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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
Okay gang we're almost done with this project. How does that sound to you? How does it feel to be almost done? Tell me. I can't hear you. Ha ha ha. That's a little video training joke for you. All right we're almost done as I say, because we've got the circle all drawn. We've got the hand shapes all drawn. We've got them all filled and stroked more or less the way we want them, we're going to make one more change inside of this exercise. We're going to take these rear shapes here and we're going to lighten them by making them translucent, and that may sound like, Wow, whoopee, wa-hoo. But we're going to do a special thing. We're going to group them first and then make them translucent and that has a special effect as we'll see.
But before we see it, I want you to notice that I'm working inside of a catch up document called Filled hands.ai. I know it looks like a mustard document, but it's a ketchup document. Ha ha ha, more insanely funny humor for you. And this illustration of course is found inside of the 06_Edit_transform folder. If you want to take a couple of objects that are already filled and stroked and you just want to make them lighter shades of their existing colors, and you're working with a white background as we are here, then there's a simpler approach than dialing in totally new colors, or resorting to even Illustrator CS3's new LiveColor function. Instead, all you got to do is go ahead and select the objects that you want to lighten, and in my case it includes these two objects right here that I'm marqueeing, the circle and the rear hand.
Then I'll press Control+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide those selection outlines so that we can see what we're doing here and I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit in this sort of upper right region of the artwork, and I'm going to reduce the opacity value. Notice up here my opacity value in the Control palette. I'm going to reduce that value to 50% and press the Enter key. Now what's wrong with this picture? We can see through the hand, yes, everything's lighter now, because we're seeing through the shapes to the white background, so white mixed with anything else is going to lighten up that something else, because white's the lightest thing there is, page white here.
All right but obvious problem is that we can see through the beveled hand to the circle, so everything is translucent and mixing together. We don't want that. So I'm undo that modification. Phooey on that. Here's what we want to do. You want to take those two shapes cause they're still selected, remember that? Control+H, they're still there. Control+H again. Go up to the Object menu and choose the Group command or just press Control+G if you prefer, Command+G on the Mac. They're grouped together and now take that group, which is still selected and change its opacity to 50% like that see, because we applied the opacity to the group, we ensure that one object doesn't show through the other objects. So because these guys are set to 50% as a group, the independent objects inside the group are still opaque, see, they still cover each other up.
Then the next thing I want to do, just to sort of nail the point home a little bit here, is I want to go ahead and restore the outline of the hand to 100% black. And I'm going to do that by clicking off the shape to deselect it which I just did. I'll go ahead and switch to the white arrow tool and I should show you this little trick. I don't know if you know this one but you can swap between the two arrow tools. If one arrow tool's active you can get to the other one temporarily by pressing and holding the Control key or the Command key on the Mac. That's kind of cool, huh? And then I want you, if you're doing this, if you're working along with me this way, you got your Control key down or your Command key down. I want you to press Control and Alt or Command and Option on the Mac and click on that there beveled finger or whatever you're looking at, you know which portion the hand you're looking at, I don't know, but you want to go ahead and select the rear hand. So I went ahead and Control+Alt-clicked or Command+Option-clicked, the reason being I wanted to select the entire hand, but only that rear hand inside of the group, don't you know. And you can't see that it's selected because we have our edges turned off. I could press Control+H or Command+H, just so that we can see just the rear hand is selected. I'm going to press Control+ C or Command+C in order to copy it to the clipboard. Then I'm going to click off the shape so that nothing is selected, and I'm going to press Control+F or Command+F on the Mac. If nothing is selected when you press Control or Command+F to invoke the Paste in Front command, you paste the contents of the clipboard in front of everything on the current layer, on the active layer. All right so here it is in front, and then my fill is still active. You can see that down here at the bottom of the toolbox. So I'm just going to press the slash key, the one that shares the question mark. I'm going to press the slash key in order to change that fill to transparent.
But notice if I click off the shape once again to deselect it, notice that my outline, my stroke, which is still in existence here, notice that it's fully opaque, and that's because I extracted it from a translucent group, albeit, but the shape itself is still opaque. So take opaque folks. Look at our new piece of artwork. Isn't it awesome? I think it looks great, and it would make the Anasazis proud, even though I don't think they ever heard of Adobe Illustrator, but still pride they would feel I'm sure. In the next exercise we're going to take up a new project, something of a new project anyway.
And we're going to see how you rotate and scale objects inside the software. Join me. Please, please, please join.
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