. Adding a gradient mesh to a complex path
      8m 9s
    3. Importing and graphing data
      5m 22s
    4. Switching between the kinds of graphs
      6m 8s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      8m 7s
    6. Correcting and editing data
      6m 51s
    7. Selecting and coloring graph elements
      6m 29s
    8. Making nuanced changes to a graph
      8m 6s
    9. The pitfalls of manual adjustments
      8m 45s
    10. Creating and applying graph designs
      6m 28s
    11. Making a basic pictograph
      6m 47s
    12. Assembling sliding graph designs
      8m 33s
    13. Making last-minute tweaks and edits
      5m 37s
    14. Composing and customizing a graph
      5m 44s
  7. 2h 6m
    1. Perspective is all about real life
      1m 44s
    2. Assembling an isometric projection
      8m 5s
    3. Introducing Illustrator's Perspective Grid
      6m 8s
    4. Drawing a basic perspective cube
      8m 1s
    5. One-point, two-point, and three-point perspective
      8m 25s
    6. Creating automatically scaling box labels
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up a Perspective Grid
      6m 45s
    8. Perspective Grid tips and tricks
      6m 39s
    9. Drawing and editing a perspective shape
      5m 20s
    10. Shifting between planes on the fly
      5m 24s
    11. Creating a freeform shape in perspective
      7m 8s
    12. Working with perspective symbols
      8m 57s
    13. Matching perspective with the Shear tool
      2m 50s
    14. Rendering an off-plane path in perspective
      5m 7s
    15. Replicating symbols in perspective
      8m 12s
    16. Mass-modifying perspective instances
      2m 56s
    17. Adding and editing perspective text
      5m 37s
    18. Duplicating perpendicular shapes
      7m 17s
    19. Adjusting multiple shapes on a single plane
      4m 48s
    20. Creating a perspective column
      9m 23s
    21. Duplicating a series of perspective paths
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 25m
    1. Just another dynamic effect
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 1s
    3. The 3D Revolve settings
      7m 24s
    4. Fixing 3D rendering problems
      6m 32s
    5. Establishing symbols for 3D art
      6m 50s
    6. Mapping symbols onto 3D surfaces
      6m 14s
    7. Adjusting shading and light
      6m 25s
    8. Toning down 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    9. Adding a photographic texture
      7m 36s
    10. Converting from Illustrator paths to Photoshop masks
      4m 50s
    11. Making 3D droplets in Photoshop
      5m 58s
    12. Unifying textures with Smart Filters
      5m 48s
    13. Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
      6m 44s
    14. Coloring and correcting extruded edges
      9m 15s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Take action today, save effort tomorrow
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      4m 16s
    3. Initiating a new action
      5m 33s
    4. Recording a practical action
      4m 56s
    5. Four ways to play an action
      4m 27s
    6. Streamlining by disabling dialog boxes
      5m 48s
    7. Editing an action set in a text editor
      7m 20s
    8. Inserting an unresponsive menu item
      6m 16s
    9. Match-processing a folder of files
      5m 42s
    10. Recording a transformation sequence
      6m 11s
    11. Editing and troubleshooting an action
      5m 6s
    12. Recording actions within actions
      7m 21s
  10. 1m 36s
    1. See Ya
      1m 36s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 5m Advanced Jan 28, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with dynamic effects
  • Placing artwork as a Photoshop Smart Object
  • Creating and editing a Gradient Mesh
  • Distorting artwork with an Envelope Mesh
  • Using the Calligraphic, Art, and Scatter Brushes
  • Creating an intricate Pattern Brush
  • Importing and graphing data
  • Creating a complex pictograph
  • Drawing and editing a perspective shape
  • Working with the new Perspective Grid tool
  • Using the 3D Revolve effect
  • Creating 3D type with Extrude & Bevel
  • Recording and playing automated actions
Deke McClelland

