“Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Mastery” Is Complete (and “Advanced” Is Out)

As many of you know, my beloved video publisher lynda.com has released the second part of my “Illustrator One-on-One” video series, Advanced. Together with Part 1, Fundamentals, this brings my Illustrator CS4 content to 330 movies lasting nearly 30 hours.

But it’s not over yet! Last week, I finished recording the 140+ movies that will make up the final installment, Mastery, which I estimate will last 13 action-packed, highly educational hours.

Update: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Mastery is live now! Members of lynda.com can click the link to check it out.

These videos aren’t yet available. They have to be cataloged, edited, and all the rest. But I hate a secret, so I naturally feel compelled to share with you the many wonders that wait in store.

Starting with:

Illustrator’s Live Trace feature traces things automatically. So why do you need my help to use it? Because presumably you’d like to achieve the best possible results. We trace black-and-white art, color art, and a photographic portrait.

At it’s simplest, Live Paint colors paths according to how they intersect, in the same way you would fill in lines in a coloring book. At its most powerful, you can fabricate interlocking objects. I document the Olympic ring technique, plus much more.

Remember that dear old dekePod about stretching the jumping woman in Illustrator? That’s only one of the amazing things you can do with Illustrator’s liquify tools and Envelope commands. I explain that and other techniques in luxurious step-by-step detail.

If I were to name my favorite group of features in all of Illustrator, they’d have to be dynamic effects. And I never fail to go nuts on this topic. This time, I devote fully 23 movies and 6 different projects, including the one above in which I reinvent portions of the classic roulette-style Tonalpohualli (which I call “Viva Las Aztecs,” ha!) using the dynamic Transform command. The image with the flower pattern at the outset of this post hails from another sample file. Between you and me, I think I ought to record an entire series on this one topic alone. What d’you think?

Adobe stopped calling Illustrator’s advanced color functions Live Color in CS4. Fools! An admittedly loosely organized group of features, Live Color lets you define color harmonies, assemble groups, recolor your artwork, and distill an illustration into a few inks. If that’s not “Live,” what the hell is?

I have a confession to make: I don’t use symbols nearly often enough. If I did, I’d be using them almost incessantly. In these 14 movies, I show you what I’m missing out on and how you can kick my ass. (Wow, I love how this description doesn’t even bother to explain the feature. Nice!)

Few folks know this, but Illustrator might be the best charting software ever made. (Well, except for Mathematica, but that’s for seriously cool, wicked-smart, math-and-science people, whom I love.) Believe it or not, Illustrator lets you import a spreadsheet of numbers and convert it into a graph. that you can edit to your heart’s content. You can even create pictographs, as you’ll learn by charting sea monkeys.

Of all Illustrator’s dynamic effects (see four items back), there is none more promising or precarious than 3D. You can’t design entire scenes, but you can extrude and revolve selected objects. Including a DVD box and 3D text, as pictured above. Learn the power and the pitfalls in this chapter.

Like Photoshop, Illustrator offers an Actions palette, which lets you automate tedious, time-consuming, multistep operations. It’s not necessarily Illustrator’s most articulated feature—why exactly can’t you record dynamic effects?—but it does allow you to automate some amazing stuff.

Okay, so that’s it. The best way to prepare yourself for this onslaught of information is to lie in wait. And what better way to do just that than to subscribe at lynda.com/deke. (Was that too blatant? Cuz I was thinking SUBSCRIBE SUBSCRIBE SUBSCRIBE! What I actually wrote was subtler, right? Wasn’t it?)

DO IT!!! !!!!!!!!! !! (Again, I worry I’m being to pushy.)

Next entry:Cereal Celebrates the Life of Michael Jackson, Via Clumsy But Lovable Satire

Previous entry:“Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery” Is Complete (At Least, in Terms of Filming)


  • nice hair

    Wow, her hair looks really cool vector’d. Looks like an interesting series.

  • Deke, I’ve been a fan of yours for many years.

    I’m really looking forward to your new series and I even keep all of your old tutorials because I like the crazy way you teach and I find them endlessly amusing. Only you never use set pieces and costumes anymore.  :(

    I will definitely pick this tutorial up because you are the “rock star” of the Adobe tutorial world.

    Thanks for all you do.

  • Looking forward to this,

    Looking forward to this, just finished the Fundamentals and got started on the Advanced bit. As a mostly PS`er they`ve already turned my Illustrator use into a much less fighty fighty struggly experience.

  • hi deke ???

    iam abig , huge ,..............fan etc of yours
    i love your tutorial
    and your work is the best
    simple question for how long you have been studieng photoshop?

    and how old are you?


    just that thanks anyway

  • Amazing stuff

    If I can make something look like one of these, I would be very happy!  So far my learning experience means that my stuff looks like the stick men that I draw….not very good!  I must subscribe to learn more new things!

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