• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL



Special Edition Using Adobe Illustrator 10 is a book for intermediate-to-advanced users. However, novices with a working knowledge of Illustrator’s commands and tools will be able to understand the descriptions and explanations. Everything is clearly and concisely presented, from the discussion of what’s new in version 10 and the exploration of the interface to the discussions of dynamic data-driven graphics and Flash animation.

In keeping with the Special Edition tradition, this book is factual, practical, and no-nonsense. It is designed for the reader who has work to do, deadlines to meet, visions to capture, concepts to digitize, images to create, dreams to fulfill. It is designed for users of Adobe Illustrator.

Who Should Read This Book?

Special Edition Using Adobe Illustrator 10 has been written primarily for higher-level users and for those who are striving for that status. Most readers are already Illustrator users and already work with Illustrator 10. They can come to this book for answers. Every aspect of this multifaceted program has been addressed, both in theory and in practice.

Even after months or years of working with Adobe Illustrator, most users still find areas that are foreign to them. The aspects of the program that you use rarely (if ever) may actually be the techniques and tools that are best for your daily work. This book is the place to find out. And sometimes a question about Illustrator that’s outside your area of expertise arises, yet you need an answer. For example, prepress specialists usually have little or no experience with Illustrator’s SVG, animation, and optimization capabilities. Similarly, Web designers are likely to be unfamiliar with CMYK, trapping, and overprinting. But those questions and situations do arise from time to time, and the answers and solutions can be as close as your bookshelf.

Readers who work with Illustrator on a daily basis can reach for this book to check a specific detail, learn how to apply a new technique, or simply to find new ways of doing things. If you work with Illustrator less frequently, you’ll find this book even more valuable. You can discover what a specific feature does, how a particular command works, and what technique is best for a certain job.

If you are brand new to computer illustration and drawing, in all honesty, this should not be your first book. You will not find here those simple step-by-step lessons that are basic to initial familiarity with a new program. Start with Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Illustrator 10 in 24 Hours, which I wrote with Mordy Golding, product manager for Illustrator at Adobe. Then make this your second book. When you have a basic understanding of the program and how it works, you’ll be prepared for this more advanced look at Illustrator 10.

Why You Should Use Adobe Illustrator 10

First, let’s note that Illustrator 10 is fully Carbonized and is a Mac OS X native program. It can also function fully under Windows XP.

Several top-notch computer illustration and drawing programs are available, and Adobe Illustrator is among the leaders. Illustrator can certainly be considered a full-featured illustration program.

What Sets Illustrator Apart from Similar Programs?

For many people, the biggest advantage to using Illustrator is its outstanding integration with the rest of the Adobe family. In addition to sharing interface components, tools, and commands with such important programs as Photoshop, GoLive, and InDesign, Illustrator integrates seamlessly in various ways. One example is Illustrator’s Save for Web feature, which can tailor HTML for GoLive. And that’s a two-way street. Users of the latest version of GoLive will find that they can now place native Illustrator graphics directly in their pages. LiveMotion also accepts Illustrator’s native file format. The SmartObjects technology extends to InDesign as well.

Illustrator’s integration with Photoshop is legendary. Illustrator can preserve a Photoshop file’s masks, blending modes, and transparency, and individual Photoshop layers can become individual Illustrator objects. Likewise, putting each Illustrator object on a separate layer enables you to create Photoshop files with “objects.” In addition, Illustrator and Photoshop can share files with text, and maintain the editability of the type. Now, Illustrator can even maintain ImageReady’s rollovers and animations as files pass through on their way to the Web.

This latest version of Illustrator has added numerous features, including a number of new tools, more advanced Web creation features, and support for dynamic data-driven graphics. Using the Adobe tabbed floating palettes puts everything within reach when you need it. Long-time users of Photoshop especially will be comfortable working with Illustrator.

Unmatched Web Workflow

If you are producing graphics for the Web (or eventually will be), Illustrator’s enhanced Web workflow can maximize efficiency. Pixels as a unit of measure are critical for Web production, as is the capability of seeing how your final product will look. Illustrator offers pixels both as a global measure and Pixel Preview. In addition, you’ll find the Save for Web feature invaluable. Preview up to four different optimizations settings and compare them head-to-head in one window. Save images effortlessly in GIF, JPEG, or PNG format (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Save for Web enables you to compare various optimization settings in a single window.