The pitfalls of manual adjustments

In this exercise, I want to give you a sense for some of the pitfalls associated with making manual adjustments to your graphs inside of Illustrator. Now these problems are totally the fault of Illustrator's antiquated graphing feature. They are in no way, shape, or form intended to put you off making manual adjustments. You have to make manual adjustments; otherwise, your graphs are going to look absolutely ugly. Rather, I just want you to see what problems can occur, how you correct for them, and how you go about avoiding them in the future. I've saved my progress as More nuanced

I'm going to switch to my Black Arrow tool, which I can do by pressing the V key. I'll click on a graph to make it active, and then I'll right-click someplace inside the illustration window, and I'll choose Data. Here is my problem: Joyful and Peaceful are not parallel to Harmony. I really need Harmonious, but really what I want is Living in Harmony with Nature. That's the text I'm looking for. So I'll go ahead and click in that cell, and I'm just going to type it in, Living in Harmony with Nature. Now I'll go ahead and click the Apply button. But before I do, I want you to notice the legend over here.

Keep an eye on that. So notice, how the words are nicely spaced, and so are the rectangles, and the rectangles are scaled. And notice the position of the numbers associated with the value axis as well. As soon as I click on Apply, the value axis just shifted a little bit, those numbers did, and everything went to heck over here in the legend. That's a disaster. All right! So you might think okay, why not just close that darn Data window, go up to the Edit menu, and choose the Undo command or press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac in order to restore everything so it looks better.

Now let's just grab the Type tool, and I'll just click there in front of the word Harmony, and I'll type in "Living In" like so, and then after to that, I'll say, well, I might as well put this on the next line of type. I'll go ahead and press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, and type "With Nature", so it reads Living In Harmony With Nature, like so. All right! Great! Now I'll click on my Arrow tool in order to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, and of course, accept my changes. I'll click in a graph, and it comes to my attention that some bit of data inside my graph is not exactly right: like the Peaceful index should be a little higher in 2032. All right! So I'll right-click inside my illustration window, choose the Data command.

Let's go ahead and change that Peaceful number from 99 to 100, let's say. We'll just go ahead and max it out. Press the Tab key. But notice Harmony is not aware of Living In Harmony With Nature. In other words, the Illustrator's graph feature is not backward compatible. Any changes you make to the illustration itself are not recorded here inside the Data window. So if I click the check mark in order to apply my changes, not only do I make a mess to my graph, but I also restore the original word Harmony. I've typed this enough times, I don't want to have to type it again, but I guess I'm going to. So I'll tell you what.

What I suggest you do is make sure your data is accurate. Even if it means that you're going to mess up the appearance of your graph inside the illustration window, go ahead and get that data as up to speed as possible, and just hope there are no changes that have to be made in the future. So I'm going to click on Harmony there, and I'm going to type in, once again, if I can get this right, Living in Harmony with Nature. I'll go ahead and also change this value here from 100 to 99, press the Tab key, and then click on the check mark in order to update those changes like so, and then close my Data window, and then fix my problems.

Fixing my problems is not all that easy, as you might imagine, just as nothing has been where graphing is concerned. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here quite a bit, so I can see what I'm doing. So I switch back to my Group Selection tool. The problem is that not only have we lost the dynamic effect that I've applied to the rectangles-- it just totally went away-- but also that very roomy spacing has been reestablished where the text is concerned, but not where the rectangles are concerned. So Illustrator didn't change the spacing that I had customized with the rectangles, but it did switch back the spacing of the text, which is like bizarre.

But that's what it did. So, what I'd like to be able to do is maybe drag these things around and align them, but that doesn't work. For example, let's say I go ahead and marquee these two items here: the blue rectangle and the word Peaceful. Gosh! Here are all my wonderful alignment functions in the control panel. I'll make sure that I am aligning to the selection. I am. I'll click on that icon and choose Align to Selection, just to make sure. Then I'll take advantage of one of these not-dimmed options here in the control panel. So I'll click, for example, Vertical Align Center, which does nothing.

