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Adobe Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks, from illustration to app development. This course demonstrates core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow—for print, the web, or building assets that will find their way into other applications. Author Justin Seeley explains the elements that make up vector graphics (paths, strokes, and fills) while showing how to use each of the drawing tools, and demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths and organize them into groups and layers. The course also covers text editing, working with color, effects, and much more.
Up until now, we have been performing some really basic and mundane transformations on our artwork. Now it's time to get a little bit more creative by utilizing some of Illustrator's Distortion and Transformation tools. Let's take a look. I have got a blank document open here and you can do that by simply going to the File menu and choosing New and creating a document. It doesn't matter how big or anything else, just a blank document will do. And then we are going to draw some basic shapes that we can manipulate. I am going to come over to the Shapes, click and hold and find the Star tool.
In the Star tool, I am just going to click and draw out a star like this and I will move it out on my artboard. I am then going to hold down my Option or Alt key and click and drag out a duplicate. Then I will hold down my Option or Alt key again and duplicate this one as well. So now I have three stars out of my artboard. Once I have my stars out there, I am going to select the first one here and I will give it a nice color there, take the stroke away. The middle one here, I will put a no stroke on that as well, make it yellow.
And then the final one, we will make that green, just like this. So I have got these three stars out here and I'm going to distort them all differently. Let's first select this one and then we will come over here to tools and I'm going to look inside of a tool called the Width tool. This is what you should see by default. When I click and hold on the Width tool, you are going to notice that there are several other tools inside of this toolbox. If you want to break this toolbox out, you can simply click right here on this little arrow.
Doing so, turns those tools in their own free-floating panel, which is really cool. Right here, the first tool, it's called the Warp tool. The Warp tool allows you to warp objects based on anchor points that you draw across while you are using it. So for instance, I can click and drag here and it warps in that point, click and drag here warping that one, and here warping that one; almost gives me like a starfish like appearance. I can undo that with Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. I can then use something called the Twirl tool.
This is one of my favorites. So I will come here, click and hold, come here, click and hold for a shorter time. I will come right here to the bottom and I will click and hold for a longer time, and you can see that I created three totally different looks with the same tool, simply by holding my cursor down at different lengths, it's pretty neat. Now let's switch over to the Pucker tool to see how that works. The Pucker tool is located right here, and basically what the Pucker tool allows you to do is suck different pieces of the artwork inward creating a puckered like effect.
I am going to do this on the middle star right here, so I am going to actually grab the Selection tool really quick and select this star, then I will grab the Pucker tool. Once I grab the Pucker tool I can then pucker different pieces of this inward. See how it kind of just draws those points in, as I drag, so I can almost create like a flower really quickly, something kind of like that. Finally, let's take a look at the Bloat tool. Again the Bloat tool works much the same way the Pucker tool does, in that I just come to an anchor point, click hold and it bloats it out rather than sucking it in.
So I will use it for this shape over here. I will grab my Selection tool and grab this guy. Select my Bloat tool. Then I can come right here and watch what it does to the end of the star. It just bloats it right up. Same thing right there, right there, right there. As you can see, you can get pretty creative with what it does. I'll actually bloat this out a little bit more, almost making like a little person out of this.
Then I will just click away to deselect. So three shapes that started out identical, now look completely different simply by clicking and dragging around with these tools. You can experiment with all the different tools such as the Scallop tool, the Crystallize tool and the Wrinkle tool as well. Each one does different things and will make your artwork look that much more different. A lot of these tools referred to as Instant Logo tools, because you can take a basic shape and transform them instantly into a remarkable shape, like the one you see here in the middle, and then use that for a logo or an icon.
It's really simple to transform ordinary artwork into something really amazing just by using these little tools. If you don't like the way these tools behave, that's okay, you can actually refine the way the tools behave by going into the tool options for each tool. This is not something that you'll find in the Object menu or the Preferences or anything like that. Again, it's hidden inside the tool itself. So if you wanted to change the way that the Twirl tool worked for instance, simply come to the Twirl tool and double-click. Double-clicking opens up the Twirl tool options.
This is where you can adjust the Width of the tool, that's how big the actual brush is that you are working with, the Height of the tool, the Angle of the tool, and also the Intensity. If I bump up the Intensity, so let's say a 100, and bump up the size, so let's do 200x200, then I can also select the Twirl Rate, so I will set this at about 75 degrees and I can type that in just like that. The amount of Detail, I can crank that up just a little bit to 5, and we want this to remain a simple path, so the Simplify option, we want to crank that up just a little bit.
Once we have that all set, I'll go ahead hit OK. When I hit OK, you'll notice my brush is significantly larger than it was before, and if I come over to this shape, the same shape I was on before and click, look how wacky that is, really quick and really fast, because I turned up the Intensity. Do the same thing right over here. And you notice, since I was in between these two and I didn't actually have them selected, it twirled both of them together intertwining them in that pattern, which is really neat. Do the same thing right here.
Really and truly the magic formula here is putting yourself in a seat and playing with these tools to see exactly how they work and how they will interact with your artwork. You can create some amazing things simply by pointing, clicking, and watching the magic happen.
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