Best Project Uses for Photoshop®, Illustrator® & InDesign®
One thing we have to talk about is when we actually use each and every individual application and why. Well, we have a basic understanding here of what we actually deal with in terms of graphics. We have vector graphics and we have raster graphics. A vector graphic is literally shapes and fills. We draw a shape with a path, we can fill it with a color, that's what Illustrator does. One of the benefits of having this is that its completely scalable at any size, and the most common form of vector graphic that we use is type because any time you use type in any application you can increase or decrease the size of the type and it always prints out nice and smooth. So, type is the perfect example of what a vector graphic really is. No matter what size we use the type, it always scales beautifully. So a vector graphic is the main reason why we use Illustrator. And that's what Illustrator is used for, shapes and fills, infinitely scalable to any size and virtually any application. That's why ...
it works really good for logos. We can create a logo in Illustrator, we can place it in any other application, we can scale it infinitely, its always going to retain its quality, it's always going to look good, and we don't have to worry about scaling issues whatsoever. We can use this for the web. We have scalable vector graphics which allow us to use any type of shape or fill or type that we use or create in Illustrator to be used on the web as well, user interface, phones, Ipads, tablets; whatever, all those graphics created in Illustrator, universally scalable and that's what its actually used for. So when you hear 'Whats the difference between vector and raster?' Now we know what vector is. Raster is what Photoshop uses. And when we open up an image in Photoshop, it's broken down into pixels or squares of color. And when we look at something in Photoshop we have, if you look up close here, every pixel is it's own color, and images are made up of hundreds of thousands or millions of pixels, all of which contain their own, uh, this unique color and it actually forms the entire image. Now, with a raster image we have a fixed number of pixels, a fixed amount of information. So, if you have a camera or a device that's going to capture pictures, your cell phone, your tablet, and you capture an image, the higher quality the image generally that means the more pixels that you have in your image. Well the one unfortunate thing with a raster image is we have a fixed amount of information. So if we scale this image larger and larger and larger we're taking that information and we're scaling it over a larger area which means we're basically stretching everything out and our quality degrades. With vector it doesn't matter how big we make it because it's just simply shapes and fills, that's all it is. We can scale it to 50 feet across and it's still going to look just as good as it is at an intercross. When we're dealing with raster though, raster is a fixed amount of information and all the pixels are square. So getting something really nice and neat and clean and smooth, we have to have a really good quality image, a lot of pixels in there and it's not really scalable to an infinite extent. We can scale it larger but the larger we make it the lower the quality that we have. Also a very large Photoshop file is going to take up a lot of space. A very large vector file takes up virtually nothing because it's just simply shapes and fills. So if we're dealing with vector we're going to be using Illustrator. If we're dealing with raster, Photoshop is all about raster. Indesign, basically, everything that we do in Indesign is going to be vector based. Because Indesign just uses type and then we import vector graphics, we import raster graphics and Illustrator graphics go in Indesign beautifully, Photoshop images go in Indesign beautifully. We don't really edit them. We resize them, we place them wherever we want to. So, vector graphics: Illustrator, raster: Photoshop, Indesign is basically vector because we don't really create content in there other than setting type. This is a big deal because when we're working with files a lot of people have trouble understanding why we would use a vector, why we would use a raster image. If I created a logo in Photoshop and somebody wanted it really big, it's going to get really blurry when I make it big which is why I always created images or graphics in Illustrator, because no matter what size they want to use it, it's always going to be scalable. So big difference between vector and raster and why we use them. I can't make an image or actual photograph in vector because it just doesn't translate that way. So photographs: raster. Graphics, type, going to have vector. Have we got a question?
Yeah Jason, and I'm not sure if um, you just answered that but a question had come in "What is the drawback to vector compared to raster?", or are there any?
