Foundations of Digital Art and Design with the Adobe Creative Cloud

New Riders
xtine burrough  
New Riders
Total pages
August 2013
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Foundations of Digital Art and Design with the Adobe Creative Cloud
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 All students of digital design and production–whether learning in a classroom or on their own–need to understand the basic principles of design. These principles are often excluded from books that teach software. Foundations of Digital Art and Design with the Adobe Creative Cloud reinvigorates software training by integrating design exercises into tutorials fusing design fundamentals and core Adobe Creative Cloud skills. The result is a comprehensive design learning experience.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What are the foundations of digital art and design?

Exercise 1. Operating Systems

Exercise 2. Downloading Work Files

Exercise 3. Using the e-book

Exercise 4. Creative Commons

Section 1: Bits, Pixels, Vectors, and Design (Adobe Illustrator)

Chapter 1: The Dot, the Path and the Pixel

Exercise 1. File Presets in Illustrator

Exercise 2. Shapes, Fills, and Strokes

Exercise 3. Figure and Ground with Repeated Dots

Screencast: The Pattern Brush

Exercise 4. Grouping and Alignment

Exercise 5. A Figure and Ground or “On” and “Off” Study

Lab Challenge

Chapter 2: Drawing Expressive Lines

Exercise 1. Place and Lock an Image

Exercise 2. Understanding Layers

Exercise 3. Create Lines with the Pencil Tool

Exercise 4. Duplicate the Composition

Exercise 5. Add a Gradient Background

Exercise 6. Create Depth with Contrasting Values

Screencast: Adding the “Swoosh” at the Horizon

Exercise 7. Master Files, Shared Files

Lab Challenge

Chapter 3: Modify Basic Shapes

Exercise 1. Create a Document with One Artboard

Exercise 2. Create Two Basic Shape Combinations

Exercise 3. Duplicate the Artboard and Unite the Paths

Exercise 4. Duplicate the Artboard and Modify the Shapes

Screencast: Modify Paths with the Pen and Direct Selection Tools

Exercise 5. Reflect and Copy a Second Half onto the Profile Icon

Exercise 6. Brush Details into the Treetop

Exercise 7. Add a Background Color and Save a Multi-page PDF

Lab Challenge

Section 2: Digital Photography (Adobe Photoshop and Bridge)


Chapter 4. Creating and Organizing Digital Photographs (Your Camera, Bridge)

Exercise 1. Camera Mechanics: How does the camera create a photograph?

Exercise 2. Camera Settings

Exercise 3. Bracketing

Exercise 4. Before You Shoot…

Exercise 5. Rule of Thirds

Exercise 6. Bridge Workspaces

Exercise 7. Batch Rename

Screencast: Renaming files in Bridge

Exercise 8. Labeling Files[x1] 

Exercise 9. Generate a PDF to Showcase your Files

Lab Challenge


Chapter 5. Resolution and Value

Exercise 1. Redistribute Pixels for Print Resolution

Exercise 2. Resample Pixels for Screen Resolution

Exercise 3. Analyze a Photograph Using the Zone System

Screencast: Use the Info Panel to Check Your Eye Against Image Data

Exercise 4. Modify the Tonal Range with a Levels Adjustment Layer

Lab Challenge


Chapter 6. Color Models

Exercise 1. Harmony in Rectangles

Exercise 2. Simultaneous Contrast in Circles

Exercise 3. Color Comparison

Exercise 4. Color Corrections

Screencast: Apply Color to a Black and White Photograph

Lab Challenge

Section 3: Digital Manipulation and Free Fair Use (Photoshop)


Chapter 7. Repairs and Hoaxes

Exercise 1. Remove Dust and Heal JFK’s Blemishes

Exercise 2. JFK’s Eyes: Tonal Repairs with Dodge and Burn

Screencast: Adding and Deleting within Selections

Exercise 3. Lessening Wrinkles

Exercise 4. It’s a Hoax! Adding an Extra Mummy Finger

Exercise 5. Soften Cloned Edges

Lab Challenge


Chapter 8. Select, Copy, Paste, Collage

Exercise 1. Set Up the Collage Workspace

Exercise 2. Trace an Image Contour with the Pen Tool

Exercise 3. Modify Paths

Exercise 4. Convert a Path to a Selection to a Layer Mask

Exercise 5. Scale, Adjust, Organize

Exercise 6. Copy a Layer to an Open Document

Exercise 7. The “Magic” of the Magic Wand

Exercise 8. Select, Copy, Paste, Repeat

Screencast: Duplicate, Transform, Burn, Organize, and Adjust—Ants in the Hand

Lab Challenge


Chapter 9. Blended Realities

Exercise 1. Articulate the Design Challenge

Exercise 2. Combine Vector Shapes in Photoshop

Exercise 3. Layer Effects

Exercise 4. Add a Vector Mask

Exercise 5. Create a Button

Screencast and Exercise 6: Complete Layer Groups “Step 2” and “Step 3”

