February 20, 2009

I'm not one to beat my own chest, but...

I have just completed recording all the movies for my next Lynda.com title - Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics. I've always wanted to go beyond what I normally cover in my Essentials Training video title, where the goal is simply to give people the knowledge to get up to speed with using Illustrator. But as we all know, there's so much more that Illustrator has to offer, and likewise, I have so much more to share.

This title will contain over 120 individual movies and there are entire chapters devoted to Live Paint, Live Trace, and 3D just to name a few. I also go into extreme detail on transparency, prepress issues, and also an entire chapter on color (including the elusive Recolor Artwork feature). And yes, I even cover Gradient Mesh :)

I don't know how long editing and the like will take, but I imagine the title will be online and available at Lynda.com within 4-6 weeks. Naturally, I'll post here when it goes live.

So now my next question is, what's next? I have a few other things I'm working on (I'm preparing a title on the new Gridiron Flow, and also on Adobe's new Flash Catalyst), but what I'd really like to know is, what do YOU need? I know there's lots of training out there. I know there's always a thirst to learn more. But if there's a specific topic you would like my input on, I can't guess that kind of stuff. And by the way, it doesn't necessarily have to be a Lynda.com title either. What kind of content would you like to see from me here on this blog? Or elsewhere (books, etc)? Let me know, and I'll see what I can do.


Reggie Fairchild said...

Hey Mordy,

You and Deke M. are doing great things on Lynda.com. I highly recommend your videos to anyone considering them. The training is great and the price is very reasonable.

Now, in answer to your question, I'd like to see a title that give some real world examples across the suite of Adobe products. I'm thinking of videos that are similar to Scott Citron's Professional Design Techniques book.

For example, say your a grahics and web designer. You just landed an account for a startup. The need a logo -- give an example in Illustrator. Then they need business cards, letterhead, brochure. Where and how do you design that and how to you deliver -- what format do you give everything to the printer in. Next, they need a website. How do you design that? How do you get it coded -- do you do it yourself in Dreamweaver? Do you outsource the coding (or parts of it) to a website hacker? Next they want some promotional items -- t-shirts, stickers, koozies, etc. What tools and resolution and suppliers do you use for all that?


Daniel said...

Hi Mordy,

How about a Lynda.com title with the following...Illustrator Special Effects - it should feature how to projects where you create cool effects or items seen in magazines or tv or movie posters, on product labels or just anywhere and you creating these cool things. Also have a 2 specific technique chapters on there one on creating cool stuff with the gradient mesh tool, the other being creating interesting items in 3D. Possibly also have some of the other chapters items you create focus on a specific technique to build up skills in Illustrator. The user level of the title should be intermediate to advanced.

Reggie Fairchild said...

Mordy, I thought of some more examples projects you might work through.

Example 1: you have a paper copy map of a park. You've been asked to create something based on the map with some additions and changes. How do you get the map from paper into digital, edit it efficiently and then prepare it for printing in a reasonable sized file. The map combines lines, text, legends, pictures of amenities and so forth.

2. You've seen something that you like, like a T-shirt design or a brochure or an illustration. You want to create something in a similar style for another occasion or industry. How do you do it the most efficiently? You want to use the same or a similar color scheme, fonts, effects, etc. You want to use different text, images, and logos.


אלכסיי קלצל said...

Hi Mordy,
I vote for more content about Flash Catalyst.

Anonymous said...

How about more Fashion/Apparel Design tips to follow up your marvelous "Stitching Line" Technique.

Anonymous said...

What will be the difference between your tutorial and the One on One: Fundamentals tutorial for Illustrator?

Unknown said...

These are all great suggestions. Daniel, my upcoming Beyond the Basics training has an entire chapter covering 3D and one on Gradient Mesh. Hopefully those will be helpful to you.

I would like to do more around apparel design - I'll look into that.

Project-based tutorials are a great idea too. Let me see what I can draw up.

Mister Creepy - Deke and I have different styles of teaching. The stuff that I cover in the Beyond the Basics title focuses on specific areas of functionality (3D, Live Paint, Live Trace, Masking, etc), whereas Deke's Fundamentals title gives you a strong foundation for working in Illustrator.

samhs said...

It sounds like lots of people are up for project based tutorials, which is a good way to go. You could call it, um, hmm, maybe...

..."Real World Illustrator"? ;o)

Personally I'd like to see a "working smarter" series—something that addresses working shortcuts, quick methods of jazzing up ordinary artwork, workflow tips etc. I'm intimately familiar with Illustrator having worked with it for more years than I care to remember, so feel pretty comfortable approaching most projects knowing the path I'll take (excuse the pun).

However, one of the reasons I subscribe to your blog (other than you being a nice guy <grovel grovel />) is that you often have interesting or useful nuggets of information that save me time when working on client projects. A great example of this was the scripts-to-join-text-boxes post you made recently. Despite using Illustrator for years I haven't come across that before—I used to cut and paste into a new text box. And I'm a comfortable scripter in Photoshop & Illustrator! So, that post has improved my workflow and bought me extra design time—a winner.

I reckon a whole title devoted to similarly time-saving/effort-saving/workflow-improving tips and techniques would be a godsend for many people. Having said that, as an active and busy author of PS/AI tutorials/articles for magazines myself, I know that coming up with fresh (apparently) worthy content in this vein can be a challenge in itself.

Anonymous said...


Mordy, thanks for all the tips an news. It would be great advanced techniques for illustrator tutorials, ticks or tips. And integration of illustrator elements for animation.


Anonymous said...


Would it be possible posting something for data driving graphics inside of illustrator or programming with scripts or actions advanced themes?