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Video Training Review – Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: The Essentials With Deke McClelland From Lynda.com.

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Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: The Essentials is the first part of a three part review that encompasses the total Illustrator CS3 One-On-One. training series. If you purchase it on line, it is broken down in to three segments. If you get the DVD, you get all three segments on one disk.

Your trainer for this library is Deke McClelland. Deke McClelland is a well-known expert and lecturer on Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and the broader realm of computer graphics and design. To date, he has written 85 books that have been translated into 24 languages, with more than 4 million copies in print. The total running length is 29 hours and to give a fair treatment, I will divide them up as they appear online. This first segment is 9.75 hours in length and is contained in eight lessons.

Lesson 1, "What Illustrator (and Bridge) Can Do" introduces you to Illustrator. Because of its enormity and complexity, Illustrator can be intimidating. Here the instructor begins with an overview and covers topics like Adobe Bridge, and how vector images differ from pixel based images. In this lesson you will also learn how to create, save, and close documents.

Lesson 2, "Setup and Navigation" guides you through setting up some performance enhancing preferences, color settings and workspaces. You will learn how to synchronize your color settings in Adobe Bridge, learn about the new CS3 interface and other important topics like zooming, scrolling, nudging the screen image and some scroll wheel tricks.

Lesson 3, "Guide and Line Art" will not only show you why you can learn Illustrator from a "Photoshop Guy," but you will learn about working with layers, rulers, custom guides, and templates. You will also see how to draw line segments, arcs, looping spirals, and concentric circles. In this lesson you will work with open paths.

Lesson 4, "Drawing Geometric Shapes" continues your development with drawing by instructing you on drawing circles, polygons, stars, rectangles, and how to draw using Scissors and Join. In this lesson you work with closed path objects.

Lesson 5, "Fill, Stroke, and Color" will introduce you to the concepts of Fill and Stroke. You will learn how to fill paths, stroke paths, and color paths. You will access color libraries and sliders; these include CMYK sliders for print output, and RGB sliders for screen output. You will learn how to paste in back, paste in front, as well as pasting between layers.

Lesson 6, "Editing and Transforming Paths" exposes you to the power of transformations. A transformation is any operation that changes a path without affecting its original structure. Transformations include scaling, rotation, reflecting, and slanting. Here you will learn how to go from primitives to polished art by using the Reshape tool, the Offset Path command, and the translucent group. You will see how to make a black-and-white template, enlarge stacking shapes, rotate by the numbers, and rotate repeating pattern fills.

Lesson 7, "Using the Pen Tool" will instruct you on what many think is a difficult tool to use; the Pen Tool. This is all about anchors, handles, and magnets. Here you will learn how to trace a scanned image or photograph, place an image as a template, move, add, and delete points, cut, separate, and close paths, and eyedropping template colors.

Lesson 8, "Selecting and Enhancing Artwork" shows that while it is possible that you will never need to edit your artwork, it is probable that you will. Because the addition of a new path will often make you reassess another path, it is important to know how to select and enhance your artwork. You will see how to select through one shape to another, how to select a range of points with the lasso tool, and how to save selections for later use.

As always, I really like Deke McClelland's presentation and his gift to make the complex simple. He takes what is a complicated program; Illustrator, and brings it down to earth in an easy to understand dialog. Again, I really like the fact that the introductions to each chapter are films of the instructor explaining what the lesson is all about. I think that it makes the instructor more real than just hearing them talk in the voice over.

You can get Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: The Essentials two ways. One is as a DVD training package Photoshop CS3 Channels And Masks: Advanced Techniques and the other is part of the online training experience at Lynda.com. The DVD Training Package is $149 USD and includes Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: The Essentials as well as containing everything you need.

The online training Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: The Essentials comes in three flavors. Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). Annually at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year which get all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

You can use Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: The Essentials as a training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It is of benefit to anyone who needs help understanding the basics of Illustrator. You can also try out most of the first lesson for free at Lynda.com.

Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: The Essentials Lesson Listing:

What Illustrator (and Bridge) Can Do
Setup and Navigation
Guide and Line Art
Drawing Geometric Shapes
Fill, Stroke, and Color
Editing and Transforming Paths
Using the Pen Tool
Selecting and Enhancing Artwork

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.