Martini Hour 099, In Which Colleen Hosts the Illustrator Summit Countdown Smackdown Lovefest

As regular guests of the dekeLounge know, one of our favorite guests over the past two (almost) years has been that Illustrator Wizard known as Mordy Golding. So before we shut down this shindig, I wanted to get Mordy and Deke back in the same disco lighted room, line up a few shots, and have them run down their list of top features in Illustrator. I originally asked them each to think of ten: one guru followed the rules, the other went overboard, ignoring the rules by creating an extra long list. You’ll have to listen to the show to guess which is which. Or maybe not. But listen to the show anyway because it’s amusing and informative.

Martini Hour 099: Illustrator CS5 Top 10 Features

So here’s how the list breaks down: 2 gurus, 10 items each in a side-by-side countdown, and the result is the following 13 items. Makes as much sense as anything:

Recolor Artwork (Deke): Even though it looks like the icon that flashes when your Mac OS is hanging, actually clicking on this wheel in the control panel means you can change all the colors in your artwork by mapping any or all colors to a new set of colors or a even a single color.

Offset paths (Mordy): Even though it seems so simple, it becomes the infinitely useful way to make common adjustments to the objects in your artwork.

Type Tool (Deke, saved by Mordy): Even though it seems “boring” even to Deke, really, what would artwork be without words. Then Deke tries to cheat and piggyback a second item into his turn. But then Mordy gallantly adds the text engine (added in Illustrator 1) as one of his picks, proving himself to be a chivalrous guest as well as elegantly keeping Deke from looking like the rulebreaker that he is.

Art Brushes (Deke, again): Making brushes do all kinds of useful things like combining brushes with type, making them look like artistic strokes, and creating ornaments makes this feature make Deke’s list.

Export as PSD (Mordy): Mordy likes to start every project in Illustrator, so knowing he can then disguise it as a PSD if necessary is the perfect secret. Of course, Deke not understanding that his list is already too long, tries to steal this one as well.

Live Paint (Deke): This feature once languished in Deke’s mind until Mordy himself unlocked it in an effort to help Deke realize his Olympic dream. Then Mordy dreams that they rename the feature after him. We can all dream.

Shapebuilder/Pathfinder (Mordy): All good things come from this ability to combine paths with various ease, grace, and usefulness. We’re unsure if this is a piggyback to Live Paint or not, so we let Mordy go again with…

Gradients (Mordy): Useful, time-saving, and easier than ever to control. Who has time for 3D when adding shading is so darn easy?

The Mesh (Deke): This feature that is central to envelope distortion and gradient meshes makes Deke happy with its power and complexity. Mordy gets a little bogged down with its power and complexity.

Save for Web (Mordy): From Illustrator, you can generate anything you might need. Whether that be PNG, JPG, SVG, or SWF and scale on the fly from your single vector Illustrator file.

Layers panel (Deke): Psychically predicting that Mordy was going to end with a panel, Deke throws a preliminary one in himself. And who doesn’t love control over layers?

Appearance panel (Mordy): Now with eyeballs so we can finally see! See not only what you are doing but what all your colleagues and collaborators are doing. All question answered.

You can’t miss this final sit-down smackdown with one of our best lounge visitors. Here’s the regular-quality audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. Here’s the high-res version; you’ll want to download rather than stream. And don’t forget our usual plea to subscribe via iTunes.

And Deke’s not the only one breaking rules, Mordy defies previous guidelines and toasts to Deke. But who can blame him. And we toast right back to you Mordy. Cheers.

Next entry:Seven Days in Venice

Previous entry:Deke’s Techniques 003: Rendering Type in Gold


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