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The Adobe Illustrator WOW! Book

Tips, tricks, and techniques from 100 top Illustrator artists By Don Lee

Adobe Illustrator CS2 WOW BookEvery time a new version of a program is released, I have a feeling of dread because I know I will have to learn some of the new techniques being offered in the program. The real problem is teaching myself these new techniques before the next new version is released.

Thankfully, I turned my attention to The Adobe Illustrator CS 2 WOW! Book by Peachpit Press. Now I was hoping that this book could help me not only improve my skills but to also get me up to speed on the new features of this popular design application. Heres what I discovered.

Putting the WOW in WOW!
The 14-chapter, 418-page book covers a lot of ground. Even if Illustrator CS2 is your first attempt at using this powerful program, dont fret because chapter one will cover the most basic elements. Heres a breakdown of the fourteen chapters:

Chapter one covers the absolute basics of Adobe Illustrator. Everything from setting up your first page, selecting objects to sending your work out as an Adobe PDF file and understanding PostScript printing and exporting. The experienced Illustrator folks can bypass this chapter but this information is pretty important.

Chapter two through four covers the uses of Illustrator, drawing, coloring and the use of brushes and symbols. Here you will also learn how to use some of the programs tools and to utilize the keyboard commands for quick access. Drawing and coloring are important facets of Illustrator so learning how to draw paths, various angles, curves and lines are vital towards creating quality artwork. Brushes and symbols make up a big part of the Illustrator design process and heres where you will learn how to use them and even make your own.


Chapter five through eight covers layers, appearances, use of type, more advanced features of drawing and coloring and the use of blends, gradients and mesh. Working with layers is important in that it separates each portion of your artwork so you can easily modify each segment easily. Chapter five demonstrates the use of layers, nested layers, and appearances. Chapter six covers the use of type. Techniques such as wrapping text around objects, working with threaded text, converting type to outlines and using the Glyphs palette are just a few of the topics covered here. Chapter seven will teach you more advanced drawing and coloring techniques. Topics covered include compound paths and shapes, using Live Trace, divide and color and pathfinders.

Chapter nine through twelve covers transparency issues, live effects and graphic styles, live 3D effects (yes, in Illustrator!) and some advanced general techniques. Learn about opacity masks, making highlights with transparency blends, adding color to grayscale images, raster effects, warping, scribble effects, revolving an object, 3D techniques, clipping masks and more. Check out the gallery examples for a better idea on how these techniques are utilized.


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