In this book, two expert, opinionated artists share an extensive collection of their most useful Illustrator techniques walking through dozens of projects in sufficient detail for you to reproduce the effects and truly make the skills your own.
In particular, Illustrator 8 F/X And Design offers extensive coverage of using Illustrator and Photoshop together to accomplish way more than either program could do separately. Illustrator 8 is far better suited than earlier versions to accommodate this and as author Sherry London puts it, using Illustrator without Photoshop "is like buying a fast sports car to drive only in city traffic, or buying the introductory Lego construction kit without the Lego people." You'll find hands-on coverage of transforming vector to raster art (including some nice portrait work); pros, cons, tradeoffs, and gotchas (including how to avoid those nasty PostScript limit-check errors).
You'll also find detailed techniques for working with gradients, blends, and meshes; patterns and textures; creating "Wall Street Journal-like" photo crosshatch illustrations; transformations; cool tricks with Illustrator 8's bevy of new brushes. There's also a full chapter on making the most of Actions, Illustrator's feature for recording and automating complex steps you might need to use again. Smart Photoshop users have been working with Actions for years: Illustrator users have them now, too and this book helps you take them to the max. The accompanying CD-ROM includes a trial version of Illustrator 8 plus all the images you need to walk throughtheprojects yourself, and complete Illustrator or layered Photoshop images so you can deconstruct how the professionals did it.
Bottom line: an invaluable guide from two wonderful teachers. Bill Canarda