Adobe® Illustrator CS5 and Flash CS5. November 2010 . Vol. 16 No. 11

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.

Start with the Illustrator How-to-Guides

A few leading designers offer some instructional guides to help you jump right into Illustrator, including:

Blue Mirror by Greg Geisler
His inspiration for "Blue Mirror": "I’m a huge fan of the German Expressionists and their figurative work. I try, with my renderings of the human face, to express a similar depth of emotion."

Concert Undersea by Shadow Chen
Her inspiration for "Concert Undersea": "I work by feel…I get inspired by emotions, like when you hear music you want to sing along or dance. When the feeling comes I just have to draw and paint."

La Comedie des Arts by Emmanuel Romeuf
His inspiration for "La Comedie des Arts ": "I like to look to the past for ideas. Bosch, Puccini, Duchamp, Dali, Mallarmé, Vian, Masson, and Gropius are among my influences. Even today, their work makes us travel, discover, think, understand, extrapolate, and maybe look at things a little bit differently."

Crowd by Joel Cocks
His inspiration for "Crowd ": "Body language has especially fascinated me since I moved to Melbourne, where at the busiest time of day people appear to move in swarms. Individuals melt into the crowd and the crowd takes on an expression of its own."

Rise Together
by Christian San Jose
His inspiration for "Rise Together" stemmed from the Tropical Storm Ketsana that ravaged Christian's homeland, the Philippines: "For me, the camaraderie — everybody rising together out of such tragedy — was an inspiring idea to focus on for the artwork."

Materia by Philippe Intraligi
His inspiration for "Materia": "I find it fascinating and unimaginable how microchip architecture might be combined with organic material to create synthetic life. I tried to capture the moment of fusion that might happen between organic and non-organic material."

Myasthenia Gravis by Mark M. Miller
His inspiration for "Myasthenia Gravis": "For me, illustration begins with a love of science. It excites me that with each new project I have an opportunity to pass on a little of my passion to the audience."
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Adobe® Illustrator CS5 and Adobe Flash Professional CS5

Adobe Illustrator is one of the most popular vector graphics drawing programs available for the graphic artist and designer since 1987.  It allows the designer or artist to create artwork that can be scaled without losing resolution and detail.  So, while Photoshop is used to manipulate bitmap images (raster graphics), or photos made of dots, Adobe Illustrator is used to create artwork that can be resized, or scaled, without loss of resolution or clarity.  Vector graphics can be scaled without loss because it uses mathematic formulae to create the drawing, so when the size is changed, the resolution and clarity are retained.  In the process, the file size of the graphics stays the same.  However, when bitmap images are enlarged, the number of dots that make up the image can’t change, and so they lose resolution.   Adobe Illustrator is often used along with Photoshop to create print and Internet artwork for publication.

Some History

Adobe Illustrator was first developed for the Apple Macintosh in 1986 and released in January 1987 as a part of their Font and PostScript file format to help graphics designers create artwork and logos for typesetting print media. Windows version 2.0 was released in January 1989.

The Main Menu

Illustrator’s main menu looks very similar to many of other Adobe products. The menu buttons are at the very top of the screen with File, Edit, Object, Type, Select, Effect, View, Window and Help, Br (Go to Bridge) and Essentials, plus one more valuable button, CS Live.  Click on this button and you’ll have access to the world of Adobe experts for help. It includes Adobe Browser Lab, Adobe CS Review,, Adobe Story and Site Catalyst Net Averages.   On the far left side of the screen you’ll find a movable vertical tool bar with the various text and graphics tools (like marquee, lasso, crop, dropper, brushes, text, eraser, etc.) and on the far right the Essentials panel is displayed with access to Color, Color Guide, Swatches, Brushes, Symbol, Stroke, Gradient, Transparency, Appearance, Graphic Style and Layers.  In fact, it’s identical to the Illustrator CS4 except with the addition at the top of the CS Live button.

Here’s some of What’s Enhanced and New in Illustrator

Perspective Drawing new
Draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1-,2-, or 3-point linear perspective to create the look of realistic depth and distance.

Experiment with HTML5 new
Follow along as Adobe Evangelist Greg Rewis demonstrates how the Illustrator CS5 HTML5 features help web designers easily design web and device content.

Beautiful Strokes new
Fully control variable-width strokes, arrowheads, dashes, and art brush scaling along a path

Crisp graphics for web and mobile devices new
Create vector objects precisely on the file's pixel grid for delivering pixel-aligned raster artwork.

Shape Builder tool new
Intuitively combine, edit, and fill shapes directly on your artboard without accessing multiple tools and panels.

Roundtrip editing with Flash Catalyst new
Edit artwork in Illustrator while maintaining structure and interactivity added using Adobe Flash® Catalyst™.

Create interactivity without writing code
Take Illustrator designs into Flash Catalyst and create interactive experiences without writing code.

Bristle Brush new
Paint with vectors that resemble natural-media brush strokes, controlling bristle characteristics and paint opacity.

Multiple artboard enhancements enhanced
Work on up to 100 artboards of varying sizes in one file, organized and viewed the way you want.

Drawing enhancements new
Work faster with everyday tools. Join paths with a keystroke, draw behind, and draw inside.

Resolution-independent effects new
Apply raster effects, such as drop shadows, blurs, and textures that maintain a consistent appearance across media.

Adobe Illustrator CS5, IBM PC version, sells for $599 (upgrade is $199) and is available for the IBM PC or compatible with an Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 processor with Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 3; Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1; or Windows 7, 1 GB RAM, 1024 x 768 display with 16-bit video card , 2 GB Hard Disk space and DVD-ROM drive.  Also available for the Mac OS with an Intel processor, Mac OS X v10.5.7 or v10.6, 1 GB RAM, 2GB hard disk space, 1024x768 monitor resolution, 16-bit video card, DVD-ROM drive.  For more information, or to order, visit

Click for Adobe Flash Professional CS5 review.

Software Companies Mentioned

Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95110-2704