Witch’s Brew – Game Level Design

Witch’s Brew is a game that I am in the process of developing. It is intended to be a side scrolling, maze game. This is simply a prototype of a game level that I am using to further refine the game. This is not the final version of the level or the final version of the character.

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Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Printing and Exporting

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/printing-exporting-tutorial.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

PRINTING ARTWORK

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to print your artwork in Illustrator.

Printing artwork to your own printer is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is go to File and choose Print. This will open up a dialogue box where you can make various selections regarding your print job.

In the first section of this dialogue box you have your presets and which printer you are using. In the next section you have your general options: number of copies, collation, order, and artboards. You also have the option of determining your media size and orientation. Directly underneath you have options for printing layers, placement, and scaling.

On the left you will notice still more options such as setting the Marks and Bleeds. You also have Output options such as emulsion or overprint. Under the Graphics options you can define your paths and your fonts. Color Management allows you to choose your color handling, printer profile, and rendering intent. Under the Advanced options you can choose to print as bitmap and you have overprint and transparency options.

The last section is the Summary. This section will show you everything that you have selected and provide any warnings. If you are satisfied with all of your choices you simply click Print to print out your artwork. (Since I will not be printing this artwork I will just hit Cancel.)

SAVING FILES FOR PRINTING USING PDF

Now that we know how to print our artwork let’s learn how to save files for printing using a PDF.

Many commercial printers require PDFs in order to print the artwork. To save your artwork as a PDF, go to File and choose Save As. In the dropdown menu, choose Adobe PDF then click Save. You are then presented with a PDF dialogue box.

Here you can choose from options just as we did when we were printing the artwork ourselves. However, it is important to contact your commercial printer to ask if there is a specific preset they use so you can choose the correct set of parameters for that particular commercial printer. Once you have everything set up properly just simply click Save PDF and your PDF will be saved to your folder.

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Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Raster Graphics

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/raster-graphics-tutorial.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

Buddhist Monk: https://pixabay.com/en/monk-asia-thailand-buddhism-977208/

Rabbit: https://pixabay.com/en/vintage-black-and-white-sketch-1635014/

LINKED IMAGES

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to use raster graphics in Illustrator.

So far we have been working with vector objects but we can also work with raster graphics in Illustrator – such as JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIFF. You can easily place a raster graphic into Illustrator using the Place command.

Let’s start by placing an image onto the Artboard.

Go to File and then choose Place then go to the folder where you saved the picture of the Buddhist Monk. Once you have chosen the image you must click “link” in the options in order to make this a linked object. Click on “Place” and when you go back to the Artboard you will notice that you now have a loaded Selection tool. Now you can simple click anywhere on the Artboard to place the image.

Now that we have placed an image onto the Artboard let’s take a look at the Links panel. Use the Selection tool and select the image then go to Window and click on Links.

You can target individual links inside the Links panel. At the bottom of the Links panel you have multiple options. Relink from CC Libraries means that you can relink the image from your CC library and make it available across the Creative Cloud apps. Relink allows you to relink to something on your hard drive. Go to Link allows you to go to the linked object on the Artboard. Update Links allows you to update the link to the image.  Edit Original allows you to edit the original image in a program such as Photoshop and then when you go back to Illustrator the image file will be available for updating.

EMBEDDED IMAGES

Now that we know how to place raster images into Illustrator let’s learn how to embed images.

There may be a time during a project when you will need to embed an image so another team member can work on the project without needing to have the external files.

Embedding images in Illustrator is an easy process. Using the Selection Tool, make a selection of the Buddhist Monk image. Now all you need to do is click on the Embed button in the Control Panel.

CLIPPING MASKS

Now that we know how to embed raster images into Illustrator let’s learn how to make clipping masks.

In Illustrator, there is no layer mask tool unlike in Photoshop. In Illustrator you do have the option of using a clipping mask. A clipping mask is basically a vector shape that is turned into a mask for another object.

Let’s say that we wanted to make this Buddhist monk photo into a circular profile picture. In order to do this, select the Ellipse tool and draw out a circle over the Buddhist monk image. Next, shift-select the image using the Selection tool so you have both the image and the circle selected. Now go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

If you want to move the image you can simply double-click on the image and move the photo inside the shape. When you have finished moving the image simply double-click anywhere on the empty Artboard to exit Isolation Mode.

