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Isolation mode


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Isolation mode

So the final key concept that I want to cover here before we actually get into using Illustrator is something called Isolation mode. Now, all the concepts we have learned up until this point have been traditional things, which have existed inside of Illustrator since its existence. However, Isolation mode is more of a recent kind of phenomenon I guess you can say inside of Illustrator. It's a way to more easily work with objects inside of an illustration. As you start to build more and more complex illustrations you will find it's that much more difficult to select the objects that you want to work with. Building on concepts that you already know, we mentioned in the last video that when using Photoshop you have to select individual pixels, and that can be tedious and there are certain tools that Photoshop has to help you select those pixels.

With Illustrator there is also a variety of Selection tools, but the more and more objects that you add, even though they are object-based graphics, there are that many more objects that kind of get in the way, again, because of the way the stacking order works. For example, if you have objects that are visible behind other objects it can become difficult to actually select those objects, only because other things get in the way, and that's where Isolation mode comes in. Isolation mode allows you to isolate individual parts of a graphic so that you can focus on just that part of it. Isolation mode first appeared in Illustrator CS2.

It got better in CS3, but now in Illustrator CS4 it really has turned into one of the greatest enhancements I think that is available in the program, only because of how often you can end up using it. For example, I mentioned before how when you are working with different pieces of artwork, maybe for example a group. Let's take this surfboard here on the far left here. This is a group that's made up of many elements. What I could do is if I wanted to use the Direct Selection tool I could go ahead and work with individual objects that are part of that group as well and move those individually. Or maybe let's say individual letters that are part of this particular logo, so on and so forth.

But even using the keyboard shortcut it could become tedious moving back and forth between these two Selection tools. I'm going to stay only right now using the black arrow or the Selection tool. I'm going to come over to this surfboard and you know that when I click and move this entire surfboard moves at one design unit. Let me press Undo. What I'm going to do is I'm going to actually double click on this particular surfboard. Now, you will notice that the other surfboards in this file are grayed out. I can't even select them. I can see them but I can't even move them. I now basically have isolated just this group to work with, and in fact, you will notice the gray bar now appears across the top of my screen and I now see that it has something called breadcrumbs; I'm in Layer 1 and I'm now within, or I have isolated this group that lives on Layer 1 inside of my graphic.

Now, it doesn't end there, because I can start now to begin to isolate parts of that group itself. For example, if I wanted to move just this blue part of this particular surfboard, I'll double click on it once again. Notice what happens. The rest of the surfboard gets grayed out. In fact, this blue slice that was kind of here was living behind the logo called GROUNDSWELL, well now you see it kind of pops to the front. I didn't actually change the Stacking Order, what Illustrator did was it says, hey, you obviously want to edit and work with that graphic, I'll bring it forward in context that you can work with it, when you are done I'll put it back in the place that it belongs.

So imagine if you have a very complex illustration. By simply double clicking with the mouse in different areas you can bring pieces of artwork that are maybe hidden behind other areas or that are maybe difficult to work with, bring them to the front just so that you can make a quick edit to them, and then send them right back to where they belong. For example, now I'm not using my white arrow, I'm using the regular black arrow, yet I'm able to move this shape individually, even though I know that these are all elements of a single group. The way that that happens is because I have now isolated the group. In fact, I had this group here, I can double click again, I can isolate the path now.

So basically one of the new features inside of Illustrator CS4 is Isolation mode now works on individual paths. This means that I could really go into any part of my illustration and work with it without any issues whatsoever and sort of basically go out of isolation; when I can either step back by clicking on these breadcrumbs, or I can just double click on any area outside that object to return me to regular edit mode. For example, if I knew I wanted to work on, let's say, just this shape right here, using my regular Selection tool, I'll double click once, double click again. Now I have isolated this entire group. Double click another time, and now I see that I can isolate this particular object here within that group, without having to worry about moving around to different Selection tools, so on and so forth. I can see that I have that hierarchy right here inside of my file.

I'll double click outside and I'm back to editing this artwork. So as we kind of go through the entire video title we will continue to come back to Isolation mode to see how easy it is to basically work with your artwork, even if it may be a very complex file.

Isolation mode
Video duration: 4m 34s 8h 21m Beginner

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Isolation mode provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Mordy Golding as part of the Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
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