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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to draw the God's nose, by drawing three ellipses and combining them together using what's called the Pathfinder operation; very useful function what we are about to see. It's just the tip of the iceberg. We are going to be spending an entire chapter on Pathfinder operations later on down the line, but for now, I'll just give you a quick and simple upfront application. I am working inside of a document that represents my progress so far. It's called Face time.ai, because it's time to draw the face. It's found inside of the 05_geometric_shapes folder.
Now, I want to go ahead and select the circle that represents the God's face here. I could click right through one of these shapes, because notice, you may remember, if I press Ctrl+K, Command+K on a Mac, and I switch ahead to this guy right there, Selection & Anchor Display, you may recall that I turned on Object Selection by Path Only. Very useful feature, because now-- I'll cancel out because that was already selected-- notice if I trace the arch of my circle, I can tell I'm hovering over the circle, because I have an arrow with a little block next to it. If I click, I select right through the rectangle to the circle, which is just fantastic. Again, I have got the Black Arrow tool now of course.
Now, I'll right click. And you don't have to right-click right on the shape. You can right-click anywhere now inside the illustration window, and then choose Arrange and then choose Bring to Front, or press Ctrl+Shift+Right bracket, Command+Shift+Right bracket on the Mac, in order to bring this guy in front of these blocks of rectangles, these groups of rectangles here. I am also going to go ahead and fill this shape with white. So I'll go to the Color palette and make sure Fill is selected, click this little Last Color icon right there, that Last Color swatch, or click on white to make the Fill white like so. You might want to, if you are just feeling like cleaning things up in a fairly orderly fashion, you could go ahead and get your Ellipse tool here. You could drag out from the middle, press the Alt key, and the Shift key; this would be Shift and Option on the Mac, and draw the sort of outer circle that's going on right there, like so, and it's filled with white as well. So it comes in and it covers up those rectangles. Then I could go back to the Black Arrow tool and I could sort of hunt for that circle. I bet it's right about there, click on it, and press Ctrl+Shift+Right bracket once again to bring it to front.
Command+Shift+Right bracket on the Mac. You have so much Flexibility, once you get used to it, when you select objects just by their path outlines, because you can drill right through other objects. I find it to be exceedingly useful, if I haven't made that already clear. I think I have now said the words exceedingly useful about 15 times in this exercise. I really believe it. All right. Now, I can't see the template anymore, that's kind of a problem. So I'm going to go ahead and twirl close this layer just so I can see the other layers. I'm going to Ctrl-click or Command-click on the eyeball, in order to change it to a little Orphan Annie eyeball so I can see through these objects here, to the template. I'm going to zoom in on the nose, and really zoom in, let's get closer. All right, that's pretty good. I'll get the Ellipse tool once again. Let's go ahead and drag out, press the Shift and Alt keys, Shift and Options keys on the Mac in order to draw that circle right there. I think it's going to be too thick. If I Ctrl-click again, Command-click again. Yeah, that's awfully thick in terms of the outline. So let's change that to 1.
Then Ctrl-click or Command-click on that eyeball again to switch back to the Outline Mode for this specific layer. Let's now drag from this point; press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and the Shift key at the same time, release the mouse button and then release the keys, and we now have this guy next to this guy. They are aligned beautifully. I'll go ahead and switch back to the Black Arrow tool, and I'll drag this center point. You can drag circles by their center points, ellipses as well; this also goes for rectangles and squares. You can drag it by its center point, and then I'll drag it over to this location, so it snaps into place. You can tell I'm snapping, because I have the white arrowhead. Press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and release in order to duplicate.
So we now have three circles. Now, I have still got my Black Arrow tool active. I'm going to just go ahead and marquee these three shapes, like so, and that ends up just selecting an enormous amount of stuff, because my Calendar is unlocked. Oh, I just wanted to select these three guys. So I'm going to lock the Calendar layer; notice that I clicked right there, and that deselected everything but these three guys right there. Beautiful! Now, I'm going to bring up my Pathfinder palette. I'm going to go to the Window menu, I'm going to choose the Pathfinder command, or press Ctrl+Shift+F9, Command+Shift+F9 on the Mac, that brings up the Pathfinder, which I have docked to this column of icons right there, and I'm going to click on this first icon, Unite, just click on it.
Now, if you are familiar with previous versions of Illustrator, this behavior has changed. All you have got to do now is click. Not Alt-click. Just click in order to go ahead and unify all of the objects into a single shape, as I have done here. So it's a static modification when you click on this control. All right. So I'll go ahead and hide the Pathfinder palette, and we now have a nose. Excellent people, you drew a nose. Using Ellipses you drew a nose. Ctrl-click or Command-click on that eyeball to see your nose in all of its splendor, right there in the middle of the God's face, thanks to the Ellipse tool and the Unite Pathfinder Operation.
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