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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.
Obviously I have made a little bit of progress. I have done some drawing off camera, for the sake of moving along with things. There is no sense in me making you watch me draw every single one of the spikes and the feet and so on and so on. I'm working inside of a document called Mishi paths.ai found inside the 09_pen_tool folder. And I want to show you a few additional things about drawing here inside of Illustrator. We are going to see how to cut a path in twain and how to keep paths separate from each other and how to close off a path in progress as well.
So let's just get a sense of the landscape here. So you can see what paths I have created. I'll go ahead and switch over to my Black Arrow tool and click on this outer path here. And this path incorporates much of the beast, as you can see it. It traces around the head, along the spikes in the back, along the underbelly, down here the front rear hoof of the creature and then back up its neck and so on. So this is one big close path. And then we have this path that goes up the back right here and then around the muscle and then we have independent paths for the remaining three legs, as you see them right here. All right, so and those paths are all open. So there is just one big closed path in the background.
I am going to go ahead and zoom in on this path and let's say that I want to cut the back path right here. I want to cut it away from the muscle path. How might I go about doing that? Well, I would switch to the White Arrow tool and just click some place along this path just to make it active and then I'm going to go down here to the Eraser tool, click and hold and choose the Scissors tool from the flyout menu. I could also just press the C key. Then I'll click with the Scissors tool, about this location here, I figure and Oh! Look at that. Isn't that nice? This dialog box warning is coming out to tell me that I missed the path, but it does it in the most confusing way possible. Please use the Scissors tool on the segment or an anchor point, but not an endpoint of a path. Thereby insinuating somehow that I did click on an endpoint, when in fact I did not.
Leave this up because you don't want to say Don't show again, because otherwise the tool just misbehaves without letting you know what in the world up is up. But what this means is you missed the path dude. That's what it should say. So click OK. I can see that I've got the right anchor point selected, the one that goes with this segment right there. So I can just press the Backspace key or the Delete key on Mac to get rid of it, but let's say that it didn't work out so nicely. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac, instead we ended up getting something like this. I'll go ahead and switch to the Arrow tool and instead we ended up selecting this point.
This was the one that remained selected and I needed to select this point and get rid of it and I can't just select a segment. You don't want to do that. You don't want to marquee the segment and press Backspace or Delete, because what do you do? You leave behind a rouge anchor point and you do not want rogue anchor points, although Illustrator does help you with rogue anchor points. You can go up to the Select menu and you can choose Object, I believe it is and you can choose this command right there Stray Points. So if you've got a problem with stray points, like you just tend to leave a lot of stray points inside of your illustration or you are working with some sloppy artist who just can't get it through their head that they are not supposed to leave stray anchor points around, then you might even want to assign a keyboard shortcut to this guy.
But I'm going to go ahead and select it and see what happens. Ah, ho, who is this sloppy artist? I left behind a stray anchor point. This is an honest-to-goodness mistake, people. I'm filled with shame and grief. I'm sorry, pardon me. And then you would press the Backspace key or the Delete key to get rid of it. All right, let's go ahead and move backward here. That's not the best way to work. Let's go ahead and undo, a couple of clicks there. All right so let's say this point right there is selected and you want to make this point selected instead. That is the point that's immediately underneath it. This is what you do. You would marquee both of the points, to select them both like so. I'll zoom out a little bit. So we can see what's going on. Then you would press the Shift+Alt keys or the Shift+Option keys on Mac and you would click on this path right here, the one that you want to deselect.
You click on it. So this is the first Shift+Alt-click. It selects the entire thing. That's a Shift+Option-click on the Mac. The second Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click on the Mac deselects the entire thing and then we are left with just this point selected. Then you press the Backspace key to deselect it. What about this point that was left right there? I would marquee it, the same rational essentially, I would marquee it in order to select it. And then I would Shift+Alt-click on the path that I want to ultimately deselect and it will select the entire thing. That's a Shift+Opt-click on the Mac and then do it again. Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Opt- click again to deselect it and then we are left with the stray.
Oh! Dear. All right we have seen how to break a path apart and also how to get rid of stray anchor points inside of an illustration, much to my dismay. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to keep paths separate and how to close them off. Join me please.
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