In order to release the Clipping Mask, select the image and right-click on the image and choose Release Clipping Mask. Then all you need to do is deleted the circle.

IMAGE TRACE

Now that we know how to make clipping masks in Illustrator, let’s learn how to convert a raster graphic into a vector graphic.

It is possible in Illustrator to turn a raster graphic into a vector graphic. This is done through Image Trace.

Use your Selection tool and click on the second rabbit graphic (we will use the top one for reference). Next, click on the Image Trace button in the Control Panel. Illustrator will then make a vector graphic out of the raster graphic. Obviously, it did not do a fantastic job but we can make changes.

In order to make any changes you need to open up the Image Trace panel by going to Window and clicking on Image Trace. Let’s start by working with the presets. Let’s try the 16 Colors option. Once you choose this preset Illustrator will re-render the image and you will see that we get a little bit more detail than before.

Low Fidelity Photo gives us even more detail and High Fidelity Photo gives us even more details. By changing the Mode to Grayscale we can pick up even more details. Turning the Grays down to about 5 also picks up more details.

Now twirl open the Advanced sections and change the Paths to 100%, Corners to 75%, and Noises to 1 pixel. Now we have a vector graphic that is very close to the original raster graphic. You can now scale this graphic to any size you desire. It is important to remember though that Illustrator will need to re-render the image each time you resize it.

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Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Type Tool

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/type-tool-tutorial.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

POINT AND AREA TYPE

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to use the Type tool in Illustrator.

There are two basic types of Type that you can create in Illustrator: Point Type and Area Type.

With Point Type you simply select the Type tool, click anywhere on the Artboard and start typing. Point Type allows you to type as much as you want without being bound by a text-area. There is no natural line break in this type of type.

Area Type is bound within a text box. To type Area Type you select the Type tool, draw out a text-area box and begin typing. Area Type is constrained to a text-area box so the type will only go from edge to edge and it will have line breaks. You can also resize the text-area box.

You can also convert your type in Illustrator. If you wanted to change this Point Type to Area Type you would got to the Type menu and then choose Convert to Area Type. If you wanted to change this Area Type to Point Type you would got to the Type menu and then choose Convert to Point Type.

BASIC EDITS

Now that we know how to create Point Type and Area Type let’s learn how to make basic edits to the type.

We will just perform some basic edits on this type using the Control Panel. If you have used a word processing program before this will be familiar.

When you select the Lorem Ipsum text you will notice that it says Type in the Control Panel. We can change the type color with the drop-down color picker. Let’s just change the color to red. You can also add a stroke to the type by using the drop-down color picker. Let’s add a yellow stroke and change the point size to 0.5. Now let’s move over to the Character options. We can choose a different font – let’s use Times New Roman and change the font size to 21.

TYPE AND PARAGRAPH PANELS

Now that we know how to make basic edits to type let’s learn about the Type and Paragraph Panels.

Choose the paragraph and open the Character Panel. Click on the drop-down menu in the upper-right corner and choose Show Option so open all of the options available in this panel. In the Character Panel you can change the typeface and style. You can also change the font size, kerning, leading, and tracking. You can also change the vertical scale, baseline shift, horizontal scale, and character rotation. At the bottom of the panel you have controls for all caps, small caps, superscript, subscript, underline, and strikethrough.

The Paragraph Panel is where you can control the text alignment, indents, space before and after the paragraph, and hyphenation.

FLOWING TEXT AROUND OBJECTS

Now that we know how to use the Type and Paragraph Panels let’s learn how to flow text around objects.

There are times in your design work that you may need to wrap text around an object. We can do this in Illustrator using a text wrap.

In order to wrap the paragraph around the circle you need to first select the circle since this is the object around which the paragraph will wrap. Then go to Object > Text Wrap > Make. In order to change the amount of offset for the text go to Object > Text Wrap > Text Wrap Options. Click Preview and then change the amount of the offset.

TYPE ON A PATH

Now that we know how to flow text around an object let’s learn how to type on a path.

There are times in your design work that you may need to type text on a path. We can do this in Illustrator using the Type tool.

In order to type on a path you first need to click on the Type tool and hold it down until you see a fly-out menu then click on the Type on a Path tool. Then, click on the path and type out your text. Now we can edit the text by using the standard tools available. Highlight the text and change the font to Times New Roman and change the size to 48.

