James Dempsey over at The Graphic Mac just posted a brief overview of the global process color swatches in Adobe Illustrator.
Adobe Illustrator pluginÂ Phantasm CSÂ offers in-line embedded image editing, color checking and separations, duotones and vector halftones, filters and live effects color adjustment. Looks like a pretty great plugin for Illustrator users who do a lot of bitmap image placing.
Personally I do any layout work in InDesign, and not much of my work requires having bitmap images in the Illustrator file outside of placing a template for tracing. However, the halftone and separation features look like they might be really handy.Â
I recently signed up for the new illustration & photography networking site Pixish. What is Pixish? I’ll let the site’s creator’s tell you in their own words: “Pixish is a place where people who want images and people who make images can easily find each other and collaborate on creative projects together.”. Sounds kinda cool. But also sounds like a way for people to get free work out of artists.
If you are like me and you are wondering why in the world Adobe decided to eliminate the previous functionality of the Paint Bucket tool in Illustrator CS3 with the introduction of the new ‘Live Paint Bucket’ tool, fear not — a solution is at hand.
A great quick tip, from the excellent design blog BittBox, to create a color group of all the colors in an Illustrator document: Select all the art in your document, go to the Swatches fly-out menu and choose “New color group” – you now have a color group folder of all the colors in the artwork. Very cool!
Since color groups are a CS3 feature, this tip is Illustrator CS3 only.
The excellent Illustrator blog BittBox has a nice Adobe Illustrator Layer Mask tip/walkthough on how to use this highly useful, productivity-enhancing (and fairly obscure) feature of Illustrator CS and higher.
Layer Masks are basically clipping masks that apply to the entire layer (Layer masks need to be sub-layers, and the top-most one at that). The best feature is that they can be locked, and they are not tied to one specific object, or cause an entire group of unrelated objects to become “grouped” as they are when applying a clipping mask to them. This allows you to work normally with all the other objects on other sub-layers while still getting that clipping mask effect.
Head on over to BittBox and read the full post: Improve Your Illustrator Workflow with Layer Masking
Here’s a cool little idea from the geniuses at CreativeTechs.com: “cheatsheets” for Adobe software that are designed to print on a 3×5 index card, complete with space reserved to punch holes for a binder. Designed with the GTD/Hipster PDA crowd in mind. And they’re free!
This link is to the PDF cheatsheet for the Adobe pen tool, since most (or all) of it’s features work the same across the Creative Suite. A real cool visual reference guide, and just one in a series of cheatsheets for Adobe apps as well as other computer and Mac related info that you just sometimes need at your fingertips.
Looks like they are just starting out with these, so be sure to subcribe to the RSS feed and collect ’em all!
A set of free, printable keyboard shortcuts cards for Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and more are available for download over at ComputerArts.co.uk.
The set includes keyboard shortcut cards for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator CS, Macromedia Freehand, Cinema 4D and 3D Studio Max. These are CS1 versions, but from what I can gather the shorcuts should be pretty much the same for the newer versions. Not too sure about the Macromedia apps (which are now Adobe apps) as I have never used any of them.
As anyone who has read this blog can tell, I am a huge keyboard shortcut junkie, and you should be one as well. I cannot even begin to emphasize how much knowing these will enhance not only your pleasure on using graphics software (and software in general), but how much of a marked increase in productivity you’ll see.
I cringe in geek pain when I see a fellow Photoshop or Illustrator user laboriously hauling their mouse over to the Tools palette, or even to the menubar for anything but the most arcane of Menu items.
Download. Print. Learn. Kick massive butt.
Here are some super handy keyboard shortcuts for switching between open document windows when working within the Adobe Creative Suite applications (Illustrator, Photoshop & InDesign). These are Macintosh-only keyboard shortcuts since I do not have access to a Windows machine. Sure to increase your productivity.
- Illustrator: Command (Apple) + ~ (that’s the “tilde” key, to the left of the numeral one, otherwise known as “the little squiggly line thing”)
- InDesign: same as Illustrator
- Photoshop: Control + Tab