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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now in the previous exercise, I was telling you that it's very important that you save out PDF data along with your .AI illustrations from Adobe Illustrator if you intend to use those illustrations with Photoshop or really any of the other Creative Suite applications for that matter. I'm going to show you what I mean and what can go wrong inside of this exercise. Note upfront that we are going to switch over to Adobe Illustrator in just a moment, and I realize that actually invokes anger among some photographers that we would go over to Illustrator while we're discussing Photoshop, because some folks feel like they're never going to use Illustrator ever and they don't want to have anything to do with it.
Well, here is the deal. Even if you don't anticipate that you'll be using Illustrator, which you may never, you will work with people who do, believe me, and you want to make sure that they're watching their Ps and Qs and you want to know what can go wrong. So that's what I'm going to be showing you inside this exercise. So I've gone ahead and saved out my progress as 35-percent logo.psd, and we've introduced this logo element right here. This is a vector-based .AI illustration and we've brought it in as a Smart Object using the Place command. So it's being rasterized on the fly. Everything has got to get rasterized inside of a photographic composition, has to get converted into pixels.
But it's happening on the fly, we still have the vector-based data embedded now inside of this photographic composition. I am now going to switch over to Illustrator. Please join me or just at least watch. Here I'm inside of Illustrator CS4, a program that I personally love. I have gone ahead and opened up Glistenex logo.ai and I'm going to go up to the File menu and I'm going to choose the Save As command so that we're going to save this file without the PDF info. So I'll go ahead and call it Glistenex logo (no PDF), for example. I'll save this as an .AI file. It's not necessary that you save it as a PDF document; you don't have to do that. You can do it with .AI file. That's plenty fine.
Go ahead and choose that and then click Save, if you're working along with me, and notice right there that we have this option to create a PDF-compatible file. Even if I were to save this as an Illustrator CS file, so several versions back right now, I still have the option of creating a PDF-compatible file. In fact, how far do I have to go back before I lose that option? It can still be PDF-compatible, going back to Illustrator 10, so Illustrator 9, the option becomes dimmed, interesting. So I'll go ahead and choose Illustrator CS4, as we'll choose the most recent version of the file format, but I'll turn off Create PDF Compatible File.
Now the advantage to turning this checkbox off is that you will generate a smaller file from Adobe Illustrator, and you would presumably want to choose an older format if you really wanted to get the file size down. But anyway, we'll go ahead and keep it CS4 for the sake of demonstration here. I'll just turn off PDF Compatible File. We'll get a smaller file, but we'll also get a file that Photoshop cannot work with. So I'll click OK and the logo gets saved to disk, it's presumably saved now. So let's go over back to Photoshop at this point, and I'm going to go up to the File menu, choose the Place command, the exact same thing we did in the previous exercise.
But this time, I'll click on Glistenex logo (no PDF).ai, click on the Place button and we'd still get the Place PDF dialog box, but now we get this message repeated over and over again that this is an Adobe Illustrator file that was saved without PDF content. Now what I love about this little message right here is that it is repeated over and over again, so small that is totally illegible. So why don't then just make it big? But anyway, we'll go ahead and click OK, we'll just ignore it, because it is after all something you can't read very easily. So we'll click OK, and then we'll get this big version of this message down, and we actually are placing a big copy of the message, not of course, the original logo at all.
So Photoshop is completely incapable of rendering out that .AI information, it needs the PDF version of the illustration in order to make things work, in order to rasterize the content. So I'm just going to go ahead and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to get rid of that layer and we'll just keep the Glistenex logo layer. Now, so long as you do save a PDF version of your illustration, as we have, and as happens, by default, then you're okay and you can do all sorts of wonderful things with this Smart Object including, edit it inside of Illustrator or transform it nondestructively. We'll see those operations beginning in the next exercise.
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