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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Illustrator: adobe illustrator CS5.5 training notes

Illustrator is vector graphics drawing tool while Photoshop is pixel graphic drawing tool.

Resolution measurements:
DPI = Dot Per Inch
PPI = Pixel Per Inch

Resolution types:
When you create a picture 1" X 1" with PPI = 1000px then this is called high resolution document, but if the same image size created with PPI = 10px then this called low resolution image.

What is vector Graphics?

Vector Graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent image in computer graphics.

Illustrator uses anchor points and connects these anchors with lines called paths, which is re-calculated each time image is sized.

when drawing in illustrator the path connecting anchor points doesn't appears on final appearance of drown shape, it just a skeleton for the graphic shape while appearance is the glow of the shape.

Type of appearances:
1.     Fill.
2.     stroke.
3.     effect.

Color Modes:
1.     CYMK (Cyan Yellow Magenta Blackthis color mode is mainly for printing documents (documents based design).
2.     RGB (Red Green Blue) for screens, TV, handheld devices, Mobile and computers screens (Screen based design).

When working with illustrator and creating new document, you can use document metadata to describe your work, document title, author and any info you need. this info is very useful when saving the document and need to search on this document you created within last 2 years.
When drawing shapes, we know that shapes are made from anchor points and connected path, there are closed path shapes & open path shapes.

Closed path shapes:
When Drawing inside illustrator there are modifiers keys on the keyboard and behave deferentially with shape you draw:
e.g. when drawing rectangle:

Note: All keys can be combined.

1.     Click mouse button + shift key = constraint the rectangle to sized as width equal to hight so equivalent to square.
2.     Click mouse button + Ctrl key = constrains the drawing from center point, so origin of the shape is from the center not upper left corner is the origin of the shape.
3.     Click mouse button + Space bar = make the drawn shape move around the artboard.
4.     Click mouse button and release button = there are a rectangle option will appears asking for shape dimensions.
5.     Click mouse button + Delta Key (~) = repeat the shape.

For Rounded Shapes:
- Click mouse button + Up/Down key = change rounded corners radius size.

For Polygons shapes:
- Click mouse button + Up/Down key = up add new side, down remove side, if you continue removing sides ur shape will ends up with equal sides triangle.

For Star shapes:
- Click mouse button + Up/Down key = up add new side, down remove side, if you continue removing sides ur shape will ends up with equal sides triangle.
- Click mouse button + Ctrl key = change star shape and sides alignment.

Open path shapes:
When drawing curves you can use all modifies used for closed.
Click mouse button + C key = close curve with angled lines.

Anchor types:
1.     Corner Anchor: is used for drawing strait lines, and cornered shapes.
2.     Smooth Anchor: is used to smooth corners so we can draw curves, circles.
3.     Change direction Anchor: is a hyper between cornered and smooth anchor.

Note: A lot of anchor point found in your file, more size file you have. And with many anchor points you have it is difficult to make modifications in your shape, illustrator CS5.5 has tool called simplify which is used for reduce the number of shape anchor points. 

- You get this option from Illustrator main menu select Object --> path --> Simplify.

To create an outline around an object don't use the scale tool, use offset path to get such kind of effect. 

- You get this option from Illustrator main menu select Object --> path --> offset path.

Sometimes when you work in illustrator file and you save, edit, save again you ends up with messy document and needs to be cleaned up. Fortunately illustrator has command called clean-up which clean empty shapes, anchor points and empty path text. 

- You get this option from Illustrator main menu select Object --> path --> clean up.

Chapter 6: Building Shapes
When you work in Illustrator you find that the drawing mode is normal drawing mode. there are 2 additional modes you can cycle between them with shortcut like Shift + D.

Drawing modes.
Drawing Normal mode: Draw shapes in stacking order.
Drawing behind mode: Draw shapes behind the shapes inside the document.
Drawing inside mode: Draw shapes inside already selected shapes. the selected shape act as mask.

Compound paths:
When drawing compound path, all paths that travel clock wise are visible while the paths travailing anti clock wise is invisible. You can select shapes and select from illustrator menu Object --> Compound path --> make.

If you need to change any path to be visible you can select shape with direct select tool and from windows choose attributes. Then reverse path direction off/on.
How you can build up a shape?

Think of building the shape as compound shapes stacked & joined together to build the desired final shape, not to draw the shape.

You can bring the path finder to work with compound shapes. Menu --> windows --> path finder.

For easy shape building you can use shape builder tool.

You can color your shape while building it with the shape builder at the same time.

Any time you need to revert your document u can use menu --> revert. Or press F12.

Chapter 7: Working with text objects
Types of text objects:
·         Point text. Is the text object that centralizes around centric anchored point and you using the text tool to create it.
·         Area text. Is the text written inside a shape or text area with multiple lines.

When working with text and need to change text properties, you select windows --> type --> Character. note that there are in the bottom of the panel a language tool, this is for spell check feature in illustrator.

Text area Threads are useful when using text flow mechanism through shapes defined. so when there are no room in one shape for text it flow the another shape automatically. Use text ports to define the text thread.

Text could be defined through a path either it is open or closed path.

What happens if you need to edit the text from graphical perspective, meaning editing its anchor points?
- To do that you choose from menu --> type --> then create outlines. This will turn you text into anchor points.

Very important note: 
- When you create a text inside document & uses special font type face you need this type to be installed on machine that viewing that document, by turning the document fonts to outlines you don't need this process anymore.

Disadvantage of turning the fonts to outlines, is that you can't change font type or detects typo errors anymore. but this is general rule when creating a logo which distributed among many many computers that views this logo without requiring to download or install additional fonts.