Using your Selection tool you will notice that there are three bars on the path. Using the Selection Tool you can click on the bar at the beginning of the text and then move the bar to slide the text along the path.

The bar at the end of the text indicates where the end point of the text is located. So, if you move this bar to the left you will notice that it clips off the text and then if you move it back to the right the entire text is shown.

The bar in the middle indicates which side of the path the text will align to. Using the Selection Tool, you can move the middle bar down and the text will be on the bottom of the path. If you move the middle bar back up then the text will be back on the top of the path.

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Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Pen Tool

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/pen-tool-tutorial.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

PEN TOOL BASICS

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to use the Pen tool in Illustrator.

There are basically four tools at your disposal when it comes to this tool: Pen tool, Add Anchor Point tool, Delete Anchor Point tool, and Convert Anchor Point tool.

For now we will skip the Pen tool and look at what the Add Anchor Point tool allows you to do. In order to add an anchor point, hold down the Pen tool icon until you see a fly-out menu then click on the Add Anchor Point tool. Then, simply click on the path of the object to add a new anchor point.

The Delete Anchor Point tool does just the opposite of the Add Anchor Point tool. In order to delete an anchor point, go back to the Pen tool icon and click and hold it until you see a fly-out menu then click on the Delete Anchor Point tool icon. Then, simply click on an anchor point to remove it.

The Convert Anchor Point tool converts a curved segment into a corner and a corner segment into a curve. In order to convert an anchor point, go back to the Pen tool icon and click and hold it until you see a fly-out menu then click on the Convert Anchor Point tool icon. Then, simply click on an anchor point to convert it. In order to change a corner segment into a curve, hold down your left-mouse button on a corner anchor point and drag out.

DRAWING CURVES

Now that we know how to use three of the tools available under the Pen tool let’s learn how to use the Pen tool to draw curves.

In order to draw curves with the Pen tool you need to start with a single anchor point and then as you click for a second anchor point you need to click and drag. It is important to note that you need to drag in the opposite direction you want the curve to go.

For example, let’s grab the Pen tool and make a single anchor point. Then, move straight down from that first anchor point and click and drag down and to the right to make a second anchor point and a curve. By clicking and dragging down and to the right you will notice that the curve bowed out to the left between the two anchor points.

If you want to make an open path like this curve when you are finished simply hold down the CTRL key on a PC or the CMD key on a Mac and click anywhere on the empty artboard.

If you need to change from a curve to a straight line you can do this by clicking on the anchor point. For example, it I want to start drawing a curve and the I decide that I want to go immediately into a straight line, I just simply click on the anchor point and remove the handle and then I can make a straight line.

DRAWING COMPLETE SHAPES

Now that we know how to draw curves with the Pen tool let’s learn how to use the Pen tool to draw complete shapes.

Let’s start off by drawing a simple square. First, make sure your Smart Guides are turned on as this will make lining up the anchor points much easier. You do this by going to View and Clicking on Smart Guides.

Click on the artboard to make your first anchor point. Then, holding down your Shift key move straight down from this anchor point and make a second anchor point. Then make another anchor point to the right then make a fourth anchor point straight up – using your Smart Guides to make the stroke long enough. Then go back to the very first anchor point and when you get close to it you will notice that a small circle appears next to your cursor. This lets you know that you are about to close a path. Now, simply click on the original anchor point and you have a complete square made with the Pen tool.

Now let’s make a circle. This time we will use the Grid to help us. You can show the grid by going to View and click on Show Grid.

Place your first anchor at a point where the grid pattern lines cross one another. Next, click and drag on a spot to the left of this first anchor point and then drag your path out until it touches the top and bottom crossed lines. Now, click on the next spot on the bottom of the circle. You do not need to drag out this time. Now click on the next spot to the right and drag until the handles touch the top and bottom of the crossed lines. Now simply go back to the original anchor point and click on it to close the shape.

If you want to become proficient at using the Pen tool it is best to practice. Use the Grid to help you and start making your own curves and shapes. I have also provided a second artboard that has shapes for you to copy and practice using the Pen tool.

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Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Complex Shapes

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/complex-shapes-tutorial.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

COMPUND PATHS

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to make Complex Shapes in Illustrator.

Compound paths allow you to use an object to cut a hole in another object. For example, you will notice that this polygon on the left has a polygon-shaped hole cut out of the middle.