Save for Web now offers SWF (Flash) and SVG as file formats. Improved support for SVG includes SVG Filters, which maintain the appearance of effects even when an SVG image is scaled, and a native Illustrator file format for SVG, which can be used as SmartObjects with both GoLive and LiveMotion, as well as templates in dynamic data-driven graphics.

Also new in Illustrator 10 are the Slice and Slice Select tools, along with object-based slicing. Object-based slices automatically update when a user-defined slice is moved on the artboard. No more deleting and re-creating slices!

Illustrator now supports cascading style sheets (CSS) through Save for Web. CSS offers the possibilities of overlapping objects, multi-purposed Web sites, and more complete control of fonts and page appearance.

Symbols, which can streamline the creative process and minimize file sizes, are now available. Illustrator also carries a full tool belt of things to use with symbols. The eight new Symbolism tools give you incomparable ways to manipulate those individual pieces of artwork. And Illustrator’s symbols can be used when an SWF file is opened in Flash.

Illustrator also offers a Web-safe palette to supplement its RGB capabilities. You can even set the Color Picker to Only Web Colors. Save for Web allows you to select an exact color table for 8-bit images, including control over individual colors in the table.

Drop shadows, glows, and blending modes can all be employed before you optimize an image. Illustrator also offers live shape effects, allowing effortless re-editing of rounded rectangles and other button-like shapes. Converting type to an editable shape in this way makes button creation as easy as possible. The type remains fully editable, and the shape conforms instantly to changes in the text.

Don’t forget Illustrator’s support for exporting Flash and saving images as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), enabling you to produce top-of-the-line vector graphics for the Web. In addition, the new Release to Layers feature enables you to create multiple objects on a single layer for animation with a single click. Illustrator even enables you to produce cumulative content for layers, with each layer containing all the content of preceding layers, as well as an additional object. And that takes merely a simple Shift+click.

Prepress Power

Illustrator has improved color management, excellent tools for outputting the new transparency, and a host of other ways to make preparing four-color jobs easier. Trapping, overprinting, soft proofing, and knockout control help ensure that your images print just the way you want them to look.

The power of automation, although universally available in Illustrator through Actions, can be a very important part of the prepress workflow.

New Tools and Capabilities

From one-segment lines to lens flares, objects created with Illustrator 10’s new tools range from the sublimely simple to the outrageously intricate. Rectangular and polar grids in a pair of clicks. Tools that manipulate paths far beyond the capabilities of basic transformations. A Magic Wand tool that selects based on a range of shared characteristics. Figure 2 introduces you to some of Illustrator’s newest icons and palettes.

Figure 2. Some of Illustrator’s new tools.

Of tremendous interest to most will be Illustrator’s Envelope Distort capabilities. Taking a page from Photoshop’s Text Warp, they work to pull and push objects in a variety of ways. Best of all, these distortions can be live through the Effects palette, fully editable using mesh objects, and completely customizable, using your own paths as the envelope distortion. Figure 3 has a sneak preview.

Figure 3. Envelope distortions can produce variations of 15 preset shapes.

Another new capability, although admittedly of less general attraction, is dynamic data-driven graphics. Dynamic data-driven graphics is an advanced technology that allows templates to hold one or more variables whose content is updated automatically from databases containing data sets. Imagine, if you will, a Web site for a hockey team. Instead of having a page for each of the players, there’s a single page. And the player’s name, number, statistics, and even picture are supplied by an easily updated database, on demand. Rather than re-creating a Web page every time the player’s statistics change, the data is drawn from the team’s database. Another marvel of XML!

Windows and Macintosh

No matter which platform you use, Illustrator offers the same powerful features. The interface is as close to identical as possible, with virtually the same tools, palettes, and commands. Many of the images in this book show Macintosh interface elements, such as palettes, menus, and windows. In those few specific instances in which a difference exists between Macintosh and Windows, the differences have been shown or noted. Keyboard shortcuts are shown for both platforms throughout.

