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

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Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: Advanced Techniques is the third 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 third segment is 8.5 hours in length and is contained in eight lessons (lessons 17- 24).

Lesson 17, "Dynamic Type Treatment" shows you how to combine Live Effects with Live Type to create multi-layer text effect that can be modified easily. In this lesson you will work with applying live effects to groups and layers, blending letterforms, warping text without an envelope, adding dynamic attributes to type objects, as well as learning where Live Type breaks down.

Lesson 18, "Live Trace" is the feature that Adobe finally created after years of dealing with their original trace program and a subsequently licensed trace program called Streamline. Live Trace provides a truly dynamic tracing feature. Here you will learn four ways to trace, tracing full color artwork, tracing portrait photography, and preparing a Live Trace color palette.

Lesson 19, "Live Paint" gives Illustrator the ability to detect and color intersecting area in an illustration. Live Paint sees your illustration as a coloring book that is just waiting to be filled with color. Now you can select two overlapping objects and click on them with a paint bucket. You can also convert a Live Trace object to Live Paint and this allows you to color your traced artwork as you would in the non computer world.

Lesson 20, "Live Color" covers one of the big new features for CS3. It started as a web application called KULER that allows you to collect colors. Live Color takes this a bit further in that you can trade them between illustrations and re-purpose the relationship between those colors as a harmony rule for future collections plus a lot more. This is considered by many to be the single best new feature to Illustrator in years.

Lesson 21, "Using Symbols" allows you to reduce the size of your image by replacing the use of an object multiple times in a document, with a predefined symbol instead. Now that Illustrator is tied in much tighter with Flash than before, symbols are more useful than ever before. By converting your object to a symbol, you can keep your web objects as small as possible. Another benefit of symbols is that you can edit a symbol in the symbols palette and all occurrences of that object are updated in the document.

Lesson 22, "3D Effects" will let you extrude an object into 3D space. This allows you to rotate an object which gives it depth. Or you can revolve a fragment of an object around a fixed axis. This allows you to render simple objects such as box art, 3D type and things like beverage bottles. Here you will learn how to wrap simple art work around a DVD case.

Lesson 23, "Printing and Exporting" explores the wide range of printing and exporting options that are available in Illustrator. Here you will learn how to set trim size and bleed, work with imageable area and crop boundary, work with color management, advanced and summary panels, save as formats, as well as exporting for various applications.

Lesson 24, "Creating and exporting Flash Animation" is all about using Illustrator to create simple transitional animation effects that can be exported to Flash more easily than any other program in the Creative Suite. While it stems from many features such as layers, symbols, and other Illustrator features, it really is mostly blending. Here you will use all of these techniques to create a self sustaining piece of Flash Animation. You don't even need to own Adobe Flash to create this.

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. 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: Advanced Techniques two ways. One is as a DVD training package Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: 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: Advanced Techniques as well as containing everything you need.

The online training Illustrator CS3 One-On-One: Advanced Techniques 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: Advanced Techniques 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.

The first and second parts of this review are available here on Blogcritics Magazine. 

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About T. Michael Testi

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