Well, anyway, they all do nothing because you can't use alignment options inside of a graph. What a big surprise that is. You can't use anything inside of a graph where just common, everyday, average design features are concerned. So instead, what you've have to do is this number. You have to be very careful, too. I'll click off of the items to deselect them. I'll click on this point text here in order to select it. I'll go ahead and drag by the point, and snap it into alignment with the rectangle. Then I'll do the same thing with the others. I say you have to be careful, because you really got to center your cursor inside of that point and then do the snap in.

Because if you're a little sloppy with where you start dragging, then you'll snap to that sloppy point, and you won't get proper alignment. If you have any concern, like that doesn't look aligned properly to me, then you can just sort of nudge the text down a little bit or something along those lines. Feel free to sort of fudge if you need to. Then I'm going to go ahead and grab all of these guys, the text elements, and I'll press Shift+Right Arrow a couple of times and Shift+Up Arrow a few times as well in order to nudge that text upward. Go ahead and marquee all of the rectangles, and then go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform, choose the Transform command.

If you loaded Dekekeys, press Ctrl+E or Command+E on the Mac. Then let's change both the Horizontal and Vertical scale values to 50%. Select the right-hand reference point right there. Turn on the Preview check box. Make sure everything is working out. It more or less is. Click OK. I'll just go ahead and nudge these rectangles up a bit, so that they're more or less aligned, and grab everybody and nudge them down and to the left in order to get this effect here. Now let's zoom out a little bit. At this point, let's say that I no longer want these value lines-- in other words, these guys right here.

I'll click, and click again in order to select all the value lines. I don't want them in my graph. Well, what you're supposed to do is this number here. You're supposed to get the Black Arrow tool and then click someplace in the graph and then right-click and choose the Type command. Or, remember the Type command brings up the Graph Type dialog box. Here is another way to get to it, by the way. If you want a shortcut, you drop down to whatever Graph tool is active in the toolbox, and you double- click on it, and that brings up the Graph Type dialog box as well. I'm going to go ahead and switch to Value Axis, and I'll say you know what, I don't want any tick marks at all.

So I'll set the Length value, of all things, to None. Have no length, you darn on tick marks. Then I'll click OK in order to get rid of them, which of course has the wonderful repercussion of messing up my legend that I just spent so much time on. So I ain't doing that one. No way. I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac, in order to undo that. There must be a way just to delete these guys. So I'll go ahead and grab that Group Selection tool again, click off the graph, and click, click in order to select all of those value lines right there. I'll press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on a Mac.

I am told that I can't clear the objects. Of course, I can't clear the objects. Objects within certain groups, inside graphs can not be removed from the graph. I don't know why it keeps telling me within certain groups, like I have any idea what it's talking about. It's telling me that this is a group here, because I had to click in it twice to select the entire thing. But how do I know that there is no place inside of the illustration where it tells me that inside the interface-- that is, notice it's just telling me a path that's selected up here in the control panel, and here inside the Appearance panel. Anyway, whatever, dumb error message. Click OK.

All right, so I can't obviously delete it. Well, here is something I can do. I can either just go ahead and set the stroke to none so that it's hidden. Or even better, I can go to the Object menu, and choose the Hide command, and then choose Selection, or press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+3, Command+3 on the Mac. That will go ahead and hide those items. Then you can go ahead and save your illustration, and those lines will remain hidden as long as you never ever go back to the Object menu and choose Show All. Just make sure you don't do that, or else it'll end up coming back along with whatever else you've hidden inside the illustration. All right! So just a few things to give you an idea of some of the pitfalls that might await you, how you go ahead and account for them as well.

Notice these guys are still out of whack, so I'll go ahead and marquee these values here, and I'm just going to nudge them over a little bit to the right, and then down a little bit as well, so we get this effect here. That is my graph thus far. In the exercise, I'm going to show you how to further customize your graph by creating a graph design.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings/en_US

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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