The abbreviations used in this book are as follows:

  • Cmd [Ctrl]— This identifies the Command key for Macintosh and Control key for Windows. The Command and Control keys are modifier keys; they do nothing on their own. They are always used in combination with another key or a mouse click. The key must remain pressed while you press the other key or click the mouse button.

  • Option [Alt]— This identifies the Option key for Macintosh and Alt key for Windows. The Option and Alt keys are modifier keys, and they also must always be used in combination with another key or a mouse click. The key must remain pressed while you press the other key or click the mouse button.

  • Shift— Like the keys described above, Shift is a modifier key and must remain pressed while you click or press another key.

  • Click— A mouse button is clicked when it is pressed and released.

  • Double-click— Very rapidly, press and release the mouse button twice. The two clicks must be very close together to be recognized by your computer as a double-click rather than two separate clicks. You can adjust the speed required to achieve a double-click on both Windows and Macintosh through the Mouse control panel.

  • Drag— To drag with the mouse, press the left mouse button for Windows, the only button for Macintosh, and move the cursor onscreen by moving the mouse. To end a drag, release the mouse button.

  • Ctrl+click [Right-click]— Macintosh users must press the Control key and click the mouse button; Windows users click the mouse’s right button once.

How This Book Is Organized

Special Edition Using Adobe Illustrator 10 has nine parts, encompassing 28 chapters, and a tenth part, which consists of three appendixes. The nine parts are structured around central themes, with the chapters developing the part’s concept. Readers new to Illustrator should explore the earlier parts before exploring the later chapters. Readers who have some familiarity with Illustrator 10 should also take a look at the first three parts. Although few high-level practitioners have the time to thoroughly explore a new version of a favorite program, often incredibly useful tools and techniques can be added to the reader’s workflow.

The appendixes differ from the chapters; they are supplements. They cover such subjects as installing the program (along with what doesn’t need to be installed and what can be deleted after installation), where to go for Illustrator assistance and resources, and checklists for folks on the go, for prepress, and for Web design.

Part I: Overview of Adobe Illustrator 10

The three chapters in this part provide a basis of reference for Illustrator 10. Chapter 1, “What’s New in Illustrator 10,” looks at what’s new in the program, including envelope distortions, new tools, dynamic data-driven graphics, Web support, and productivity. Chapter 2, “The Illustrator Interface and Setup,” focuses on the workplace and interface. This chapter is certainly valuable for readers both new to Illustrator and new to version 10. Chapter 3, “Working with Files in Illustrator,” helps you understand both how file formats differ and which is appropriate for which project. Illustrator supports numerous file formats, each of which has its unique strengths, weaknesses, and applications. This version of Illustrator changes some file capabilities, too, such as new native support for the SVG file format.

Part II: Basic Creation in Illustrator

Four chapters look at the nuts and bolts of Illustrator’s creative tools and techniques. Even readers with extensive experience with Illustrator will benefit from a look at Part II’s chapters. Of particular note for advanced Illustrator users are Chapter 6, “Utilizing the Four Types of Brushes,” and Chapter 7, “Type and Text in Illustrator.” The many subtleties of these tools and techniques are examined in depth.

Part III: Manipulating Objects in Illustrator

Transformations, envelope distortions, and the new Liquify tools are explored. Illustrator’s powerful blend capability gets a chapter all to itself. Chapter 10, “Illustrator’s Layers, Sublayers, and Groups,” takes an in-depth look at the power of Illustrator’s Layers palette, which is important not just for work within Illustrator, but also for Photoshop compatibility and creation of animation. Part III also introduces the basic requirements for various types of output from Illustrator, including the difference between Web and print, and takes a look at such other output options as film recorders and presentation programs.

