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23 - Adding Linking Cropping & Masking images in Illustrator


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In this video what we're going to do is we're going to bring in some images, and we're going to look at how to crop them into these little thumbnails here. We'll look at both squares and circles.  Alright, let's go.

First of all, just turn on our guides, remember it's 'Command  ;' or if you're on a PC, it's 'Control  ;'. Let's scroll down a little bit, I'm going to zoom out a little bit, and what I want to do is I want to add my little thumbnails like we did in our wireframe. So I'm going to grab the rectangle tool, and I'm going to draw my first one out. So there's my first thumbnail, it's going to span 1, 2, 3, 4 columns, and now I want to put an image inside of it. Actually what I might do is, I might give it a fill color, it doesn't need a fill color, I'm just doing it so it's helpful for you to see. And I'm going to duplicate these guys along here. So I'm going to have 1, 2, 3. Nice. I'm holding 'Shift' to select all these, I got my black arrow, I'm holding down my 'Alt' key, remember, to drag and copy at the same time, or you can just go 'Control C', 'Control V'. What I want to do is I want to now put in these images.

Cool. So, to import an image into Illustrator we go out to 'File', and we go down to something called 'Place'. They use 'Place' instead of 'Import' just to confuse everyone, so go to 'File', 'Place', and in your exercise files I've got some images, I've downloaded them in the   tutorial, and they're the watermark versions, obviously, so if you want to use these ones you've got to go off and pay them at Adobe Stock, but these are watermark ones. So what I'm going to do is-- you can bring them in one by one, so I can bring in thumbnail one, place, click once, it's going to through as its full size, and that's fine for these little thumbnail versions, or these watermark versions, but sometimes they could be quite big, so what you can do is go 'File', 'Place', and what I prefer to do is pick the first one and just drag it out, it will constrain the height and width to get it to a rough size where you want it to be first. You can bring in lots at a time, 'File', 'Place', and you can grab all of these guys, all our thumbnails, and you can go-- I'm going to click you, and click you, and click you, click you, you get the idea, so you can bring them in all after each other, or if you've done what I've done and got some thumbnails from your library you can just drag out from here. So, either way that's how to bring in your images. So I'm going to drag in my stock library images from over here, and we're going to look at cropping them to this rectangle. Drag them in. Line them up, and kind of half-- Resizing is kind of how I want to fit them in the box. 

Now what we're going to do is crop them to that thumbnail, so I'm going to hold down the 'Shift' key, and that makes it scale responsively, so the height and width come along, and I'm going to get it, roughly-- I can adjust this afterwards. Then what I need to do is I need to select him and the box behind him, and the easiest way to do is-- because there's nothing over here I'm going to click, hold, and drag. You can see I can just kind of drag over these two, and I get both of them. Now the shortcut is 'Command 7', or 'Control 7', and you'll learn that one for cropping. The long way is under 'Object', and it is under 'Clipping Mask', and 'Make'. That's a gist of a little bit how you think I'm going to crop it, but I'm going to mask it. It's called a 'Clipping Mask' in Illustrator, so you can see there there's a shortcut 'Command 7'. What will happen is, it won't work, because actually this needs to be behind our shape that we want to crop, so I'm going to right click him, and go to 'Arrange', and 'Send to Back', and I'm going to pretend like I did that on purpose, but I didn't, I just forgot. Now, 'Command 7'. Ah, look at that, smooth.

So let's do one more. Let's drag him in. Hold down 'Shift', scale him to get him to be roughly the right size. I'm okay with something like interesting cropping so I don't mind it's not perfect in there. Remember, don't forget, it's going to be at the back. Select both of them, and then 'Command 7' or 'Control 7' on a PC. Now, say you don't like this crop, you're like, 'Yeah, I thought it was going to be cool', but just looks like it's off. What you can do is-- it's had nothing selected, so with your black arrow, click in the background, and click on him once, and you get this square. If you double click him, what happens is you go into this thing called isolation mode, and it just means that I'm inside, think of Layer1, it's home based, that's back here, but when I double click something I go inside this group, it's called a clip group, and it means that I can start working on this separate from the square on the outside, so you just got to be careful how you drag it. You can see I can kind of drag the image around the outside, or I can drag the center of this, or I can drag the edge of the rectangle, so you can drag both bits in this view, which is a little confusing. So, just remember, if you grab the edges, sorry, the center, you drag the image, and if you grab the edge, you drag this square on the outside, it's up to you what you want to do. So, I'm going to drag this here-- you can resize it still, in here. I'm going to go for a big clip. This one's going to be a vector image, so it's going to be-- Anyway, to get around to back to home base, is you click this arrow couple of times, or just double click in this no space around here, this white area.

Great. So we're going to go through and do these, so we're going to grab you. Now, we're not going to do circles for this particular one, but I'll do it in a second. Let's get this guy at the back. Let’s click one, maybe along there, you, 'Command 7', nice. Let's say I want to do one for a circle, or a rounded circle, or a polygon, or a star, it doesn't matter. Let’s just pretend I'm going to do a circle version. I'm drawing out my nice circle, I'm giving it a fill color, it doesn't need one, just makes it easier for us to see, and I'm going to drag this image, put it over the top. Black arrow, put him over the top, make sure he’s underneath, select both of them, 'Command 7', you can see you get the exact same effect. If you're handy with the pen tool already-- We're going to look at the pen tool later on, but you can draw any oval shape, it will do the exact same thing, use that as a cropping box, but if you needed the pen tool, don’t worry, we're going to do it in another episode, or another video at least.

Let's do the last part. Which ones did I use? You. I don't want this guy anymore. We've got him. You. 'Command 7'. You can see you can get a bit of flow on after a little while. A bit big. Get down. You. Back. You. You. Oops! 'Command 7' again. And, last one was back over there. Probably I want it to be a bit bigger. What shortcuts I'm using there? Just to kind of like get things behind each other, we kind of looked at it earlier, it's the-- if I select something, I want to stick it behind, 'Arrange', 'Send to Back', can you see there, it's 'Command Shift', ‘square bracket’, 'Send to Back'. Can you see that square bracket? On a PC, it will be Control and square bracket. Some of the shortcuts you'll learn by heart, some you won't.

Last thing I do is I want to add a bit of a stroke around the outside just to give them a better consistency. I’m using my black arrow, selected all of them, and you'll notice that the stroke hasn’t appeared up here because they're called the Clip Group now instead of our regular boxes. So we can open 'Window', and go down to 'Stroke', there he is there, and I'm going to do the stroke of maybe-- it has to be 1 pixel or above, can't be anything lower than that, like you can in Print because we're dealing with pixels here. And what color should it be? I'm going to do-- where is my stroke color? I'm going to open up 'Window', and I go to 'Color'. I’ll go down the bottom here, and my stroke color is black. I'm probably just going to pick-- now I want to pick a kind of a gray color-- You'll probably run into this problem if you're a seasoned Illustrator user, RGB is a hard one to pick gray from, you have to match them all up. Easiest way to pick a gray is to switch your colors from RGB to this one here called Hue, Saturation, and brightness. This is really easy, it means just moving the slide up and down. I'm going to use a bit of gray. 

Nice! So my guides off. How does it look? Looks beautiful, except the artboard needs to be extended, and I'm going to extend mine quite a bit down because I've got my footer and things to stick in there.

Alright, that's it for our cropping and masking of images. Let's go through the next video.

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