Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Configuring Illustrator workspaces for video projects, part of Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Terms and Technology (2014).
- Let's make a few changes to the Workspace to make it a bit more efficient for video tasks. Illustrator has many Panels under the Windows Menu. It also has some Workspaces available. You should experiment and decide which one of these you like the most. Since I seem to work with type a lot for videographics, I'll start with a Typography Workspace. I'll use Swatches for color, but it is a matter of deciding if you want all of the Color Picker or the Swatches.
Let's just dock those two together to save some room. I'm going to close the Libraries Panel to free up some space. Just tear that off and close it. Instead, make a little more room for the Character Panel. I'll open up the Layers Panel by clicking on it so there's a bit more room.
And this gives me the essentials that I need. The Character controls, the Paragraph controls, and Additional Font Options. You'll notice as you choose different size panels, Illustrator automatically adjusts the height of individual elements. Alright, that looks pretty good. Beyond this it's just a simple matter if you want to bring any of these other Panels out. I find that I use Gradients a lot, so I'll tend to tuck that in here with Colors.
And the rest of these tools are simply fly-outs for individual things you may use a lot. So if you find that Stroke is something you frequently need, it could stay docked. On the other hand, I don't use the Transparency controls much, so I'll remove them. Now, beyond this, feel free to add anything else that's useful to you. I find the Navigator's helpful, so as I zoom-in and work with different details of an image, it's easy to move around.
Remember, any of these can be docked by simply dragging them and putting them as an icon on the side. And now, with a quick click, they will expand to show you their controls. When satisfied, click again and they re-dock. Now, I'll just save this Workspace by choosing Window, Workspace, New Workspace, and I'll call this Motion Graphics.
This gives me the key tools that I use most often and click OK. Now remember, it's simple to switch between Workspaces. So if you're using the Essentials Tools and you change your mind, with a quick flip you can go right to your own Custom Workspace and the interface will reconfigure. As you work with Illustrator more and more, you may decide to tweak a Workspace, removing or adding things. To restore the Workspace is pretty simple. Just choose Window, Workspace, New Workspace, and you could re-save over this Workspace by giving it the exact same name.
The use of a Workspace is a great way to quickly get the tools you need for consistent design. I recommend using these in all of the Adobe apps, but particularly taking the time to customize them and make small adjustments as you get more comfortable with the user interface.
- When to use vector vs. raster graphics
- Working with high-dynamic-range images
- Choosing the right color space
- Understanding file extensions and file formats
- Maintaining broadcast-safe color and luminance levels
- Configuring Photoshop and Illustrator workspaces and preferences
- Using templates
- Building titles
- Sizing photos or logos
- Saving Photoshop and Illustrator files for video graphics