Well, one of the drawbacks from vector is that you can't get the beautiful tonal range that a photograph can. And you take a photograph and you get all the subtle shading and tonal range and highlights and shadows and color and the vector image is literally just a fill and a strobe. We can do gradients and such but you're not going to get all the complex colors that you're going to get with a photograph. So photographs definitely Photoshop, raster based, yeah,
That's what we have. Certainly. So, let me show you how I actually created this presentation to get you an idea of how this actually comes together. Because that always helps. So, this is actually a combination of several different applications right here. First of all what I did is I went into Illustrator and inside Illustrator I actually created my content. So, we're in Illustrator and when I went in I created all of my content in Illustrator here. Lines, shapes, fills, all created in Illustrator. So that infographic was all done in Illustrator and i'll show you that. So, These were created in Illustrator and the whole point of Illustrator: shapes and fills, strokes, colors, that's what it is. So these infographics, they're simple shapes with type, graphics, that whole thing all created in Illustrator. I can size this to any size that I want to and use it in any method that I want to. I can post this to the web, I can print this out, I can bring this into Photoshop if I want to, I can place this in Indesign, but it's main purpose was to go ahead and create just simple scalable graphics. That's what I used it for. And then I wanted to go ahead and add some type in order to create this presentation so I brought this over into Indesign and in Indesign I created an Indesign file. And with this Indesign file I created several pages and I was able to bring this graphic into my pages here. This is placed directly in Indesign. I wouldn't create this in Indesign, way too much work, not what Indesign is used for. So this is placed, it's completely scalable. I can move it around. And then I would go in and I would add my type in here so that I could put this on my page. I put a colored background in here and I was able to create multiple pages in here so that I could then place each and every one of my logos or content, my infographics in here. The type is going to be in a separate container. And able to put a colored background in there as well. So really all I did in Indesign here was create multiple pages, go ahead and put my type in there, introduce a container with some color and everything else is being placed from other files. So all of these files that you see here, these were all created in Illustrator and placed right here in Indesign. I can resize them, I can scale them, put them on pages and create multiple pages. Same with the Photoshop graphic, same thing, created in Illustrator, put the type in here and then for all of the images, all of these images were created in Photoshop or edited in Photoshop, I should say. And these were placed in the Indesign as well in their own containers. I threw a little drop shadow or a little outer glow around each one but these are all just placed graphics in here. And then my final Indesign file here, again, placed the content in and then at the very end here I created PDFs of each one of these files so these started out as Indesign files. I created a PDF of these, and I was able to place the PDF directly in here as well for presentation. And then one of the great things is if I wanted to print this I could simply print this and get a printed copy of this. I could also publish this directly online if I wanted to for any type of digital presentation. I could click on this, publish it, it goes to URL and I could send it out to anybody and immediately they would be able to click through all of these slides. But what I did is I actually created a PDF presentation from this because with Indesign I can create any type of output that I want to. Digital, print, online, you name it. So with this what I did is I exported this as a PDF and I opened this up in Adobe Acrobat, and was able to get my Acrobat file here and I could go into presentation mode and I could use this just like I would any other presentation. So I've combined vector and graphic, uh, vector and raster images altogether and I've combined them into Indesign. So with Illustrator I created my illustrations. With Indesign I added my type, I added pages as well, was able to bring each and every one of the logos in, my graphics. In Photoshop I was able to take my Photoshop images, whether it be a Jpeg or a Photoshop file or a PNG or a GIF, I can bring those directly in, place them in here, scale them, size them, move them around very easily and then take my Indesign file, create PDFs put it all together into a presentation. Just like so So each one of these items has a very specific purpose to be used for. And so what I want to do is I want to show you just a quick overview of why we would use certain things for certain items and just give you a quick walkaround of the files there so you can better understand when you're going to start your project what you would actually do. There we have it. So basically that wraps up the Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and then brings it all into Acrobat, multiple ways we can do that. And one interesting thing too about this, this is one of the classes that I teach on graphic design overview, and this is actually a full on PDF presentation that I can actually bring into Acrobat as well, or bring into Indesign because with Indesign you can place virtually anything. And not only can we place print but we can also place animations, video, audio and I'm actually teaching a class tomorrow on how you go and you make e-Books and interactive PDFs, rollovers, pop-ups, all in Indesign. So Indesign isn't just for print, it can be for print but you can also turn any Indesign into a full on digital interactive buffet, so to speak. Mhm, which should be great. Yep. So how are we doing with online questions there?