Part IV: Enhancing Illustrator Objects

Four chapters explore in depth many of Illustrator’s more advanced concepts. This part starts with a thorough look at color in Illustrator, including the difference between RGB and CMYK, and a look at HSB and grayscale. Images critical to understanding the concepts are reproduced in full color in the book’s color insert. Spot colors, global colors, and the Swatches palette are all discussed. Another chapter discusses patterns, including developing custom brush patterns. The Appearance and Styles palettes are the subject of Chapter 14, “Using the Appearance and Styles Palettes,” which also looks at targeting groups and layers with appearance attributes using the Layers palette. Style libraries are introduced, and those included with Illustrator are examined. The topic of creating and applying gradients shares a chapter with a description of the Gradient Mesh tool. A tremendously powerful, but rather complex tool, its capabilities are explained and its use simplified.

Part V: Getting the Most Out of Illustrator

Although Illustrator utilizes Adobe’s standardized interface, you can tailor it for your individual needs. Chapter 16, “Customizing Illustrator,” looks at everything from the customizable keyboard shortcuts to creating startup files that save those initial steps required to prepare every new document. Masks, both clipping and opacity, get their own treatments in Chapter 17, “Using Masks to Show and Hide.”

Part VI: Between Vector and Raster

Web graphic file formats, Photoshop interoperability, SVG—the need to understand raster artwork and images becomes more important than ever. This part of the book starts with an in-depth look at raster art and how it differs from Illustrator’s native vector illustration capabilities. The concept of rasterizing vector artwork is discussed, along with a look at the options and possibilities. Chapter 19, “Exploiting Illustrator’s Transparency,” dives into Illustrator’s powerful transparency capability, explaining how it works, why it works, and what has gone wrong when it doesn’t work. Each of the 16 blending modes gets individual attention. The interactions among colors with each of the modes are shown in full color in the book’s color insert. The filters and effects available in Illustrator are explained, as well as the differences between filters and effects.

Part VII: Illustrator and the Web

Designing Web sites and pages has never been easier in Illustrator. Chapter 21, “Designing Web Sites and Web Pages,” presents the idea of color-coding a Web site for ease of design. The special requirements for Web graphics are explored, and the basic concepts of images on the Web are presented as well. Chapter 22, “Saving Images for the Web,” concentrates on the details of saving images for the Web. Which file formats are appropriate in which situations, the difference between 8-bit and 24-bit color, and image compression are all covered thoroughly. The Save for Web feature is explained, along with the various optimization settings for GIF, JPEG, and PNG files. Chapter 23, “Flash and SVG Support,” takes you to the cutting edge of Web graphics, presenting Illustrator’s Flash and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) capabilities. Animation is the primary focus, but the additional potential is also discussed.

Part VIII: Pre-Press And Four-Color Process Printing

If you’ve never prepared a four-color job, you’ll start with the basic concepts of printing. If you’re a prepress professional, you, too, may learn a few things. Color, overprinting, knockouts, and trapping are presented, including a section on Illustrator’s built-in trapping capabilities. The differences between linking and embedding images is critical to the success or failure of many projects. You’ll read more than simply the differences; you’ll get advice on which technique to use in which circumstances. A discussion of embedding fonts and the related legal issues also is presented.

Part IX: Illustrator Efficiency and Interoperability

Actions, how to use them, and how to create them are the subject of Chapter 26, “Automation Through Actions.” Few, if any, readers would not benefit from developing and using custom Actions. You’ll see a list of Illustrator’s tools that cannot be recorded, as well as ways around most of those limitations. Readers who use Actions already likely know that paths can be inserted into a document using an Action. However, readers may be surprised when they see precisely what is recorded with the path, what is not, and what can make a path unrecordable. Likewise, Chapter 27 provides an introduction to dynamic data-driven graphics. This part also looks at interaction between Illustrator 10 and its sister program, Adobe Photoshop. You’ll read about transferring artwork in either direction, the difference between transferring paths and moving art, and the parallel color management capabilities of the two programs.

Part X: Appendixes

The first appendix helps you with Illustrator 10 installation. Even if the program is installed already, take a look. You’ll get an idea of how much unnecessary stuff is cluttering your hard drive, and guidance on what must stay and what can go. In Appendix B, you’ll find resources galore. Where to go for help with Illustrator, how to help yourself, and some great additional resources—free resources—on the Web. Appendix C provides guidance on a variety of subjects, including how to take Illustrator on the road, how to help your clients view Illustrator documents, prepress checklists, and Web-related checklists.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint