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In Illustrator CS5 New Features, author Mordy Golding discusses noteworthy features and improvements in the latest upgrade of Adobe's vector graphics editor and drawing program. This course includes overviews of perspective drawing, expressive bristle brushes, and variable-width strokes, as well as anti-aliasing features for web design, a new Artboards panel, improvements to symbols and drawing modes, and integration with Adobe Flash Catalyst. Exercise files are included with the course.
With Illustrator CS5, we have the ability to create variable-width strokes along a path using the Width tool. Notice, by the way, it's called the Width tool, not the Stroke Width tool, and there's a reason for that. That reason being the tool works on more than just strokes. It also works on Art and Pattern brushes. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to open up my Brushes panel in this file right here, and I have some brushes that I've already defined, and I'll apply them to these paths right here. Let me choose this one over here, and let's go ahead and apply this Chalk-Scribble. And then I'll apply some Pattern brushes to these circles down here.
This, by the way, is what I feel one of the most powerful things about Pattern Brushes. You can define artwork and then mold, or wrap that artwork around the path using the Pattern Brush. And now, in addition with the Width tool in Illustrator CS5, you have even more control over the appearance of these brushes. Let me close the Brushes panel. And I'll select my Width tool and notice that when I mouse over this path right now, I have the ability to click and drag to create a width point. I can create additional width points to really control exactly how I want that artwork to appear when stretched along the path.
Likewise, I can also use the Width tool on Pattern Brushes. For example, I'll come to this shape right over here, and at this point here, I'm actually going to reduce the Thickness to zero. I'll make similar changes to some of these as well, and you can see how easy it is to actually control the appearance of your artwork via Art Brushes or Pattern Brushes using the Width tool inside of Illustrator CS5.
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