Got slagged yesterday for not making a bigger deal of the release of Photoshop CS6 beta. (It's a free 984 MB download from the Adobe website.) But...I wonder how many people use Photoshop any more. Seems to me most photographers have switched to Lightroom.
I've used Photoshop since version 3 and wouldn't know what to do with any other program. I'm using CS5 now but am pissed Adobe stopped supporting CS4 as quick as they did, All they had to do was update ACR but no they forced the user into CS5. Add to it if you own CS4 you will not be eligible for the 6 upgrade. You pay full price or buy a discounted CS5 upgrade to qualify for 6. IMO a whore move by Adobe.
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- Hey gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now last week, we created this wild optical illusion inside Illustrator that features all these devices competing for our attention, that are communicating with each other wirelessly via these tiny wifi and Bluetooth icons. And so I thought this week I'd follow up by showing you how to create one possible wifi symbol. And I say, one possible because there is no standard. There is an official wifi logo that looks something like this. This is a knock off that I found online. But, honestly, who cares I'm not sure there's anybody who looks at this and says, oh yeah, a rounded rectangle plus two teardrops, equals wireless connectivity. We want something like this right here. Now, not to get too nerdy on you, but this is the symbol that's featured on iDevices, such as iPhones and iPads. And you can see, we've got a central circle that's masked, along with two arching bars, whereas if you're working on a Mac, you get three arching bars. But there's all kinds of other alternatives. You can see the entire circle in some cases. Or, you match the circle by adding round caps to the bars right there. And then, you can create an entire cell phone tower or something along those lines. I've seen this one on some PC laptops. And incidentally, if any of this interests you I am providing this as an exercise file, as an editable exercise file. It's an Illustrator document, and each one of these guys is expressed as a group. So have at it if you like. But, I'm going to create this one right here. Which one is it This one, because it's the coolest, it's the simplest after all. Now it's so simple you may scoff at it. But while it is easy to put together; it's just three circles and a clipping mask, it's easy to put together roughly. What if you want to get the balance right You want to balance the central circle with the other two, and you want to make sure these line weights match the negative space between them, and that the diagonal sides of the clipping mask are exactly 45 degrees, in which case here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, here's our final version of the wifi symbol, open, of course, inside Illustrator. I'm going to start off inside this file, which has a couple of center guides. And I'm going to go over here to the Layers panel, drop down to the tiny page icon at the bottom of the panel and Alt or Option, click on it to bring out the Layer Options dialog box, and I'll call this guy wifi, and change the color to gold, just so it stands out. All right, now I'll click on Okay, and I'll go ahead and bring up the Shape tool fly out menu and select the Ellipse tool. And then I'll go up to the View menu, and make sure my Smart Guides are turned on, which in my case they are. And then I'll position my cursor over the intersection of these two center guides, and I will press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click to bring up the Ellipse dialog box. And I'm going to change the size of this guy to 150 points wide, as well as 150 points tall, so, we're looking for a circle, and I'll click Okay. Now I'm going to change the color of the fill to this guy right here, color two, which is a dark shade of blue, although you can go with any color you like. And then I'll also change the stroke to that same color, like so, and I'll crank the line weight value up to 50 points to produce this effect here. All right, now I'll press Ctrl-C, Ctrl-F, that's going to be Cmd-C, Cmd-F on the Mac, to copy the shape and paste it in front. All right, now I'll get rid of the fill for this particular shape by clicking on that very first swatch up here in the options bar, and setting it to none. And then I'll go up here to the Control panel, and notice these shape controls, which are available to those of you who are working inside Illustrator CC. Go ahead and link those two values together, and change either one of them to 350 points, and that'll update that other value as well, and that will end up with this effect here. And that's going to leave a 50 point gap between this outer stroke and the inner circle. All right, now we want to create another copy of this guy. And you can do that by changing the first value, the first shape value, up here in the Control panel to 550, but instead of pressing the tab key this time around, press Alt, Enter, that's going to be Option, Return on the Mac, in order to make a copy of this circle, as we're seeing here. All right, now I'm going to go ahead and select all these shapes. And just to make sure everything's the way it's supposed to be, I'll click on the word Transform, up here in the Control panel, and you want to make sure the center point is selected inside the tiny reference point matrix, and then confirm that the X value is 504 points, which is half the width of the artboard, and that the Y value is 336 points, which is half the height of the artboard. And so if those values aren't quite right, just go ahead and enter them. And now what we want to do is create a clipping mask. And the most surefire way to do that is going to be to select the Line Segment tool from the Line tool flyout menu, and then you want to move your cursor over the intersection of those two center guides once again, and Alt or Option, click in order to bring up this dialog box right here. And we're looking for a length value of about 420 points, should do it, and we want the angle to be 45 degrees, at which point click Okay to accept that change. Then, go ahead and click and hold on the Rotate tool, and select the Reflect tool from the flyout menu, and you want to Alt or Option, click right there on that bottom left anchor point. That's going to bring up the Reflect dialog box. Go ahead and set the axis to Vertical, is what we're looking for, and click the Copy button in order to create a copy of that path. All right, now go ahead and switch back to the black arrow tool, which you can get by pressing the V key, and Shift, click on the first diagonal line right there. We don't need this stroke to be so thick, and so we're going to be able to see better what we're doing if we take that line weight value down to let's say two points, and then you want to go ahead and join these paths together by going to the Object menu, choosing Path, and then choosing Join, or you can just press Ctrl, J, or Cmd, J on the Mac, and then you want to do it again. So this time I'll just press the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl, J, or once again, Cmd, J on the Mac. And that doesn't actually look like it's tall enough. That's going to end up clipping the top of that circle right there. So, I'll press the A key to switch to the white arrow tool, and then I'll click this top left anchor point, and I'll press Shift, up arrow a couple of times and Shift, left arrow a couple of times as well, and then I'll select this top right point, and press Shift, up arrow a couple of times, followed by Shift, right arrow twice in a row. And that way, we'll move the points upward, while ensuring that these diagonal segments remain at exactly 45 degrees. All right, now I'll press the V key to switch back to my black arrow tool, up here at the top of the toolbox, and I'll press Ctrl, A, or Cmd, A on the Mac to select all of my shapes, and then I'll go up to the Object menu, drop all the way down to Clipping Mask, and choose the Make command. And that will go ahead and mask all the circular shapes inside of that front-most triangle. All right, now I want to scale my artwork, so it takes up the entire artboard. And I'm going to do that by selecting the Scale tool, which you can get by pressing the S key, and then I'll move my cursor onto this anchor point, which is the top anchor point in the outer-most circle, and I'll Alt, or Option, click to bring up the Scale dialog box. Now we don't want the value to be this big. In fact, I'm looking for a uniform value of 200%. And notice because my Preview checkbox is turned on, I can see that it's scaling the circles, but I'm not scaling the strokes. So I have these big gaps in between, which is why I'm going to go ahead and turn on this checkbox, Scale Strokes & Effects, in order to create this effect here, at which point, I'll click Okay in order to accept that change. And then, I'll press Shift, down arrow three times in a row to nudge the artwork down 30 points, and then I'll turn off my Guides layer, and I'll deselect my artwork by pressing Ctrl, Shift, A, that's going to be Cmd, Shift, A on the Mac. And that's how you create a wifi symbol, specifically like the ones you see featured on Apple's iPhones and iPads, here inside Illustrator. All right now, if you're a member of Lynda.com, or LinkedIn Learning, I have a fol