Let’s see how this is done. Using the Selection tool drag a box over both polygons to select them. Then all you need to do is go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Now you have punched a hole in the larger polygon.

This new object acts as a grouped object. If you want to manipulate either polygon by itself you just need to use the Direct Selection Tool. As you can see, if I click on the smaller polygon with the Direct Selection Tool only that polygon is selected. It I click on the larger polygon with the Direct Selection Tool only that polygon is selected.

COMPOUND SHAPES AND THE PATHFINDER PANEL

Now that we know how to make compound paths let’s learn how to use the Pathfinder Panel to make Compound Shapes.

Compound Shapes are editable art made up of two or more objects that are each assigned a shape mode. Compound Shapes provide four kinds of interactions: add, subtract, intersect, and exclude. Compound Shapes, like Compound Paths, act as a grouped object which means each individual shape can be manipulated independently using the Direct Selection tool or Isolation Mode.

Open up the Pathfinder Panel. (If you do not see the Pathfinder Panel, go to Window and click on Pathfinder.)  You will notice that the Pathfinder Panel is broken into two sections – Shape Modes and Pathfinders. We are going to explore the Pathfinder Panel using these stars and ellipses on the Artboard.

The Shape Mode Unite allows you to combine all the selected objects and merge them into a single object.

Using the Selection tool select the first set of shapes then go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Unite.” Since the star was the top-most layer the united object takes on the red color and black stroke. You see a red square with just a hint of the star shape around the edges.

Minus Front uses the top object to subtract its shape from the bottom object.

Using the Selection tool select the second set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Minus Front.” Since the star was the top-most layer and the ellipse was the second-top-most layer the square now has a star- and ellipse-shaped hole cut out of it.

Intersect deletes everything that does not overlap and combines the remaining shapes into a single shape.

Using the Selection tool select the third set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Intersect.” Since the star was the top-most layer the ellipse and square that did not overlap the star disappears and we are left with part of a star.

Exclude works the opposite of Intersect since it remove anything that overlaps between the objects and results in a compound path shape.

Using the Selection tool select the fourth set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Exclude.” Since the star was the top-most the new shape takes on the green color and we are left with parts of each of the shapes removed.

Divide cuts the artwork into separate pieces wherever the shapes overlap.

Using the Selection tool select the fifth set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Divide.” You will notice that the strokes are now overlapping each other. You can use the Direct Selection tool to move and manipulate each shape independently.

Trim removes the parts of the objects that are overlapping and removes the strokes.

Using the Selection tool select the sixth set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Trim.” You will notice that the strokes have now disappeared and any of the overlapping objects have been trimmed. If you use the Direct Selection tool you will also notice that the ellipse and square are both now divided into separate objects.

Merge will give you the same shape as trim but if you have objects of the same color then Merge will merge those overlapping objects filled with the same color.

Using the Selection tool select the seventh set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Merge.” You will notice that the strokes have now disappeared and any of the overlapping objects have been trimmed. If you use the Direct Selection tool you will also notice that the gray ellipse is now divided into separate objects.

Crop uses the top-most object to crop everything underneath it and it removes strokes from the objects.

Using the Selection tool select the eighth set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Crop.” You will notice that the strokes have now disappeared and any of the overlapping objects have disappeared. Since the star was the top-most object it remains intact while taking on the colors of the other (now hidden) objects.

Outline cuts the artwork into separate line segments.

Using the Selection tool select the ninth set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Outline.” You will notice that the strokes are now overlapping each other. You can use the Direct Selection tool to move and manipulate each stroke independently.

Minus Back uses the objects behind the top-most object to subtract its shape from the top object.

Using the Selection tool select the tenth set of shapes than go to the Pathfinder Panel and click on “Minus Back.” You will notice that the ellipse and the square both subtracted from the star and we are left with only a few pieces of the star.

SHAPE BUILDER TOOL

Now that we know how use the Pathfinder Panel let’s learn how to use the Shape Builder Tool to make Complex Shapes.

The Shape Builder tool allows you to combine shapes by simply clicking and dragging.

You will notice that the rectangle and triangle on the Artboard are separate objects. If I wanted to combine them quickly and easily I can use the Shape Builder tool.

In order to use the Shape Builder tool you must first have the object that you want to combine selected. Using the Selection tool, click on the rectangle and then shift-click on the triangle to select both objects.

