adobe illustrator cs5: the professional portfolio project 7: consumer infographics creating charts...
Post on 01-Jan-2016
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Project 7: Consumer InfographicsCreating Charts and GraphsDrawing in Perspective
Charts and GraphsTool defines graph area excluding type
Type directlyImport data
Data PanelCut and PasteTranspose Row/ColumnCell Style
Text fieldQuotation marksPipe characterObject>Graph> Data
Graph FormattingGroupsNo Isolation modeDirect Selection tool
Graph TypeGraph OptionsLegendCategory AxisValue AxisOverride Calculated Values
Working in PerspectiveVanishing PointPlaneHorizon LineOrigin
Perspective Grid toolPlane Switching widget
Perspective Grid OptionsView>Perspective Grid submenuDefine Perspective GridSave Grid as Preset
Plane Switching WidgetOptions
Left plane = 1Horizontal Plane = 2Right Plane = 3No Plane = 4
Drawing in PerspectiveActive planeRegular drawing tools
Drawing in PerspectivePerspective Selection toolDrag handle to resizeMove objects perpendicular to the plane = 5
Attach Objects to PlanePlane Switching widgetPerspective Selection tool
Type in PerspectiveLive textEdit Text button (Control panel)
Drag using Selection tool to expand perspective
The first half of this project explores graphing, one of Illustrators lesser-known features. Although a somewhat limited application, these tools can be useful for anyone who works in information graphics; in fact, illustrators who specialize in infographics are highly marketable in the professional design world.Prior to CS5, perspective drawing the second focus of this project was a very complex, imprecise, manual undertaking. In CS5, Illustrator introduced a set of sophisticated perspective drawing tools that make it very easy to create and manage objects in precise perspective. We created the artwork for this project to highlight the different options that are available in perspective drawing mode; we tried to develop a simple finished piece that did not require extensive repetition of the same task. You should understand that Illustrators perspective drawing tools can be used to create highly complex finished illustrations if you are willing to devote the necessary time and attention to detail. If you want more practice with these tools, you might place an urban street-level photo onto the artboard and recreate the buildings.Information graphics (or simply infographics) are illustrations that deliver information; bar graphs, pie charts, and area charts are all examples of information provided in a visual format that makes it easier to understand. Successfully designing infographics requires knowing which kind of chart best shows which type of information. Once you know what kind of chart you need, Illustrator provides the tools to generate the chart. The available options are described in detail on Page 323.Creating a graph in Illustrator is as simple as choosing a tool and drawing the graph area. Keep in mind that the area you draw is the actual graph area; it does not include axis labels. If you need a graph including labels to fit in a defined space, you should draw the area smaller than the defined space. You cant use the Selection tool or Transform panel to resize an existing graph, but you can use the Object>Transform>Scale dialog box.As soon as you release the mouse button, the Data panel appears. You can enter data directly into the panel, or click the Import button at the top of the panel to load external data (such as a Microsoft Excel file). Illustrators Data panel has a number of quirks that affect the way you create and manage graph data.First, you should also realize that you cant drag highlighted cells in the panel the way you might in Excel. You can, however, cut cells and then paste them in the appropriate place. Different types of graphs require different information in rows and columns. If the resulting graph isnt what you expect, you might try clicking the Transpose Row/Column button. This changes columns into rows, and vice versa. Especially when you import data, you might need to include more than the default two decimal points. You can click the Cell Style button to change this setting.Contents of the highlighted cell appear in the text field at the top of the Data panel. To treat a number as text instead of as data, you must enclose the number in quotation marks. To start a new line within a cell, you can use the pipe character.You can reopen the Data panel at any time using the graphs contextual menu, or by choosing Object>Graph>Data. After you enter or edit data in the panel, you can click the Apply button to preview the resulting graph. Keep in mind that if you have changed formatting especially type formatting editing the data can overwrite your formatting changes.Graphs in Illustrator are special types of object. All of the component elements are grouped, but you cant double-click to isolate the graph and access the individual graph objects.If you ungroup the graph objects, the graph data is no longer editable. To maintain the editable graph data, you can use the Direct Selection tool to edit the individual graph pieces without ungrouping. You should also realize that a graph object has no overall bounding box. This means you cant use the Selection tool, Transformation tools, or Transform panel to modify the overall graph object. As mentioned before, however, you can use the Object>Transform submenu options to rotate, reflect, scale, or shear a graph.When the entire graph object is selected, changes to type formatting affect all type objects in the graph. If you want to change only certain type objects (for example, the legend), you should use the Direct Selection tool.You can change a number of settings for a graph by choosing Object>Graph>Type, or by choosing Type in the graphs contextual menu.In the Graph Type dialog box, the Graph Options pane has different options depending on the type of graph you are creating; most of these are fairly self-explanatory. You can use the Category and Value Axis options in the dialog box to change the axis ranges and divisions. For the Value axis, you can also choose to include labels based on the existing data in the panel. (The label is the leftmost column or top row, depending on the type of graph.)When you change the graph options, strange and unpredictable things can sometimes occur. Type size might change, moved elements can move back near their original positions, etc. Unfortunately, the Graph Type dialog box does not include a Preview check box. Always review your graph carefully when you edit these graph options. As you will see in the sketch for this part of the project, you are drawing a sign similar to one that you might really see when you drive down the road. Objects in the real world have depth which means the sign you are drawing should reflect that same level of dimension. To recreate this effect using two-dimensional drawing tools, you need to understand the basic artistic principle of perspective. To begin, you should understand several basic terms related to dimensional drawing:A plane is a flat surface. The Plane Switching widget, which defaults to the top-left corner of the document window, determines which plane is currently active in the file.A vanishing point is the location where all lines on a plane appear to converge.The horizon line is the height of the theoretical viewers eye level.The origin is the zero point for perspective objects. For objects on the horizontal plane, the origin point is X: 0, Y: 0. For objects on the left or right plane, the origin point is X: 0.Illustrators Perspective Grid tool makes it very easy to define the perspective planes that will guide your drawing. If you have never worked with perspective drawing, the grid might seem intimidating at first. Once you understand the various elements, you will see how this grid makes it very easy to draw in correct perspective. In two-point perspective, there are two vanishing points and three planes. Illustrators perspective grid shows the left plane in blue, the right plane in orange, and the ground plane in green.When you first choose the Perspective Grid tool, the default two-point perspective grid appears. You can toggle the grids visibility by choosing View>Perspective Grid> Show/Hide Grid.Depending on what you need to create, you can also change the grid to one-point or three-point perspective by choosing the appropriate option in the View>Perspective Grid menu.Keep in mind that only one perspective grid can exist in a single file, regardless of the number of artboards in the file. If you choose a different perspective, you replace any grid that already exists in your file.
In one-point perspective, there is only one vanishing point and two planes. Illustrators perspective grid shows the vertical plane in blue and the ground plane in green.
In three-point perspective, there are three vanishing points and four planes. (You might have noticed by now that there is always one more plane than vanishing point.)Both horizontal planes ground and ceiling appear in green; the vertical planes appear in blue and orange.You can change the settings and appearance of the active perspective grid by choosing View>Perspective Grid>Define Grid. In addition to changing the color and opacity of gridlines, you can also define specific measurements such as scale and the interval of gridlines. If you take the time to establish a grid that you think you might need again, you can save it as a preset by choosing View>Perspective Grid>Save Grid As Preset. The resulting dialog box has most of the same options as the Define Perspective Grid dialog box, but you can type a name in the top field for easier recognition. Your saved grid presets wi