SCAD – Working in Scale in AI with Vector Images

Welcome. On this page you will find some supplemental information and some extensions for learning more about Working in Scale to create color Paint Elevations that are ready to share both digitally and through print. Below are several important files that you will need to either download during or prior to our virtual lesson. For the first lesson on 5/14/2020, you will need to have access to the following software: Adobe Illustrator (AI) and Adobe Acrobat Pro (or another program that will allow you to print to PDF). Beyond the classroom, you will be asked to view a few videos that prepare you to Render in Scale in Photoshop, Create Vector Images in Photoshop, and Convert a .JPEG file to a Vector File in Photoshop. We will only have time to introduce Adobe Illustrator in this lesson. In the next few sessions I will introduce additional ways to work with vector images in Photoshop. Attached here is a zip folder containing all of the files on this page. Please be aware that if you choose to download the zip file you should also read about the files here as there is no documentation with the individual files. I will update this lesson page after each class with additional information.

AutoCAD Elevation Drafting: The file linked to the right (behind the DWG image) has been exported from Vectorworks in AutoCAD format. It is a DWG True View Drawing and set-up to be opened in AI as part of our hands-on activity. Please download and save this file to your class folder so you will have access to it for our class activity. (File name: MOUSETRAP PAINT ELE.dwg)

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator Process Files: The following 9 files are process files. Depending on time during our lesson, we will be using different stages of development as we learn how to import a scaled elevation into AI, render the image using tools and functions of this vector based program, and finally, save the file as an exportable PDF ready to share in digital format or be printed for physical use in the paint shop or a design presentation. Each of the files below is the completed step. When you go back to work on your Practice Elevation after this lesson, you should open the step directly before the area you would like to work on. Please remember to unlock the layers we are working on and always save your file in different ‘stages’ so that you can easily return to an earlier stage should you need to until you are comfortable with this program. The files are found individually behind each step image below. Click the image to initiate the download. Save all of these files in your class folder for quick access throughout this lesson.

Step One

Step 1: Import Scale. This file contains the completed CAD layer and new document setup ready for painting and printing. During this lesson [Step one] you will learn how to set up a new document, import a scaled plan from your CAD program, use the Selection Tool, and use the functions Copy and Paste in Place. We will also cover Layers and the Layers pallet. Attached is a text file with the list of the layer names so you can copy and paste them quickly and in the correct order for the exercise: LAYER NAMES FOR AI DEMO

Step Two

Step 2: Paint Swatches. This is the final step before we begin adding color to the physical rendering. This file and the files in remaining steps also contain a Swatch Pallet set-up for this exercise. During our lesson, you will learn a couple quick ways to add color paint chips to your rendering. We will use the Rectangle Tool, Shift +Right Arrow and the Selection Tool as well as learn how to add or remove the Stroke (outline) around objects/shapes/colors in Adobe Illustrator. Additionally, the color codes needed in step two are contained in this text file: COLOR CODES FOR SWATCHES

Step Three

Step 3: Moldings. During this section of the lesson you will learn how to use the Direct Selection Tool, and the Pen Tool in AI. We will cover the function of Reflection and learn how to use that function to speed up our rendering process. We will also cover how to zoom in to your document to insure accuracy and the short-cut to quickly return to full view [fit artboard in window].

Step Four

Step 4: Doors: This file contains the final step in the doors layer. In this section we will see how painting in layers can speed-up the rendering process.

Step Five

Step 5: Panel Inset: Here, we will learn to use the Eye Dropper Tool as well as continue using the Rectangle and Pen Tools. This file is the final step in the Panel Insert process. From this point forward, we will simply be repeating the functions and tools we have learned in the previous sections.

Step Eight
Step Seven
Step Six

Step 6: Panels, Step 7: Light Colored Stone, Step 8: Dark Colored Stone

Step Nine

Step 9: Walls. This is the final file of our lesson. Your completed exercise will appear in this format if you have followed the previous steps. This file is ready to share both in digital format and print format. This is not the exported PDF file. We will use this file to learn how to export to PDF and the settings needed to ensure our document prints to scale.

AFTER THIS EXERCISE on 5/14/2020: Completion of this project will prepare you to do your own Paint Elevations in Adobe Illustrator. You should review your notes from our class meeting today and once I upload the video, watch it again and be sure you are able to: 1. Set up an art board for printing. 2. Import a CAD Elevation file into Illustrator in 1/2″ scale (24 units = 1″), 3. Set-up layers, and 4. Create squares for paint swatches. We will continue working on this lesson over the next few class meetings until it will be time for you to create your own Paint Elevations from your drafting/design project. (Be sure to check here for updates to our next lesson.) PowerPoint for 5/14/2020

Raster Vs Vector Images: To learn more about these two image types, please visit the following additional page: BB Brown SCAD Teaching Demo – Raster Vs Vector

Vocabulary used in today’s lesson: Often, vocabulary and jargon used in different industries can be confusing. Having good definitions to refer to is helpful in understanding the context of the terms. On the following page, you will find several terms covered today in our exercise and in the Power Point presentation. I will add to this list as we work through this project. Updates will appear at the bottom of the list. BB Brown SCAD Teaching Demo – Vocabulary

Should you have any questions about these terms, the additional terms used in this lesson, or the processes described and practiced today, please reach out to me via E-mail.

Continued Learning Opportunity:

CREATING VECTOR SHAPES IN PHOTOSHOP. Four Tools you find in Adobe Illustrator are also found in Photoshop! (These are the same tools we used today in our AI lesson.) In this video from Algonquin College, learn how to create and manipulate vector shapes right inside Adobe Photoshop.

How to Create Vector Shapes inside Photoshop.

SCALE RENDERING IN PHOTOSHOP. This video uses a scaled ground plan as the basis of sharing instructions on Rendering in Scale from an AutoCAD file. The process is a bit more complex than what we covered in the lesson here, but is another way to use a program in the Adobe Design Suite to create color elevations (or in this case a color floor-plan.)