With both objects selected, click on the Shape Builder tool. When you hover over the rectangle you will notice that a pattern is being displayed and your cursor has a plus sign next to it. Now all you need to do is hold down your left-mouse-button and drag across the rectangle and the triangle.

Now, if you use your Selection tool and select the object you will notice that instead of two separate objects you now have one object.

You can also use the Shape Builder tool to erase parts of an object.

Using the Selection tool select the three squares on the Artboard. Use the Shape Builder tool to combine the top square and the overlapping portion of the second square. When you now hold down the ALT key on a PC or the OPT key on a Mac you will notice that your cursor has a minus sign next to it. Click on the lower-right portion of the top square and click. Now you will see that the second square has a cut-out portion in the upper-left.

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Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Appearance Panel

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/appearance-panel-tutorial.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

APPEARANCE PANEL

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to use the Appearance Panel in Illustrator.

The Appearance Panel allows you to make changes to various properties as well as the different effects that you apply to objects.

Open up the Appearance Panel and let’s take a look at what it has to offer. (If you do not see the Appearance Panel icon go to Window and click on Appearance.)

At the top you will see a section that lets you know if you have anything selected. Right now I do not have anything selected so it says “No Selection.” If I click on either of the texts you will see that the Appearance Panel shows that I currently have “Type” selected.

If I click on the coffee cup you will notice that it now says “Group” and if I double-click on the body of the coffee cup and go into Isolation Mode it will now say “No Selection” even though I do have something selected. This is because I am within a grouped object in Isolation Mode. If I double-click on the body of the coffee cup again you will notice that it now says “Path.”

Underneath this title area you will see the attributes assigned to this particular path. In this case I have a 1 point stroke with a color (#9b6f3b) and a fill with the same color. The opacity for both the stroke and fill is 100%. I can change the color of either the stroke or fill and I can also change the opacity within the Appearance Panel.

For example, let’s say you want to make the stroke black. All you need to do is double-click on the color for the stroke and choose black from the swatches panel. You can change to thickness of the stroke if you wish but let’s keep it at 1 point. Next, let’s change the fill opacity to 50%. Click on the word “Opacity” under the Fill property and then change the fill to 50%.

Since I do not want these changes I will reset the opacity and color back to their original properties. And then double-click to get out of Isolation Mode.

There is a lot more that you can do with the Appearance Panel which makes it a powerful part of Illustrator.

Just like in the Layers Panel you have the ability to change the visibility of any property in the Appearance Panel. For example, let’s say that I want to hide this inside stroke around the circle. All I need to do is select the circle and then click on the eyeball next to Stroke and you can now see that the stroke is hidden. To bring the stroke back just click in the box to the far-left.

You can also rearrange the stacking order of objects in the Appearance Panel. For example, let’s move the red fill above the gradient fill. Make sure the circle is selected and then click and hold the red fill while dragging it above the gradient fill. Now you will notice that the red fill is much more prominent because it is on top of the gradient fill. To move the fills back to their original positions simply click and drag the gradient fill back on top of the red fill.

At the bottom of the Appearance Panel you have the option to: add a new stroke, add a new fill, add a new effect, clear the appearance of an object, duplicate an item, or delete an item.

In the drop-down menu in the upper-right of the Appearance Panel you have even more options. You can: add a new fill, add a new stroke, duplicate and item, remove and item, clear the appearance, reduce to basic appearance, hide the thumbnail, redefine a graphic style, or show all hidden attribute.

MULTIPLE FILL AND STROKES

Now that we know how to use the Appearance Panel let’s learn about multiple fills and strokes.

Adding multiple fills and strokes to an object creates depth and texture. Let’s work on this Vikings text to make it look more complete and rich.

Select the Vikings text and open up the Appearance Panel.

Let’s begin by adding a stroke. Click on the Add Stroke at the bottom of the panel. Using the drop-down menu for the color choose a light gray stroke (R 179, G 179, B 179) and leave the stroke size at 1.

Now let’s add a second stroke. Make sure your stroke is selected and then click on the Duplicate Selected Item icon at the bottom of the panel. Using the drop-down menu for the stroke color change the stroke to a medium gray (R 77, G 77, B 77) and increase the stroke weight to 2. Then drag this stroke below the first stroke in the panel. Now if you zoom in you can see the two strokes.

