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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
Now as you may recall the previous exercise we drew the god's nose as a combination of three ellipses that we joined together using the Unite function inside the Pathfinder palette. Well in this exercise I'm going to draw the lozenge-shaped mouth. I'm going to draw an ellipse. We're going to divide it into two halves, and then we're going to join the pieces together with a straight segment. I'm working inside of the same Face time.ai file that I opened up in the previous exercise. And here's what I want you to do if you're working along with me. Grab your Ellipse Tool and then draw the ellipse here.
However you want to do it, go ahead and draw a circle, actually is what we need, so definitely press the Shift key as you're drawing here folks, and get that thing sized up the way that you want it and then go ahead and release the mouse button and then release the Shift key. You may need to nudge the shape into place a little bit, so I press the right arrow key once in order to nudge that guy .2 point, so just a fifth of a point over to the right. Great to have that kind of control inside of Illustrator. Now I need to cut shape in half and I should be able to do this, if I go down here to the bottom of the toolbox, click and hold on either the Eraser tool, which is the default tool here or the Scissors Tool if you're working along with me from chapter 3. You'll see this flyout menu. We should be able to do this with the Knife Tool. You should just be able select the Knife Tool and drag right down the center and this time it worked. Oh my gosh. Of course when I want to show you what a nuisance of a tool this is, it goes and works for me. This is the first time I've ever seen it work right. This is a more typical, I went ahead and undid it. This is a more typical sort of application of the Knife Tool. It does one of these things, it just cuts the shape into some bizarre gunk, you know like you've smashed the shape on the floor or something like that and it just happened to randomly break. That's what the Knife Tool typically does, but of course I whip it out and draw a straight line with it. You should have some constraints and other things you can do with this tool, but you don't. It's just agh, it's just one of the worst design tools in any program out there, in my opinion. I suggest in general, even though I lucked out and got it to work for, the one time in my life I've ever gotten that tool to work you just witnessed.
I recommend you steer clear of it. You can try it out if you want to. And if you want precise results though, the Scissors Tool is your better bet. Go ahead and click at the top of the shape in order to cut that point in two, and then click at the bottom point right here, in order to cut it in twain as well, and now you've just divided the two halves of the ellipse apart from each other. I'm going to press the V key to switch over to the Move Tool, the black arrow tool and then I'm going to click on the right half of the shape and I'm going to drag it over to the right half of the mouth, and I've got the Shift key down in order to constrain my movement to exactly horizontal, then I'll release the mouse button.
Then I release the Shift key. Now a person who's very precise might tell you, You know a better way to get that result would be just to select this half here, throw away the other half get your Reflect Tool and reflect a clone across this guideline right here, this vertical guideline. And that's true that would ensure some radically precise results, but our results are actually precise enough, in my opinion. So we've got the two halves of the mouth, good for us. They're positioned where they need to be. Now press the A key to get your white arrow tool and I want you to click on this bottom point here. See what's happening by the way, this is a new, wonderful micro feature here inside of Illustrator CS3.
When you hover over a point it shows it to you. It goes bling, here's your point in case you're interested, sir or ma'am. And you go, Thank you very much, kind Illustrator and you click on it in order to make it active. I just love this feature, and then watch this, I'll move my cursor over this point, I know exactly where it is. I don't, no worries, I'm not wondering you know, where's that point? Then I Shift-click on it to select it as well. I love that function. It's so awesome. So I've gone ahead and selected these two points here, these two opposing points with my white arrow tool.
I'm now going to go up to the Object menu and I'm going to choose the Path command, and I'm getting a choose Join. Now remember in a previous chapter, the Join command allows you to fuse two coincident points together. I told you if those two points have any gap between them then Illustrator goes ahead and joins those two points with a straight segment. Well these two points do have some space between them of course, so if I go ahead and choose the Join command then I will join them with a straight segment. Isn't that awesome? Yes it is. Now I could go ahead and select these two points using the white arrow tool, but there's a lot going on here and there's always the chance I could accidentally select the wrong thing. So I'm going to go ahead and press the V key to get my black arrow tool again and I'm going to click on the shape as a whole.
Now in this case and this case only, the Join command is going to say, Oh I see you only have two endpoints here, so there's nothing else I could possibly join in the shape, so I'll join those two things together. Now I say in this case and this case only because if I had anything else, if I had two shapes selected with the Black arrow tool, then the Join command would grump at me. It would get very grumpy about that. This time though it's going to participate and if I press that keyboard shortcut Control+J or Command+J on the Mac, it just goes ahead and joins those two points together with a straight segment. La-de-da, that is so great. All right now let's just draw this mouth area between the lips here, this seam between the lips using the Line Segment Tool. Just go ahead and grab that Line Segment Tool, drag from this point, Shift-drag over to this point and release, and you've created the mouth. So go ahead and Control-click on that eyeball again or Command_click on that eyeball, and we have the nose and mouth successfully drawn. So these are just examples of more complicated shapes that you can draw on using the simple shape functions. In the next exercise, the next exercise is a total throwaway. I'm just going to show you the wackiest thing that you can do in Illustrator and if you come up for a use for it, that's great, but it's just a really wacky shape tool function that I want you to know about because I care.
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