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Illustrator CS4 Getting Started

with Deke McClelland

Video: Welcome

Provides a concise but thorough examination of core Illustrator concepts.
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Illustrator CS4 Getting Started
Video duration: 0s 1h 56m Beginner


Even as its features multiply with each new version, the enduring popularity of Illustrator stems from its foundation as a powerful and flexible vector drawing tool. In Illustrator CS4 Getting Started, Deke McClelland provides a concise but thorough examination of core Illustrator concepts: stroke, fill, and path; scaling and rotating; layers and guides, and he demonstrates several techniques for working with type. Deke also addresses many of the new features in CS4, including the refined interface, multiple artboards, more-powerful gradients, and the Blob brush. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with point and path text
  • Selecting, isolating, and combining paths
  • Reshaping paths and working with control handles
  • Rounding corners
  • Using Live Paint


(Music playing.) Hi, I'm Deke McClelland. I'm a self-appointed authority on computer graphics and electronic design, and I've been writing books and recording videos on Adobe Illustrator longer than anyone else on the planet, which is why I'm here to tell you three things. First, Illustrator is a smooth line drawing program. It is the first and foremost program for graphic artists and whether you know it or not, you see examples of Illustrator artwork every day of your life.

That magazine logo, that billboard, the art on that water bottle right next to you, everything you buy comes in a box that was designed in Illustrator. Second, Illustrator is the industry standard, but that doesn't mean it's an easy program to learn. In fact, it's hard, which is why Illustrator artists are such a rare and employable commodity. Third, over the course of the next two hours-- in just two hours, that's it-- I'll get you up and running with Adobe Illustrator. And here's what you're going to learn: how to set up a new document.

Not sexy, but you got to do it. Starting a drawing, working with brushes and blobs. Yes, there's an actual blob brush. Creating graphic text treatments, including type on a curve. Working with gradients. Sounds dull but not dull. Illustrator CS4's gradients are out of control. Combining simple paths into complex ones, reshaping paths to make them smooth and organic, drawing anything you want with the Pen tool. Just two hours. That's all I'm asking. I know, you've got a lot on your plate. It's been a long day.

So get started with Illustrator and learn how to direct your creative energies. I think you're going to like this.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 Getting Started .

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Q: I'm using a pressure brush with a graphics tablet while following along with this course. But when the author clicks and holds in the "Brushes and blobs" movie, he gets an expanding oval, where I get nothing or just a sharp-edged line. My brush doesn't seem to be responding to pressure. What should I do?
A: When you first install a Wacom (or other brand of) tablet, the pressure
options may not at first take hold.

After installing the tablet, try this:
  1. Confirm that the pressure is working in the Wacom (or other) control
  2. panel.
  3. Quit Illustrator and the other programs.
  4. Restart your computer.
  5. Then relaunch Illustrator and try again.





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Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

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Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

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