LIVE EFFECTS

Now that we know how add multiple fills and strokes let’s learn how to add effects to a project.

First, let’s select the Baseball text and open up the Appearance Panel.

If you click on the Add New Effect drop-down menu you will notice that the effects are broken up into two sections – Illustrator and Photoshop. While you can use Photoshop effects within Illustrator it is not recommended simply because they are not going to be as scalable or reproducible as vector artwork.

In this case, let’s add a drop shadow to the text. In order to add a drop shadow go to Stylize >> Drop Shadow. In the Drop Shadow window turn on Preview so you can see what the drop shadow looks like on the artboard.

Let’s increase the X Offset to 10 which pushes the drop shadow to the right. Let’s decrease the Y Offset to -5 in order to move the drop shadow up. Finally, let’s increase the blur to 7 and decrease the opacity to 45%. When you hit Ok the effect is automatically applied to the text.

Let’s add another effect to this text. Go back to the Add New Effect drop-down menu and choose Warp >> Flag. Make sure the Preview box is checked and decrease the Bend to 30%.

SAVING GRAPHIC STYLES

Now that we know how add effects to a project let’s learn how to save graphic styles.

If you create a graphic style that you think you will want to use again in the future it is a good idea to save the graphic style. In this case we are going to save the style of the circle.

Click on the tab title Graphic Styles to open it up. Now select the circle and then click on the New Graphic Style icon at the bottom of the panel. You will notice that the style is automatically populated in the Graphic Styles Panel. If you want to rename the style all you need to do is double-click on the thumbnail and change the Style Name. In this case, I will rename it Red-Gradient.

In order to use this new Graphic Style click on an object – in this case, a square and then click on the Red-Gradient graphic style. The graphic style is now applied to this square.

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Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Working with Color

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/working-with-color-tutorial.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

CMYK VS RGB

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to work with color within Illustrator.

There are two color modes from which to choose in Illustrator: RGB and CMYK.

RGB stand for red, green, and blue. This color mode uses red, green, and blue dots to make up all the colors you see on your monitor, cellphone, tablet, or any digital device.

CMYK – which stand for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black – are color used in commercial print. Anything you see from a commercial printer such as magazines or business cards use the CMYK color mode.

When you are designing in Illustrator it is important to think about which color mode will be right for the given design. If the design is for a screen use the RGB. If the design is for print, use CMYK.

PROCESS VS GLOBAL SWATCHES

In addition to Illustrator having two different color modes it also has three types of swatches.

Let’s look at the first two kinds of swatches: Process and Global.

By default you use Process Colors inside Illustrator. This means that each individual element inside the design is treated as if it has a unique color assigned to it. This is true even if you have used the exact same color swatch for each element.

For example, on the left you will see a rectangle with multiple blue colors. This rectangle – which is really 10 rectangles – uses the same Process Color with varied opacities. If I change the color of the first rectangle you will notice that only that particular rectangle color changes.

Global swatches on the other hand act as a template of a color that can be applied to multiple elements in the design.

For example, on the right you will see a rectangle with multiple blue colors. This rectangle – which is, again, really 10 rectangles – uses the same Global Color with varied opacities. If I change the color of the first rectangle you will notice that all of the rectangles colors change.

So exactly how do you create a Global Color Swatch?

Let’s make a new swatch in the last color group in the swatches panel (labeled Tutorial 7). Click on this group to choose it. Then, click on the New Swatch icon. In the Swatch Options window change the color to an orange color and put a check next to Global. Now you will notice that the new swatch has a small white triangle in the bottom-right corner indicating that this is now a global swatch.

SPOT COLORS

Now that we know how to work with Process and Global swatches let’s learn about the third type of swatch in Illustrator called Spot Color.

Spot Colors are like Global Colors in that they are able to be changed throughout the entire document. Spot Colors are generally used for branding purposes – such as Pepsi blue or Coca-Cola red. These are colors that need to be reproduced consistently every single time.

Let’s say that you want to make this tan color a Spot Color. All you need to do is select the rectangle and then click on the New Swatch button. In the New Swatch window change the Color Type to Spot Color. Notice that the box next to Global is automatically checked.

Now, make a new rectangle on the artboard and use this same Spot Color. Next, double-click the swatch and make changes to the color in the Swatch Options window. Notice that once you make the changes, both the original and the newly-created rectangle colors are updated.

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