Two ways to place a pixel-based image

show more Two ways to place a pixel-based image provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced show less
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Two ways to place a pixel-based image

In this exercise I am going to show you a couple of different ways to take a pixel-based image, whether it's a digital photograph or a scanned piece of artwork or something that you've created or crafted or otherwise modified inside Photoshop, and then place it into Illustrator as a linked graphic. I am working inside this file called Story, and method number one is to go up to the File menu and choose the Place Command or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+Alt+ D or Command+Option+D on the Mac. And then go ahead and navigate your way to the 21_ photoshop folder and there you'll find among other files, this one called Spanishtown dinosaurs.tif.

Now there are essentially three different file formats that you will use when conveying images from Photoshop or a camera or scanner over to Illustrator. There is the JPEG format, which is good for flat files that are files that have no layers. And what I typically do, if I am going to use JPEG because it introduces lossy compression, is I will go ahead and save it at the highest quality possible, which is a quality setting of 12 inside of Photoshop, and then place it into Illustrator, if I am going to go to that route. Now a lot of commercial printers frown on the use of JPEG, because on very rare occasions it can cause problems with older model PostScript RIPs.

Generally and likely, that that's going to happen, but what most prepress professionals would prefer you use for your flat images is the tiff file format, that's the industry standard where printing images is concerned. And tiff saved with LZW compression, which is a lossless compression scheme, so that it doesn't modify the pixels inside the image, still delivers pretty small images, it gives you a big file savings where continuous tone images are concerned. And then finally if you have layers inside of your file or for example, if you want transparency associated with a Photoshop image that you are then going to import into Illustrator, you want to save the image in Photoshop's native PSD file format and I will show you have that works in the future exercise.

But for now, go ahead and select Spanishtown dinosaurs there inside the 21_ photoshop folder. Drop down to these check boxes here and make sure Link is turned on, that's very important, we'll come back to how linking works versus embedding the image. And then make sure Template is turned off, you only want the Template check box turned on if you're going to create a non-printing tracing template. So Link on, Template off, Replace should be dimmed, because nothing should be selected inside this illustration, and then click of the Place button, and that goes ahead and places the image into the artwork.

All right, so that's one way to work. We are going to go head and delete that guy by pressing the Backspace Key or the Delete key on the Mac so that we can replace the image. And I am going to do that by either going up to the File menu and choosing Browse in Bridge or you can press Ctrl +Alt+O, Command+Option+O on the Mac. And you may recall from the fundamentals portion of this series, the Bridge is the gatekeeper where the various Creative Suite 5 Applications are concerned. So that's where you can preview your files and organize them and so on, or click on the go to Bridge icon in the Applications bar to switch over to the Bridge, and navigate your way as usual to the 21_photoshop folder here inside the Exercise Files folder.

Now among other files as I say, you'll see more files than this, because I haven't populated my entire folder yet, but you'll see this one called Spanishtown dinosaurs.tif. You may or may not see all this metadata underneath it, don't worry about that. What I am going to do is go up here to the upper right corner of the window and notice that there is this icon that says Switch to Compact mode. Go ahead and click on it, or press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Enter or Command+Return on the Mac and that's going to switch you to the compact view of the bridge. And the great thing about the compact view is it hovers in front of the other applications, and you can do this number right here.

You can grab Spanishtown dinosaurs.tif, and you can drag it and drop it into Illustrator like so, in order to place that graphic. So that's another to work. Now the interesting thing about the compact view is if you now click inside of Illustrator, it still remains on top. The compact view remains in front as you work along in Illustrator, even though Illustrator is now active. Now if you don't want to work that way, you can switch back to the Bridge by clicking on it and then go to this little flyout menu once again in the upper right-hand corner of the window, and click on it, and notice that we got this command that says, Compact Window Always On Top.

If you turn that command off and then you go ahead and click inside of Illustrator, then this window will go to the background. Or another thing you can do is just go ahead and switch out of the compact view by clicking on the Switch to Full mode icon or you can press Ctrl+Enter or Command+Return on the Mac again, and then you go up to this little boomerang icon to return to Illustrator, and you'll be back in Illustrator and nothing will be on top, so a couple of different ways to work there. And then finally what I am going to do is I want to take this image which measures 12 inches wide by 9 inches tall.

I just happened to know that because that's way I set it up inside a Photoshop. My artboard, not surprisingly is 12 inches wide by 9 inches tall, so I want to exactly align the image to the artboard and I can do that with the image selected. And by the way, to select an image when you're working, I will go ahead and press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac just as a reminder here. To bring up the Preferences dialog box, I will switch to Selection & Anchor Display. If you have Object Selection by Path Only turned on, as I've recommended many times you do throughout this series, go ahead and cancel out.

Then the way to select an image is to click on its parameter. And I just clicked on the wrong thing there, so I need to move my cursor up a little bit and click exactly on the edge of that image to select it. Anyway, having selected the image, then I would go up here to the Control panel and I would make sure this alignment icon is set to Align to Artboard. So if it's set to Align to Selection, it's going to look this, you need to click on it and choose Align to Artboard. Then you are going to see some alignment icons over here, click on Horizontal Align Center and then click on Vertical Align Center, and you'll exactly position that image into place.

And there you have two different ways to place a photographic pixel-based image into Illustrator.

Two ways to place a pixel-based image
Video duration: 6m 6s 14h 53m Intermediate


Two ways to place a pixel-based image provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

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