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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
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Creating compound shapes


From:

Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Creating compound shapes

Admittedly, if you are new to Illustrator, the whole premise of using the Pen tool and editing those anchor points can be somewhat daunting. The good news is just that, when you're using Illustrator, you don't need to go there at all. In fact, there are plenty of tools that will allow you to edit and create shapes, even customize shapes with just a few steps and it's actually pretty easy to do that. So why did I take you through the steps of actually learning all those things about anchor points and working with the Pen tool and to convert anchor points tools so on and so forth. That's because these are the core concepts of understanding exactly what's happening behind the scenes when you create graphics with the help of Illustrator. Now that we even have that basic knowledge, when we start to do other things inside of Illustrator, you want to use some of the more advanced tools and some of the editing tools that we'll get used to using.
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  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
8h 25m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Making efficient use of the Illustrator interface
  • Creating text on a path
  • Using the Magic Wand and Lasso selection tools
  • Working with a pressure-sensitive tablet
  • Applying 3D extrusions and resolves
  • Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
  • Exporting files for use in Photoshop, Flash, and other applications
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Creating compound shapes

Admittedly, if you are new to Illustrator, the whole premise of using the Pen tool and editing those anchor points can be somewhat daunting. The good news is just that, when you're using Illustrator, you don't need to go there at all. In fact, there are plenty of tools that will allow you to edit and create shapes, even customize shapes with just a few steps and it's actually pretty easy to do that. So why did I take you through the steps of actually learning all those things about anchor points and working with the Pen tool and to convert anchor points tools so on and so forth. That's because these are the core concepts of understanding exactly what's happening behind the scenes when you create graphics with the help of Illustrator. Now that we even have that basic knowledge, when we start to do other things inside of Illustrator, you want to use some of the more advanced tools and some of the editing tools that we'll get used to using.

Well have a much better understanding of exactly what can and can't be done. More importantly, when we then need to make small or a minor tweaks and edits to those shapes that we create, we have a much easier time doing so. So let's get started with showing you how do you take primitive shapes that you've created such as shapes with the close primitive shape tools like rectangles and ovals and so on and so forth and see how you can create some complex shapes without a lot of effort. And what helps you do that is an entire panel inside of Illustrator called the Path Finder panel. It basically allows you to manipulate or work with paths.

To show you how easy it is to get started with that, I'm going to open up a file here called the compound_shapes. ai and you'll find it in your exercise folders for Chapter 5. I'm also going to go through the Window menu here, and I'm going to choose to open up the Path Finder panel, which comes up right over here. Let's put it right over here so it's not in our way of the graphics that we have here. And what I basically have in this document is four shapes, that's all that I have created and these are shapes that you already know how to create because we've used these tools before. I have one circle here or actually it's an oval. I have another oval here, so these two ovals basically overlap each other. And then I have two squares that I have created and I have rotated them somewhat.

And that's basically all that I have and my goal is to create the outline or the shape of a surfboard. You might think oh man, a surfboard is like some of the shapes we've created. I have to use the Pen tool, I have to use a -- we're not going to that right now. So we are basically starting off with very simple basic primitive shapes and we're going to build complex shapes using them. And that's because we could always basically use parts. Think of it as one big junkyard that's out there and you have all these big circles and ovals and rectangles in the junkyard. And now you want to be able to create something and I'm going to be like the MacGyver where you're going to go ahead and you're going to say, give me two ovals, give me two squares and we'll end up in a surfboard. That's really what it is when you start working with Illustrator and Path Finder.

So what Path Finder does? It allows you to take at the minimum two paths and perform some kind of operation to those two paths to come up with a new path. Now there are different kinds of those and we're going to deal with them in this particular video. In the Path Finder panel, there's a top part of it here called Shape modes. And we're going to deal with these four shape modes, this one is here called Unite, this one is called Subtract, this one is called Intersect and Exclude and they have different things that are able to be done with them, and let's explore just a few of them. What the first one does? Add or Unite what it does is, it basically allows you to take two shapes and combine them as if they were one shape. So let's see how that works. If I would have been here, I'll take my regular selection tool. I'm going to click and drag to marquee, select both of these circles right here and these ovals that I have created. Now if I were to go ahead now I click on this button right here called Unite or Add, it now combines those two into one big shape. Now before you might think I would need to know how to use the Pen tool to create some of the anchor points and then how to change direction -- no, no we're not even thinking about that because all we've done is created two shapes and combined them to one. Press Command +Z to Undo that or Ctrl+Z on Windows.

If I take the exact same two ovals again and I go to this one we have here, which is Subtract. If I click on that one, I see that basically it took the topmost oval, that one was on top in the stacking order of my document and it subtracted it from this shape of yours, which kind of look like some kind of a bowl. So again there are many different kind of shapes, and I'm going to press Command+Z, that's there. I'm going to skip to this one over here, which is called Exclude. If I click on that, it basically combines them except for the parts it overlaps. So if I would give it a fill color right now, there's a fill of none, but I give it a fill and you see what it did was, it created one big shape but that part over here of the shape that was kind of overlapping is actually transparent, it's hollow. It is actually nothing that's here at all. So the path is at the top and the bottom but nothing here in the middle.

Once again I'll press Undo and I'll press Undo again to go back to the original shape here. So now I have two separate circles, what I really want that was just this middle section here, which would act as the main part of my surfboard. So by selecting these two ovals right here, I'm going to choose this option here, which is called Intersect. Intersect means keep the parts of the object that overlap each other but remove everything else. And by doing that I'm now left with just a shape that looks like this. Here is the basic part of my surfboard. Now I'm going to go to these two squares that I have created. I'm going to hold down the Shift key and select both of them. Now I have both of them selected, just another way to select the objects. And in this case here I want to combine them into one shape. So what I'll do here is I'll go to the Unite option and click that and now that gets converted into one shape, that's right there.

If I now take this particular object and I choose Object, Arrange and I'm going to say, Bring to Front, right! So now that one's sitting at the top of the stacking order. By selecting both this shape and this shape, I can now choose this one called Subtract or Minus Front and now I'm left with the shape of a surfboard. So what I did was I created a more complex shape, one of a surfboard. But all I did to create that was two ovals and two squares, that's really a better way to do it. So when you work with Path Finder, you really find that you can create more complex shapes without a lot of work. Again, the key here though is your ability to be able to look at a graphic or look at something that you're trying to create and try to break it down into its basic core primitive elements.

If you have -- a basic example would be a snowman. Create three circles, have them all overlap a little bit and then unite them all together. Then you have one shape as that way. But as you create any logos, any artwork so on and so forth, see where those particular parts of the graphic might be made out of very simple primitive objects, then use Path Finder tools to make all that happen.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 Essential Training.


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Q: I cannot get the new brush dropdown to allow me to create either a New Scatter Brush or a New Art Brush; the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. When I go to Windows > Brush Library and choose New Brush, again the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. How do I make these work like they should?
A: In order to create a new Scatter or Art brush, you must first have artwork selected on the artboard.
 
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