Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the Recolor Artwork command, part of Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced.
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In this movie I'll introduce you to the Recolor Artwork dialog box, which really is one of the best features in all of Illustrator. So as you can see, I've got a total of eight versions of my T-shirt, however I've only assigned two color schemes so far--dark blue at the top and light blue at the bottom. In the end I want every single one of these T-shirts to be colored differently. And I am going to do so using Recolor Artwork. So let's start things off with this second column of T-shirts. I'll partially marquee them using the Black Arrow tool, and that goes ahead and selects all the paths in the T-shirts because they're assembled into a couple of groups.
Then I'll zoom in by pressing Ctrl+Plus and I'll go ahead and scroll things over a little bit to the left as well. Might as well press Shift +Tab in order to bring back my right side panels. Now there is two ways to get to Recolor Artwork. The easiest way is to go up to this Recolor Artwork icon and click on it. However, if for any reason you can't find that icon, then you can also access the feature as a command by going to the Edit menu, choosing Edit Colors, and then choosing Recolor Artwork. Either way, that will bring up this whopping big Recolor Artwork dialog box.
Now I don't have a lot of room to work with here on screen, so I am going to hide my Color Groups over here on the right-hand side by clicking on this left pointing arrow head, and that will go ahead and collapse the dialog box as you see, and then I can move it over. Notice a couple of things here. First of all the Recolor Art checkbox is on by default, so you can see your changes as you make them. And Illustrator goes ahead and automatically hides the selection edges so that they don't get in your way of seeing what's going on. But bear in mind, at least where my screen is concerned, that it's these two left hand T-shirts that are currently selected.
Now notice that we have a total of seven colors in the selected shirts, and I can see that by the words Current Colors, or in parentheses, (7). And you can go ahead and manually reassign colors, if you like, inside of this panel, and we'll come back to it in a future movie. But the easier way to work the first is to switch over to the Edit panel, which you get to by clicking on the word Edit, and then you'll see your colors inside the familiar lab wheel. If you don't see the lab wheel go ahead and click on this first icon over here on the left-hand side, Display smooth color wheel.
Now notice by default all of the colors are independent of each other, as indicated by these dotted lines. If you want to link all the colors together then you need to click on the little chain icon and the lines turn solid. And now I can go ahead and drag these colors to a new location, like so, and Illustrator goes ahead and automatically recolors my artwork. Now, just so I can better see what I am doing I am going to switch from the CMYK sliders to HSB--that is Hue, Saturation, Brightness-- and also drag these guys a little bit farther over here. You can make any modifications you like.
Now let's say I'm noticing that these creases inside the orange shirt at the bottom are a little bit light and they lack saturation as well. But for the life of me I don't know which one of these circles corresponds to those folds. If you want to find out exactly which color is which, then you have to switch back to be Assign panel and grab this tool right here that allows you to click on colors to find them inside of the artwork. That will go ahead and dim the selected artwork and then you need to click on one of the original blues in order to find it.
So this bottom blue is that dark text; this next blue up is the folds inside the top shirt; and the next one up is the background of the top shirt; and then we have got the light letters; and then finally this second to top one of here, those are the folds in the T-shirt, which corresponds to this shade of brown. What I'll do now is I'll go ahead and switch back to the Edit panel and I'll see that color is selected right there, so its circle will have a heavier outline than the other ones. Now I want to edit that color independently of the others, so I'll click on the chain icon once again to unlink the colors from each other.
And I'll go ahead and switch to this Brightness option below the color wheel, and then I'll drag this guy down a little bit in order to darken up those colors as you can see right there. I'll also make them little more orange by dragging this color in a clockwise direction. And then finally I want to make it more saturated so I'll switch back to the saturation icon right there and I'll drag this guy farther out in order to add a little bit of saturation, as you can see. So now that I have a better fit, I'll go ahead and re-link the colors and make any of the further modifications I want to; for example, I might infuse the shirts with a little more yellow as you see here.
When you're done all you need to do is click on the OK button and Illustrator goes ahead and recolors that artwork. And now I'll click off the T- shirts in order to deselect them. And that, friends, is the quickest way to automatically recolor selected artwork by working inside the familiar lab color wheel here inside Illustrator.
- Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
- Understanding the color-managed workflow
- Creating a multicolor blend
- Establishing a clipping mask
- Blending different levels of opacity
- Combining a letterform with a path outline
- Warping logo type around a circle
- Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
- Mixing and matching color harmonies
- Recoloring artwork
- Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
- Creating translucency
- Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
- Adjusting and updating dynamic effects