Series: Classroom in a Book
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Adobe Press; 1 edition (June 3, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #280,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #17 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator #92 in Books > Computers & Technology > Software > Design & Graphics #282 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Graphics & Visualization
While I've worked a bit with other components of the Adobe Creative Suite, I was an absolute beginner when it comes to Illustrator, and really needed a simple guide to become familiar with the interface, tools and basic strategies. While I'm primarily interested in After Effects and Premiere Pro and Photoshop, I wanted to learn Illustrator because it's one of the best ways to create some of the elements I'd want to animate in After Effects or include in my composite images in Photoshop, or use as Buttons in Encore CS5 - and if you go through any of the major training textbooks for those programs they will invariably include several elements originally created within Illustrator CS5. Still, Illustrator's not a program you can just jump into, since it's designed for precision - this is not really a free hand or free style drawing or painting program, where you just pick up a pencil and scribble or a brush and express - it's much more like a precision tool-driven drafting, design, and illustration program. Moreover, it's vector based, which means that the shapes and designs you create with it are size independent - and will have the same quality whether they're output in a small format (like on a postcard) or a huge format (like on a poster).So I needed an introduction, and this is the one I picked. Apart from a few minor gripes, I'm quite happy with it. Unlike other software guides I've tried there's no humor here, and it's strictly business, but is straightforward and practical and clear. Some might call it dry, but what they're aiming for here and manage nicely is clarity and directness and practical impact, a thorough hands-on introduction to the basic tools and possibilities of Illustrator CS5. I've got a lot more to learn, but mostly that'll come from more doing.
Illustrator is Adobe's oldest app, going back to 1987. What's called "Illustrator CS5" is actually Illustrator 15. In September of 2003, when Adobe released its original Creative Suite collection, Illustrator shared a common user interface (UI) with Photoshop and InDesign. Though many of the tools and panels in many of the CS5 apps look and operate similarly, each app has it's own hidden power. It seems to us that there's more power hiding in Adobe Illustrator (Ai) than any other app in the Master Collection. We go back to Illustrator 3 but need to brush up with the new features with each version which is released. We have many resources for getting up to speed but none is better than Classroom in a Book (CIB). As Janet & I go through the lessons in Ai CS5 CIB we find ourselves saying to each other, "Did you know that..." For Illustrator professionals, the first chapter is an excellent overview of the CS5 new features. In the past, this chapter has seemed a little too packed and we've had concerns that it could overwhelm the reader. Well, the chapter is still packed but it's well-crafted so that the learning curve does not seem too steep. This is not to say that Ai CS5 CIB is for Illustrator professionals. You can be completely new to Illustrator and the second and third chapters, "Tour" and "Work Area" will leave you feeling that Ai CS5 is doable. The lessons in these starter chapters are attractive leaving the reader feeling accomplished. By the time you make it to just page 175 (plus the later chapter on layers) of this 440 pages of learning, you should have an excellent mastery of what Ai CS5's core features are all about leaving you with a sense of comfort with the app.
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