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Cutting lines with the Scissors tool

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Cutting lines with the Scissors tool

In this exercise we are going to draw a couple of partial arcs to represent this little line, this little doohickey here under Horus's eye and then we will cut off the extra bits and then in the next exercise, we will join them together. All right, so I'm working in this document right here. If you are of a mind to open my progress so far, the name of my progress document is Arc & spiral.ai and it's found inside the 04_line_art folder. I'm going to switch over here to the Arc tool and I'm going to draw an arc thusly and it happens to be going in right direction. If it isn't for you, of course you would press the F key to switch it.

Cutting lines with the Scissors tool

In this exercise we are going to draw a couple of partial arcs to represent this little line, this little doohickey here under Horus's eye and then we will cut off the extra bits and then in the next exercise, we will join them together. All right, so I'm working in this document right here. If you are of a mind to open my progress so far, the name of my progress document is Arc & spiral.ai and it's found inside the 04_line_art folder. I'm going to switch over here to the Arc tool and I'm going to draw an arc thusly and it happens to be going in right direction. If it isn't for you, of course you would press the F key to switch it.

But this is looking good for me and I'm using the Spacebar to get it aligned properly and I'm just trying to make sure I'm cutting that path which appears red, that it's cutting right through the center of my template item there so that I'm matching the angle of that line. As soon as I release, it should look good. Then I'm going to draw another one this direction but, of course, it needs to be flipped so I press the F key in order to accomplish that. I'll move this guy upward and again I'm just eyeballing it folks. When I say I'm moving in upward, I'm using the Spacebar to accomplish that. So that's Spacebar trick, I tell you. I use it incessantly, always. I don't think I draw a single shape that I don't use the Spacebar at some point for positioning purposes, so that I can position or reposition the object on the fly.

Okay, so that looks pretty good. So it's a fairly shallow arc as you can see. I'm not doing anything with the arrow keys; I'm keeping it just a gentle elliptical arc. All right, so I have got these two guys crossing each other. Let's go ahead and zoom in here so that I can better see what I'm doing, because I really want to see how the paths of these two lines cut across each other. Like I could go and get the Selection tool, the Black Arrow tool, and I could Shift-click in the center of this arc so that I could see that they come together right there. That's where I want to cut them.

So I don't want the rest of the strokes sort of confusing me and making me think the path is elsewhere. So the easiest way to make sure you're seeing the paths correctly is to go up to the View menu and get rid of the falderal by choosing the Outline Mode and pressing Ctrl+Y. That way you are just seeing the paths and you can see that my paths don't line up perfectly with the template paths, but you know what, so what? What I'm really concerned about is that they line up perfectly with each other. So let's just go ahead and turn off the template for a moment. Or here's another thing you can do. This is a wicked cool technique. I'm going to press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to reenter the Preview Mode.

You know how we've got these eyeballs, right? If I click on an eyeball, that layer disappears. If I click again, it comes back. If you press the Ctrl key, see that tip right there, if you press the Ctrl key and click or the Command key and click on the eyeball, you get a little Orphan Annie eyeball. For those of you who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, that means the pupil goes away because little Orphan Annie did not have pupils, not the Broadway version, of course, I'm talking about the comic strip version. Now we're seeing just this layer in the Outline Mode and this layer in the Preview Mode. So you can actually juxtaposition different layers, and once again that's a Ctrl-click or a Command- click on the Mac. That will toggle you in and out of this Preview Mode. So it won't turn the layer off, it will toggle the preview.

All right, so now we can see that these guys meet right at this position. I want to insert a cut at this location, so we're busting these guys apart and I'm going to accomplish that using a very old school tool. Right here, it's available with the Eraser tool. It's this Scissors tool, which you can get by pressing the C key if you want to because it allows you to cut. I am going to get the Scissors tool and I'm going to click right there and notice who I cut apart. I cut apart this line. So this one is selected down here and this one is deselected, but it's the one that just got cut. I think, okay, that's great. Now, let's say I want to cut this guy, right? So I'm going to click again, but it's not going for it this time.

It's saying hey, you've got to use the Scissors tool on a segment or an anchor point, but not an end point of a path, meaning, it's yelling at us because right there that's now an end point for this forward line. This is the front line and it sees this area as an end point, not the middle of this segment and so it's saying, I can't cut an end point dude, it's the end after all, an end point being the last point or the first point in the path. And I say OK, because there is really nothing else I can do. I could say Don't show again. This is one of those classic dialog boxes that we will run into a few times in Illustrator and by classic I mean exceedingly annoying.

So I'll say OK, that's my only option. What do I do, how do I solve this problem? Well, what you do is you twirl open this layer and you check it out. There's that path right there, right? There is the one that got cut; it's the one that's selected. This, if I meatball it, that's this guy, okay, fine. So who is this? If I meatball it, it's this one right here and how do I know? How am I so sure that it's got to be one of these three paths? Because they're the last ones I drew, the most recent paths are on top, by default. They are on top of the stack inside the layer.

So watch, all I got to do is take this guy, dram him up to the top above the other one and then click again. Now it works. Now I have cut that path into two pieces. Now I'll go back to the Black Arrow tool, this guy is selected, just click on it again to make sure it's totally selected. Shift-click on this guy, press the Backspace or the Delete key and they are gone. Now you have these two partial ellipses that are going to be married together. But let's go ahead and check out what they look like now. I'm going to go ahead and twirl close the layer and I'm going to Ctrl-click or Command-click on the little Orphan Annie eyeball right there and you can see that they aren't really totally joined at this point. They are not completely joined together the way that they actually need to be.

It becomes even more obvious if we were to change this stroke to something different, like if I were to grab this guy and I were to give him a thicker stroke. You could see that things aren't jibing at all anymore. So what we really want to do is we really want to join this guy into a single path outline. So this segment and this segment are part of the same path. I'm going to undo that big stroke. And we are going to accomplish that beat in the very next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 37879 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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