Yeah Jason we have a number of questions coming in about when to use what. Because like you said in the beginning it can be confusing, especially if you're new to the creative cloud. And feel free to grab a mic and ask questions in here as well if you have any. But a couple people have asked about Lightroom, and I know we're not covering Lightroom in this class but in terms of the mix of tools and how you use them in your workflow, where would Lightroom fit in with this flow?
So Lightroom would be used when you have a lot of photographs and you would like to go in and you would like to either apply some photo correction or color correction or basic retouching on your images but you're not comfortable with Photoshop or you don't want to spend the time to go into Photoshop and edit these images. So Lightroom is a very user friendly um, image editing and filing and rating application and it allows you to very quickly and easily go in, look at your images, do some basic color correction, color shift, cleanup and be able to very quickly see what your images are going to look like. You can then save those from Lightroom into your file and, or, open them up in Photoshop and do further editing, correction, compositing, but Lightroom is just a very simple, easy to use application to do some, you know, pretty robust editing with your images. So if you're not comfortable with Photoshop, Lightroom is a great gateway application into learning how to do some basic color editing, photo, fixing with that. A lot of photographers use Lightroom specifically for that purpose.
Great, thank you. And then, and a lot of it is that like, using Lightroom for the cataloging and then, so its almost like the precursor to using Photoshop and these other, and Indesign if you're, as a Photographer, if you will.
Correct. The biggest thing with, the biggest thing with Lightroom is you don't have to go in an process all your photos. You can look at a lot of photos and you can very quickly and easily apply some basic corrections or color shift to them without spending all the time with having them go through the full processing. You can catalog, you can rate, you can order these things, so Lightroom just makes it a, just a very great workflow for dealing with any type of photographs.
A question had come in from Millicent Lee "Can you convert a photo to a vector?"
You can, and Illustrator actually has an image trace where you can convert a photograph into lines and fills and that's one of the things we're going to show you, because it's quite an interesting way to take an image and do a graphic interpretation of that, so, yes you can.
Great. So another question uh, this one is from uh, Sadie "What about printing images, do we use Photoshop for that?"
You can print directly from Photoshop if you want to. Um, they have a print dialog box. Usually what happens is you're going to use that photograph in some type of way like placing it into Indesign in an application, um, you can also save it directly as a PDF for posting for the web, as a Jpeg, however, but yes you can print from Photoshop. You can also place it in a lot of other applications and print from that as well, sizing it to the size that you want. Adding a caption or a border, so yes you can.
Great, um, lots of questions coming in. This is great to see. Uh, one clarification as we get into the class is people who aren't yet on Adobe Creative Cloud, maybe are on older versions, like CS6, Sarah B "Will the tools that you'll be teaching us throughout the day apply to those as well?"
Absolutely. If you're in older versions of Photoshop, Indesign or Illustrator, many of these things are going to be very similar, if not the same. I'm on the Creative Cloud 2015 which is the newest version and if you haven't switched over to the cloud you can go onto Adobe and actually get an intorductory offer, um, to be able to join the cloud and be able to download all the apps that the clouds have to offer. Uh, so what we're showing you today if you have an older version, a lot of is going to be very relevant. Mhm.
Great. Uh, one more of uh, what, when to use what. Uh, this, Jay Grady says "Thanks for the infographic on appropriate software for different purposes. I'm sharing it with my team to hopefully make sure that we no longer get infographics or brochures in Photoshop," so that's awesome, already putting that free infographic to use with his team. But the question is "What is your opinion for the appropriate software for creating tables?"
Tables: Indesign. Indesign will do full on tables, headers, footers, um, rows, columns. I just finished a catalog that had 180 pages worth of tables in it. So if you want to do tables, tables in Indesign, it doesn't get much easier but that's what I would say, definitely, for it. Tables in Photoshop, no. Unless it's a picture of a table, don't do tables. Tables in Illustrator, absolutely not.