Exercise 7. Gradients and Layer Masks

Lab Challenge


Section 4: Typography (Illustrator and InDesign)


Chapter 10. Type and Image (Illustrator)

Exercise 1. Define a Color Mode

Exercise 2. Place and Relink an Image

Exercise 3. Add a Textbox

Exercise 4. Resize and Kern Display Type

Exercise 5. Replace Type with an Image

Exercise 6. Add Vector Shapes to Frame the Composition

Exercise 7. Final Adjustments

Screencast: “Hiding” Page Elements with a White Shape or a Clipping Mask

Lab Challenge


Chapter 11. The Grid (Illustrator)

Exercise 1. Alternative Paper Sizes

Exercise 2. Guides and the Grid

Exercise 3. Create Your Own “Virtual Leading” Placeholders

Exercise 4. Link Text Boxes

Exercise 5. Place Another Guide on the Grid

Screencast: Using the Grid

Exercise 6. Use the Grid

Exercise 7. Save a PDF with Trim Marks

Lab Challenge


Chapter 12: Continuity (InDesign)

Exercise 1. Create a New InDesign Document for Sharing on the Web

Exercise 2. Establish Guides on A-Master

Exercise 3. Place Images

Exercise 4. Add Text Frames

Exercise 5. Color and a Drop Shadow on A-Master

Exercise 6. Paragraph Styles

Screencast: Prepare a File, Relink Images, Out of Gamut Colors, and Preparing the First and Last Pages

Exercise 7. Final Adjustments and Export to PDF

Lab Challenge

Section 5: The Web (Photoshop and Dreamweaver)


Chapter 13. Graphics on the Web (Photoshop and Dreamweaver)

Exercise 1. Organize Your Files

Exercise 2. Understand a Photoshop Template File

Exercise 3. Save a JPG File for the Web

Exercise 4. Save a PNG File for the Web

Screencast: Animating a GIF

Exercise 5. Insert an Image to the HTML Code in Dreamweaver

Lab Challenge


Chapter 14. Know the Code (Dreamweaver)

Exercise 1. Analyze HTML in Dreamweaver

Exercise 2. Modify HTML Content

Exercise 3. Link the CSS File to the HTML Document

Exercise 4. Analyze CSS in Dreamweaver

Exercise 5. Swap a Background Image in CSS

Exercise 6. Create and Link to a New HTML Page

Screencast: Modify CSS Code Using Dreamweaver Panels

Lab Challenge


Chapter 15. Remix the Web (Adobe Creative Suite)

Exercise 1. Map Mashups

Exercise 2. Vidding

Screencast: The YouTube Video Editor

Exercise 3. Machinima and Gaming

Exercise 4. Social Media Remix

Lab Challenge

Section 6: Effective Work Habits (Photoshop, Bridge, and InDesign)


Screencast: A Review of the Pen Tool, Layer Masks, and Adjustment Layers

Exercise 5. Create an Action

Exercise 6. Play an Action

Exercise 7. Batch Rename Revisited

Exercise 8. Float Files in Windows

Exercise 9. Non-programmable Modifications

Exercise 10. Watch the Sequence Play in Bridge

Lab Challenge


Chapter 17: Pagination and Printing (InDesign)

Exercise 11. Revisit the Actions Panel

Exercise 12. Apply a Batch Action from Bridge

Exercise 13. Two Options for Printing and Binding

Exercise 3, Option A. Single Pages and Easy Binding

Screencast: Creating a Mockup

Exercise 3, Option B. Paginating Facing Pages for a Saddle Stitch Binding

Lab Challenge


Chapter 18: Revision Practices in Media Art and Design

Interviews with or essay contributions by Pencilbox Studios, riCardo Crespo, Michael Demers, The League of Imaginary Scientists, and Jovenville


Image Permissions