978-0-321-16892-4 / 9780321168924

The Adobe Illustrator CS Wow! Book


Publisher:Peachpit Press



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About the book:

Some might think of a Wow! book as only showing how to create neon lettering or chrome highlights. But Sharon Steuer has given us a book that will have readers saying, "Wow! I can't believe how much better I am at Illustrator." The special techniques famous to the Wow! series are still represented here: pen and ink wash, scratchboard, warps, scribbles, and 3D effects, among many others. But what makes this book the one you'll keep by your computer is the incredibly clear writing, examples that cover all the fundamentals, and a clean layout.

The book is great for basics, although even experienced users will appreciate "The Zen of Illustrator" instructions that help you "think" and "see" in Illustrator. You begin by recreating basic shapes using a variety of methods, all the while becoming very agile with the pens, pathfinder palette, and other tools. Then, there's the Finger Dance: a set of keyboard fingerings that will take you right back to your piano lessons. These brilliant exercises help you move away from relying too much on your mouse (the slowest way to go) and in the habit of using the modifier keys (Control, Command, Shift, and Option). Other lessons include drawing and coloring methods, creating isometric images, patterns and vector photos, using distort filters, mapping techniques, extensive use of Illustrator CS's new typography tools, blends, gradients, transparencies, preparing artwork for use in Flash, designing web pages in Illustrator, and much more.

In addition to the at-a-glance charts in the Zen and Finger Dance sections (where you learn by looking more than reading), there's a nifty spread showing all the options in the pathfinder palette and another showing special techniques that can be achieved with brushes. And there's a handy pullout of glossary terms and summary explanations of all the steps in the Finger Dance.

There are techniques from accomplished artists and gallery sections displaying their work. Highlights include Marc LaMantia's expressionistic paintings of New York City, made from meticulously tracing over photos in Illustrator using the pen tool; Ann Paidrick's mindblowing, realistic dishes of glistening tomatoes and olives; and Yukio Miyamoto's awesome illustrations of a cat, a French horn, and a motorcycle, so detailed, you can't believe they are vector-based. This work is truly inspiring. In no time, you'll be more creative, work more efficiently, have more fun, and never let anyone borrow your book! --Angelynn Grant

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