Chapter 9: Applying Appearances and Effects
·         You know that shapes in illustrator doesn't has appearance by default in term of it is defined via anchor points and paths, to make the appearance you need to fill its stroke and color it. 
·         So you can control the appearance of the shape via appearance panel.
·         While shapes has stacking order in layer or artboard, the shape also properties has stacking order like fill, stroke,... etc.

Appearance panel: make you control the appearance of the shape, so you can target the desired property to control it. You also can add more than one property to the shape for example add 2 or 3 strokes for the same shape (V.I. to note:  illustrator works only with the top most properties of the shape, so you can't control the properties within it).

Effects: Applied on the shape as whole & also applied to individual property. and it is live effect (means when changing the size or shape setting effect directly updated accommodating the new properties).

We have 2 types of appearance:

·         Basic appearance: this is the state of the object when it applies single stroke and fill & no effects applied to it.
·         Complex appearance: This state of the object when it contains many strokes fills & has many effects applied to it.

But when you edit complex shape all settings applied to the whole object. But by expanding the complex shape, every fill & stroke turns to individual object, but every object is editable by its own and effects becomes not live objects.

The expanding (referred to complex appearance) capability is only feature in illustrator from version 9 & above.
When drawing new shape illustrator pick up the basic properties (fill & stroke) of selected shape to draw new shape with. But if you like to extend the properties of the shape to the new shape to be drawn, disable New art has basic appearance option from appearance panel flyer.

You can copy the appearance of one object to another object by the Eyedropper tool. But it copies the basic appearance of the object not the complex one. to turn on this option, double click on eyedropper tool and select appearance option.

If you need to copy an object style to another object you use the eyedropper tool.

But wait a second What if the customer decides to modify these settings? a lot of work should be carried on, tremendous time to made these changes, but if you work with graphic styles you save your time by applying this style to all objects sharing the same style, so when changes comes to work, all changes done on the style, then all objects sharing the style are affected at the same time saving tremendous time & being productive.

Chapter 10: Using Color in Illustrator
Color types:

1.     Process Color: this is the way we create new color inside color swatch to use it again. but when painting object with this color & we decides to change the color values, no object affected with new value of the color, you need to repaint it again. it is used when we need experiment the colors.

2.     Global process color: we used this type over the first type because the filled objects updated when this color is changing its value. We use it when using any project or corporate colors project.

3.     Spot color: When working with colors you need to know you source of viewing or printing this document, to identifies the color type guide that you will work with, for example if you are going to print some document & you are in USA you will need to know the printer colors formula guide like PANTONE, HKS or TOYO to identifies the correct colors in the document for printers of you printing agency.

When you need to manage your color inside the color swatch you use the color groping folder.

Illustrator has a powerful tool called Color guide which helps you to define the relationship between colors, for example it can help you define a tint color & its neat appearance shadow. u can also define color guide colors limitations to make sure that you work with correct suggested colors by choosing the colors formula guide like PANTONE, HKS or TOYO.

Chapter 11: Applying fills & strokes
Third type of fill is called gradient fill which is mix between colors in tow paths:

1.     Linear Gradient: here colors travels in strait line from one color to another one.
2.     Radial gradient: here color travels in circular path from one color to another one.

Fill option includes the fill with pattern. You can make custom pattern to fill shape with by designing the artwork pattern and drag it to the color swatch to be used as fill pattern.

To make complex pattern by for example staggered shape you design the pattern with the shape around the corners to be completed as one shape when it is repeated. 

V.I. note: the space between patterns is defined through no fill & no stroke shape.

When working with path you can change it to fill path, why doing so? this allows us to fill individual piece of the path if it dashed, or change the dimension of the path without changing the full path, and most importantly when applying gradient to the path, and when we need the path to scale correctly for e.g designing the logos.

Chapter 11: Using Groups and Layers
- You organize your objects in groups so you can benefits from them in the selection & usage. as group it-self has no appearance it has attributes so you can apply fill and stroking on it.

- it is better to organize your document into layers so this can benefit other designer tools to work with your design, using Flash, Photoshop, flash catalyst, flash builder ...etc.

Chapter 14: Transforming and Positioning Art
Transformation types:
1.     Scaling.
2.     Rotating.
3.     Moving.
4.     Sharing (Skewing).
5.     Reflecting (Mirroring).

- You can use transformation on individual objects even if all are selected together. from menu Object --> Transform --> Transform each (Alt + Shift + Ctrl + D).

Chapter 15: Working with Images
Although Illustrator is vector graphics tool, it can works with images (raster images) or bitmap images.

When work with image in Photoshop, and export to illustrator use the extension PSD to save the properties of the image and still visible inside illustrator.

There are two ways to place image inside illustrator:
1.     Linked image.
2.     Embedded image. 

- You can't make any modification to linked or embedded images inside the illustrator except transformations only, but if you like to do so you can use live trace option to convert pixelzed image to path vector graphic so you can make your modification to the image.

Chapter 16: Working Efficiently with Symbols
Symbols are artwork added in symbols panel, the benefits from using symbols is when creating new symbol you create new instance from this symbol not the actual symbol (Artwork). When you modify the symbols all instances are updated.

There are bunch of tools that works with symbols could be found in the tools panel (Symbol tools). 

Chapter 17: Working with Masks
Masks works with images as well as the vector graphics. We can use masking technique for clipping and cropping images. 

When arranging you work into layers you can use masks with layers this called clipping layers. the mask is the top most object in the layer.

Chapter 18: Drawing in Perspective  
It is great tool for combining 2 dimensions world with perspective drawing into one place.
When drawing shapes inside perspective tool, and need to select it use perspective selection tool for selecting the shape over the selected plan.